You’ve selected a winner for your sweepstakes and now they aren’t responding to any of your attempts to get them to come forward and claim the prize. So what happens when you can’t reach the winner?
Believe it or not, this is a common problem with sweepstakes. Either the company can’t reach the winner or they leave messages and the winner doesn’t get back to them in time.
Here’s what to do to ensure that your sweepstakes isn’t derailed by a winner who has gone missing in action.
Include Guidelines for Official Winners
Your official rules should state how many days winners have to respond and what will happen if a winner doesn’t respond. At Sweeppea, we help clients build rules that say that the potential winner has a number of days to respond.
The amount of time you give winners to respond can vary, but it shouldn’t be too long. Also, the Official Rules will usually have a date by when you will publicly announce a winner, so you need to keep this in mind, as well.
If no response is received, then the rules should state that the company will select another winner. This helps companies avoid any legal problems and helps to keep things moving along for the sweepstakes so you can publicly announce a winner in time.
Steps to Follow When Winners Don’t Respond
In some cases, not all is lost when a winner doesn’t respond. In fact, steps you can take include:
- Wording the language of your campaign so that any person who is chosen is only a “potential winner” until they are confirmed as the winner.
- Giving winners notice by phone message or email that they have “X” number of hours to respond (whatever time frame you decide to give them per your Official Rules) from when they are first contacted or the company will have to choose another winner.
- Once that time is up, randomly select another winner and inform them they also have “X” hours to respond.
When the potential winner responds, verify the winner to ensure they meet the Official Rules or criteria (over 18, US resident, etc.).
Add a Pre-Sweep Step
Adding a pre-sweep step ensures that your rules have a provision for this response period to protect your company. Our Official Rules Wizard includes this provision to protect our customers.
Asking for your participants’ email addresses is another pre-sweep step is to consider. Our text-to-wins automatically collect mobile numbers, but your online form could also collect emails as well.
Mobile phone is the best method of contact, but it doesn’t hurt to have another option.
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