How to run online contests and giveaways like a pro


How to Run Online Contests

Wondering how to organize contests and brand giveaways like a pro?

Contests and giveaways can be an amazingly quick and easy way to generate positive engagement, get more traffic to your website, and most importantly, generate more potential customers for

That said, running an online contest isn’t as easy as buying an iPad, posting a contest on Facebook, and waiting for the results.

You can get more people interested and engaged – and more likes than you would ever expect on a single post – but, at the end of the day, if you don’t find the right contest or giveaway entrants (i.e. your target audience), you will get no return on your investment.

In this post, I’ll walk you through how to organize contests and giveaways like a pro – so you can not only enter a contest for its sake, but actually hit the mark for your campaigns. your marketing strategy.

Why hold contests and giveaways online?

As I mentioned in the introduction, contests and giveaways are a great way to market quick results and help accomplish the following:

  • Increase engagement with your followers
  • Create new social media followers
  • Get more traffic to your website
  • Grow your email list
  • Generate more leads and sales for your business

Contests and giveaways are interactive, and people love them – After all, they’re an opportunity to win something people want or need.

What’s more, contests and giveaways require participants to leave their details with you – and with the right type of contest and prize, that means you can generate more leads. for your business.

Also, contests are a great way to generate more interest in your business and the products and services you offer – so by promoting your products/services in a With this, you can even boost your sales significantly.

That said, it’s not just any contest that will get you these results – you need to be very clear about your goals, build a contest that supports these goals, offer the right prizes, and so on. Organize and widely promote your contest/gift.

Step 1: Define your contest goal

Before starting any new marketing plan or campaign, it’s important to take the time to define what your campaign goals are.

Once you know what your goals are, you can build a campaign that helps support these goals and help you achieve them.

First, consider your overall business and marketing goals – what do you want to achieve next quarter?

Once you have those goals in mind, you can plan your contest goals to help you achieve the results you want.

Here are some goals you can set up for your contest/gift campaign:

  • Generate more leads/email subscribers
  • Increase your sales
  • Increase brand awareness of your brand or a particular product/service
  • Get more followers on social media
  • Increase engagement with your audience
  • Drive more traffic to your business website
  • Collect user-generated content

When you know what your goal is, you can build a campaign to help you achieve it.

Step 2: Choose the Right Prize

The prize you give out in your contest or giveaway is one of the most important factors that can determine the success of your campaign.

If the prize is too generic – an iPad, for example, which seems to be one of the most used prizes for online contests – you could get a lot of attention, but is it really worth it? is the right attention?

The point is, anyone can use an iPad: from 14 – a teen in the video game stage to 35 – a longtime marketing executive.

In other words, you’ll get a mishmash of your contest registrants, none of whom are potential customers for your business.

Whatever your contest goal is, whether it’s to get more leads or more engagement, it’s important to get these results from the right people.

To do so, you need prizes that will only appeal to your specific target audience.

Ideally, your award should be related to your brand, as well as something your target audience wants.

For example, one of the easiest ways to give out good prizes is to use your business’ products or services, like this example from Qwertee who gave away 30 free t-shirts as part of their giveaway (and yes, they sell t-shirts).

Facebook Contest Example from Qwertee

Example of a Facebook Contest from Qwertee

The point is, when you give away something related to your product or service, you’re getting the right amount of attention: not just freelance seekers, but real people as well. want or need your product/service.

When you give away something related to your product or service, you get the right amount of attention: not just people searching for free. #contest #marketingtip Click to post a Tweet

Here are some related, award-targeted, award-winning brands you can offer:

  • Coupon and discount codes to be used on your website/in store
  • Your product
  • Access to your services

Also, you should make sure to showcase the value of the prize – it’s another great opportunity to promote your business and your products/services and show people why they’re so valuable. value, as you can see on this contest’s landing page from Lucille Roberts .

Contest Landing Page Example from Lucille Roberts

Contest landing page example from Lucille Roberts

Here’s another example, from Riedel UK, giving away a beautiful set of their wine glasses as a contest giveaway.

Instagram Contest Example from Riedel UK

Example of an Instagram contest from Riedel UK

The fact that you might get fewer participants than you’d like this way (or, at least, compared to you giving away a tablet or something like that appeals to a much wider audience), but the idea is to attract targeted participants. You want to get real leads and real engagement from the people who are likely to convert into your customers.

Step 3: Design your contest

Once you know what you want to achieve with your contest and have decided on a prize, you can start organizing your contest or giveaway; There are many types of contests/gifts, such as:

  • Photo and video contest
  • Contest “choose your favorite”
  • Mention and/or hashtag contest
  • Writing contest or essay
  • Instantly won contests
  • Contest “refer a friend”
  • And of course, giveaways, which are similar across platforms

To organize a successful contest or giveaway, you can use a number of tools that help create your contest, publish it on the channels you want, as well as manage your participants and assign fair winner.

Here are some useful contest tools to consider for your campaign:


Easypromos is one of the most popular choices for creating this type of interactive content. You can use it to create giveaways, contests, games, and quizzes, as well as coupons and codes for special offers. In total, there are about 30 different apps to choose from.

Easypromos Interactive Content and Contest Tool

Easypromos . Interactive Content and Contest Tool

Also, as you may have noticed above, it works on many online platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as your own website and even via email newsletters.

There is an easy to use drag and drop builder. Plus, you can track the results and ROI of your campaigns, and set up automated emails to engage your leads.

Short jam

Another popular solution is Short jam . This powerful tool allows you to create contests, giveaways and quizzes, as well as landing pages for your interactive content.

It also has various features to make sure you can make your contest end to end: email marketing features, email drip and lead capture tools, among others. other features.

Shortstack Contest Tool

Shortstack Contest Tool

Their campaigns work across multiple platforms, including all popular social networks, as well as on your website and on landing pages.

Here are some of the most important elements to have on your contest page/post:

  • A title that grabs everyone’s attention
  • Your prize
  • A very clear and conspicuous call to action (usually in the Headline main body)
  • Details of entries
  • Contest Rules (make sure you are following each platform the same rules)
  • Other contest details, such as the timeframe for your contest and how the winners will be found

Step 4: Promote your contest everywhere

To get the most out of your contest, make sure to promote it highly and widely – the more participants the better.

Here’s what you need to do to promote your contest:

  • First, create a landing page for your contest
  • Send an email to your list and let them know about your contest and where they need to go to sign up (that email will probably be the biggest open rate email you’ve seen to date!)
  • Promote your contest on all social channels
  • Promote your contest on your website and/or blog; for example you can create a banner to promote it, use Hello Bar or even write a blog post about it
  • Create an ad campaign: if you’ve planned a really big contest and want to get the most out of it, you can invest in social media advertising to reach a wider audience


Contests and giveaways can be extremely powerful tools for your business. They provide this highly efficient, super fast way to get results: more leads, more interactions, more traffic, etc.

Follow the steps outlined in this step-by-step guide, and you’ll be hosting high-performing contests and giveaways in minutes.

Just remember this: stop giving away iPads.

Unless you’re Apple, of course.


By Nguyen Manh Cuong

Nguyen Manh Cuong is the author and founder of the nguyendiep blog. With over 14 years of experience in Online Marketing, he now runs a number of successful websites, and occasionally shares his experience & knowledge on this blog.