We’ve all seen (and maybe even got annoyed by) the giveaways on social media that ask you to follow or like the page, share the post, tag 30 people in the comments, and sacrifice a spotless lamb in order to have a chance to win. Okay, maybe I’ve exaggerated with the last one. But in all seriousness, these kinds of giveaways not only are a way to upset all your friends that you’re tagging but also are just a waste of energy and resources for the business running it.

I know this because I’ve run these kinds of giveaways. What was the result? We gave away a free photo session for free, but there were no new clients, no new sales made. We have made only some new friends (Hi Robert – if you are reading this). Yes, we had more likes on our Facebook page, but that didn’t help.

After I’ve thought about this, read and studied some more people who are way better at marketing than I am, I’ve come up with a better strategy for running giveaways. Not only that but running giveaways that actually make you money. And, the most exciting part is that you can run this kind of giveaway regardless of what you are selling. Products, services, SAAS, you can do this.

Without any further ado, let’s see what should we do.

Know the goal of the giveaway

First, we need to know the ultimate purpose of our giveaway. What is your goal? What do you want to get out of this? More likes of Facebook? If yes, you are reading the wrong article. More sales? That’s more like it. You need to state a clear goal for your giveaway. You need to get an end result that is measurable. So, think about it.

Now, let’s go forward.

The end goal of any marketing activity or expense is to generate more revenue and sales. That is the goal of a giveaway as well.

But how does a free giveaway brings you money? I’m glad you asked.

A good giveaway will bring people to your email list

Growing your email list should be one of your priorities when running giveaways. Unlike your social media following, you own your email list. This is an asset for your business, again, unlike your social media following.

So, instead of asking them to like the page, ask them to join your email list. It’s as simple as that.

And now, you might be thinking, how are people going to know about this giveaway if the ones that are joining are not sharing and tagging?

Just wait a moment, now we get to the fun part. Namely, making this giveaway viral.

Going Viral With Your Giveaway

It’s not fun making a giveaway and having only 2 people join. But as I’ve stated earlier, having people only tag friends and like your page will not work in the long run. But there is another way. Making a Viral Giveaway that will collect email addresses and that will encourage people to share the giveaway for more entries.

Next level ninja stuff.

So, here is how to implement such a giveaway.

1. Get the Right Tools

Sign up for KingSumo.com (both free and a really good price), or for RafflePress if you are feeling fancy and want to invest more into an awesome tool. Those two (and I’m sure that there are others as well) will allow you to create a giveaway, collect email addresses, and will reward extra entries to people who share the giveaway, like your page, all that social media stuff.

And, by the way, these tools also pick winners for you, so gone are the days of collecting all entries in a spreadsheet and using random number generators.

2. Set up the Giveaway

Well, just set it up. Select the product or products that you want to give away in order to grow your customer base. Needless to say, you will need to connect it to your email marketing provider. Both of the tools I’ve mentioned earlier work great with most of the major players in the email marketing space.

3. Announce the Giveaway

Now it’s time to share the news of your giveaway. Share it to your email list, share it on social media, share it on your eCommerce website blog. Spray and pray.

Also, it is worth it to put some ad spend behind it. Run some Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads in order to reach more people.

4. Then Announce the Winner

Thank you Captain Obvious….

5. The Fun Part

Now for the money-making-fun-part. After you announce the winner (on all channels) it’s time to reward the people who joined. How do you do this?

Well, those who joined raised their hand that they are interested in the product (or the products) you’ve given away for free. For the next 48-72 hours, give them a discount worth somewhere from 15% to 30%.

The higher the discount, the more people will want to buy. I know I’m stating the obvious here, but it was worth mentioning. You know your margins and you know how much you can afford to discount (although I would be a fan of offering a greater discount, even if you are just breaking even, more on this later).

Now, try to put yourself in the shoes of the people who did not win the giveaway. You wanted the product. You didn’t win the product. Now the store offers a steep discount to you just because you’ve been a part of the giveaway. What would you do? I would most probably buy.

What to do in those 48-72 hours?

At this time you will need to email them. A lot. Not in a spammy way. But you need to be in front of them in order to make sure they see your email and take action.

You will want to email them about 1 or 2 times in the first days, and 3 to 4 times in the last 12-24 hours of the promotion. And in every single email don’t forget to mention that there is a deadline. You will need to make them aware that the offer is coming to an end. A timer in the emails works wonders.

How to Run a Giveaway: A Few Things to Consider

The email campaign after the giveaway is over will be sent only to your new email subscribers, or to the ones who registered for the giveaway. There will be other customers on your list that might not be interested in the contest. Such is life. So, when you run the email campaign afterward and send a lot of emails, you don’t need to worry about fatiguing your list.

Also, many of the people who registered for the giveaway might become customers in the future. And the first purchase is the hardest. That’s why you may want to go with the discount as low as possible and still break even. You should see this exercise as a long-term customer acquisition strategy.

Don’t try to win in the short term when it’s 10x better to win on the long term.

The Bottom Line

There you have it. A quick strategy about how to run a giveaway that will generate profits (in the long run). There is nothing rocket science about it. There are just a few marketing elements, a few phycological elements, and a few economic incentives bundled together in order to make it work.

But, if you want to have experts taking care of such an endeavor, you can contact me and we will help you set up a giveaway with all the bells and whistles that it needs to generate profit for your business.