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How to Run a Giveaway in 8 Easy Steps (Beginner’s Guide)

Last Updated on July 5, 2019 by Editorial Team

Are you wondering how to run a giveaway and make it a success? Creating an online contest is a great way to drive massive traffic to your website and generate targeted leads for your business.

While creating a giveaway contest might seem difficult, it’s actually not. Especially when you use the right contest software to make the process super simple.

In this article, we’ll show you how to run a giveaway, step-by-step, using RafflePress.

Let’s get started!

1. Set a Goal for Your Contest

Before creating an online contest, you need to set a goal. Setting a primary goal for your contest will help you determine the success of your giveaway and measure the results. So, ask yourself: What do you want to accomplish with your giveaway contest?

For example, you might decide to run a giveaway to…

  • generate sales
  • boost brand awareness
  • increase user engagement
  • drive traffic to your website
  • get more email subscribers
  • gather user-generated content
  • get more social media followers
  • create buzz around a new product or service

Choose a goal for your giveaway contest that lines up with your business and marketing objectives. Once you’ve chosen a goal, running a successful contest will be much easier and you’ll get the results you’re looking for.

2. Choose a Good Contest Prize

People won’t make the effort to enter your contest if there isn’t a good prize. So, if you want to create an online contest that gets a lot of buzz and a lot of entries, be sure to choose a grand prize that will attract a lot of people.

Some of the most popular contest prize ideas include:

  • Money
  • Gift certificates
  • Free products/services

Check out our complete list of contest prize ideas for more inspiration.

You’ll want to make sure that your giveaway prize is relevant to your target audience and to your brand. For instance, Supreme House Fitness offered a fitness package as a product giveaway prize.

Supreme House Fitness offered a fitness package as a product giveaway prize

Choosing a prize that you know your target audience would love will help you attract more contest entries from your ideal customers. Picking the right prize is an important part of how to run a giveaway that’s successful.

3. Determine the Contest Rules

The next step in creating an online contest is to plan out the contest rules and logistics.

First, you need to choose what type of contest you’ll run. There are a number of different types of contests you can choose from. For instance, will you run a classic contest where people simply enter for a chance to win?

Or will you require something from people who enter? For example, you could run a photo contest to get more user-generated content.

Running a classic giveaway is a bit easier. Plus, more people will likely enter because they’re not required to submit anything.

Other details you need in order to create an online contest include:

  • Contest rules: Who can enter? Are there age or location limits?
  • Start and end dates: What is the length of time people can enter?
  • Entry methods: How can someone enter your giveaway? How often can they enter?
  • How to pick the winner: Will you use a random draw, vote, or other method?

Make sure that the entry methods you use align with your goals. For example, if your goal is to grow your email list, that should be a requirement to enter. We’ll go into more detail on raffle entry methods in the next step.

After you’ve planned out your contest by setting a goal, choosing a good prize, and nailing down the contest rules, it’s time to start building your giveaway.

4. Create an Online Contest with RafflePress

RafflePress is the best WordPress giveaway plugin on the market.

RafflePress makes it super easy to create and run a successful contest. Plus, it gives you everything you need to accomplish your giveaway goals whether it’s to grow your email list, increase website traffic, or boost social media followers.

We’ll show you step-by-step how to run a giveaway with RafflePress. Here’s how it works…

Step 1: Create a New Giveaway

Click here to get started with RafflePress and download the plugin. Here’s a step-by-step guide on installing WordPress plugins if you need help.

After installing and activating the RafflePress plugin, on your WordPress dashboard, hover over the RafflePress icon and click Add New to create a giveaway.

How to run a giveaway - click Add New to create an online contest

Step 2: Name Your Giveaway and Choose a Template

Once you click Add New, you’ll be taken to a new screen where you’ll name your giveaway and choose a template for your contest.

Choose a template to create an online contest based on your goal

First, type in a name for your giveaway in the text field at the top of the screen. Choose any name for your giveaway. For instance, if your contest prize is an iPad, you can name your giveaway “iPad Giveaway”.

Next, choose your giveaway template. As you can see in the screenshot below, RafflePress offers a number of pre-made templates designed to reach particular giveaway goals such as Grow Your Email List, Refer-a-Friend, Pre-launch Campaign, Grow Your Facebook Page, and more.

For this tutorial, we’ll choose the Classic Giveaway template. This template allows you to create any type of giveaway contest using the easy RafflePress builder.

Choose the Classic Giveaway template by hovering over it and clicking Use This Template.

How to do a giveaway - Choose the Classic Giveaway Template to get started building your contest

Step 3: Set the Giveaway Prize Details

After selecting the Classic Giveaway template, you’ll be taken to the RafflePress giveaway builder. The first step to building your giveaway is to set the giveaway prize details.

First, click on the pencil icon under the Giveaway Prize Details section.

Click the pencil to enter the contest prize details

Here you can choose the name of your prize, for example “iPad Giveaway”, and write a short description of the prize.

You can also upload an image of your prize by clicking the Select Image button below the description box. You’ll then be prompted to choose an image from your media library or upload an image from your computer.

When you’re happy with your prize name, description, and image, click on the Done Editing button.

Enter the name of your contest prize and details

If you have multiple prizes, you can click the + Add Another Prize button to add more.

You can also set the date and time your giveaway will start and end and choose your timezone underneath the Start and End Time section.

Click the Save button to save the changes. Remember to periodically save your work throughout building your contest.

Don't forget to save your giveaway contest periodically

Step 4: Choose Your Raffle Entry Methods

RafflePress is one of the best contest apps because you can give users multiple ways to enter your contest. These actions will also help you reach the goals you set out for your viral contest.

For instance, you can allow users to receive 1 contest entry for signing up for your email list, a 2nd contest entry for visiting your Facebook Page, a 3rd entry for following you on Pinterest, and so on.

Most users will take all the actions they can, because it gives them more chances to win.

So, click on the Actions tab to select the ways users can get entries for your content. The raffle entry methods are grouped together by goal:

  • Get More Subscribers
  • Get More Social Engagement
  • Get More Traffic

Just click on any action you’d like to add to your giveaway.

Click Actions to choose your raffle entry methods

Once you’ve chosen an action, you can then set the entry options. These settings include the title, value (how many entries the action will be worth), whether the action is mandatory, as well as a field to add your Facebook Page URL.

If you add a lot of entry methods, make sure that the most important actions are worth more entries.

Select your giveaway entry options to create an online contest

Click the Save button to save your changes.

Repeat the process for any other actions you want to add to your contest, you can add as many as you want. For instance, you can also add a Join an Email Newsletter action to boost subscribers that includes an opt-in confirmation checkbox and integration with your email marketing service.

You can easily rearrange actions for your contest by dragging and dropping on the left side or delete actions by clicking the trash can icon on the right side.

It's easy to reorder or delete contest entry methods

Step 5: Design Your Contest

Next, you can customize the look of your contest in the Design tab. You can choose from 2 different layouts (display image then header, or header then image) as well as a number of fonts and button colors.

Customize the Design of your online contest

If you’re creating a stand alone page for your contest you can also choose the page color background as well as a background image if you want.

Once your contest is looking exactly the way you want, hit the Save button.

Step 6: Configure Contest Settings

In the Settings tab there are 6 different sections: General, Giveaway Rules, Email Verification, Success Tracking, Success Redirect, and Social Logins.

One of the most important settings you’ll need to configure is the giveaway rules.

RafflePress makes it easy to get started. You can use the Rules Generator Template to quickly get a head start on creating your contest rules. Clicking this button will bring up a window where you can type in the sponsor name, email, address, eligible locations, minimum age to enter, and more.

Easily generate contest rules in seconds

You can check out our documentation for details on all the RafflePress settings.

Once you’re finished configuring your settings, click Save.

Step 7: Publish Your Contest

Now it’s time to make your contest live! RafflePress makes launching a giveaway easy. Just click on the Publish tab at the top of the screen.

You have 3 publishing options for your contest:

  • RafflePress WordPress Block – Embed the giveaway widget in your WordPress post or page (new WordPress block editor).
  • WordPress Shortcode – Embed the giveaway in the classic WordPress editor, sidebar widgets, or inside your WordPress theme.
  • Giveaway Landing Page – Create a distraction-free landing page on your website for your giveaway.

A dedicated landing page for your contest is a great option for getting more contest entries. Since there’s nothing else on the page to distract users, they’ll be more likely to sign up for your contest.

So, let’s choose the giveaway landing page option.

Click the View Page button to see what your contest landing page looks like.

View your giveaway contest live!

Voila! You now have an awesome landing page for your giveaway.

5. Promote Your Giveaway

Now, you can’t just sit around and wait for people to enter your contest. Instead, you need to start promoting your giveaway. A good contest marketing strategy will help your giveaway to go viral so you can grow your traffic and generate as many leads as possible.

There are a number of ways to promote your giveaway, but one of the easiest ways is to share it on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and ask people to tag a friend in the comments.

For instance, check out this Instagram giveaway post from Brimhall Farmers Market. It includes a photo of the grand prize to let users know what they can win and #giveaway to widen their reach on social media.

Instagram giveaway example

You can also promote your contest by:

  • Creating an email newsletter
  • Creating a popup with OptinMonster
  • Adding a link to your website home page
  • Submitting your giveaway to contest and sweepstakes directories

Start promoting your contest weeks before it goes live in order to get a ton of traffic and entries on day 1.

Check out our article on more contest promotion ideas to make your giveaway go viral.

6. Pick a Winner for Your Giveaway

When your contest is over, it’s time to choose the winner. So, how do you pick a winner for a giveaway?

The most fair way to pick a winner is by a random draw.

RafflePress makes this easy. When your giveaway ends, just navigate to RafflePress » Giveaways and click the Needs Winners link on the right.

How to pick a winner for a giveaway

From here, you can see all the people who entered your contest and how many entries they each have. To choose a winner randomly, just click the Pick Winner button, select your options, and then click Choose Winners Now.

The winner will be highlighted instantly. Now you can easily click to email them and tell them the good news!

Contact the giveaway winner with a click

7. Follow Up After the Contest

After you’ve picked and contacted the winner of the contest, it’s important to follow up with everyone who entered your giveaway as well. Following up with all of your giveaway entrants will allow you to form better connections with them and mention your contest one last time.

Follow up after the contest by:

  • Social Media – Announce the winner and the prize on your social media accounts.
  • Email Newsletter – Send an email to announce the winner. In the email you should also thank everyone for participating and invite them to join you for your next giveaway.

Congratulations! Your contest has ended and now you don’t just have 1 happy winner, but a ton of new fans.

8. Track Your Results

Lastly, smart marketers always analyze the results so they know how to do a giveaway that’s even more successful giveaway the next time.

The easiest way to get the actionable data you need to optimize your giveaways is with MonsterInsights, the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress.

MonsterInsights makes it super easy to track your contest landing page visits, traffic to your website, referral traffic, website activity, eCommerce sales, and more. Plus, you can see all of the MonsterInsights dashboard reports right from WordPress.

See actionable analytics with MonsterInsights

By analyzing your website data with MonsterInsights, you can see which promotion strategies drove the most traffic to your contest page and use that information to improve the success of your next contest.

Even better, with MonsterInsights’ real-time stats, you can monitor your website traffic during the contest and make adjustments as you go.

Creating an Online Contest is Easy with RafflePress

Now that you know how to run a giveaway, get out there and get started! When you create an online contest, it will bring your target audience joy and your company will see benefits such as more traffic, increased brand awareness, and lots of engagement.

Comments

  1. Michael says:

    Any chance for a Lifetime Deal for Early Adaptors?

    1. John Turner says:

      Hi Michael, We can’t do a lifetime deal because a lot of the plugin is a service. For example, we run the Facebook, Twitter app, emails integrations, and other stuff on our servers so there is nothing to setup in the plugin.

      However, we just adjusted our prices and the number of sites allowed. Also, use coupon code 10OFF to save 10% Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      Thanks,
      John

    2. John Turner says:

      Hey Michael, We just added a lifetime offer 🙂

  2. Krissy says:

    Is there an option for people to purchase raffle spots using Paypal ? We run a lot of fundraising based raffles and would need this option where people can purchase a spot. Some raffles have 10 spots, others 30+ from $1-$20 per sport. Does it have this flexibility ? Also, can you run multiple raffles at a time ? Thank you ! This is very timely as we are looking for exactly this.

    1. John Turner says:

      Yes, you can run multiple giveaways but you can not charge for them using the plugin. Let us know if you have you have any more questions.

  3. Philly says:

    From my understanding, we need to pick the winnder. Lets say I would like to offer coupon code for everyone who participated the giveaway contest. Or maybe they get the coupon if they completed 2 out of 5 task. Is it possible?

    1. John Turner says:

      That’s not possible at the moment, but we are looking into it!

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