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Everyone Loves Free Stuff: Contests And Giveaways For Engagement

Explore various giveaways—social media, email, sweepstakes. Set goals, create appealing prizes, and promote through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and strategic email marketing.

Icegram blog general

Last updated on January 16, 2024

What is it that everyone loves? free stuff. There’s something special about winning a prize, it’s a different kind of happiness. You can use this enthusiasm for giveaways to help increase the engagement of your company. The idea of having giveaways and contests is an effective way to boost traffic and awareness of your brand.

This is the only way to promote your business while making a smile appear on the faces of your customers. We’ll walk you through how to plan and execute simple yet effective contests and giveaways to engage your audience and grow your business.

The reason why contests and giveaways work

More traffic

When you promote a contest through social media, emails, and other channels, it creates curiosity, and people are likely to share with their peers and actively participate in this to win a prize. That drives high-quality traffic and engagement.

Build your email list

Contest participants must give their email address to be eligible. This will help you to grow your email list. You just have to give them a strong reason to participate, such as exciting rewards and coupon codes.

Data collection

Contests can be a simple method of collecting data from your customers, including the demographics of your audience, their preferences for products, and much more. Utilize the information to gain a better understanding of your customers and to tailor your future marketing campaigns.

Social sharing

If people participate in a contest, it is common for them to discuss the details with their relatives and friends to increase their chances of winning. This creates brand awareness and improves your social media presence.

Customer loyalty

Offering prizes, free items, or special experiences is an excellent method to build trust and loyalty. Your customers will appreciate the generosity and be supportive of your business.

Types of giveaways and contests to think about

If you’ve decided to host contests or giveaways to get more people involved, the next step is figuring out what type of contest you will host. Here are some ideas to think about:

Social media contests

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are ideal for running fast and simple contests. Consider photo contests, caption contests, or reposting giveaways. They’re simple to enter and generally don’t require a purchase. Just be sure to follow each platform’s promotion guidelines.

Email giveaways

If you have an email list, Giveaways are an excellent choice to get your subscribers involved. It could be as easy as giving away a complimentary eBook or online class to sign up. Email giveaways are easy to set up and promote, with the added benefit of growing your list through word-of-mouth. Use Icegram Express for email automation and higher deliverability.


Random draw sweepstakes where participants have a chance of winning are very popular and generate a buzz. You can offer a prize, such as an e-gift card or subscription service, as well as your own product. Promote the sweepstakes on social media, your email list, and websites. Be prepared for a big response!

Referral contests

Referral or “tell-a-friend” contests encourage entrants to share about your giveaway for more chances to win. This taps into the power of word-of-mouth marketing and social sharing. Prizes could include cash, products, or an upgraded version of what you’re already offering.

The possibilities for engaging giveaways are numerous. Select one that is compatible with your target needs, audience, and resources. Make the entry as simple as possible and spread the word.

Setting goals and rules for your contest

To run a successful competition, you must begin with an established set of goals and guidelines. Consider what you would like to accomplish and the best way to achieve it. After you’ve decided on your objectives determine the rules and procedure of how the contest will function:

  • Eligibility. Decide who is eligible to enter for the first time – new customers only or anyone? What are the geographical restrictions? Minimum age? Be inclusive.
  • Method of entry. Do people get in by commenting on a post on social media, filling in an application form, or emailing you? Make it easy.
  • Prizes. Provide exciting prizes that fit your goals and audience. Gift cards, free items, or discounts, as well as cash, are all great alternatives. Make sure that prizes are motivating participants to take part.
  • Timeframe. A typical period of between 1 and 4 weeks is a good time. The length is sufficient to permit many entries, however not too long that participants are bored. The dates for the start and the end of entries must be clearly stated on the entry form.
  • Judging. Explain how winners will be selected – randomly, by a panel of judges, based on the number of likes. Be transparent about the process.
  • Notification. Provide the date and time when winners will be notified. Make sure to follow up promptly to maintain goodwill.
    Terms and conditions. Include standard legal fine print like “No purchase necessary” and “Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received”. Keep language straightforward.

Make sure you promote the contest on all of your channels to increase exposure.

Creating appealing prizes and incentives

Offering exciting prizes and incentives is essential to run an exciting giveaway contest. As a contest organizer, you should provide incentives that can motivate your viewers and encourage lots of participation. Consider what your ideal group would find appealing and beneficial.

Big-ticket items

For big giveaways, consider giving away a premium prize such as laptops, iPads, or any other gadget that is technologically advanced. These kinds of prizes draw attention and inspire people to act by participating in the contest. It’s possible to negotiate partnerships or sponsorships with companies to offer items in exchange for promotions. If not, you’ll need to budget for the cost of the prizes.

Gift cards

Gift cards are an extremely popular option for prizes. They allow winners to select what they would like to win but also a sense of having won something significant. Amazon, Target, Starbucks, or Visa are popular with the majority of people. You can give gift cards of various amounts to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.

Your own products or services

If you have your own products or services, offering them as prizes in contests is an excellent method to promote your brand and increase sales. For instance, if you run an online training course, you can offer an opportunity for free access to the course as prizes. If you own physical products, give some away to winners. Your audience will be excited to win, and you’ll gain new customers.


If you want to win something unique you can think about an experience like tickets to a local festival or a delicious dinner in a restaurant, or any other live experience. These kinds of prizes bring excitement and create memories for the winners. It is possible to locate local businesses willing to offer experiences in exchange for a promotion.

Multiple winners

To increase the chances of winning and encourage participants to submit more entries, you might consider offering prizes to 2nd and 3rd places or additional winners. It is also possible to offer “runner-up” prizes. The more people who are awarded prizes the more satisfying and enjoyable your competition will become.

If you are creative You can create incredible prizes that ensure your contest is a massive success. Don’t forget to announce the prizes to generate excitement about the contest!

Promoting your contest through social media

Promoting your contest via social media is crucial in gaining entries and engagement. With some strategic posting, you can spread the word about your giveaway to new potential customers and keep fans excited.


Facebook is a great platform for contest promotion since it allows you to reach current followers and potential participants. Create a captivating post to announce your contest. Include an image with the contest prize and entry requirements. Include a call to action such as “Enter immediately!” Pin this post at the top of your page to ensure that anyone who visits sees it first. Think about offering bonus entries in exchange for sharing the post or tagging friends.


The visual nature of Instagram allows it to showcase the prize of your contest or images related to your business. Create a post to announce the date of the contest. Then follow up with posts that highlight the prizes. Inform your followers on how to enter every caption. You can also do Instagram Stories to keep the contest top-of-mind, posting quick videos or boomerangs of you drawing an entry or picking a winner is another good idea.


On Twitter, tweet an announcement about your contest along with a captivating image of the prize and a link to the entry page. Follow up with multiple tweets over the following days and weeks to keep driving traffic to your site. Reply to anyone who tweets about your contest or retweets your announcement, and consider offering bonus entries for retweets to increase visibility. You have limited characters, so keep your tweets short and catchy.

Email marketing to drive entries

To drive more entries for your contest or giveaway, email marketing is key. Email your subscribers and promote the contest across your email newsletters and autoresponder campaigns.

Mention the contest in your email newsletter

Include details about your contest or giveaway in your regular email newsletters. Share the basic details like how to enter, what they can win, and the deadline to enter. Keep the information concise while still being compelling. Use eye-catching images of the prizes to capture attention. Place the contest information at both the top and bottom of the newsletter for maximum visibility.

Send a dedicated promotional email

Send an email dedicated solely to promoting your contest or giveaway. This allows you to share more details and encourage subscribers to take action. Explain the steps to enter the contest in a simple bulleted list. Spotlight the most appealing prizes. Consider including personal stories of how previous winners have benefited. Build a sense of urgency by emphasizing the deadline and limited number of entries available.

Use your email autoresponder series

If you have an autoresponder series set up, promote your contest within those automated emails as well. For example, if you offer a multi-day free course via email, mention the contest on Day 1 to capture interest and again a couple of days before the deadline to give a final push. This reaches your subscribers multiple times in a short period to maximize visibility.

Offer an incentive for referrals

Encourage your subscribers to spread the word about your contest by offering an incentive, such as an extra entry for every friend they refer. Ask them to share on social media or forward your contest email to get more people engaged. Their network will see their enthusiasm and be more inclined to enter themselves.

Send reminder emails as the deadline approaches

Send reminder emails in the final days leading up to the contest deadline. Reiterate the key details and prizes to spur any last-minute entries. The reminders also combat procrastination by giving an extra nudge to subscribers who meant to enter but haven’t yet. Be sure to clearly state the exact deadline date and time in these reminder emails.

Using a multi-channel email marketing strategy will amplify the reach of your contest and prompt more of your subscribers to take action and enter. With an engaging promotion and valuable prizes, you’ll boost engagement and build excitement around your brand.


Let this be your guide for running an effective contest or giveaway to increase engagement and boost attendance. The key is keeping things straightforward yet making participation fun and rewarding; select an eye-catching prize, set clear rules, promote it heavily, and make entering as straightforward as possible. Now use this guide and start planning your giveaway.

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