How to Run an Online Giveaway on Your WordPress Website
Thinking of innovative ways to engage with your website visitors and social media followers can be a challenge. Creating fun and appealing activities might be on your list of marketing strategies to explore, but it’s hard to know where to start.
Fortunately, online giveaways are a popular and easy way to engage loyal customers, gain new followers, and even encourage user-generated content focused on your brand. What’s more, contests can be a productive way to find new leads.
In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of using giveaways to promote your business. We’ll also take a look at 10 giveaway tools you can use to create a successful contest.
- Why You Should Run a Giveaway
- How to Create an Online Giveaway Strategy
- 10 Giveaway Tools for Your WordPress Website
- How to Market and Improve Your Contest
So come on down — the prize is right!
Why Your Business Can Benefit From Giving Products Away
Online giveaways and contests can be highly effective ways for your business to attract and keep new customers. At a basic level, they can help to build trust and loyalty for your products. However, the benefits of running contests and giveaways go even further than that.
When it comes to spreading the word about your business, a giveaway can be highly valuable. For example, 95% of people who participate in a contest or giveaway share it with friends online afterward (everyone wants to win a prize). That’s a pretty wide reach for something you can often set up for free. We’ll cover some of the ways you can do that later in this article.
You can also build your email list by using contests to collect user information. In fact, some giveaway apps also include a social sign-in functionality, which has been shown to increase the success rate of online marketing campaigns. This feature gives users the option to sign in to your website or contest using a social media account they already have, saving them from having to create an entirely new account.
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How to Develop an Online Giveaway Strategy That Works
One of the first steps in carrying out a successful online giveaway is to set explicit goals from the start. Planning out all the details of the giveaway is vital, as you don’t want to have a game go astray or forget a critical component of the rules.
More specifically, setting measurable goals for your contest will make it more valuable when you crunch the numbers later and assess whether the Return On Investment (ROI) was worth it. You’ll want to identify whether your goal is to convert leads, gain new leads, promote a product or service, or something else entirely. Then you’ll need to consider exactly how that goal will be measured, so your results will be crystal clear.
Contests and giveaways are also excellent at encouraging user-generated content (UGC). This is a way for brands to invite their followers and customers to contribute to the company’s story online. Contests are one way to do this. For example, check out LEGO’s Moments in Space contest.
Since 64% of marketers agree that building community is essential to their marketing strategies, combining UGC with giveaways and contests is a smart move.
It’s also vital to clarify the type of promotion you’d like to run as you begin to develop your strategy.
- Sweepstakes are prize giveaways where a winner is chosen at random by luck of the draw.
- Contests choose a winner based on merit, such as in the above LEGO contest.
- Lotteries are prize drawings where people have to pay to play — you’ll definitely want to consult with legal counsel before setting one of these up.
Whatever type of promotion you decide to run, make sure that you stay on the right side of giveaway rules in your state (or country) since there could be legal ramifications.
10 Tools to Help You Run a Giveaway on Your WordPress Website
There are lots of options for running giveaways on your WordPress website. However, it’s worth noting that, while some of the applications on our list have well-maintained WordPress plugins, others do not. Let’s go over everything you need to know about 10 popular giveaway solutions that you can start using on your website right now.
Related: How to Create Your First WordPress Plugin
RafflePress is a free plugin for WordPress with premium upgrade options. It provides a comprehensive package for creating and managing giveaways on your website. This solution comes with a drag-and-drop giveaway builder, fraud protection, viral sharing functionality, and templates. Additionally, it offers tracking and retargeting features, which can help you make an even more significant impact with the work you put into running giveaways.
Price: RafflePress has a free plugin for WordPress. Alternatively, you can upgrade to a premium plan starting at $39.20 per year for a one-site license or $359.20 for an unlimited, lifetime license.
Woorise is an application that enables you to create a variety of interactive contest elements for your website with a drag-and-drop editor. There is a WordPress plugin for Woorise, but it has not yet been thoroughly tested and vetted, so we recommend caution. In the meantime, you can create what you need through the platform’s website and embed it wherever you need to on your site.
Price: Woorise has a free plan that covers 500 entries, or you can upgrade to one of its annual tiers that all come in just under $100 per month.
Related: How to Pick the Best WordPress Themes
Easypromos is a more extensive software system with many options and lots of giveaway templates for a quick start-up process. You can create campaigns using 30 different applications designed for specific social media channels, as well as games, quizzes, and coupons. All of these can be embedded on your WordPress website using a custom HTML block or widget.
Price: Easypromos’ pricing is a bit more complicated than some of the other options on our list. You can price a single promotion, purchase the Giveaway app starting at $29 per month, or get all of the company’s applications starting at $159 per month.
Heyo offers 11 different products and services that are all geared towards building engagement for your brand. You can use them to create various types of photo contests, giveaways, sweepstakes, quizzes, and contests (and even multiformat contests). To use this application with WordPress, you’ll need to create your giveaway within Heyo and use embed codes to add it to your website.
Price: You can choose from Basic, Standard, or Premium plans starting at $25 per month for a year-long contract or contact the company for custom account pricing. There’s also a seven-day free trial offer.
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Rafflecopter is a popular and well-known contest application. It has a very beginner-friendly interface that makes it easy to get a contest up and running quickly. Once you create a contest, you can share it with your social media channels, link it to your website, or embed it on a web page. Rafflecopter’s reputation is one of success, innovation, and quality support.
Price: You can start with a free plan or upgrade to the Basic plan for $13 per month. There are also Grow ($43) and Premium ($84) plans that can be upgraded on a month-to-month basis for greater flexibility.
Gleam offers four different applications that cover contests, galleries, rewards, and “capturing.” This means you can create redeemable rewards for your site’s users in return for actions such as sharing your content on social media. You can also use the capture feature to attract more email subscribers. All in all, Gleam is a very visually-engaging option for embedding contests on your WordPress website.
Price: You can get all four applications in an easy-to-use dashboard for $97 per month or purchase just the apps you need for lower monthly payments. For example, the competition app starts at $10 per month.
This platform offers a very comprehensive approach to marketing your online products or services. ShortStack collects a seemingly endless number of features and options in one place. Beyond contests and giveaways, ShortStack also offers data management and team collaboration solutions.
Price: ShortStack provides a free plan with limited options. You’ll have to look at its Business plan ($99 per month) or higher to take advantage of the “Embed to WordPress” and popup features.
Related: How to Use Google Analytics with WordPress
Wishpond offers an integration tool for WordPress and has many marketing solutions to choose from. Contests and giveaways are just the tip of the iceberg with Wishpond. If you’re looking for a giveaway platform that also includes a healthy dose of marketing and engagement tools, this might be your best bet.
Price: Do-it-yourself plans start at $49 per month, but you will have to contact the company for managed account pricing.
You can run a wide variety of campaigns with Woobox. It includes options for bracket contests, instant winners, and a “winner picker” feature. One of the benefits of Woobox is that you can choose from many pre-built templates and then customize them to match your needs.
Price: You can start with the limited free plan or upgrade to a Standard plan for $32 per month for unlimited entries.
If you’re looking for a truly integrated approach to giveaways, KingSumo is a great option. This application is focused on viral giveaways. You can build your campaigns with their dedicated WordPress giveaway plugin right in your website’s admin panel.
Price: A lifetime, single-site license is $198 and includes free updates and customer support. A developer’s license costs $594 for unlimited sites.
How to Market and Improve Your Contest
Promoting your website online can be challenging, partly due to an overwhelming slate of options. The good news is that giveaways can be fun and engaging, as well as cost-effective. Of course, once you create your giveaway, you’ll need to promote it as well. Here are some low-cost ways of getting your giveaway content out in front of potential participants.
- Set up an email marketing campaign
- Write a blog post for your company website
- Partner with relevant influencers to reach your audience
- Share with your social media followers
If you want some insights on how to best use your social networks, check out our social media for small business guide.
Another important aspect of running a contest (especially if you also want to collect valuable marketing data on your target audience) is to include a way for entrants to send you feedback on their experiences.
This could be a simple rating system or a follow-up email with an invitation to complete a survey. Either way, it can be very helpful in determining how to make your next contest experience even better. Plus, it gives you a chance to revamp any elements that didn’t work out the first time.
Related: 10 Social Media Marketing Tips for Your Small Business
Eye on the Prize
Aside from being good fun, contests and giveaways have an excellent track record of driving conversions, improving engagement, and boosting brand awareness. Understanding the benefits of running a quality contest and driving entries can help you hone in on all the right elements to include.
There are plenty of reputable contest applications and plugins to help. Whether you choose Rafflecopter, Woorise, ShortStack, Rafflepress, or one of the others we’ve reviewed, you’ll be well placed to run a fully-featured giveaway.
If you need some more plugin recommendations for your website, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a ton of guides to help you choose the right add-ons for your WordPress site.
- 9 of the Most Popular WordPress Plugins
- 10 WordPress Plugins to Maximize Your Lead Generation
- 13 of the Best Security Plugins to Keep Your WordPress Site Safe
- 15 Essential Plugins and Features For Your WordPress Website
Of course, you’ll also need to make sure your web host is up to the task. Here at DreamHost, we have managed WordPress hosting plans that can help you ensure a safe, secure, and seamless contest experience for your customers!