Contests and Giveaways

Contests and giveaways can be an effective way to attract new subscribers to your email list. Here are some benefits of using contests and giveaways:

  1. Increased visibility: By promoting your contest or giveaway on social media, you can increase your brand’s visibility and attract new followers.
  2. Higher engagement: Contests and giveaways encourage people to interact with your brand and provide their email addresses for a chance to win.
  3. Expanded reach: When people enter your contest or giveaway, they may share it with their friends and family, expanding your reach beyond your current audience.
  4. Targeted audience: By offering a prize that is relevant to your business, you can attract subscribers who are interested in your products or services.
  5. Improved conversion rates: Subscribers who sign up through a contest or giveaway are more likely to convert into paying customers, as they have already shown an interest in your brand.

When running a contest or giveaway, it’s important to follow best practices, such as clearly outlining the rules and prize details, promoting it on your website and social media channels, and ensuring that the prize is relevant to your business and audience.

How to execute them effectively

How to execute Contests and Giveaways effectivelyHere are some tips for executing contests and giveaways effectively to attract new email subscribers:

  1. Set clear goals: Before launching a contest or giveaway, it’s important to set clear goals and objectives. Determine what you hope to achieve from the campaign, such as a certain number of new email subscribers or increased engagement on social media.
  2. Choose a prize that aligns with your brand: The prize you offer should be something that aligns with your brand and is relevant to your target audience. This will attract subscribers who are genuinely interested in your products or services.
  3. Promote the contest or giveaway: Promote the campaign through your website, social media, and email marketing channels to reach a wider audience. Encourage current subscribers to share the contest with their friends and followers for even greater reach.
  4. Make it easy to enter: Keep the entry process simple and straightforward to encourage more people to participate. For example, you can ask for email addresses as the sole requirement for entry.
  5. Follow through with your promises: Once the contest or giveaway has ended, make sure to follow through with your promises. This includes announcing the winner and delivering the prize in a timely manner.
  6. Follow up with new subscribers: Don’t forget to follow up with new subscribers after the campaign has ended. Send a welcome email thanking them for subscribing and provide them with more information about your brand and what they can expect to receive from your emails.

Creative contest ideas to engage your email subscribers

Certainly! Here are some creative contest ideas to engage your email subscribers:

  1. Photo/Video Contest: Encourage subscribers to submit their best photos or videos related to your brand, product, or a specific theme. You can then showcase the entries in your emails and social media platforms, and offer a prize for the best submission.
  2. Caption Contest: Share an amusing or interesting image and ask subscribers to submit their captions. Select the funniest or most creative entry as the winner and offer a prize.
  3. Quiz or Trivia Contest: Create a quiz or trivia game related to your industry, products, or brand. Send a series of questions through email, and those who answer correctly can be entered into a prize draw or receive a reward.
  4. User-Generated Content Contest: Ask subscribers to create content such as testimonials, reviews, or stories about their experience with your brand. Share the entries in your emails and reward the best ones with prizes.
  5. Voting Contest: Present a selection of options or entries and ask subscribers to vote for their favorite. This could be anything from choosing a new product design to selecting the best user-submitted content. Offer a prize to a randomly selected participant or the one with the most votes.
  6. Challenge Contest: Set a specific challenge or task for subscribers to complete, such as sharing a photo of themselves using your product in a unique way or coming up with a creative recipe using your ingredients. Select the most impressive or creative entry as the winner and reward them.
  7. Referral Contest: Encourage subscribers to refer their friends or family members to join your email list. Offer a prize to the subscriber who brings in the highest number of new sign-ups within a specified period.
  8. Flash Sale Contest: Run a limited-time contest where subscribers have a chance to win exclusive discounts or access to a flash sale event by participating. This can create a sense of urgency and drive engagement.

How to leverage giveaways to grow your email list

Giveaways can be a powerful tool to grow your email list. Here are some strategies to leverage giveaways effectively:

  1. Choose an enticing prize: Select a prize that is highly relevant and valuable to your target audience. It could be a popular product, a gift card, a VIP experience, or exclusive access to your services. The more desirable the prize, the more motivated people will be to join your email list.
  2. Create a dedicated landing page: Design a dedicated landing page specifically for the giveaway. Highlight the benefits of joining your email list and showcase the prize. Include a clear and prominent call-to-action (CTA) for users to enter the giveaway by providing their email address.
  3. Optimize the entry process: Keep the entry process simple and user-friendly. Request only essential information, such as name and email address. Minimize the number of form fields to reduce barriers to entry and increase conversion rates.
  4. Implement social sharing options: Include social sharing buttons on the giveaway landing page to encourage entrants to share the giveaway with their friends and followers. Offer incentives, such as extra entries or bonus rewards, for participants who refer others to enter.
  5. Promote the giveaway across channels: Leverage your existing marketing channels to promote the giveaway. Share it on your website, blog, social media platforms, and other relevant online communities. Use engaging visuals, compelling copy, and clear instructions to encourage participation.
  6. Utilize email marketing: Use your current email list to promote the giveaway. Send dedicated emails announcing the giveaway, emphasizing the benefits of entering, and encouraging recipients to share it with their network. Consider segmenting your email list to target specific audience segments with personalized messaging.
  7. Collaborate with influencers or partners: Partner with influencers or complementary brands in your industry to amplify the reach of your giveaway. Collaborate on co-promotions, guest blog posts, or social media shoutouts to expand your audience and attract new subscribers.
  8. Run targeted advertising campaigns: Utilize targeted online advertising to reach a wider audience who may be interested in your giveaway. Platforms like Facebook Ads or Google Ads allow you to narrow down your target audience based on demographics, interests, and behavior, ensuring your ads are seen by the right people.
  9. Follow up with entrants: Once the giveaway is over, send a thank-you email to all participants, even those who didn’t win. Consider offering a consolation prize or a special discount to maintain engagement and keep them subscribed to your email list.

Writing compelling email copy for contest announcements

When writing email copy for contest announcements, it’s important to capture your subscribers’ attention and generate excitement about the opportunity. Here are some tips for crafting compelling email copy:

1. Grab attention with a strong subject line: Create a subject line that piques curiosity or highlights the value of the contest. Use action words, emojis, or numbers to make it stand out in crowded inboxes.
Example: “Enter to Win! Your Chance at [Desirable Prize] Awaits!”

2. Start with an engaging introduction: Begin your email with a captivating opening that immediately communicates the excitement of the contest. Clearly state the purpose and benefits of participating, emphasizing the value of the prize.
Example: “Are you ready to win big? We’re thrilled to announce our latest contest where you have the chance to score [Desirable Prize] and take your [related experience or benefit] to the next level!”

3. Highlight the contest details: Clearly outline the contest details, including entry requirements, eligibility criteria, deadline, and any special instructions. Keep the information concise, easy to understand, and visually appealing. Use bullet points or subheadings for clarity.

  • How to enter: Simply provide your name and email address on our dedicated landing page.
  • Eligibility: Open to residents of [specific location or demographic].
  • Deadline: Entries must be submitted by [date and time].
  • Extra chances to win: Share the contest with your friends and receive additional entries!

4. Emphasize the value and uniqueness of the prize: Showcase the prize and explain why it’s valuable and desirable. Highlight any exclusive features or benefits that set it apart. Use persuasive language to create a sense of urgency and desire.
Example: “Imagine owning [Desirable Prize], the latest innovation that will revolutionize your [related experience or benefit]. It’s your chance to be the envy of your friends and enjoy [specific advantages] that you won’t find anywhere else!”

5. Create a sense of anticipation: Build excitement by mentioning the upcoming announcement date of the winner or winners. Create anticipation and keep your subscribers engaged throughout the contest period.
Example: “Mark your calendars! We’ll be announcing the lucky winner of [Desirable Prize] on [date]. Stay tuned for the thrilling moment when one lucky participant will become the proud owner of this incredible prize!”

6. Include a clear call-to-action (CTA): Encourage readers to take immediate action by entering the contest. Use a compelling CTA button with action-oriented language that stands out visually.
Example: “Don’t miss out! Enter now for your chance to win!”

7. Personalize and segment when possible: If you have access to subscriber data or segmentation options, personalize the email by addressing recipients by name or tailoring the content based on their interests. This creates a more personalized and engaging experience.

8. Use visual elements: Incorporate eye-catching visuals, such as images of the prize or previous winners, to make the email visually appealing. Ensure the visuals align with your brand and the overall tone of the contest.

9. Keep the email concise and scannable: Make the email easy to read and digest by using short paragraphs, bullet points, and subheadings. Use bold or highlighted text to draw attention to key information.

10. Add a sense of exclusivity: Create a feeling of exclusivity by emphasizing that the contest is only available to email subscribers. Make recipients feel special for being part of your email list and emphasize the benefits of staying connected.

Example: “This exclusive contest is our way of saying thank you to our loyal email subscribers. We appreciate your support, and as a valued member, you have a chance to win [Desirable Prize] before anyone else!”

Effective ways to promote your contest or giveaway through email

Promoting your contest or giveaway through email is crucial to generate awareness and encourage participation. Here are some effective ways to promote your contest or giveaway through email:

  1. Dedicated Announcement Email: Send a dedicated email to your subscribers announcing the contest or giveaway. Clearly communicate the details, including how to enter, the prize, deadline, and any special instructions. Use compelling subject lines and preview text to capture attention and encourage recipients to open the email.
  2. Segmented Emails: If you have the ability to segment your email list based on interests or demographics, send targeted emails to specific segments who are most likely to be interested in the contest. Tailor your messaging to resonate with each group, highlighting the benefits and relevance of the contest to their needs or preferences.
  3. Countdown Emails: Create a series of countdown emails to build anticipation and remind subscribers of the approaching deadline. These emails can highlight the remaining time to enter, emphasize the value of the prize, and create a sense of urgency to encourage immediate action.
  4. Social Sharing Emails: Encourage subscribers to share the contest or giveaway with their friends and followers by including social sharing buttons or links in your emails. Provide an incentive, such as additional entries or a bonus reward, for those who refer others to enter. Make it easy for recipients to spread the word and extend the reach of your promotion.
  5. Reminder Emails: Send reminder emails as the contest deadline approaches to prompt subscribers who haven’t entered yet. Remind them of the benefits and the opportunity to win the prize. Highlight any unique aspects of the contest that may persuade them to take action.
  6. Winner Announcement Email: After the contest or giveaway has ended and the winner(s) have been selected, send an email to announce the winner and express gratitude to all participants. Consider including a special offer or consolation prize for those who didn’t win to maintain engagement and goodwill.
  7. Post-contest Follow-up: Follow up with participants after the contest or giveaway is over to thank them for their participation and provide a recap of the event. This email can also serve as an opportunity to promote any upcoming contests or special offers to keep subscribers engaged.
  8. Incorporate Visuals: Use visually appealing graphics, images, or videos related to the contest or giveaway in your emails. Visual elements help grab attention and create a more engaging experience for your subscribers.
  9. Email Signature: Include a brief mention or call-to-action related to the contest or giveaway in your regular email signature. This allows you to promote the contest in a subtle and consistent manner with every email you send.
  10. Testimonials or Previous Winners: Share testimonials or showcase previous winners in your promotional emails to build credibility and excitement. Highlight the positive experiences of past participants to encourage others to enter.
  11. Exclusive Email-Only Offers: Offer exclusive deals or bonuses to subscribers who enter the contest. This can serve as an additional incentive to participate and keep them engaged with your brand.
  12. Optimize for Mobile: Ensure your emails are optimized for mobile devices since a significant portion of email opens occur on smartphones and tablets. Make sure your emails are mobile-friendly, easy to read, and have clear call-to-action buttons.

Best practices for choosing winners and distributing prizes in email contests

When it comes to choosing winners and distributing prizes in email contests, it’s important to maintain transparency, fairness, and clear communication. Here are some best practices to consider:

  1. Clearly state the selection process: In your contest rules or terms and conditions, clearly outline how winners will be chosen. Specify the criteria and any judging panel or random selection methods that will be used. This helps establish transparency and sets expectations for participants.
  2. Use a random selection tool: If your contest involves a random selection process, consider using a reputable random selection tool or software to ensure fairness and remove any biases. Document the selection process and keep records for future reference if needed.
  3. Verify eligibility: Before announcing winners, ensure they meet all eligibility criteria as stated in the contest rules. This may include age, residency, or other specific requirements. If a selected winner is found to be ineligible, select an alternate winner based on the predetermined rules.
  4. Notify winners promptly: Once winners have been chosen, promptly notify them via email. Clearly communicate that they have won the prize and provide instructions on how to claim it. Include a deadline or timeframe for them to respond and claim their prize.
  5. Request winner confirmation: To ensure the legitimacy of the selected winners, consider requesting confirmation from them. Ask for their consent to announce their name or handle publicly and obtain any additional information required to fulfill the prize.
  6. Announce winners publicly (with permission): If appropriate and with the winners’ consent, publicly announce the names or handles of the winners via email or on your website and social media platforms. This helps build credibility and excitement around your contest.
  7. Maintain privacy and data protection: Respect the privacy of the winners and handle their personal information securely. Clearly communicate how their data will be used and ensure compliance with applicable data protection regulations, such as GDPR or CCPA.
  8. Fulfill prizes promptly: Aim to fulfill prizes as soon as possible after winners have been confirmed. Clearly communicate the estimated timeframe for prize delivery or how winners can claim their prize. Provide any necessary instructions or contact information they may need.
  9. Follow up with winners: After the prizes have been distributed, follow up with winners to thank them for their participation and congratulate them again. Consider asking for their feedback or testimonials that you can use for future promotions.
  10. Handle disputes or issues professionally: In the event of any disputes or issues related to the contest or prize distribution, handle them professionally and promptly. Address any concerns or complaints with empathy and transparency, striving to find a fair resolution.

Examples of successful email-based contests and giveaways.

Certainly! Here are a few examples of successful email-based contests and giveaways that have generated engagement and participation:

1. Example: “Refer-a-Friend” Contest

  • Objective: Increase email list growth and reward loyal subscribers.
  • Mechanics: Subscribers were encouraged to refer their friends to join the email list. Each referral earned them an entry into a prize draw.
  • Prize: A weekend getaway package for two at a luxury resort.
  • Results: The contest generated a significant increase in email list subscribers and boosted engagement. The referral mechanism helped expand the brand’s reach through word-of-mouth.

2. Example: “Best Vacation Photo” Contest

  • Objective: Engage subscribers and encourage user-generated content.
  • Mechanics: Subscribers were invited to submit their best vacation photos via email. Entries were showcased in subsequent email newsletters and on social media.
  • Prize: A travel voucher for a dream vacation destination.
  • Results: The contest received a high number of photo submissions, and participants eagerly shared their entries on social media. The contest not only increased brand visibility but also fostered a sense of community among subscribers.

3. Example: “Product Review” Contest

  • Objective: Collect authentic user reviews and testimonials.
  • Mechanics: Subscribers were invited to write a review of a recently purchased product and submit it via email. Entries were evaluated based on creativity, originality, and the value of the feedback provided.
  • Prize: A gift card for the brand’s online store.
  • Results: The contest generated a significant number of valuable user reviews and testimonials, which were then used to enhance the brand’s reputation and influence purchasing decisions of potential customers.

4. Example: “Trivia Challenge” Contest

  • Objective: Boost engagement and reward knowledge about the brand.
  • Mechanics: Subscribers received a series of trivia questions related to the brand’s history, products, or industry via email. Correct answers were collected and entered into a prize draw.
  • Prize: A limited-edition product bundle or exclusive discount code.
  • Results: The trivia challenge increased email open rates and encouraged subscribers to actively engage with the brand. Participants enjoyed the interactive nature of the contest and eagerly awaited the announcement of the winner.

These examples demonstrate the versatility and effectiveness of email-based contests and giveaways in achieving various marketing objectives. The specific mechanics, prizes, and outcomes can be tailored to fit your brand, target audience, and campaign goals.


  • Shivani Adhikari

    I am Shivani Adhikari author of the website Mailersadda, where I write about a variety of topics including digital marketing, SEO, SMO, email marketing, conversion optimization, content marketing, website design and more. When I'm not working on the website, I enjoy exploring outdoors, travelling and painting. I Hope you find my website helpful and informative. Thank you for visiting Mailersadda.