What is a Sweepkey and Other Text to Win Sweepstakes Lingo

dictionary, text to win glossary, text to win terms, text sweepstakes, sms marketing

If you’re planning to launch a text to win sweepstakes, there are a few things you may need to learn. Fortunately, a short and simple explanation is all that’s needed to help you understand some of the new terms you might come across as you explore the world of SMS marketing.

Here is a quick text to win terms glossary in plain-English to help you understand exactly what that text sweepstakes lingo means.

1. SMS

SMS is short for “Short Message Service.” SMS is the global protocol used for sending and receiving text messages. “SMS message” is also another way of saying “text message.”

2. Keyword or Sweepkey

A Keyword or Sweepkey is the word your entrants will text in order to interact with your text to win campaign. Here at Sweeppea, we refer to Keywords as Sweepkeys. The majority of the time a Sweepkey is used to join a text to win campaign. In this example, “summer” is the sweepey: “Text SUMMER to 65047 for a chance to win a summer getaway!”

However, a user may use also a Sweepkey to interact with your follow-up promotions after they’ve entered your text to win campaign.

3. Short Code

A Short Code is a 5- or 6-digit phone number that users send text messages to in order to join or interact with your SMS marketing campaign. Our short code is 65047.

4. Call to Action

A Call to Action is a sentence that informs users of the Sweepkey and Short Code combination that is required in order to subscribe to or interact with your text to win campaign.

Example: “Text ENTERTOWIN to 65047 to join our text to win sweepstakes.”

In the previous example, ENTERTOWIN is the Sweepkey or Keyword and 65047 is the Short Code.

5. Opt-in or Opt-out

SMS marketing is a “permission-based” activity. This means that every user must give their permission in order for you to send them text messages. A user opts in or subscribes by sending a text message (based on your call to action above). They then get an automatic reply text confirming they’ve entered or subscribed. Once they’ve opted in and see the appropriate disclaimers, you have permission to send them text messages.

When a user wants to stop receiving marketing messages from your company, they can send an Opt-out text to easily unsubscribe or stop receiving. An Opt-out text means the user is withdrawing their permission for you to send them text messages. An industry standard is to use the word “STOP” as to opt out keyword. This means all the user has to do is send a text (or reply to a text from that number) with the word STOP. They will then receive an auto reply confirming they’ve opted out and will no longer receive texts.

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

Timing Your Text Message Sweepstakes for Seasonal Promotions

autumn, fall, seasonal, seasonal promotion

Summer is coming to an end and now is the right time to prepare your business for a holiday text message sweepstakes. Here are some tips to help you plan.

Timing is Key

Improving the odds of success for your promotion is all about getting your sweepstakes in front of your audience at the right time. Begin months in advance to plan, promote, and execute a text sweepstakes. Everything should be ready to launch at least two months ahead to give you time.

Customers Shop Early for the Holidays

According to research by the National Retail Federation, roughly 40% of holiday shoppers start shopping before Halloween. When asked why they start so early, 61.9% reported that they did so in order to spread out their spending.

Another 51% of shoppers reported that they do it in order to avoid the stress and crowds that come along with last-minute shopping.

Plan Months in Advance for Holiday Sweeps

With this information in hand, it’s clear that you’ll want to start your text message sweepstakes around the same your customers start shopping.

To get ahead of your competitors and improve the chances that you reach your customers at the right time, you should plan months in advance, with your sweepstakes running during the month leading up to most holidays. For the Christmas holiday however, we recommend you start as early as September.

Remember, you want to make an impact during peak shopping periods before the actual holiday.

Also Read: Planning for Next Year? Ideas for Your Text to Win Sweepstakes

Use the Extra Time to Promote Your Sweepstakes

Starting early means you’ll also have extra time to promote it. Take full advantage of the time leading up to your text sweepstakes to ensure that your customers know it’s coming.

Be Consistent & Agile

Above all, be consistent. Whether or not your text message sweepstakes changes significantly from year to year, if your customers expect a seasonal promotion from you, make sure you deliver it on time.

Also, review results both during and after the promotion. While you can’t change the sweepstakes mid-stream, you CAN increase marketing or digital advertising to get the results you need.

Build a loyal following for your brand with a text to win from Sweeppea! To get started now, see features and pricing.

How a Web Entry Form Helps Your Text to Win

Coors Light Uses Sweeppea's Entry Form for a Text to Win

One great thing about text to wins is that you can eliminate entry forms… but are you sure you want to do that? While keeping your sweepstakes text only makes it as easy as possible, there are certain advantages to having a web entry form.

Here are a couple of good arguments for using web entry forms with your text to win:

Meet your goals

Setting goals for your sweepstakes is a crucial step that many skip. Yes, of course you want to build excitement and boost brand awareness. How about also building your email subscriber list for future promotions? Or finding out which zip codes have the largest number of customers/prospects?

An entry form can help. Simply add an email or zip code field to the form for an extra bit of data that will help with the goals above. Just don’t make the form too long or it’ll affect the number of entries.

Collect information

Besides meeting your goals, collecting information also help in other ways. Ask for a few bits of data to…

  • Age-gate your sweepstakes (especially for alcohol brands).
  • Confirm eligibility. If your sweepstakes is limited to certain states, for example.
  • Reach winners more easily by asking for email or other info.
  • Get a better sense of geographic reach by asking for zip, state or address.

With this type of information, you can learn more about your customers or prospects and reach winners more easily.

Help with social sharing

We recommend posting a graphic with the call to action to promote your sweepstakes on social media, but linking to the web entry form can also help. Even though it’s a text-to-win, your fans can enter on the web form as the first step. They will then get a text message asking them to confirm their opt-in by text.

Maryhill Winery Offers a Trip to Wine Country in Text Message Sweepstakes

How to set up your web entry form

Text to Win Entry form Setup

Now that you know how an entry form can help, let’s go over how to set one up. Sweeppea’s entry forms are very easy to customize.

  1. From your dashboard, click “Sweeps Setup,” then “Entry Page.”
  2. In the Entry Page editor, you can customize the page headline and introduction.
  3. Turn on the form fields you want to keep and make them optional or required.
    (Keep in mind, the mobile number automatically gets populated when they text in.)
  4. Upload custom images for the header and/or footer of the Entry Page. Specs for both are 1440 x 500 pixels (1 MB max.) in JPG or PNG format.
  5. Click on “Save Changes” at the bottom of page to save your updates.
  6. Click the ‘Preview’ link at the top of the page to preview the Entry Form.

Ideas for Banner or Footer Artwork

Besides a logo or branding, clients often include the name of the sweeps or a reference to the prize. It’s completely up to you. Here are a few examples…

Header with branding and a note on eligibility:

Coors Light Entry Form


Coors Light footer

Header with branding and a reference to the prize and sponsor:

Echo entry banner


Echo prize footer


Header with branding and promotion name (in Spanish):

Bud Light banner in Spanish

Footer with abbreviated rules:

Bud Light footer


Header featuring sweepstakes name:

Wendys header

Footer with branding and copyright:

Wendy's footer


Header reinforcing the call to action and prize:

SMS Sweepstakes by HP Printers and Office Depot


As always, you can contact us for assistance with your sweepstakes setup.

Webinar: How to Grab Customers by the Eyeballs with a Mobile Sweepstakes!

Learn how to grab more customers by the eyeballs with a mobile sweepstakes!

Learn how brands like King’s Hawaiian, Bud Light, Honda, and Maryhill Winery used Sweeppea’s text-to-win platform to increase sales, improve POS displays, gain end-cap space and give retailers a reason to push their products first.


  • How text-to-win sweepstakes work and how to use them to lift sales, increase engagement and improve retail floor space.
  • The sales and marketing results text-to-win sweeps have delivered for Kings Hawaiian, Bud Light, Honda and Maryhill Winery.
  • The average cost to run a text-to-win sweepstakes.

Join us Wed, May 4th at 2pm EST for a webinar: Register: sweeppea.com/event/

Momares’s 90 Second Elevator Pitch Final

I’m Marcos Menendez, co-founder of Momares.com- Mobile Marketing for the Rest of Us. There are 31M small business in the US, let’s say you happened to own one. The famous Restaurant Du. You just received confirmation that you friend, celebrity Chef Emeril Lagasse will be helping you cook tonight only.

You want reservation now.

You can try emailing your customers but you know that at least 80% will ignore email.You best option is to send them a text message that you know they will get and can’t avoid reading. “Chef Emeril at Du. Tonight only. Call to RSVP”

2 minutes later you receive you first reservation.

We make that happen. Momares helps small business owners send coupons, discounts and offers to the one device they can’t ignore… their mobile phone. Our business model is cost-effective and scalable. We charge our customers for the text message they send. Our customers range from Slice-N-Ice in Coconut Groove to Florida International University. I’m looking to raise $350,000 in capital to help take momares to the national level. For my business card, and as an example, just Marcos to 65047 Just like this. (360 turn and flash my undershirt with message)