Contests Vs Sweepstakes Which Is Better for Your Biz?

Contests and sweepstakes are popular promotional tools for almost any brand or product. However, there are a few major differences between a contest and a sweepstakes.

Here are few of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of promotion to help you decide which option is better for your business.

Reach a Broader Audience With a Sweepstakes

If your goal is to real as many members of your audience as possible, there are a few reasons why a sweepstakes is the better choice.

First, a sweepstakes offers an easier method of entry in comparison to a contest. That is because entrants typically only have to enter a name, email address, phone number, and street address.

In contrast, a contest requires entrants to submit content that they’ve created themselves or have had to put in extra effort to locate, in addition to, their contact information. That means that it takes longer for an entrant to join a contest versus a sweepstakes.

As a result, when you run a sweepstakes you’ll always attract a broader audience.

No Judging Means Sweepstakes Are Easier to Manage

Unlike a contest, there’s no judging with a sweepstakes, so everyone has an equal chance of winning. Also, there’s no extra manual work needed to ensure that entrants submit valid and complete entries.

With fewer steps needed to identify winners, a sweepstakes requires less work on the part of your company to manage it.

Get Feedback on Your Brand With a Contest

Since users who participate in a contest have demonstrated a deeper connection to your brand, a contest creates the perfect opportunity to get feedback on your brand.

From the contest entries, you can review user-generated content that entrants submitted in order to get a better idea of how your customers perceive your brand.

You can also directly ask for feedback on your company by making a user survey part of the contest entry process.

Also Read: How a Social Media Sweepstakes Differs From a Text to Win

When to Use a Contest Versus Sweepstakes

The debate about whether a contest or sweepstakes is best for delivering results for your business isn’t only about your audience, it’s also about your environment.

Generally, a sweepstakes is faster to enter, making it ideal for events and in-store retail promotions. However, if you’re trying to grow your brand’s social media following, a contest has the potential to go viral.

Jumpstart your marketing with a text to win promotion from Sweeppea! To get started now, see features and pricing.

Announce Winners to Help Promote Your Sweepstakes

The hardest aspect of running a text-to-win, or any sweepstakes, is getting people to participate. That’s because there are too many things competing for your customer’s attention. And in this mobile-first world, even mobile marketing campaigns have to do everything possible to compete.

One way to boost entries is to announce your winners. Yes, “winners” plural, because we suggest choosing more than one. If you only have one, they won’t be drawn and announced until the sweepstakes is over. While that will still help your credibility for future campaigns, it won’t boost the current one.

But if you have two or more winners, you can announce one while the sweeps is still active.  Remember, your fans enter with the hope of winning. Your announcement reminds them and keeps that hope alive.

Here’s how it can help…

Boost Participation with Congratulatory Messages

You can boost entries for your sweepstakes by posting congratulatory messages on social media and on your company’s website. This shows potential entrants that there have been winners for your sweepstakes and that they themselves still have a chance to be the next winner.

In effect, the simple act of posting past winners will encourage more people to participate during the current sweeps or in future ones.

Cement Your Credibility

Social media is full of contests and sweepstakes run by companies of all sizes. So by now, everyone has heard a story about a contest run amok or one where the prize wasn’t actually awarded. In other words, skepticism is high.

Announcing a winner shows everyone your brand is trustworthy and is fulfilling its promises.

Bonus: When a Social Media Influencer Wins

If you’re lucky enough to have selected a winner who has a significant social media following, it could pay major dividends for your brand. Make sure you ask for a photo (with permission or a release) so you can share it as well. This type of exposure is tough to come by in the digital marketing world without spending a lot of money to reach influencers directly.

Create Fresh Content for Your Brand

It can be difficult to come up with fresh and exciting content for your brand that readers actually want to engage with and share. A discussion of the winners of your text to win reinforces your brand and gives you more material to share online and in social media. (Just make sure you have permission or a release to share photos.)

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

Increase Awareness During a Sweepstakes

If you are running a longer term text to win, you may decide to announce winners on a weekly or monthly basis or perhaps halfway through the sweepstakes. By announcing each round of winners with photos and announcements on social media, you can increase awareness, thus attracting more entrants.

The most important takeaway here is that your strategy for announcing the winners of your text to win should be considered as a part of your overall marketing strategy for your campaign. Don’t ignore the value that announcing winners can provide for your brand.

Make your text to win as easy as pie to enter with Sweeppea! To get started now, see features and pricing.

Finding the Best Match in a Text to Win Sweepstakes Management Company

How do you find the best match in a text to win sweepstakes management company?

Choosing the right company to manage your next sweepstakes takes more than just reviewing service features. The company also needs to be able to handle the unique demands of your promotion.

Here’s what to look for.

Campaign Planning

Text to win campaigns come in all shapes and sizes. To start, identify your goals for your campaign. Do you want to build a list of subscribers for future marketing campaigns? Are you looking to raise awareness for new products or services?

Knowing your goals will help you to figure out if the text to win management company offers the features that you need to support your objectives. If you need help figuring out what’s needed, the company should be able to guide you.

Self-Service vs. Full Service

Depending on your budget, you may want to go with a platform that offers a self-service option along with transparent pricing. This will allow you to set up your own campaigns and control your costs. If you need full service however, make sure the company has the experience to help, especially if your industry has restrictions, like alcohol.


Do you need to launch a text to win with a fast turnaround? Not all platforms are able to accommodate last-minute campaigns. With Sweeppea, you can even create campaigns that automatically draw and contact winners on your behalf.

Legal Support

Finding a text to win sweepstakes management company that has a legal team that stays on top of changes in the industry is extremely important. You also need to make sure that your sweepstakes company follows Mobile Marketing Association and CTIA best practices.

Also Read: Your Text to Win Checklist for Legal Rules

Analytics and Reporting

Campaign analytics tools are essential if you want to ensure you’re actually getting results. You’ll also need to decide if you prefer on-demand reporting or simply access to reports upon request.

Language Support

Do you need to launch a campaign in more than one language? Many companies only offer English support for SMS text. With Sweeppea, you can create sweeps in two languages: English and Spanish.

Customer Service

Finally, make sure the company can work well together with your team. With Sweeppea, you’ll get access to 24/7 support and experienced pros who know the needs of marketers. We hope these tips will help you find the perfect partner for your next text to win!

Creating your next text to win sweepstakes has never been easier. To get started now, see features and pricing.

How to Remove Friction for a Successful Sweepstakes in the Retail Environment

Summer sweepstakes are here and brands have finally started to leverage text to win with stellar results. However, we still see companies adding unnecessary friction to their campaigns in the retail market, affecting their results.

What do we mean by “friction”? These are extra steps that cause entrants to slow down and possibly drop out.

Today’s consumers want ease and simplicity. They don’t want to spend extra time on the entry process for prizes they might not win.

If you want to remove the friction and give your sweepstakes every chance of success, here’s how to do it…

Make it Easy Peasy

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. You’re shopping in a store and you see a display promoting a sweepstakes with cool prizes you’d love to win.

So what do you do next? You pull out your phone, send a text message to enter and you’re done! That’s how it should go.

But many brands are still asking entrants to take extra steps. In fact, Mobile Marketer pointed out how brands are doing it wrong this summer…

“When a sweepstakes has an option to enter via a URL or via a text we usually see about four times the amount of entries come in via SMS, Ms. Lowy said. “Visiting a URL requires a little more work and therefore is not as popular.”

In today’s mobile-first world, it’s best to keep sweepstakes as simple as possible.

Cut to the Chase

As you plan your sweepstakes, keep in mind that every additional step you add to the entry process causes drop-offs in entries. The amount of time that it takes to complete each step also matters.

That’s why SMS can far outperform online sweepstakes.

That said, you can still include a web entry form as part of the process, especially if you want to collect email addresses. But in a text to win, consumers will land on your form from a link in a text message, so there’s no need for them to enter a long URL.

Also Read: How a Web Entry Form Helps Your Text to Win

Save Trees

Yes, there are still companies using paper entry forms for their sweepstakes. We cringe when we think of all the work involved and the paper used. While we may still offer a mail-in entry option as an AMOE (Alternative Method of Entry), we would not suggest paper forms as the way to enter your sweeps.

So remember… the best way to maximize your results is to keep things as simple as possible.

Make your text to win as easy as pie with Sweeppea! To get started now, see features and pricing.

How is Privacy Handled in Text Sweepstakes? Your Questions Answered

Privacy. It’s a big concern after Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal and other data breaches.

This concern carries over into areas outside of social media, as our data is collected while we shop, when we use services and even when we’re surfing the internet.

So you may be wondering… how is data collection and privacy handled in the world of text sweepstakes and mobile marketing?

Here’s what you should know…

What type of data is collected?

Unlike mobile apps that can collect everything from phone logs and contacts to calendars and camera photos, text sweepstakes platforms have access to less.

That’s because our platform doesn’t actually live on your cell phone. Nor do we “control” the text messaging app on your phone. We get the information that telecom carriers attach to each text message.

You know how an email message will have data about the IP address and web browser of the sender? Similar information is tied to each text message.

Information we get from text messages includes mobile numbers, location, mobile IP, browser type and device (Apple, Android, etc.).

If the sweepstakes includes an online entry form, we might also get information from web analytics and from the form itself. The form might ask for name, email, address, birth date, and more on form fields that are filled out by those who enter.

What is done with the mobile numbers collected?

First off, mobile phone numbers are never sold by Sweeppea. We do not sell numbers to list brokers or third parties. Numbers are only accessible by us, as text sweepstakes administrators, and our clients, the sweepstakes sponsors. Phone numbers are collected for the purposes of the sweepstakes and may become part of the sponsor’s mobile subscriber list, depending on the sponsor.

Our privacy policy is available online. Keep in mind our clients’ privacy policies also affect the use of information collected during sweepstakes. A link to that privacy policy is always provided on our entry forms.

Do people who enter risk getting mobile spam or text spam?

We have zero tolerance for spam and, in fact, have a No-Spam Policy.

If we were to send spam, we’d endanger our business and risk getting fined $1,500 per text, per person by the FCC. We’d also risk getting our account suspended by telecom carriers such as AT&T, Sprint, etc., so we take this issue very seriously.

Email spam may seem to be causally enforced, but mobile spam is not. It’s overseen by the FCC and the telecom industry with serious consequences. In fact, lawsuits under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) are at an all-time high.

Here’s a look at some of the legal rules for text sweepstakes and text message marketing. We follow these rules and best practices, as should any professional text sweepstakes platform.

If you have any other questions about privacy and data, feel free to contact us.