Sweepstakes—they’re a great way to engage your loyal customers or drum up awareness with new ones! Since an estimated 55 million Americans participate in sweepstakes every year, this promotional strategy drives engagement with potential new customers, as well as returning loyal ones.
Digital sweepstakes are especially appealing to consumers because of ease of entry and improved CX over traditional models (i.e Mail-in)—in fact, 23% of visitors to brands’ social media are looking for contests and promotional opportunities. Running a digitally-focused sweepstakes as a brand can feel like a lot of moving parts when you don’t have the right tools, but they’re an important (and fun) aspect of your marketing strategy.
First: What You Need to Know About Sweepstakes
So, first things first: what do we mean by sweepstakes?
A sweepstakes, commonly referred to as a giveaway, involves nothing but chance, when it comes to selecting a winner. In fact, in the U.S., sweepstakes winners are chosen at random. That random selection is the key differentiator between a sweepstakes and a contest, as a contest requires additional effort by an entrant - such as a skill or talent - to win.
When it comes to holding a fair sweepstakes, there are a few other aspects that need to be handled, like legal compliance - which can vary by country or region - prize fulfillment, activation, marketing, and the winner selection. If these things are driving your brand away from holding a sweepstakes, consider Snipp’s comprehensive Sweepstakes Management platform to help you handle all of these moving parts.
Different Types of Sweepstakes & How to Use Them in Your Marketing
With consumers’ use of technology growing daily, the days of entering a sweepstakes by simply filling out a card and dropping it in a ballot box are far behind us.
In fact, digital sweepstakes and contests tend to resonate more now, than traditional formats, because:
- 90% of text messages are read within 6 minutes of receipt
- 10x is the number of times that mobile coupons are redeemed more than traditional ones
- 51% of digital media time in the U.S. is spent on mobile phones, while 42% is spent on computers
- Of those that receive marketing-related text messages, 29% click on links and 47% of those individuals make a purchase
Let’s take a look at various ways you can incorporate digital sweepstakes in your marketing and promotional strategies:
Omnichannel is more than a hot topic—it’s the future of the customer experience. Leveraging omnichannel for sweepstakes and other promotions can be difficult, but Snipp helps streamline the process for your brand and your customers.
Goose Island (AB Inbev), a craft beer manufacturer, wanted to offer consumers an omnichannel, more cohesive shopper experience by seamlessly unlocking consumers' transactional and behavioral data from their offline and online network in the UK. Goose Island relied on partner ZX Ventures and Snipp's promotions solutions and transaction processing platform to put in place an engaging tactic to collect first party consumer data.
Consumers could scan an image of their receipt for any Goose Island qualifying product, or upload an image of a Goose Island pint glass to a specific webpage. Snipp integrated our receipt validation technology via a widget on the Goose Island’s site for a seamless consumer experience. A valid receipt or image gives consumers an entry into a sweepstakes program for a chance to win selected rewards.
Celebrity or internet influencers can help promote and be a part of your sweepstakes. For example, GlaxoSmithKline used stories of celebrities who have quit smoking to help drive awareness and sales for their Nicorette products, and they offered a sweepstakes opportunity for friends and family to connect with their loved ones through these stories.
GSK asked friends and family to register on their website to enter the sweepstakes and nominate someone in their life who could benefit from a personalized video from a celebrity.
At the end of the program, winners were randomly chosen and received a personalized video with that celebrity to encourage the nominee to stop smoking. Snipp’s turnkey Sweepstakes solution brought the program to market quickly, while Snipp also provided a customized solution to GSK for winner notification and fulfilment.
Gift Card & Sweeps
When you think of a sweepstakes, you might think of a big grand prize, but you can utilize multiple smaller prizes as well for your marketing. Small prizes - like gift cards - are an opportunity to drive retail-specific sales, just like Under Armour did with the Canadian retailer, Sport Chek.
With the help of Snipp, Under Armour held a national sweepstakes where consumers could purchase any Under Armour product(s) at Sport Chek to earn an entry into the sweepstakes. Consumers had the option to submit their receipt by text or a web upload to get a chance to win one of five $500 Sport Chek gift cards, and one Grand Prize trip for four for an ultimate VIP NHL Experience.
Non-Purchase Based Sweeps
Using a purchase as a way to enter a sweepstakes can help drive sales, but using a non-purchase based sweepstakes can also effectively drive awareness and sales. For example, Pinnacle Vodka wanted to drive sales and brand preference through a sweepstakes promotion, by showcasing their summer cocktails as a perfect companion to home entertaining.
The sweepstakes leveraged additional display space in North Carolina retail outlets that featured patio-themed displays and signage driving entries to win a “Perfect Patio” makeover. Snipp’s mobile Text-to-Enter solution and mobile sweeps registration template were used to engage consumers. Consumers could text a keyword to get a link to an age and state gated microsite to enter.
Punchcard with Sweepstakes
Only a few of your sweepstakes entrants can win—but Snipp helped Monster Energy® develop a promotion where more people could take something home utilizing a unique punchard activation with a sweepstakes overlay.
Leveraging our receipt processing platform, Monster created a punchard system where the purchase of 10 cans earned consumers a branded snap-back hat. Additionally, the program featured a Sweepstakes overlay where every receipt submission, validated by our market-leading platform, at a branded microsite earned an entry for a chance to win a Monster “Strat Guitar.”
Snipp's turnkey services included winner drawings, winner notification, and a mail-in AMOE to ensure “no purchase necessary” guidelines are met.
Gift-with-Purchase with Sweepstakes
A sweepstakes is one way to help drive consumers to specific retailers for your products—which can bring loyal customers to a new retailer, while driving your brand awareness within that retailer. Skinny Cow wanted to drive loyalty and basket growth with a focus on core retailers in the ever-growing, competitive ice cream category.
With the help of Snipp, Skinny Cow created a program where consumers who spent a predetermined dollar amount across multiple transactions earned a $10 retail gift card if shopping at the key retailers—or a $10 VIP coupon if shopping elsewhere. In addition, Snipp created a sweepstakes overlay for participants to enter a chance to win a trip to Hawaii, $250 Visa gift cards, and VIP swag boxes. Consumers simply had to text a keyword to get started, or visit a Snipp-hosted, Skinny Cow-branded site to submit receipts and learn more about the promotion.
Sweepstakes Within a Loyalty Program
The best part of being a loyal customer to a brand is the perks, like early access to deals and limited swag. Why not run a loyalty members-only sweepstakes as a reward for your biggest brand fans?
Blue Buffalo wanted to build awareness and drive sales and loyalty for their Blue Wilderness line of dog and cat food. Snipp built a Customer Loyalty Program, where pet parents could register and submit receipts of their Blue Buffalo purchases via webupload, email, or SMS and earn points for every dollar spent on Blue Wilderness products.
In addition to redeeming points for prizes, the application included a PetSmart-exclusive sweepstakes, where Petsmart shoppers earned an entry for a chance to win a Petsmart gift card in a monthly random drawing.
Whether your brand is breaking into a new retailer or you want to show some love to an existing retail partnership, retail-specific sweepstakes are a great driver of traffic and sales to strengthen that partnership.
In the case of PepsiCo, the brand wanted to utilize their partnership with Sony PlayStation in order to bring an exciting promotion for Mountain Dew to Walmart and Walmart shoppers during the holiday shopping season.
Snipp built a turnkey promotional sweepstakes for PepsiCo. Walmart shoppers would see a call to action in stores to text a keyword to a certain number. Snipp responded via text with the promo URL for the website to register to enter to win a Sony PS5—which were nearly impossible to purchase due to demand at the time of the program that helped drive participation. To drive additional engagement, the sweepstakes allowed consumers to enter daily!
Sweepstakes can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool—especially when entry is as easy as texting a photo! Snipp’s Customer Acquisition, Retention, and Engagement (C.A.R.E.) platform solutions allow you to leverage receipt processing for your sweepstakes and promotions to make entry easy while providing you with vital zero-party customer data!
We help you handle the technical and legal aspects of a sweepstakes, including steps like accounting for geographic range, age-gating, and prize fulfillment. Learn more about how our platform helps you develop, run, and analyze results for contests and sweepstakes.