How To Promote Your Text-to-Win Sweepstakes

Text-to-Win sweepstakes are evolving as marketers increasingly turn to new ways to promote their campaigns and reach consumers on their mobile phones.

As social media and advertising technologies evolve, new options become available. If you’re planning to run a text-to-win sweepstakes, promote your campaign on the channels likely to attract the most attention from your subscribers, while spending the least in advertising.

Here are a few cost-effective options for the best results…

On Your Website

Your website is a great place to advertise your text-to-win since it’s a brand hub that your customers and prospects already visit. If you haven’t set up a landing page or area for your mobile sweeps campaign, do it now.

A dedicated landing page is recommended because visitors can share it via email and social media. This will help you attract customers who aren’t already subscribed to your list.

Don’t forget Sweeppea offers an online entry form to help you collect entries. This can be used as your landing page. For example, your page can host a graphic and description and link to the sweeps entry form.

In Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are all great options for promoting your sweeps because users that frequent these sites love visual content. Design a creative graphic for your campaign and to lead them to your sweeps entry page.

You can also set up a dedicated hashtag for your mobile campaign that includes your brand name or the sweepstakes name. This is especially important for Twitter and Instagram.

Social Advertising

While receiving social shares is a good thing for your sweepstakes, paid social advertising will help maximize the reach of your post. With organic reach in the Facebook news feed now significantly reduced, brands need to pay-to-play in order to receive the viral results that social media platforms can offer.

Email Marketing

Don’t forget email as it’s certainly not dead! Send an email dedicated solely to your text-to-win campaign and entice subscribers to enter or add a segment or banner offer your call -to-action “Text WIN to 65047 to enter…

While these ideas will help you start your promotions, don’t forget about sharing your campaign after it has already begun. Text-to-Win sweepstakes give brands plenty of content for regular updates to their owned promotional channels: news about daily winners, updates on available prizes, reminders about campaign end dates. All of these items can be promoted and shared to maximize the reach of your campaign.

Learn more about how to reach your audience with a text-to-win sweepstakes. Contact us or call us at (305) 505-­­5393 for help.

Running an SMS Marketing Campaign? How to Protect Your Brand

businessman-protect

In any marketing effort, it’s important to protect the integrity of your brand and create a positive experience for customers. Unlike other marketing platforms, text or SMS has a few extra considerations.

Follow these tips to protect your brand as you run your text-to-win or SMS marketing campaign…

Follow the Rules

The best way to protect your brand is to understand the rules to ensure you’re in compliance. See our post on the rules of text message marketing. This is aside from the laws guiding sweepstakes, which vary by state. Abide by the rules in both areas to ensure you aren’t running any risks and also to assure customers they won’t get unsolicited texts. 

Stay Consistent

Use the same messaging format each time so that you don’t confuse your audience. If they get confused or can’t identify you, they might opt out. We suggest starting with your sweepkey, then the message. (Example: “MODA: Only 2 days left to enter! As a thank you, enjoy 15% off…”) Also, don’t dilute the influence of your brand by sending messages that don’t match your brand’s personality. If your company has spent a lot of time building up a playful identity, make sure to keep up this tone in all of your marketing communications, including SMS. 

Share Your Shortcode

You should make sure you do everything possible to associate the short code with your brand. At Sweeppea, our customers generally use our shared short code (the 5-digit phone number, 65047).  Sharing the short code is more cost effective for most, but there is also the option to buy a custom short code for your business alone. While this would be more expensive, it can protect your brand even further as you would be the only one using it. 

If you’d prefer a custom short code for your campaign, we can offer this as a solution for companies who have the budget. A custom short code can become part of your permanent brand identity, just like your logo or company colors. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about this option.

Get Feedback

The best way to ensure your SMS marketing campaign is really meeting your customers’ needs is to ask for feedback. You can send surveys to request feedback about the promotion and to learn what customers think about your business. By using feedback, you can improve your marketing efforts to make them as relevant as possible for your audience.

Are You Making These Mistakes With Your Text-to-Win?

When you run a sweepstakes or text-to-win, you expect it’ll generate great results. But there are a few missteps that could tank your numbers. Thankfully, this is completely avoidable.

Here are the top mistakes to avoid with your text-to-win.

Not Making it Clear & Easy to Enter

How should they enter? Is it clear on all of your materials and your website? Always include your text call-to-action (Ex: “Text WIN to 65047 to enter”), even in graphic images, since a link to your web form may not suffice. Test your promotion before it goes live to make sure your instructions are clear and to ensure any creatives you design include all of the necessary verbiage, including legal requirements.

The Barriers to Entry are too High

Are you asking them to jump through too many hoops? A long entry form, asking for more than 2 text replies or requesting things like video entries can be too much for many entrants. This depends on the value of the prize, of course, but if only a small segment of your customer base will respond, it’s best to change plans.

The Prizes Are No Good

Who wants to win a year’s supply of hot dog buns or a 2-day trip that includes an 6-hour flight? If the prizes don’t appeal to your audience or are kind of lame, your results will look lame as well.  If you don’t have the budget for a great prize, boosting the fun factor can go a long way. Put your creative skills to work and give offer something they’ll consider worth of giving up their information. How to Choose the Right Sweepstakes Prize

Poor Follow-up

Expecting your sweepstakes to translate into sales and brand recognition? No problem, but you’ll need to follow-up once the promotion has ended. Failing to follow up with a thank you text or email (maybe with a discount offer) and additional messages to continue the relationship means you’ll soon lose their attention. Keeping their attention!

Get attention for your company with a text-to-win. Contact us or call us at (305) 505-­­5393 for help.

Special Issues to Consider to Ensure Your Mobile Sweepstakes Is Legal

regulations-mobile

Are you good at following the rules? When running a mobile sweepstakes, it certainly helps. In fact, it’s vital to follow the rules to avoid a problem that could cost thousands. We’ve written before about the legal documents for a mobile sweepstakes and text message marketing rules, but there are still other special issues that may arise. 

Here are some special issues that will need extra consideration.

Is it Open to Entrants Outside the US?

Is your sweepstakes open to residents of Canada? Mexico? Other countries? If so, make sure your official rules comply with the laws of that region. In Canada, for example, it’s illegal to run games of pure chance with a random draw (i.e. a sweepstakes). It’s best to add a skill-testing question to make it more of a contest. In Mexico, any prize of more than US$5,000 has to be delivered in the presence of Mexican authorities. Be sure you’re aware of the legal requirements of the region.

Sending Direct Mail?

This is less common these days, but if you’re using direct mail  to promote your sweepstakes, you’ll need to make sure you have permission to send mailings to those recipients, per the Federal Trade Commission. The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act and HIPAA are other legal protections that prohibit the use of mailing lists from DMV records or medical facilities for direct marketing purposes.

Will it Involve User-Generated Content?

Are you asking entrants to enter with photos, videos or other material? If you’re making use of user-generated content as an entry requirement or also for promotional purposes, put terms in place to cover their use with regard to copyright.

Are You Targeting Children or Minors?

When targeting children or minors, you’re adding another layer of rules and complexity. You must take privacy into account and other issues. If your mobile sweepstakes will target that audience, make sure you’re in compliance with federal and state laws, including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and FTC rules.

Mobile sweepstakes should be carefully structured to ensure maximum participation, while minimizing the associated legal risks. Before beginning your mobile promotion, consider the legal aspect. While we assist with creating official rules for a sweepstakes, legal counsel is always best. We can help you get that professional guidance.

 

What Legal Docs Are Needed for a Text-to-Win or Mobile Sweepstakes?

In today’s competitive market, more businesses are using sweepstakes and contests to promote their brands. But we see many hosting them without giving much thought to the legal documents needed. Before starting your own text-to-win or mobile sweepstakes promotion, make sure your legal docs are in order.

Here is a list of the legal documents you’ll need to run a mobile sweepstakes or contest.

Official Rules

We see too many companies using a short one-line sentence to cover rules, but this is not enough to cover you if there’s a problem. No matter how small your company is, you should have official rules. This protects the entrants as well as your business. States outline what these rules should contain, including who is eligible, how to enter, start and end dates, a description of the prize value, and more.

Abbreviated Rules Disclosures

In addition to the official rules, you should also use an abbreviated set of rules when you promote the mobile sweepstakes. In fact, all ad or marketing materials used as part of the campaign, including registration pages, web pages, direct mail pieces, and ads, must have the abbreviated rules disclosures, as required by the state(s) in which the promotion will be available. This includes stating “No purchase necessary,” for sweepstakes and other disclosures. See a law firm’s summary of abbreviated rules here.

Release and Affidavits for Prize Winners

Are you planning to announce the winner publicly and include their photo or information? Consider having a publicity release form for prize winners. An eligibility affidavit will also protect you as it asks the winner to affirm they are eligible to win the prize and meet all entry requirements.

Sponsor/Advertiser Contracts

Be sure you have contracts in place with any sponsor, advertiser or third-party vendor that will be a part of the contest or sweepstakes, whether it’s as a sponsor or a provider of contest prizes.

Special Legal Considerations

These are just the basic requirements for running a mobile contest or sweepstakes. There may also be other legal considerations when…

  • Your contest or sweepstakes is open to entrants outside of the U.S.
  • The ARV (Approximate Retail Value) of your prize is more than $5,000.
  • You plan to use direct mail or a third-party website for promotional purposes.
  • Your contest or sweepstakes will involve user-generated content or public voting.
  • Your business is in a highly-regulated industry (alcohol, for example).
  • Your contest or sweepstakes will involve children or minors.

Ask a Lawyer

Our platform offers suggested official rules to get you started, but you should still speak with a lawyer about the potential liability, privacy, regulatory and intellectual property concerns of your campaign. While it may increase the costs of developing your promotion, following these steps under the guidance of a legal advisor can improve the odds of success for your business’s mobile campaign.

Have any questions about the legal aspects of a text-to-win sweepstakes? Contact us for more information.