How to Wrap Up a Text to Win Sweepstakes While Avoiding a Steve Harvey-Style Mistake

Your text-to-win has ended and you’ve gotten a lot of entries… so now what? One common mistake can have you pulling a “Steve Harvey” and announcing the wrong winner. You don’t want that to happen! There’s a right way and wrong way to wrap up your sweepstakes.

Here’s how to end your sweepstakes while maintaining brand trust and loyalty.

1. Select the Winner

As soon as your sweepstakes comes to an end, select the winner(s). This person becomes the “potential winner” until the next step is taken (below). Remember, there will be many people eagerly awaiting the outcome, so make sure you follow the time frame you promised in the official rules to avoid compromising your customers’ trust.

2. Confirm the Winner BEFORE Announcing

We see many small businesses announcing the winner right away, but that’s not the best idea. What if the winner has sudden health issues and can’t travel on the trip you’re giving away? Or what if they changed their mind about the prize or didn’t follow the rules? All of these things have happened. And you don’t want to announce a mistake was made and have to select a different winner.

Keep in mind… a winner is considered a “potential winner” until they’ve been confirmed by you.

Contact the person privately first to confirm they’re eligible and can take the prize, especially if there are restrictions. If you can’t reach them and leave a message, give them a grace period to get back to you (usually 2-3 days, per your rules) and let them know they need to respond before this time expires. Otherwise, you may have to select a new winner. Only after you’ve confirmed them, should you then announce them as the winner.

3. Deliver the Prize

The prizes should be sent to your winners promptly and make sure to include a thank you note for participating. This is also another chance to get a promotional photo. Ask if they can send you a photo with the prize or provide a testimonial or follow up quote. You can use this on social media, your website or in other materials.

4. Send Out a Message to Non-Winners

Don’t forget the non-winners! Consider sending them a message. Offer a discount as a consolation prize or simply thank them for their participation and encourage them to enter again next time.

5. Review the Results of Your Campaign

Has your campaign achieved the goals you set? Assess the data from your text-to-win to see if it met your projections and make note of any changes for future campaigns.

By thanking entrants and showing them their participation was important, you can help maintain brand trust and loyalty among subscribers. It’s all part of making sure you take care of your text-to-win subscribers from start to finish!

Reach your audience with a Text-to-Win or SMS Sweepstakes campaign. Contact us or call us at (305) 505-5393 for help with setting up your (SMS) text message marketing.

What Are SMS Short Codes and Why Are They Important?

short codes

So you’ve been considering SMS or text message marketing and have seen the term “short code” being used quite frequently. You may have guessed short codes are important, but what the heck are they?

Short codes are short phone numbers that can be used for SMS or text messages. Since they’re shorter, they’re easier to read and remember than regular phone numbers. Back in the early 2000s, SMS short codes were standardized to five and six digit codes in the United States. Today, they’re widely used by SMS marketing providers.

Short codes are used to opt-in consumers to SMS programs and to relay coupons, promotions, offers, text-to-win campaigns and more. Consumers can subscribe by entering this short code in the “To” field of a text message and sending a text.

Dedicated Short Codes vs Shared Short Codes

There are generally two types of short codes: dedicated short codes and shared short codes. Dedicated short codes are short codes that are dedicated or used exclusively for one business. Shared short codes, on the other hand, are shared by various businesses. They differentiate themselves by each using an exclusive keyword.

For example, if a restaurant uses our shared short code “65047,” we might ask customers to sign up for messages by texting the word “PIZZA” to opt in. (“Text PIZZA to 65047 to receive our deal alerts!”) Another business could use the same short code (65047), but might ask users to text their identifying keyword “HONDAMIAMI” instead.

Compare it to sharing a street address for a company. If your business is in an office building, you use the same address as others in the building and differentiate yours with a suite or office number. If you own your own location (or the entire building), your office is the only one using that address.

Buying a dedicated short code can be very costly ($15,000 to $25,000 a year), which is why most businesses use shared short codes.

Why Short Codes are Better Than Long Codes

If you’re wondering why businesses don’t simply use regular phone numbers, or long codes, for SMS campaigns, you should be aware of the disadvantages.

  • Long codes are not regulated as strictly as short codes, which is why they’re most often used by text message spammers.
  • They don’t have restrictions for bulk sending and receiving. Only 1 message per second is allowed on a long code, which means it could take days to send messages to all of your subscribers, unlike short codes which can send bulk message blasts quickly and easily.
  • They’re easier to remember and promote.

Do you want to learn more about the building blocks of a successful SMS marketing campaign? Contact us or call us at (305) 505-­­5393 for help with your (SMS) text message marketing.

Who Uses Text-to-Win? Some Examples

Need a cost-effective marketing solution that will give you great returns on your investment? With a text-to-win campaign you can achieve your business goals, while creating a loyal subscriber base in the process.

But which companies are using text-to-win to get results? They range from retailers and consumer product companies to entertainment venues and sports teams. Even B2B companies can use text-to-win for their sweepstakes.

Here are 5 great examples…

Rite Aid

Rite Aid, one of the largest drugstore chains in the nation, recently did a text-to-win campaign they promoted in-store. Customers had a chance to win a $6,000 weekend getaway and a weekly $100 gift card giveaway by texting the shortcode “HAPPY” to “35350.”

MillerCoors

MillerCoors, the maker of the Coors and Blue Moon beers, did a text-to-win campaign last year for July 4th. Customers were asked to text “JULY4” to “70123” to enter the sweepstakes which offered free beer for a year as a prize, as well as, a record player, stereo, and vinyl records.

Charlotte Russe

Charlotte Russe, a popular clothing store for teens, recently started a text-to-win campaign where customers were asked to text “BFF” to “78953” to get one of two discount offers for online and in-store discounts.

New York Islanders

The New York Islanders, a New York hockey club, partnered with the NY Lottery for a text-to-win campaign during one of the team’s games. Customers were entered for a chance to win a private suite for up to ten guests by texting “NYLOTTERY” to “232323.”

The Billboard Music Awards

The Billboard Music Awards is currently running a text-to-win campaign offering a chance to win a trip to the awards show. However, they’ve added an extra twist on the text-to-win campaign model by asking customers to listen to participating radio stations for the keyword they’ll need to enter . By doing so, they benefit themselves and local radio stations as entrants need to listen to the radio to learn the secret keyword.

Build your own loyal following with a Text-to-Win or SMS Sweepstakes campaign! Contact us or call (305) 505-­­5393 for help with setting up your text message marketing.

4 Ways Text-to-Win Can Make Your Next Event a Success

According to MobileSQUARED, 90 percent of people read a text message within the first three minutes of receiving it. With attendees on the move, you need a channel they can interact with fast. Setting up a text-to-win promotion can provide the incentive to draw action from attendees and respond to instantly while on the move. Once attendees enter your text-to-win program, you can draw winners and send text messages to all participants to keep you top-of-mind.

Here are 4 ideas for using a text-to-win for your event.

Educational Events

Educational events can include webinars, lectures, seminars or other types of presentations. If you’re looking to increase attendance at your event, a text-to-win campaign can help drive interest and increase participation. If there is an admission charge, you can also use text to offer a discount or free admission to a lucky winner. Another trend with events, especially online webinars, is to send out a text message to remind entrants when the event’s about to start.

Trade Shows and Conferences

Running a text-to-win campaign during a trade show or conference is a great way to keep your brand in the minds of attendees, generate excitement for your booth, and capture more leads. By offering a prize that attendees can’t ignore, you’ll outshine your trade show competitors and open a direct communication channels via text between you and the attendees.

Business and Product Launches

Starting a new business or launching a new product? A text-to-win is a great way to raise awareness for your launch. Consumers have many choices when buying products or services. If you want to attract new customers, using such a campaign is a cost-effective way to get the word out and generate buzz. After participants enter, ask them to share your sweeps on social media to leverage their networks.

Sports Events

With a well-maintained list of mobile subscribers, sports teams and companies can build buzz for games and athletic events by running text-to-win promotions. Ideas for prizes include ticket giveaways, complimentary merchandise, and more. During the off-season, other text promotions can keep fans engaged.

Build Your Brand with Text-to-Win

Text-to-win sweepstakes help build your brand because they can improve brand recognition and engage your audience in a mobile environment. Our platform offers a number of features including custom messages, access to insights and analytics, suggested rules, web forms and an account dashboard, all while ensuring that your campaign is compliant with FCC requirements and mobile guidelines. When you use text-to-win for events, it’s a win-win for both your subscribers and your business.

Are you ready to promote your event with a Text-to-Win? Email us or call (305) 505-5393 for help getting started.

Growing Your Mobile Subscriber Database

Are you looking for an easy way to boost your mobile subscriber list? Then consider running a text-to-win campaign to attract new customers. A sweepstakes is a great way to attract attention to your business.

Text-to-win campaigns also have an advantage over other text messaging promotions simply because your business doesn’t have to offer as much to capture a new subscriber. Instead of offering an incentive to everyone who subscribes, you need only offer one grand prize – a bigger prize means more excitement!

Here are some tips to help you grow your mobile database…

Promote Your Campaign on Social Media

Using social media to promote your text-to-win is a great way to increase participation. By creating graphics or a message and including a call-to-action, you can promote your text-to-win on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site. Social media is also optimized for mobile.

Leverage Other Marketing & Advertising Vehicles

Are you advertising in print or online? Do you create videos, sponsor events or attend trade shows? You can leverage all of these opportunities for your text-to-win by including a call to action (“Text PETS to 65047 for a chance to win free pet food!” for example) either digitally or in print.

Use Referral Marketing

If your business wants to boost referrals and word of mouth, a text-to-win campaign can work extremely well. By creating prizes that are attractive to your customers and promoting your campaign with referral marketing, you can convince them to share the promotion with friends and family.

Don’t Forget About Customer Retention

When a subscriber opts in to your text-to-win, this only marks the beginning of the many opportunities you will have to engage with the subscriber. If you want to establish good relationships with your subscribers, it’s important you continue to send messages after the promotion is over.

To keep your subscribers from opting out and to ensure a good ROI for your business, you must keep your subscribers engaged by sending new promotions and updates about your business that are relevant to their interests. Having a retention strategy is just as important as finding new people to sign up for your mobile SMS campaigns.

Increase the size of your mobile subscriber database with a Text-to-Win campaign! Contact us or call us at (305) 505-5393 for help getting started.