Knock, Knock. It’s the Sweeps Police. How to Keep Your Text Sweepstakes Out of Trouble

Do you want your text sweepstakes to be successful? A surprising number of business owners still don’t follow the rules when it comes to text sweepstakes. 

Avoid legal headaches and take this advice. Here, we cover common issues to help you keep your text sweepstakes out of trouble and away from the attention of regulators.

1. Always use official rules… and don’t change them once the sweep begins.

When it comes to official rules, always have official rules in place before you start your first campaign. While Sweeppea has templates available for you to use, it is best for you to have an attorney review your rules as well. This is to ensure you have covered all potential risks to your business.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that you should never change the rules once your sweepstakes begins. Not only will changing the official rules cause confusion for your entrants, it could also open you up to legal liabilities.

2. Follow rules for sweepstakes AND text messaging.

Being aggressive in your marketing efforts might usually be a good strategy to boost your sweepstakes. But not so fast… follow the rules so you don’t land in hot water with the FCC or the FTC.  

The FCC regulates SMS programs under Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in the U.S. You’ll need to understand how these laws apply to your campaign and the disclosures you’re required to make.

Keep in mind also that certain industries and states have their own rules for sweepstakes as well. Alcohol brands, for example, have to get their sweeps pre-approved in certain states.

Also read: Are You Complying with the Rules of Text Message Marketing?

3. Make sure to bond or register your sweep when it’s required.

Some states require you register your text sweepstakes if the prizes are valued over a certain dollar amount. This is why we encourage clients to keep prizes under $5,000 in value. Check to see if you have to bond your sweepstakes. Keep in mind that these states also have an advanced deadline for taking care of these issues, so make sure you don’t leave things until the last minute or it could derail your entire campaign.

4. Understand what “no purchase necessary” really means.

While the spirit of sweepstakes involves free entry, the phrase “no purchase necessary” doesn’t actually mean that entrants can’t buy something in order to enter. For new products or brands with loyalty programs, you can actually encourage a purchase with entry, as long as you also have a free method of entry (AMOE). A Sweeppea text-to-win can also act as an AMOE.

Take this advice to heart. By following a few rules, you can benefit from the advantages of running a text sweepstakes, while avoiding any legal issues.

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

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