We all know that companies don’t run text sweepstakes just because. In fact, they do it for a multitude of reasons but mainly for financial gain. As a result, when you run your text sweepstakes you must take care to ensure that it’s actually legal.
Here’s how to decide if no purchase necessary is really necessary.
Scenario #1: You only want customers to be able to enter your sweepstakes.
Keep in mind that there are three elements of a lottery: a prize that is worth something, a winner selected at random, and a fee to enter. If all three of these elements are present, then your sweepstakes is actually an illegal, private lottery.
As a result, you can’t require customers to make a purchase in order to enter your sweepstakes. In this instance, you must specify that no purchase is necessary and you also must offer a free alternative method of entry (AMOE) to ensure that your sweepstakes doesn’t qualify as a lottery.
Scenario #2: You want anyone to be able to enter your sweepstakes but you also want to encourage customers to make a purchase.
In the United States, it is actually illegal to require your customers to make a purchase in order to enter your text sweepstakes. This is the reason why sweepstakes rules have the disclaimer that “a purchase will not impact your chance of winning.” This prevents companies from disqualifying entrants if they don’t purchase something from the company first before entering the sweepstakes.
However, asking your customers to make a purchase before entering your sweepstakes is actually permissible as long as you advertise that you also have a free AMOE. The AMOE can be using your website to sign up instead of entering at one of your retail stores. AMOEs are designed to ensure that people who don’t make a purchase get the same number of entries has a person who has.
Also read: Are Text-to-Win Sweepstakes Legal in the US?
Scenario #3: You want people to sign up for your email list before they can enter your sweepstakes.
When it comes to consideration, meaning exchanging something of value for a prize or a chance at winning a prize, a text sweepstakes that requires consideration is in violation of the law. As a result, it is a good idea to make opting into your email list or newsletter optional instead of mandatory for entering your sweepstakes.
Scenario #4: You want to use Sweeppea to run your text sweepstakes.
Did you know that Sweeppea can also act an an AMOE? With our online entry form, you’ll be able to gather additional details about the participant, such as the participant’s name, age, address, and email address while also providing an easy to use AMOE.