How to Choose the Right Sweepkey for Your Text to Win

A text to win is a mobile version of the commonly used sweepstakes campaign. Participants enter by sending a text message with a Sweepkey, such as “MIAMI,” to a 5 to 7-digit number or short code.

If you want your text to win to be successful, you must make sure that your Sweepkey is easy for entrants to use. Here are some tips on how to choose the right Sweepkey.

Brand Your Sweepkey With Your Brand or Product Name

Branding your Sweepkey with your brand or product name not only makes it easier for entrants to remember, it also associates your sweep and the prizes with your brand. After all, you want to use your text to win to promote your brand or product, not just to give away free prizes.

To further emphasize the branding, you should include your Sweepkey in any outbound text messages you send out during the campaign. “Miami” is the Sweepkey in this example: “MIAMI: Thanks for entering! Although you didn’t win today, visit our site and use code 15OFF for 15% off with our thanks!”

Also Read: Tips for Success on Your First Text to Win

Make it Easy to Remember and Type

Choose a Sweepkey that is easy to remember and is phonetic. This is especially important if you will advertise your text to win using print or in-store advertising or radio advertising where entrants might be challenged to remember your Sweepkey in order to enter.

Choose a word, such as “ORANGE,” rather than a made-up word or a sequence of letters to avoid confusion. Spaces aren’t accepted by the system so choose one word or a combination that still makes sense when seen as one word, such as “TECHSTORE.”

Plan for auto-correct as well. Don’t select a word as a Sweepkey that is almost always auto-corrected by smartphones.

Make sure that the Sweepkey is short enough for a mobile user to engage with. Keep in mind that your entrants will be entering your text to win on the go. Using a long Sweepkey only increases the risk of a mistake by your entrants.

The simpler and catchier your Sweepkey, the better. If you want maximize the number of entrants to your text to win, choosing the right Sweepkey is the first step.

Build a better text to win with Sweeppea. To get started now, see features and pricing.

Six Flag’s Fright Fest Uses Text Sweepstakes for Giveaway

Text sweepstakes for Six Flags amusement park

When Six Flags amusement park wanted to build excitement and increase ticket sales for their yearly Frightfest, they used Sweeppea’s text sweepstakes platform for the campaign. With the help of their media partner, WUSA-9 TV Station, Six Flags offered a chance to win tickets by simply texting the word FRIGHTFEST to the number 65047 to enter. In return, they got a mobile subscriber database and extra exposure on TV and mobile.

Objective:

  • To promote and build excitement around the park and its new attractions
  • To increase ticket sales
  • To gain a database of participants to re-market their offers via text and email.

Promotional Channels:

  • Mentions and spots on WUSA-9 TV
  • Social Media promotion
  • Local billboard advertising

Outcome:

  • Hundreds of participants enter.
  • Hundreds of new emails were collected.

Prize: Five (5) Winners each received four (4) tickets to Six Flags Fright Fest at Six Flags America.

Want to get started with your own text-to-win? See our features and pricing.

How a Social Media Sweepstakes Differs From a Text to Win

Are you comparing the value of a text to win versus a Facebook sweepstakes? Running a social media sweepstakes is actually very different from a text to win campaign. Here are a few basic differences that can help you decide which option is best for promoting your business.

Facebook Isn’t Free

Many people still have the misconception that you can simply create a page on Facebook to promote a business for free. Unfortunately, that’s no longer true.

If you want potential customers to see your sweepstakes, you’ll have to pay for advertising. And if you don’t have a decent budget for advertising, you shouldn’t expect to see much traffic to your page or your sweepstakes since Facebook drastically reduced organic reach for business pages several years ago.

Also Read: How to Promote Your Text to Win Sweepstakes on Social Media

No Control Over Timing

When you post to Facebook, you have little control over the time and date when someone actually views your post. That means that you could send out a post at a specified time but your target audience might not read it until hours, or even days, later.

In contrast, research shows that a majority of mobile phone users read text messages within 3 minutes of receipt. This means you can actually send out time-sensitive content during or after your text to win that most of your entrants will act on right away.

Facebook is the Gatekeeper to Your Sweepstakes

Like every other social platform, Facebook is for registered users. And while it’s popular, there are still many people who aren’t on it and won’t be able to participate in your sweeps. You might even be surprised to know that some members of the Millennial and Gen Z generations avoid Facebook because their parents are on it!

In contrast, a text to win campaign can work on every mobile phone. Since SMS text is a basic feature of all mobile phones, you can be sure of reaching a majority of your audience. 

You Don’t Have Your Audience’s Full Attention on Social Media

Most users on Facebook and other social sites are trying to catch up with friends, read the news, and watch funny videos. Your brand messages may get lost in the news feed–if it appears at all.  

In contrast, text to win can be promoted in any environment (yes, including social media). You might have signs in store, messages in your emails or ads and elsewhere. You have a little more control and once someone enters, you’ll have their full attention with each text message. If you want a captive audience, text to win is the way to go.

Reach your audience with a targeted text to win campaign. To get started now, see features and pricing.

Top Prize Ideas for Your Text Sweepstakes

Are you struggling with coming up with a prize for your text sweepstakes? There are options available that will entice your customer base. Here are some of the top prize ideas for your text sweepstakes to help spark your creativity.

Memorable Experiences

With Millenials, experiences are highly prized. A study by the Harris Group found that 72% of millennials prefer to spend money on experiences vs. material things. Can you create an experience that includes your product or service? Experiences can range from private tours or a private tailgate party with DJ (like the one offered by Bud Light) to closing off an entire water park for you and your closest friends. Other examples: like Ikea UK, offer a sleepover for a winner and friends (in a unique location, at the zoo, etc.) or offer a cooking class using your food product with a well-known local chef.

Upgrades

Instead of thinking of an entirely new prize to offer to your text sweepstakes entrants, why not simply upgrade them on your existing products or services? By offering free access to the full version of your product or service, you’ll get feedback from potential customers while also ensuring that the majority of entrants to your sweepstakes are genuinely interested in your business and aren’t simply signing up in order to win a generic prize.

Other ideas include a full year’s supply of your product or a large package that includes your product.

Sports Memorabilia

Does your customer base include some of the hometown team’s most dedicated fans? If so, you should consider giving away sports memorabilia as a prize for your text sweepstakes. Sports memorabilia makes a great prize because it is usually a one-of-a-kind prize that fans will be happy to share via social media.

In fact, Washington Gas & Light Energy gave away autographed Washington Wizards Memorabilia as a part of its company’s re-marketing efforts. By announcing the prize during the game, the company was able to capture the attention of its audience and open the channel for post-event text message marketing offers.

Also read: Case Study: WGL Energy Captures Fan Info and Boosts Engagement During Sports Games

Trips and Vacations

Offering a vacation or trip is a tried and true prize option for a text sweepstakes. Many companies have taken this approach. However, offering such a prize should be done with careful consideration to ensure the trip closely aligns with your brand and you aren’t actually offering a prize that will be so expensive to fulfill that it actually subtracts from your campaign ROI.

But if your goal is to attract potential and repeat visitors to a particular area, this strategy can be highly effective. In fact, the Florida Keys & Key West Tourist Development Council used this strategy when it offered a chance to win a trip to  the Florida Keys & Key West with fun, food & VIP tickets to Fantasy Fest.

Also read: Rocking the Conch Republic: Results of Our Text-to-Win Sweepstakes for the Florida Keys & Key West

The key to choosing a great prize for your text to win sweepstakes is creativity and relevancy. It should be highly relevant to your business. With the right sweepstakes prizes, you can drive major results for your business.

Case Study: Chinet Uses Text to Win to Offer a Dream Movie Night

Backyard Movie Night Text to Win Promotion by Chinet at Meijers

text to win for a dream movie party turned into a dream campaign for The Buntin Group and their clients, Chinet Classic White. Their goal was to expand and promote usage of Chinet disposable tableware during outdoor summer occasions.

They focused on an opportunity with a key retailer, Meijer, and used it to increase interest in their brands, while heightening loyalty among customers. Thus, the Meijer Backyard Movie Night Text-to-Win Sweepstakes was born.

Other consumer product brands like Char-Broil Grills, OFF! and Lake N’ Trail got behind the idea too. The Sweeppea text-to-win platform was chosen to execute it.

The Campaign

The campaign consisted of national TV, digital, social and PR initiatives. The sweepstakes creative featured imagery from the 2017 30-second TV spot of family and friends watching a movie in the backyard with pizza and popcorn on Chinet Classic White plates and bowls. Prizes included all the makings of a perfect movie night host package including a 65” TV, Charbroil Grill, Chinet party supplies, Meijer gift cards and more.

With the sweepstakes in particular, they targeted:

  • Meijer shoppers overall
  • Existing Chinet buyers who shop at Meijer

The strategy waas to capitalize on the very natural relationship of summer grilling with Chinet Classic White products, as well as the growing popularity of at-home, outdoor entertaining. So, media dollars were spent with partners like HGTV and Food Network for TV flights during summer grilling specials with an extra push around Memorial Day and Fourth of July.

The media behind the campaign was a mix of national broadcast, digital video/radio, content, email, direct response digital, paid social and PR. The text-to-win sweepstakes provided in-store exposure, customer messaging and included entrance signage with a CTA to text to enter for a chance to win.

Their First Text to Win

This was their first text to win sweepstakes program and it was a success.

Text or SMS was a natural fit since consumers now have shorter attention spans and less time. They’re constantly on the move, making them more attached to their mobile devices than ever before. They’re also savvier shoppers overall. Therefore, focused, purposeful, meaningful and concise messaging and execution proves most successful.

With in-store signage at the entry of every Meijer store and digital and email targeted to Meijer/Chinet consumers, as well as the low barrier to entry, the text-to-win sweepstakes received more than 3,100 entries in just 10 days.

The text-to-win mobile component of the campaign served as the in-store extension for the national campaign. An email blast was sent out to Club Chinet members informing them of the sweepstakes, presenting the CTA “Text MOVIE to 65047 for a chance to win a Backyard Movie Night prize package” or directing them to the entry form online.

The Classic White sales results for the first half of the year are not confirmed yet, but the text-to-win messaging campaign exceeded expectations, garnering 3,140 entries total in 200 stores in 10 days.

The brand enjoyed positive overall consumer response based on total participants and client satisfaction, not to mention three very happy winners.  Overall, this is a great example of how effective text to win can be for consumer product goods.

Want to get started with your own text to win?  See our features and pricing.