KickoffLabs Blog:

How To Crush A Viral Launch Giveaway (And Get More Customers Than You Can Handle)

By Hannah Denson

Sep 12th, 2022

Would you believe us if we told you that giving stuff away for free is one of the best ways to increase your revenue. We know it sounds absurd, but it is true. In this post we will explore how a viral launch giveaway can help your revenue surge straight out of the gates. 

Better yet, we will show you concrete examples of how well it has worked for other businesses and exactly how you can make it work for you.

What Is A Viral Launch Giveaway?

A viral launch giveaway is a pre-launch contest used to promote a new product line or service, or even a brand new business. A viral launch giveaway uses the enticement of awesome free prizes and rewards to generate buzz, and encourage “viral” sharing of your pending launch. 

When done correctly, a viral launch giveaway can generate a massive amount of hype from an eager audience anxiously awaiting the launch of your business, products, or services. As an added bonus you get a ready-made email list of warm leads primed for conversion into paying customers.

Types Of Viral Launch Giveaways

When it comes to running a viral launch giveaway there are a wide array of types to choose from. Different types of launch contests will be appealing to different types of customers, and one giveaway type may be better suited for a specific product or service than another. 

You know your customer base, your industry, and your company better than anyone, so it will be up to you to decide what type of contest is most likely to motivate and engage your particular clients. 

Here are a few examples of the most popular viral launch giveaway varieties to help get your creative juices flowing. 

Waitlist Sweepstakes


Join the waitlist- featuring actions to complete and place in line

A waitlist sweepstakes style giveaway essentially monetizes your waitlist, and incentivizes customers on the waitlist to share your upcoming launch date, and company information with others to increase their chances of winning. 

The benefits of waitlist sweepstakes are plentiful. Potential customers eagerly join the waitlist to await your launch. This traditional lead generation tactic generally produces a roughly 5 - 10% conversion rate after your launch is complete.  By bundling in a sweepstakes contest where those already on the waitlist can compete for prizes, or move themselves higher up on the waitlist you create an ongoing sense of excitement that keeps entrants engaged and enthusiastic while they wait for your product to launch. 

Finally, because your sweepstakes will revolve around gaining additional entries, prizes, or rewards by getting others to join the waiting list you are ensured that your existing list, and your number of later conversions, will increase exponentially as your waitlist members generate word-of-mouth hype for your impending launch. 

Waitlist Leaderboard


Visual of how to move up the waitlist leaderboard- earn points, move up!

A waitlist leaderboard contest acts in a similar fashion to the waitlist sweepstakes contest by encouraging current waitlist members to share your product launch with others. Entrants sign up to secure their place on the waitlist and then perform additional tasks, or refer others to sign up for the waitlist in order to move up the waitlist leaderboard. 

By posting a trackable leaderboard you are able to tap into the competitive nature of your waitlist entrants’ natural urge to overtake the current leaders to be in first place. 

The more enticing the rewards for the top leaders the more excitement that you will generate as waitlist members at the lower ranks compete to move up the ranks before the launch date. 

Milestone Rewards Waitlist


referral campaign featuring prizes unlocked by actions

A Milestone Rewards Program allows entrants to earn discounts, prizes, and rewards by reaching certain predetermined referral milestones. As individuals join your launch waitlist they are granted a unique referral link that they can share with others. When new entrants sign up to the waitlist using their unique referral link code the referral is logged to the original user. 

Encourage your wait list entrants to share far and wide by offering several referral milestones with the potential to earn increasingly valuable prizes or rewards as they reach each new level. 

What To Do Before Your Viral Launch Giveaway?

A viral launch giveaway is all about generating momentum and hype to propel your company forward. You don’t want launch day snafus to slow down the pace. A little bit of preparation will go a long way towards making sure that your launch giveaway goes off without a hitch. 

Step 1: Solidify The Details Of Your Viral Launch Giveaway Plan

The first step to pulling off a great event is planning out the details. A viral launch giveaway is no different. Take some time to sit down with your team and brainstorm the key elements of your launch giveaway campaign. 

When you are getting started, it is easy to get mired in the weeds of all the minute tasks that must be accomplished. A simple checklist will help you organize your ideas so that you are able to stay on track, and keep moving forward.

Your plan should include some variation of the following:

A) A List Of Desired Results:

Be specific. It is hard to know if you have achieved your goals if you are not sure what your goals are. 

B) A Diverse Marketing Strategy:

How will you get the word out about your giveaway? Dig deep on this one to make sure you aren’t leaving out any core audience groups. Plan various marketing methods to ensure you reach the largest audience possible.

C)Your Giveaway Prize Tiers:

What are you planning to giveaway? How many tiers will you have? How many winners/prizes for each tier? Consider making a “bottom rung” tier that is easily attainable so everyone has a chance to gain some small reward for participation. 

Step 2: Lay The Groundwork For Your Launch Page

This is where you are going to want to buckle down and make sure that all of the technical details are squared away. This means choosing, and uploading graphics, logos, font packages, and color selections, and working out any layout details so that you have everything you need at the ready to start building your viral launch giveaway page. 

During this phase, you will also want to make sure that all of your back end details, and third party links are up and running. For example, if you plan to send entrants to a Twitter account, or YouTube video or channel, make certain that those accounts/materials are fully fleshed out and ready to go as well. 

Step 3: Fine Tune Your Launch

You are almost there! Spend this final phase working through your launch page to make sure it looks the way that you want it to. You can add any desired scripts, or customized content to amp up the excitement and personalize the page for your target audience during this final preparation stage. 

Best Practices

Congratulations! You have made it to launch day. If you have followed the steps above, you are probably reveling in the success of your viral launch giveaway campaign already. So, how can you make sure that you squeeze every ounce of awesomeness out of your new found virility?

Ride The Momentum Wave:

Take full advantage of all the extra attention you are generating. This is the time to roll out any new ideas, or promotions you have waiting in the wings. Time your viral launch giveaway to amplify the results of other campaigns like a kickstarter, or webinar. 

Melissa Moran, CEO/Founder of Swingly Toys shares the important role that email communication played in helping to grow the target audience for Swingly,

“…there was this other component of the context and the emails, it made it very easy for people to share my project, get other folks excited about it, and then kind of snowball that effect to get… Now we’re up to almost 3,000 subscribers on our email list”

Follow Through Is Crucial:

A viral launch giveaway will generate the leads, it is up to you to build the connections that help convert leads into loyal customers. Make sure that you are taking the time to follow up with everyone who signs up or subscribes to your email list. 

Jessica Principe, founder of All Girl Shave Club shares the importance of building upon the connections that you have made through your viral launch giveaway,

“So I would recommend that even after prelaunch, don’t let it go cold. You’ve built this asset, after you’ve launched, continue to nurture them and continue to provide value to them so that they will come back and buy.”

Learn From The Success Of Others:

The best way to achieve the best results is to learn from those who have already achieved them. Here are some of the ideas that other successful businesses have found useful when launching their own viral giveaway campaigns. 

Get The Fort

Get the fort Kickstarter Waitlist landing page

Conor Lewis, founder of Get The Fort, was able to generate immense interest in his idea for an easy to build, sturdy children’s “pillow fort” before he had even begun production. Using a simple KickoffLabs launch page, Get the Fort was able to grow an email waitlist, and Facebook Group, before raising $3 Million on Kickstarter, and launching a profitable company from day one.  


"share your link and refer friends to unlock rewards" milestone waitlist

S’Wheat,  the world’s first manufacturer of reusable bottles made entirely from plant based materials, used a massive pre-launch email outreach, and PR marketing campaign to generate even more buzz around their KickoffLabs viral launch giveaway. Their pre launch efforts combined with the KickoffLabs launch giveaway netted them more than 20,000 new leads in just 30 days.  

BrainRich Kids

Waitlist with leaderboard featuring action items such as viewing a video on Youtube for +1 point

Brain Rich Kids uses creative prizes, and contest rules to incentivize sharing, and create widespread buzz among their target audience base. One popular contest allowed users to win the same prize packages as those they referred to the contest. This unique tactic really ramped up sharing for the maker of indoor play gyms for children.


Additional Resources To Help With Your Launch

Want some extra help getting started? There are plenty of tools out there that can help take the guesswork out of planning your next viral launch giveaway.  Check out these easy to use KickoffLabs templates that make it simple for anyone…yes, even you…to get a viral launch giveaway up and running in as little as 10 minutes! No tech skills, or advanced marketing degree required.

Looking for even more? Head on over to the KickoffLabs giveaway resources page to find step-by-step videos showing you how to set up your giveaway, as well as plenty of articles, and podcasts full of useful advice and tips from other business owners who have found success with viral launch giveaways. 


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