When and Why You Should Register Your Text Sweepstakes

In certain states, you must register your text sweepstakes in order to run it in that state. If your sweepstakes falls within certain parameters, registering it is the only way you can run it without risking serious fines in Florida, New York and Rhode Island.

Here is a breakdown of each state’s requirements.

Florida

If your text sweepstakes has a total prize Approximate Retail Value (ARV) of $5,000 or more, you have to register it with the state of Florida. You’ll need to submit a copy of the official rules for your sweepstakes, have a surety bond and open a trust account so that the state can be sure the money is available for the prize winner.

These items must all be provided at least 7 days before the start date of your promotion. Once your sweepstakes has ended, you’ll need to send an official winners list to the state of Florida within 60 days or file an extension to extend the deadline for another 60 days.

New York

New York also requires companies to register sweepstakes with prizes of more than $5,000. A surety bond must be obtained in the amount of the prize value.

Register 30 days before the sweepstakes begins and submit a winners list within 90 days after the sweepstakes ends.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island has a much lower threshold for registering a sweepstakes. If your company offers prizes valued at $500 or more, you must register the sweepstakes with the state.

But, this only applies to sweepstakes offered at retail establishments in Rhode Island. This means that if an entrant has to go to a brick and mortar retail location to enter, then this sweepstakes must be registered with the state.

Unlike the other states, Rhode Island doesn’t require a surety bond or a winner’s list. Companies are only required to keep information identifying the winners for up to 6 months after the sweepstakes has ended.

Ask a Lawyer

As always, we recommend you seek out legal counsel before running your text sweepstakes to ensure you’re abiding by all of the regulations for your state. If these regulations complicate things for your campaign, you may even want to consider excluding entrants from certain states to keep it simpler.

Sweeppea offers full sweepstakes creation and administration. We’ll take care of all the compliance and legal requirements of running your text sweepstakes.

Ready to create your first text sweepstakes with Sweeppea? To get started now, see features and pricing.

Read also: Are You Complying with the Rules of Text Message Marketing?

Jazz Lovers Entered the DC Jazz Festival Text to Win Sweepstakes

Sweeppea hosts the DC Jazz Festival Text to Win Sweepstakes

The famous DC Jazz Festival, presenting more than 125 performers and 300 artists was in its 13th year this year. And they offered jazz lovers a chance to win tickets through the festival text to win sweepstakes. By texting the word JAZZ to the number 65047, entrants got a chance to win one of five pairs of free tickets.

Objective:

  • To promote the show.
  • To build excitement and awareness for the event.
  • To gain a database of participants to re-market sponsor’s offers via text message and emails.

Promotional Channels:

  • TV channel spots
  • Social Media promotion
  • Local billboard advertising

Outcome:

  • Hundreds of participants entered.
  • Hundreds of new emails were collected.

Prize:

Five (5) winners of the DC Jazz Festival text to win sweepstakes each received two (2) tickets.

Why Your Text Sweepstakes Winner Should Sign an Affidavit

Awarding a prize to an excited winner is the funnest aspect of running a text sweepstakes. But before you hand over that gift card, trip or product, you should get an affidavit signed. It protects you, the sponsor, and ensures the winner won fairly.

Read on to see why your text sweepstakes winners should sign an affidavit.

What is a Text Sweepstakes Affidavit?

An affidavit is a written sworn statement that, in some jurisdictions, must also be notarized. By signing it, a winner typically confirms the following:

  • The winner has complied with the official rules.
  • The information the winner supplied when entering the text sweep is accurate.
  • The winner has not been deceptive or participated in any fraud when entering or claiming the prize.
  • The winner has not been employed or sponsored by any of the companies involved in creating or managing the text to win sweepstakes promotion.

With an affidavit, your sweepstakes winner basically confirms that they are indeed eligible to win through an agreement that is legally binding.

Also Read: Tips for Success on your first  text to win

Gives Your Business Recourse

It also protects you, the sponsor, because an affidavit can be used as evidence in court if a lawsuit is brought against your company. If people who enter and win are not eligible, knowingly or not, the process of getting an affidavit will help you discover this and can give you legal recourse.

You need to be proactive by having every winner sign an affidavit in case a problem arises.

Shows That Your Business Will Enforce the Rules

If your business is giving away a particularly enticing prize for your text to win campaign, the value of the prize may be so great to your entrants that they are willing to throw caution to the wind with the hope that your company doesn’t catch them flouting the rules.

By letting every entrant know that he or she will be required to sign an affidavit before the prize can be claimed, you’re letting them know you will enforce the rules. Not only will they not receive the prize if they’re ineligible, they may also risk being sued, which is something that most people want to avoid at all costs.

Ready to set up a text sweepstakes? It’s easy with Sweeppea. For more information, see our features and pricing.

Also Read: How to Run a Monthly or Weekly Text Sweepstakes

Are Sweepers Good or Bad for Your Text Sweepstakes?

You set up a text sweepstakes to attract more people to your brand, but what about those folks who are only in it for the prize? “Sweepers,” people who enter a lot of sweepstakes in order to try and win prizes, are like the the sweepstakes version of extreme couponers. It’s nearly guaranteed that at least some of your text to win entrants will be “professionals.”

Given that these people are mostly interested in the prize, you may be wondering if having sweepers enter your sweep has any value at all for your brand. Here is our take on whether sweepers are good or bad for your text sweepstakes and a few things you should know about them.

Professional Sweepers Are Consumers Too

Many brands ignore sweepers because marketers tend to forget that professional sweepers are consumers too. They buy products and services just like any of your other text sweepstakes entrants.

In fact, data compiled by ePrize found that the majority of visitors to the top Internet sweepstakes blog sites have a college education and nearly 20% of them earn over $100,000 per year. That means that these consumers hold significant purchasing power that your brand could be tapping into.

Additionally, the average consumer spends roughly 4 minutes per visit interacting with a brand’s promotional experience. Whether they are registering for your sweep or sharing the sweep with others, sweepers who enter your text sweepstakes ultimately means more exposure for your brand.

There’s No Such Thing As a 100% Targeted Campaign

No matter which methods you use to market your brand, there’s simply no such thing as a campaign that is 100% targeted to your demographic. In fact, the most you can really do is set up your campaign so that it reaches as many targets as possible.

Ultimately, the number of sweepers who enter your campaign will depend on your marketing. If you don’t promote your campaign, you can expect that a large percentage of the people who enter your campaign will be professional sweepers. Regular entrants aren’t going to come looking for your sweep unless you let them know about it.

Don’t Fight Sweepers: Here’s What to Do Instead

While a marketer’s first instinct might be to try and ban sweepers from entering, it’s important that you consider sweepers’ perspective. The overwhelming majority of sweepers say that they do it as a hobby and they only win 1% of  the sweepstakes they enter.

Instead of trying to outright ban sweepers, a better goal for your campaign should be to limit the entries of sweepers. Set the official rules for your sweepstakes to only allow one entry per person or per household. This will ensure that every entrant has an equal chance of winning.

Once you eliminate the risk of the “professionals” gaining an edge over normal entrants, you’ll find that professional sweepers could be beneficial to your campaign if their demographics fit your target audience for a consumer product.  

Setting up a text sweepstakes is easy with Sweeppea! To get started now, see features and pricing.

Tips for Success on Your First Text to Win

Tips for Success on Your First Text to Win

Are you thinking of running a business text to win for the first time? Here are some tips for success on your first text to win.

Set Your Goals

Start with clear and realistic goals for your campaign. This step will help you figure out the resources you’ll need to implement it and to successfully achieve your goals.

Potential goals include:

  • Increase brand awareness 
  • Increase visitors to your brick and mortar store or website
  • Boost sales for a new product or brand
  • Generate brand loyalty by enticing existing customers with awesome prizes

Plan the Process & Set it Up

To ensure it works out as planned, plan the logistics of how your campaign will run. After you select your custom Sweepkey (the word users will text to enter the sweep), choose start/end dates for the campaign and set up your confirmation text message and web entry form (if needed).

Rules are a must, so it’s important to include rules. You can use sweeppea’s  Official Rules Wizard to create your rules or upload your own. You’ll also need to decide on manual winner drawing or sweeppea can automatically draw a winner.

Set a Promotional Budget

To boost the success of your campaign, you need to promote it on every available channel. Figure out how much of a budget you can devote to it and allocate funds to each promotional channel accordingly. Our clients have used everything from radio and TV commercials to printed signs in stores and social media posts and online ads. You can promote your call-to-action (ex. Text SWEEPKEY to 65047 for a chance to win.) anywhere.

Test & Launch the Sweepstakes

You’ve completed the planning phase. Now it’s time to test your campaign. Ask a few colleagues to enter and check to make sure your auto confirmation message and any links (if you have a web form) were entered correctly. Then check the launch date and make sure your promotions start driving people to the campaign on launch day.   

Announce the Winner

Once your sweepstakes has ended and the winner has been confirmed, announce the winner to all entrants via your blog and social networks. Don’t miss this opportunity for another promotional message! You can remind fans of the next opportunity to win or even offer a “thank you for entering” in the form of a discount or offer. 

Wrap It Up & Assess Results

Now that your text to win has completed, you should review results. Did you meet your goals for the campaign? What ROI did it deliver? Is there room for improvement? Review metrics in our Reports and Analytics and combine them with your internal numbers to see how your campaign performed.

Ready to attract some new loyal fans to your brand? To get started now, see features and pricing.