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How to Choose the Right Giveaway for Your Goals

Quiz inside!

Sweepstakes

A traditional giveaway option with popular variations of leaderboard and milestone rewards where leads enter to win and then earn additional entries by referring friends and taking actions.

Milestone Rewards

Grow your email, SMS, and social media audience where leads enter to win prizes and unlock rewards by referring friends and taking actions.

opt-in bribe

Keep your audience growing between giveaways with a simple instant download or coupon code in exchange for someone joining your email list.

Waitlist

Generate word of mouth by encouraging leads to move up the waitlist as they refer friends and earn points in your contest. Common variations include a sweepstakes and leaderboard.

Key Takeaways

There are a few key questions to ask yourself when starting your project about your goals, industry, and the amount of upfront effort/prizes you want to put in. We have simplified this with a helpful blog and quiz!

Goals Goals Goals

We can't express enough how important it is to know what you want from your contest in the long run. Going in unsure of what results you want or how you want to get them can lead to a less-than-successful outcome. It will be easier to choose your flow and templates once you have goals decided too! Check out our quick and easy getting started checklist for more help.

Contest types can be mixed and matched

Once you've used our guide to pick the simplest template for your giveaway, you can add any mechanism you want. Customize away- but remember, simple is often times better so try not to go overboard.

Choose actions for your brand and demographic

Lead your audience to take actions that engage them, benefit your brand, and inform them. For example, if you are releasing something and want to build excitement- choose a waitlist with actions that engage your audience with the product and your platforms, inform them, and give them something to talk about.

Start Simple

The best action to take is to start simple. Set up can be done in ten minutes. Once you have the basics ready, you can always add from there so we recommend not overdoing it initially. Take our quiz and find your simplest beginning.

Company:

KickoffLabs

Goal:

Create your contest easier and quicker with our new resources including the best template for you quiz and our quick start checklist.

Contest Type(s): giveaway

View the blog and take our quiz!

Melissa picture

Read more about contest types and find the best fit for you here.

Take our quiz

Also, you can view our contest checklist here.

Full Transcript

Josh:
All right, hi everyone. I'm Josh Lagar, with me today is Hannah Denson, again. She works in marketing at Kickoff Labs, and we want to talk about one of our latest posts that we did, which is how to choose the best giveaway for your goals.

Josh:
So Kickoff Labs as a platform is a great platform for running a number of different types of giveaways. And we're going to go through the types of giveaways first, and then we'll talk about how you might think about your goals, and how to align that with the right type of giveaway for your audience. And then just kind of wrap up with talking about the best way to implement that, and some things to think about why you're implementing the giveaway. So, first of all, Hannah, welcome again.

Hannah:
Hello. Thank you.

Josh:
So let's go through and talk about the types of contests first, that somebody might want to run. And so the first one, I'll kick it off, that we support is the concept of a milestone rewards giveaway. So a milestone rewards giveaway is something where you ask your leads, or new leads coming in, to participate in a contest and earn points by referring friends, maybe following you on Facebook, maybe tagging you on Twitter. Maybe making a post somewhere on Reddit or publishing a review. And the leads earn points as they're going.

Josh:
And these points, they add up to rewards. So you might say a low level reward would be at six points. So they get two referrals, they get six points, and they earn some sort of discount, or free shipping, or a free bit of swag. And then you can keep the rewards getting grander and grander.

Josh:
And it's basically, everybody has the opportunity to participate and earn the rewards along the way. And that could be any number of rewards as part of the master rewards giveaway.

Josh:
So the next type, I'll switch it over to Hannah to talk about sweepstakes.

Hannah:
Yeah. Unlike the milestone rewards option, this is going to be your, I have one big prize. I have one big awesome giveaway. And this one is more just a randomly generated winner. You have your leads come in and they take their actions, but this is one of the more simple options.

Hannah:
And your entrance just, they keep increasing their odds. So they'll keep taking their actions just to increase their odds of being randomly selected. So this is a little bit different than the milestone rewards, just because there is that one big prize that they're going for and they are just completely random.

Josh:
So it sort of works like a raffle, right? Where you can buy extra tickets, except instead of buying tickets, you're taking action online and engaging with the brand to earn extra chances to win. Right?

Hannah:
Yeah. I think this is one of the more traditional styles of giveaways. I think anytime even I've entered a giveaway, this is kind of how I assume it goes. So I think this is one of those pretty standard, pretty easy for any kind of project giveaway.

Josh:
Cool. All right. I'm going to talk about the next type that we support because it's popular, which is the pre-launch wait list. So this is typically used by somebody who's looking to build an audience around a new product launch. And there's kind of two categories of people. There's people who just haven't launched a product and they're kind of starting from zero. And they're like, I've got this new product and I want to build a wait list because you don't really, you don't want to launch to crickets. Whether that's something on Kickstarter, or whether that's like a new SAS service or a new mobile app. You've got to build that audience up from zero.

Josh:
And a pre-launch wait list encourages people to do that by putting them in a line. So if you imagine everybody lines up outside of the store. Except in the wait list giveaway, you have a chance to move up in line by taking these actions.

Josh:
So the same sort of actions, like referring friends or following online, engaging the same sort of actions in the milestone rewards and the sweepstakes used to earn points. Except in this case, the actions move you up in line. And your reward for being higher up in line is that you might get earlier access.

Josh:
So in the case where people are doing an app launch or something, they have maybe a hundred slots in an alpha launch they can give away. So they'll take the top 100 to a certain date, take them off the wait list, move them into the beta. And then they'll do another launch of the app and they'll let in 500 people. They'll take the next 500 people in line. So you get earlier access to something.

Josh:
Or if it was a Kickstarter launch, it's popular to say the first 500 people, we're going to send them mail first so they get an opportunity to get in on the early bird discounts and the deals for the Kickstarter launch. And we also see a lot of these from established companies too. So looking to launch a V2, of the product or just a new product in general coming out where they might already have an existing audience, but they want get that audience engaged and excited about the new release that's coming out from the product.

Josh:
And so that's pre-launch wait list. You're asking people to take action and move up in line. Hannah, do you want to talk about, what?

Hannah:
Yeah. Those ones are always really fun to see the results of, just because it's just so exciting to have something new.

Hannah:
So the next one is the lead magnet, your opt-in form. This one is one of your easier ones. It's going to be light on the big contest mechanisms. All of the actions and things like that are not as important. So essentially you have something like a PDF, or some kind of download, or something that you're offering and you're just taking in these leads.

Hannah:
So you're just trying to grow your audience. Whether that's email, their phone number, whatever you're trying to collect. This one's a simple sign-up, and you get this item. So it's just kind of enticing to bring them onto your list. And it also kind of says they're interested in you. So it's just generating a really organic list that actually wants to hear from you.

Hannah:
And it's really great in this kind of giveaway for the company to have that opportunity to bring those warm leads in, and turn them into actual paying customers when everything's said and done. And you can keep a lead magnet or opt-in form on your website all the time if you're doing something that's really simple. So this is a really great option.

Josh:
Yeah. It's kind of evergreen in the sense that you don't have to put the effort into running a contest nonstop. And it's something that people could do between contests, even, that they're running. Is just constantly have a lead magnet up on their site is just something for everyone to give out. So we do classify it as a giveaway, although it's not a traditional contest as you pointed out.

Josh:
The next mechanic that we support in giveaways is called the leaderboard giveaway. And it is almost exactly as it sounds. So you can set up with Kickoff Labs a leaderboard of the top up to, I think the leaderboard UI lets you put up a hundred people on the list. But let's say the concept is maybe the top person wins something special, and maybe you have prizes for all of the top five. You basically set up the leaderboard, you determine the prizes.

Josh:
And unlike the sweepstakes which is more like a raffle, it's a random winner. This is quite literally gamified where, the top X people on the list are going to get a prize. So you're working with a competitive audience, and you're trying to get them to increase their rank and position over the time of the giveaway.

Josh:
That's the last major supported type of contest. Although I think it's important to note, before we dive into why you would choose one mechanic or the other, that these mechanics can absolutely be combined with Kickoff Labs. And that's one of our unique features. You don't have to just stick with like, oh, I just want this wait list.

Josh:
If you wanted to run a pre-launch wait list and also add some milestone rewards to encourage people to reach certain levels, you can do that. Or if you wanted to wanted run a combination of a sweepstakes with a leaderboard, where say you're going to randomly draw one person, but then you're also going to give rewards to the top three, those are great mixes to do in terms of mechanics for a contest.

Josh:
But what I want to dive into now, which is our real goal with this and the blog post, is to talk about how to think about choosing what type of giveaway is right for you. So Hannah, I know you spent a lot of time walking through this, thinking about the different options. And you've got the online quiz up with our blog post, which we'll link to in the notes. And there's a nice little flow chart, and a diagram which lines go all over the place and help you determine.

Josh:
But let's just talk about just simply, what are the big deciding factors that you think people should consider when they're picking a quiz?

Hannah:
Well, I think when you start your giveaway, I mean, you can make this as simple and as complex as you want. You can go anywhere with this. So when we are creating this blog, it was kind of like, how do we simplify this, to what template do you pick? And then from there, what else do you want to add?

Hannah:
So you can decide on those goals that you have, you decide what template fits best with your goals. You figure out just the main factor, the biggest pull that you have with the goals at the end of your contest. That's the template that you choose. From there, you can kind of think about exactly where you want your leads to go, what you want them to do, actions that you want them to take, and how you want to encourage them. So that's how you start adding in other contest mechanisms.

Hannah:
And one of my favorites is adding in the bonus points, and being able to get your milestone rewards. But also having your wait list, or your leaderboard, or whatever worked best for you. So we created this quiz to also simplify it just a little bit further. Because when you start with these goals, you have to ask yourself just a few questions to lead yourself to that main template, that main form that you're going to go to. And so the quiz is kind of simplified, but it gives you those kind of easy lines of where we're going.

Hannah:
Like, is this a brand new product? We're probably going to go straight to a wait list. Are we selling things that are digital products, something that we want people to compete over? Let's add a leaderboard, that'll be really exciting for people to go through. Do I just have a PDF file, and I kind of want to leave this be, and I just want them to download my resources? Perfect. We're just going to do an email opt-in bribe. That's great.

Hannah:
So simplifying from the beginning, starting with those goals. Initially, immediately, that is the first thing you think about, you start with that and you can kind of move through this.

Hannah:
But of course on the end of this blog, we do have not only that quiz resource. But I mean, if you contact support at any time, we're also absolutely happy to hear about your product, hear about what you're doing along with if you set up a demo, one of the first things we'll ask you is, we'll subconsciously kind of go through this list ourselves and ask you questions about what actions you want taken, and what kind of prizes you have, how many prizes you want to have, that kind of thing. And we'll kind of lead you in the right direction from there as well.

Josh:
So what would make you choose, so let's say you want a new product. So I open, take the quiz. I said I'm launching a new product or brand, and I'm going to launch a new product. And then I want to say generate buzz, or generate interest. So I'm going to generate interest in a pre-launch for crowd funding. And then it asks, am I doing it with Kickstarter? And I'll say yes. And it comes up with, it says, wait list, milestone rewards. So kind of walk through that choice of why we think that's a good choice for somebody doing a pre-launch on Kickstarter.

Hannah:
So of course you have a new product, so wait list is the first thing I would think of. We'll send you to the wait list. That in itself is to generate that buzz. It's to say, there is something new. This is a wait list. That is something we want to talk about. Then you add in those milestone rewards to keep them engaged. To say not only can you win from getting the most points, but everybody wins kind of. So there's going to be something exciting.

Hannah:
It also brings your audience back to you. So if at six points they get 20% off your product, or a free product, or whatever it is, that will bring them back later. They'll think, oh, I have this coupon. I'm going to come back. You send them a follow up warm email later on. And you're like, Hey, we're finally launched, this is so exciting, get your products now. The people that have that coupon will go in. And they'll come back and be warm leads, they'll purchase from you.

Hannah:
So we kind of take you in that direction to bring in that bigger generation, that bigger lead buzz, that more exciting, people are really into referring because referrals are the biggest points. It's to get people to really, really go in on talking about your product. Because it doesn't exist yet. So it's really hard to have somebody out giving reviews, and doing all that stuff. So friend referrals are going to be so valuable for your wait list.

Hannah:
And then if you have a Kickstarter, if that was one of the things that you put on there, I mean, you're also trying to fund what you have. You need people to believe in what you have, and you need them to tell their friends to believe in what you have. Because they don't know you, but they're way more likely to be on board with something that their friend says, this is really awesome. Can you get behind this?

Josh:
Yeah, absolutely. And I think it's important to note that the results that you get to when I just walked through that path really quickly in the quiz are not just like, oh, this is what we think would be best. We've seen, we have customer examples. We know that these are the types of campaigns they've run in these situations that have been successful.

Josh:
So examples like Swingly Toys we launched recently, they were running a pre-launch on Kickstarter. They used some of these mechanics. And I think it works well in the crowdfunding space, this reward-level milestone rewards with the wait list. Because it's also similar to the Kickstarter mechanics. If you think about it, because the Kickstarter mechanics are sort of the more you give to a project, the more you might get. So you might get a bigger discount the more you give, or two versions of the product, or the product plus swag.

Josh:
The Kickstarter is sort of based on getting people to donate more, not donate, but to pay more for the Kickstarter reward in the end. And I think having this before you launch the Kickstarter sets that up in people's mindset. And it works with the crowdfunding flow that goes there.

Josh:
Another example, another type of contest that I want to talk about how we get there. So what might lead you to say, I'm thinking about some recent examples we've had with, you want to run a sweepstakes with a large prize. So what would get you down to that path through the quiz?

Hannah:
If you are looking ... And the sweepstakes one is, like I said earlier, more of a it's a multipurpose option. It is more of that traditional very good for anything option. But specifically with the sweepstakes, I believe the contest leads you through saying you have a product that people are already familiar with. Sweepstakes are almost more of a thank you. They also can generate leads, and they can bring new people in.

Hannah:
I mean, I know so many people have entered sweepstakes to try to win, say, a big trip and a camping gear bundle or whatever from a company. So you are gathering all of these leads, and you will get new people. Of course. Your audience will grow from that.

Hannah:
But a lot of times this is an established company that is saying, either the sweepstakes is something big from them or it's just something enticing to say thank you for supporting our company, talk about our company now. This is one big, exciting thing.

Hannah:
There are a lot less work on the forefront as well. You're not having to do a ton of things. You've set up your referrals. And once people are in there, generating all of the things that you're asking for ... I said set up your referrals. You're setting up your actions. When people are in there completing your actions it's just, you are saying I want the most low maintenance option. And then at the end, I'm going to go through the random winner generator, and I'm going to pick somebody who wins randomly, completely.

Hannah:
It's not as aggressive, or keeping the competition side where you're having to calculate everything. So I believe on the quiz, it's just led through saying, I already have an existing product. And it's the next question is either the option to be saying thank you, or to promote your brand in itself and just generate a simple buzz. That's low maintenance, and that's how you'll get there. And then from there you can of course add all of the other mechanisms too.

Josh:
And it works great in the two different cases. It doesn't have to be a huge prize. So we've had people recently that have come to us and said, hey, we just have a small store. And the prize is simply a $250 gift card for their store, a shopping spree at their store. And pitch it that way, it doesn't have to be huge.

Josh:
But then if you are doing something larger, thinking about our example with the case study with Hogan Racing, he was giving away this drift car simulation machine, which I'm sure cost him the thousands of dollars to do. I'm not into this space, but I knew, I was like, wow, that seems like a really huge prize. And he did generate huge buzz with that kind of huge prize as well. But he had it to give away. And I think in both cases, it's the prize ties back to the brand.

Josh:
You're getting people into the brand because they either wanted the racing simulator. I didn't want it, so I'm not entering the prize. But that's fine, because I'm not his audience. And the gift card case, if you aren't interested in the store, you're not going to ... Because it's a gift card to that specific store, if you're running an online store, it's really simple for you to generate those things. And you know that the people who are entering probably want some item that's at your store because they're interested in your product. As opposed to maybe say, an Amazon gift card for the winner or something like that.

Josh:
What would you think about if somebody's considering, because we get this question on support all the time. People are like, oh, can I add a leaderboard to my contest? And it's one of the ones where people want to add on after they've built a contest. And what would you tell people to think about before they add a leaderboard to their contest?

Hannah:
I actually think when I did a contest with my last company through Kickoff Labs, we initially did a leaderboard and I would definitely recommend thinking about the leaderboard before choosing it. It's kind of a risky space.

Hannah:
So if you have a very competitive brand, your sports betting, your entities, online, digital crypto, whatever it is, I think a leaderboard is cool. I think that you have a very competitive audience, and that they're not going to see that leaderboard and panic. They think that they have a chance of winning because they're competitive people. I think that makes total sense. So if your audience is all about competing, go for it. Leader boards are awesome. And I think they're really exciting to look at.

Hannah:
But if you, for example, had an online boutique, which is what I was running, the competitive aspect almost can steer people away. That's almost where I would switch it to the milestone, where they're getting very small wins as they're going. Or just the general sweepstakes of, you've got your random chance. Or seeing what their place in line is on a wait list, or whatever it is.

Hannah:
But they see this leaderboard, and they'll see somebody has 10 referrals, they've got all these points. And you're way behind. And at that point, a lot of times people will be like well, there's no way I'm going to keep up. So why would I do the other action actions, it's kind of a waste of time. So it's just one of those, again, goes back to your goals directly in your audience, very specifically your audience.

Josh:
Yeah, absolutely. I look at people all the time that ask for it. And I ask them about their audience to see, to double check exactly what you said. Is the audience, are they going to appreciate it or are they going to be like, I'd rather just have a chance for everybody to win. I don't want to get in this competitive situation with somebody else. Because there's absolutely those two different types of audiences. And we've seen the leaderboard work really well, and we've seen in cases where it just doesn't encourage much participation at all.

Josh:
And I think it's because it can be stifling at times to people, compared to ... It's a little bit easier to, it's harder to set up. But compared to the reward levels, because you have to think about what levels and you're going to be giving these rewards to X number of people for each reward. You have to do a little bit more upfront thought, but it does feel attainable to everybody to add that on to a contest. So if you did a sweepstakes plus reward levels, then you know that people are like, oh, even if I don't win the sweepstakes, I can earn this thing as part of the participation. And it feels much more inclusive to people online to be earning, to be earning that kind of thing, or just earning something in general.

Josh:
Cool. So I don't want to get too much into the advice. I don't want to get too much into the advice, but what's kind of the last bits of feedback you would give people who are looking at launching a promotion on Kickoff Labs?

Hannah:
Well, we drill and aggressively know your goals. So we still have that quick start launch checklist that people can grab. They can start with those goals. Now we've got this awesome quiz. That's just very quick, very simple. Get your template, ready. Figure that part out first and ask questions. If that seems confusing, or however you're doing this you think you have different goals that don't make sense, you don't know what's going to align with your goals? Schedule a demo.

Hannah:
That is the biggest thing that I can recommend. Is contact support, schedule a demo, reach out, check these resources. But those two resources are the biggest ones that I would say to come through and look at just ahead of time so that you kind of have your feet on the ground and you know what you're looking for.

Josh:
Yeah. And I think we did this because it's easy to feel overwhelmed with all the choices. Not even just the quiz type, even if you knew exactly, oh, I want to do a sweepstakes. If you were dead set and you knew that's what you wanted to do, people sometimes get overwhelmed with, oh, what template works best? And how do I choose the template for it, or what UI works best for it? And just email us. We ask the question as part of our onboarding sequence to tell us about your goals because we want to send you in the right direction. Because we're not successful unless you're successful running these competitions.

Josh:
And like Hannah said, if you're just stuck, just send us mail. And say like, hey, here's what I think I should run, here's what the quiz said. But let me tell you about my situation.

Josh:
And those are always great for us to look at and be like, huh, okay. Yeah. I think we had somebody use this kind of exact UI and this exact landing page template for the contest or this exact popup. And here's what it did. Because we've got so many of those examples that we can point you in the right direction.

Josh:
And the other general advice I would say, and we said this in the podcast about the goals, is saying to really just start simple too.Because you can start simple and add on. And one of the biggest mistakes people make that I see is they start saying, oh, I'm going to start with the sweepstakes. I'm going to add on milestone rewards. And then add on, throw on this leaderboard. And they've got all these different ideas in mind of how they want to engage their audience.

Josh:
And in the end of the day it might make sense to them. But when somebody new comes to the page, they look at it and they're like, how do I enter? They just want to know how to enter. And they're looking at all these rules, and the different turning points of the competition. And so just start simple, and think about it from the perspective of somebody who's not heard about your brand coming to your site and saying like, oh, what do I do? Oh, enter to win. That's super easy. And you just point them through the one flow to start.

Josh:
And then if that resonates, well then you can think about maybe the next contest you run, adding on something to it, and taking one of the add-on approaches for it. Cool.

Josh:
This has been a lot of fun. We will link up to the post. It's how to choose the best giveaway for your goals. And we'll also link up again, obviously, to the checklist and the other things that we mentioned throughout this and are the links to our different contest giveaway templates that you can choose from. So Hannah, anything else you want to say?

Hannah:
The only thing I can think of is just saying, keep it fun. The templates are fully customizable. You're going in and you can change however you want. So I know it's overwhelming when you start it, and this is a lot. And we try to simplify it and you're reading all this and you're like, wow, that's still a lot. Just get started. That is the best thing. Just get started and change it up as you go. It can be changed anytime. So it's cool that way.

Josh:
Absolutely, yeah. Thanks again for coming on today, Hannah. And I look forward to the next recording we do. And I think the next one we do I want to talk about, you haven't heard this yet, but I'm going to talk about choosing prizes.

Hannah:
Oh.

Josh:
And we're going to drill into prize choices.

Hannah:
Perfect. I'm [inaudible 00:26:47] to it.

Josh:
Thanks Hannah.

Hannah:
Yeah.

Josh:
Have a great one.

Hannah:
You too.
 

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