How to grow your email list with giveaways—step by step guide

As Black Friday is lurking around the corner, I brought you a marketing strategy you can use if you don’t want to discount your products or services. But you still want to offer something to your followers and prospects.

Run a sweepstake to attract the right leads and increase email subscribers to your list.

What’s the difference between a giveaway and a sweepstake?

Giveaway is technically not a legal term at all, but can be used interchangeably with the term Sweepstake in blog posts or conversationally. But when you are using legal terms (such as in your rules and regulations), you should use […] sweepstake.

Wendy Piersall, Heather B. Armstrong

How to set up a giveaway in Flodesk to increase subscribers?

Step 1. Decide upon the giveaway prize(s)

First of all, consider what you want to offer as the giveaway prize. It can be either a product or a service that your business provides.

I don’t recommend offering a cash prize or an amazon gift card as that may attract the wrong crowd. You’re not looking for people who need a bit of extra cash. You want entrants who’re interested in and would benefit from the prizes.

If you’re uncertain what the best prize would be, poll your email subscribers and social media followers.

Also, determine if you want to select one winner or several winners, like one main prize and one or two minor prizes.

Step 2. Create a landing page for the sweepstake

Running a sweepstake needs a proper, dedicated landing page. Create one on your website and remove the usual navigation menu to avoid people wandering off elsewhere. You want to keep them on this page as long as they convert.

If you’re on self-hosted WordPress, I recommend using the Elementor page builder.

  • Make this landing page enticing with copy and images.
  • Show the value of this promotion to your potential new leads.
  • Introduce the prizes they can win and how these prizes can help them.
  • Explain how they can enter and all the rules (see also next step).
  • Make it crystal clear that entrants will be subscribing to your email list, and with that, get the chance to win in your giveaway.

Step 3. Publish the Official Rules, T&Cs and a Privacy Policy for your giveaway

Create and add all the legal pages (official rules, terms and conditions, privacy policy) for the giveaway and link to them from your landing page. It’s important to disclose participation rules and protect yourself in case of any disputes.

Always consult a lawyer or a legal advisor to understand all the legal requirements your sweepstakes has to meet. What you read here is general advice only.

Giveaway rules typically include, among others:

  • Eligibility and age requirements for entering: who can enter it and from where
  • Start and end dates and times for entering: when you accept entries for the giveaway
  • Entry methods: how they can enter—in our example, subscribing to your email list and no purchase is necessary
  • Giveaway prize(s): what they can win
  • Selection and notification of the Winner(s): how the winner is decided (random draw) and notified (by email)

These additional resources may also be useful:

Step 4. Set up a simple workflow in Flodesk

When giveaway entrants sign up for your list, it’s a good practice to send them an automated email confirming they are subscribed. This is what we call a workflow in Flodesk.

Also, use this opportunity to tell a bit about yourself and the product(s) that the lucky winner(s) will receive. Just to remind them.

You can also foreshadow why it’s worth being on your email list and what kind of great content they can expect from you.

Step 5. Embed a Flodesk inline or ribbon form to the giveaway page

As your goal is to collect subscribers to your email list with this promotion, create an inline form in Flodesk and embed it to your landing page.

Remember to link a unique segment to this form in Flodesk so that you can quickly find the giveaway entrants in your Audience. And use this segment as the trigger for the workflow you created in the previous step.

As a new feature in Flodesk, you can enable Preferences on your form and list a few additional options they can opt into. Just make it clear that it’s optional and in no way will influence their chances of winning in this sweepstakes.

Preferences on forms can be used to allow subscribers to better control what topics they want to hear about. Or how often they want to hear from your business.

Flodesk inline form example with preference options

Step 6. Promote your sweepstake

Now that your landing page is done, the email list opt-in form is embedded, and you also published the legal pages, it’s time to create a buzz.

Work on your content marketing plan of how and where you will be promoting your sweepstakes.

A good place to start is by posting about it on your social media channels. Adapt your copy and visuals for each platform to maximize its reach. There may be people following you silently, and this giveaway and the chance to work with you may be the push they need to sign up to your email list.

Consider adding a Hello bar or a non-obtrusive popup message on your main website pages, making visitors aware of your promotion and asking them to participate.

Write detailed blog posts about the products or services entrants can win. Link from these blog posts back to your giveaway landing page. And remember to add pins to your blog posts and save them to Pinterest to get extra eyes on your promotion.

Also, promote it to your existing email list. Talk about it in your email newsletters and let them know first when the participation window opens.

Step 7. Close the giveaway in time

When the time comes to close the giveaway, simply remove the Flodesk inline form from the page. This will prevent any late entrants.

And update the copy on the page to let them know this giveaway is now closed. You can use phrases like: You just missed it. Maybe you have better luck next time—or something similar.

Alternatively, you can redirect them to your website and your regular email list opt-in form, encouraging them to sign up to your list and be notified when you run your next sweepstake.

Step 8. Select your sweepstakes winner randomly

And now we arrived at the most exciting part: drawing the winner(s).

Go to your Flodesk account and download a CSV of the giveaway segment. This contains all your entrants who subscribed to your email list.

You can use online tools like ‘Random-ize‘ to pick a winner randomly.

Just add the email addresses—each item on a new line—and then click the ‘Pick one!‘ button.

Always make sure to document how the winner(s) are selected. The best is to make a screen recording while you do this. And also take written notes—just in case.

Step 9. Notify the lucky winner(s) via a beautiful Flodesk email

Send a special email to the lucky winner(s) with all the details on how they can claim their prize.

You can also announce the winner(s) to your entire email list or on your social media channels if your giveaway rules allow it.

Step 10. Rinse and repeat

And that’s it. Repeat these steps as needed for your next giveaway promotion.

Do you use giveaways to promote your business and build your email list? Let me know in the comments!

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