Your email list is your business’s most valuable asset. If you are using social media to promote your product or service, you risk losing your followers when the social media site changes its algorithms. SEO is a constantly changing game and your Google rankings are always rising and falling. You own your email list, and it should be making you $1 per month per email address. Whether you own a brick and mortar business like me, or your business is completely online, you need an active, engaged email list to find lasting success.
While most bloggers promote building your email list with freebies, this has never been successful for me. Giveaways – done right – have been the most successful way that I have built an active, engaged email list and social media following. This is the step-by-step guide to doing a successful giveaway. (Read Giveaway Winner Announced to see the details of my first successful giveaway.)
Choosing the right prize is essential to growing an engaged email list and social media following.
Stop giving away $25 gift cards. With a prize value that low, you mostly attract people who want something for free and do not want to be a part of your audience.
Do not set the prize value too high either, or people will think that they do not really have a chance of winning it. How many times have you entered to win a car? I rarely do, but I probably have as much chance of winning a car as I do any other prize. The value of the car makes me think I cannot win it.
Ideally, choose a prize with a value between $300 and $700. This will attract the most interest and people believe they can win.
Find a Partner
Most companies understand the value of their email list, and they may be willing to partner with you and donate a prize in exchange for the entrants’ email addresses.
Reach out to companies that you already have a relationship with. I have had the best luck with small, US-based companies who are trying to grow their reach, rather than large corporations. I ask them to donate a prize or sell it to me at a discount, and I ask them to email their list and let them know about the giveaway. In exchange for this, I give them the names and email addresses of all the entrants. Then, their email list grows and so does mine. We both win.
When you reach out to companies, CALL THEM. Do not email them. Your email will get lost in the mix. If you pick up the phone and call, you will stand out from the rest. Make it clear that you are going to give them something in exchange, so they know this is not one-sided. The Number 1 complaint I hear from my small business friends is that people they do not know and do not have a relationship with are always asking them to donate things. Companies you already work with know that you can effectively promote their products and provide them with something of value in exchange. You will have the most success with them.
I always ask my partner companies to dropship the prize. Right after the drawing I provide them with the winner’s information so they can ship it.
No one will enter your giveaway if they do not know about it. I use Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, and Pinterest to promote my giveaway.
Creating effective Facebook Ads is an art. If you are not already experienced with Facebook Ads, consider hiring someone. Fiverr is a great place to find someone. Click HERE or the banner below for the details.
Instagram Ads are similar to Facebook Ads. Again, if you are not familiar with them, hire someone.
I have a good Pinterest reach, so I create a pin for my giveaway and promote it in Facebook groups during my giveaway. It spreads fast and I get a good number of entrants from it.
The Technical Stuff
Now you know what do to for a giveaway, so you just need the technical part to make it all happen. This is the easy part.
I use ClickFunnels to collect names for my giveaways. ClickFunnels is very user-friendly, and they have great customer service if you have a question. You are going to run your entrants through a sales funnel, so you need the right program. Your giveaway is going to make you money, up front, the day you start advertising. Click HERE for more information AND a 14 day free trial!
The first page of your funnel is your giveaway entry. This is where you will collect your entrants’ email addresses and names.
The next step is where most businesses are leaving money on the table. MONETIZE YOUR THANKS FOR ENTERING PAGE. You already have an engaged audience because they took the time to fill out your entry form, so sell them something! This is not the place to sell them something big. Start with something small. If it is a physical product, sell it for Free + Shipping. If it is a digital product, sell it for $7.
The third page of your funnel is your order form, but you are going to sell to your entrants again. Your order form should have an upsell on it. Your entrants already have their credit card out, ready to give you their money, so why not let them keep buying? Upsell them a physical or digital product worth around $27.
But wait, there’s more! The fourth page of your funnel is another upsell. One more product to entice your entrants. This can be a higher-value product, and since ClickFunnels has already collected their payment information, they do not need to enter their credit card again. Just one click and you can add even more money to your bank account.
If you sell digital products (documents, audio, and/or video), ClickFunnels will deliver those to your buyers. You just have to upload them to the members area, and this is a very easy process. If you sell physical products, you will get the buyer’s information so that you can ship their purchases.
If you do not currently have an email provider, you can use ClickFunnel’s Actionetics. Click here for more info. If you use another provider, you can download your entrant list as a CSV file and upload it to your email service to grow your list.
From the first day of your giveaway you need to start emailing your list so that they are used to hearing from you. Remind them of the deadline and keep the deadline short. You need to create a sense of urgency. Each day I give them one task to earn extra entries. I do not give these all at once because people will forget about you if they do everything on Day 1 and nothing on Days 2 through 5.
These are the tasks I gave my entrants to earn extra entries:
Day 1: Follow me on Instagram and comment on a post.
Day 2: Like my Facebook page and comment on a post.
Day 3: Follow me on Pinterest and repin five pins from my On the Blog board.
Day 4: Comment on two of my blog posts
Day 5: Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest (if they entered late, they may not have followed me on one of the social media platforms, so this is a chance to grow my followers)
Be sure to post on social media every day about your giveaway and drive traffic to your entry page. Give them the links directly to your social media accounts so they can find you.
The date and time of my giveaway drawing is never a secret. I have that information available on all my social media posts and in every email.
I do my giveaway drawings live on Instagram. This attracts interest and then everyone knows who the winner is. I hate entering giveaways and never hearing about who won, or if the giveaway even happened. I do it live to keep everything transparent.
I download the entrant list from ClickFunnels into an Excel spreadsheet, and add all the extra entries. Each row is numbered. Then I use Google’s random number generator to pick a number, and the corresponding number on the spreadsheet is the winner.
Your giveaway is not the end! To turn your email list into money, you need to keep them engaged. Starting the day after the giveaway, I start driving my email list to my website and my blog. If I have a product to sell or promote, I do. I build more sales funnels on ClickFunnels and run them through. Drive them to your social media accounts and keep them engaged there too.
Grow Your Business
Giveaways are a great way to grow your email list and build relationships with other small businesses. Once you grow your email list, be sure to keep it active. Repeated giveaways will keep people coming back to your content and make you a trusted network in your niche. Organizing a successful giveaway is an art, and it must be done just right to be successful.
How do you grow your email list? Let me know in the comments below!
Welcome! I've been a freelance writer since 2002 and have numerous horse-related articles published in print and online publications. I have a Bachelor of Science degree from Rocky Mountain College with a major in Equestrian Studies and a minor in Business Management. My current business ventures include High Plains Arena and real estate investing.