As you might know, we are no strangers to hosting giveaways (see for yourself). Every month we launch our giveaway with games provided by both Humble (partner) and by members of the community (you guys rock!). In this short article I would like to tell you why we organise this recurring event, and why you, as a community, should also look into it due to its benefits.
New followers/members and exposure
Obviously, the main reason why communities/companies organise giveaways is to get exposure and new followers/members, and if hosted by a company, followers. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Since this point is so obvious, I will keep it short.
Let’s say your website has an average daily traffic of 500 users. On the day of launching your giveaway you send out an email to your subscribers and post it on social media. This boosts your daily traffic to 1000 users during the event. If only 10% of these new users decide to stick around you have collected a couple of new followers/readers/members or potential customers depending on what your platform is. Do you see where I’m going here?
Grow your platform via giveaways
Most giveaways come in the form of automated sweepstakes. You probably know what I’m talking about, those “follow our twitter for an extra point” kinda giveaways. Although these kinda giveaways are great for growing your social media and/or mailing list, they lack actual interaction in my opinion. This is why I personally always prefer to host our giveaways via a comment and contacting the winners via mail. Sure, it takes me almost an entire day to dispatch all the prizes. But at least I can actually congratulate the winners via a personal message.
So choose which method of hosting your giveaway suits your situation best. If you want to rapidly grow a social media account, stick to a automated sweepstake or some sort of sharing event. If you want community interaction, go for the more personal method. Be creative!
Growing your newsletter prior to GDPR
Speaking of mail, to be more precise mail addresses. Before the whole GDPR privacy update, obtaining mail addresses for your newsletter was insanely easy. For instance, everyone who posted a comment would have their mail address visible for the administration team. They were then able to just copy paste those values in Mailchimp for instance.
Luckily, this has now been disabled. All personal information is, first of all hashed, and requires the users permission to used for marketing purposes.
Let people know you are hosting a giveaway
Besides letting your own community/customer base know via mail, social media and a (blog) post, you have to venture out into the unknown. Hosting a giveaway does not mean setting up the event, lean back, and wait for the masses to join in. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.
The last thing you want to do is spam the wrong people and platforms. Be sure to do some research and preparations before launching your giveaway. I found out that a great way to promote your giveaway is Reddit. There is a subreddit for almost anything, including giveaways and sweepstakes. When posting on non giveaway subreddits, be sure to keep the post personal and don’t shove it in their face. Most users do not appreciate when a newbie joins the board and spams their “shitty” giveaway link.
Besides Reddit, a good way is to contact people within your network directly and ask them to give it a share. Again, keep it personal and don’t spam people, especially people who you never talk to.
Keep it consistent
Consistent is key. Make your giveaways a returning event. This way both you and your community keep things interactive. Besides that, it should give you a recurring (traffic) boost. This boost gives you the opportunity to announce/promote big news which deserve more readers.
Looking back at our earlier giveaways, some of them only had a couple of entries. Don’t let this demotivate you. Perhaps you are giving away something nobody “cares” about, launched the event at the wrong time or did a poor job promoting it. Analyze what went wrong, learn from it and try again on your next giveaway.
Hosting giveaways is fun
Let’s be honest here, besides all the stuff that’s been written above, hosting giveaways is just a lot of fun. Sure, it’s a recurring investment (yes, it costs money, surprised?), but definitely worth it. At the end of the day you are making the winners happy with their prize(s), grow your community and get some good exposure if you play your cards right.