Have you thought about doing giveaways on your blog but don’t know how to even get started? Do you want to grow your email list?
Creating a giveaway on your blog is a great way to get more visitors on your site and grow your email list and social following.
Download a PDF of this blog post for reference or print out (free!). No email required.
- What Is A Giveaway?
- Can I Do An Instragram Giveaway or Facebook Giveaway?
- Do I Need A Huge Following To Do A Blog Giveaway?
- What Should I Offer As A Giveaway Prize?
- What Tools Can I Use For My Giveaway?
- How Do I Ensure I’m Covered Legally For My Giveaway?
- How Do I Plan A Giveaway?
- How Many Entries Should I Allow For A Giveaway?
- How Do I Promote My Giveaway?
- GDPR and CCPA Compliance
- How Do I Measure Success Of My Giveaway?
What Is A Giveaway?
In case anyone is wondering, a giveaway can also be called a “sweepstakes” or “lottery” (though these are different). In the blogging world, these are almost always referred to as “giveaways”.
A giveaway is taking a product, service, or resource and offering it to people to enter to win (with no requirement for a purchase beforehand).
Each giveaway runs for a certain amount of time for people to enter and a winner is randomly drawn from the names or email addresses collected during the giveaway.
See the section about making your giveaway legal for more detailed information.
We will get into what you can offer in a giveaway later.
Can I Do An Instragram Giveaway or Facebook Giveaway?
But for the sake of this article I will be focusing on doing a giveaway directly on your blog that you highlight on social media only.
However, you may see some information that is applicable to any giveaway you want to do below.
Do I Need A Huge Following To Do A Blog Giveaway?
The bigger your following the larger the number of entrants may be.
But, it’s all about reach.
If you offer a giveaway for a product or service from someone else, you could (potentially) get exposure for your giveaway through their social channels.
You can also team up with other bloggers to offer a larger prize and increase your reach (more on that later).
There are also other ways you can highlight your giveaway on giveaway/sweepstakes promotion sites and groups.
What Should I Offer As A Giveaway Prize?
This is competely up to you and your niche.
Make sure you choose a prize that is specific to your niche!
If your goal is to grow your email list, you want to capture as many entrants as possible who will actually be interested in your content!
Here are some pointers:
- What appeals to your audience?
- Why would they enter a giveaway for the item?
- Are you purchasing the item or soliciting the item from another company or brand owner?
- Do you belong to any affiliate programs that may be willing to offer the prize for free? (then you can use your affiliate link in your promotions if it meets the program’s terms of service!)
- Can you get a bigger prize by joining forces with other bloggers? You can host it on your blog but gather other bloggers who want to take part – bigger reach, potentially bigger prize!
What Tools Can I Use For My Giveaway?
There are a few ways you can accept entrants to your giveaway.
While you can accept people by simply having them email you or comment on your blog post, this can be very time intensive when it comes time to actually get organized, select a winner, then notify the winner.
Below are some tools many use for their giveaways. Test them out and see what works for you (many offer plugins for WordPress, embedded on any site, and others can be linked to directly through a giveaway landing page):
- KingSumo Giveaway (free and paid): I personally use this one (paid) – my only complaint is that it only lists the times in UTC so I have to translate this to my own time zone. I embed the giveaway form directly on my post.
- Rafflecopter (free and paid): I did not find this user friendly but it’s a popular option with a free option.
- RafflePress (paid)
- WPForms Pro (paid): this is more for “contests” (for example: “submit a photo using my product and 1 the best photo wins x”), but you could modify to be a giveaway. There is a free version of the plugin, but it does not come with the contest form. The nice thing about this one is that you can use it for all your form needs, not just for contests/giveaways!
- Woorise (free and paid): I tried this out briefly (when I saw a lifetime deal on AppSumo), but at the time of this publishing they did not offer extra entries for people for completing extra tasks (like social follows) only by sharing the link and having someone join the giveaway through their link.
- Shortstack (paid): I have not tried this one, but it looks to be the prettiest looking option I’ve seen.
There are other giveaway platforms out there. I only listed the types I have personally used or tried and ones that appear to be regularly updated.
How Do I Ensure I’m Covered Legally For My Giveaway?
First, I am NOT a lawyer. Below are recommendations but they do not constitute actual legal advice.
You want to ensure that the rules of your giveaway are clear. Here are some things you will need to define:
- Is there an age restriction? (by law they should be at least 18 years old)
- What are the exact terms for entry? (location, number of entries allowed per person, no employees of your business, etc)
- What is the start and end date of your giveaway?
- When will a winner be notified?
- How long does the winner have to claim the prize?
This is by no means a complete list but is a starting point.
I highly suggest investing in actual legal language from a lawyer.
Personally, I use the Sweepstakes Terms & Conditions from Amira of ASelfGuru.
See other legal templates I use to keep my blogs, businesses, and family covered legally.
The template is super easy to follow and anywhere you need to update is highlighted.
Remember, you cannot require someone to make a purchase prior to entry! That is a lottery (not a giveaway).
Much stricter laws go into effect for lotteries (which is usually restricted to government agencies).
You can offer bonuses to everyone who purchases, but you cannot do a drawing for with a certain number of winners limited only to those that purchase your products.
How Do I Plan A Giveaway?
As someone who has done over 15 giveaways over the past 5 years ranging in a prize value fom $25 to over $3,000, I have quite a system in place to steamline the process!
Now, my methods are quite “nitty gritty” which can be overwhelming, especially for you first giveaway.
I highly suggest you start with something small and work your way up to “bigger fish”.
Test out your systems, make a plan, see what works, discover what doesn’t work, and make changes in your next giveaway.
Want pointers on a plan for your giveaway?
Check out the free giveaway checklist (see the bottom of this post)!
How Many Entries Should I Allow For A Giveaway?
This is entirely up to you and the functionality of the platform you choose.
Generally, each individual is allowed 1 main entry.
But there can be ways to allow for additional entries. This means they do additional actions to receive more chances to win the prize(s).
Here are some ways you can do this (depending on your platform (you usually designate how many extra entries someone gets per action)):
- Extra entry for sharing on social media (can be for one network or per network)
You will want to outline exactly how many entries a person may have and the actions they can take to get more (if applicable) within your giveaway rules (covered later under the legal section).
How Do I Promote My Giveaway?
There are a LOT of options out there (free and paid)!
Here are some ways you can promote:
- Email your email list (2-3 emails – start, middle, last day)
- Update your social media channels (3+ updates – start, middle, last day)
- Ask the brand or product owner if they want to do an email or social update to help promote
- Post withing giveaway Facebook Groups (just search “giveaway” or “sweepstakes” to find all the groups to join)
- Search for networks online that promote giveaways specifically – some are paid and some are free (check their terms before submitting anything); my only caveat to this is make sure your audience may even be in this “global” network – is it worth the cost of the added promotion?
- There are Instagram accounts set-up specifically to help promote giveaways or influencers who can do “shout outs”. Most of these are paid.
- Make sure to use hashtags (#giveaway #sweepstakes #win) if you use Instagram to promote
Another thing I have done in the past for larger giveaways is to look for influencers in my niche to help promote in exchange for a “Marketing Sponsor” mention on the giveaway post/page. I created a section on the giveaway landing page to include links to the marketers who agreed.
GDPR and CCPA Compliance
This is the biggest thing that most bloggers miss when it comes to giveaways!
It sounds absolutely amazing to get new subscribers from a giveaway, whether that be 10 or 500! BUT, legally there are some things you need to keep in mind for privacy laws.
Sure, this is NOT a global requirement. But the way things are going online this may become a privacy law worldwide. Right now, it’s just a requirement for the EU (GDPR) and California (CCPA). Personally, I err on the side of caution and always try to implement compliance no matter what I do.
If you just send notifications of new blog posts you can add in your legal language that they will be added to your email list. However, anybody in the EU (for GDPR) or California (CCPA) are allowed to join your giveaway without being added to your list…so it’s tricky!
If you do include marketing in your emails, look to see which platform allows you to add a check mark agreement to join your email list to explicitly get consent to be compliant.
Another option is to add an extra entry item for anyone to subscribe to your email list. It’s a bit of a grey area if this is allowed with GDPR since the entrant gets an entry just for joining the giveaway…but is required to join an email list for this extra entry type. So, do some thinking and see if this is something you want to offer.
How Do I Measure Success Of My Giveaway?
I highly suggest that before you start a giveaway you define your goal for creating one in the first place.
If you want to gain subscribers, maybe your goal is to have 50 new subscribers (this will depend on your reach and your prize). See the notes above about GDPR and CCPA compliance!
In addition to seeing if you reach your goal, you will also want to evaluate your marketing as much as possible.
Go to Google Analytics and see where you were receiving the most referrals. Make notes on what got you the most traffic (especially if you paid for promotions!).
In many ways you won’t be able to distinguish in Google Analytics the effectiveness since it will only tell you what network for social platforms (like Facebook or Instagram). But, look at the posts you created and see what you can glean about engagement.
When you are all done with your giveaway, make a list of what worked and what didn’t work and make changes in the future.
Download a PDF of this blog post for reference or print out (free!). No email required.
Have any questions or want to reference this later? Ask away in the comments or pin for later!