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

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

Written By: author image Stacey Corrin
author image Stacey Corrin
Stacey has been writing about WordPress and digital marketing for over 10 years and on other topics for much longer. Alongside this, she's fascinated with web design, user experience, and SEO.
     Reviewed By: John Turner
reviewer image John Turner
John Turner is the co-founder of RafflePress. He has over 20+ years of business and development experience and his plugins have been downloaded over 25 million times.

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

While creating a giveaway contest might seem complicated, it’s not, especially when you use the right contest software to simplify the process.

This article will show you how to do a giveaway contest, step-by-step, using RafflePress.

What Is an Online Contest and Giveaway?

Online contests and giveaways are online promotions where users perform specific tasks for the chance to win a prize. Many digital marketers use giveaways, contests, and sweepstakes to achieve their online marketing goals.

For example, in one case study, the marketing company Agile grew its email list by 52% with a single giveaway.

Giveaway contests are an excellent way to promote your business to your target audience. You can tailor giveaways to meet specific goals that contribute to your business’s growth, such as increasing website traffic, boosting subscribers, driving brand awareness, and more.

People also find giveaways exciting and difficult to resist. As such, running a giveaway can cause users to get the fear of missing out (FOMO), increasing their chances of entering and engaging with your brand.

How to Do a Giveaway Contest in WordPress

Step 1. Set a Goal for Your Online Contest

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

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

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

Step 2. Choose a Good Contest Prize

People love getting free stuff, but they won’t make an effort to enter your contest if there isn’t a good prize. If you want to create an online contest that gets a lot of buzz, new followers, and a lot of entries, be sure to choose a high-quality grand prize that will attract many people.

Some of the most popular contest prize ideas include:

  • Money
  • Gift cards or gift certificates
  • Free products/services

So, what are good giveaway ideas? Check out our complete list of contest prize ideas to find out.

You’ll want to ensure that your giveaway prize is relevant to your target audience and your brand. For instance, Supreme House Fitness offered a fitness package to their lucky winners.

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.

Step 3. Determine the Giveaway Contest Rules

The next step is to plan the contest rules and logistics.

First, you need to choose what type of contest you’ll run. There are several different types of contests you can choose from.

For instance, will you be running a contest where people 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. Or you could learn how to make a contest to get feedback.

To do a giveaway successfully you need to set clear giveaway rules

Running classic online giveaways is a bit easier. More people will likely enter because they’re not required to submit anything.

Other details you need to create an online contest include:

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

Make sure that the entry methods you use align with your goals. For example, if your goal is to grow your email list, you should make completing this task a requirement. In the next step, we’ll go into more detail on raffle contest entry methods.

Note: You should check with your social media platform when setting up entry actions. Some platforms, like Facebook, state that you should not ask participants to like and share your giveaway contest in their terms and conditions.

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

So how about we dive in and learn how to set one up?

Step 4. Create a Giveaway with RafflePress

There are many different ways to run an online contest for your brand. Some businesses use web-based giveaway tools, while others harness the power of their websites.

In our expert opinion, using your website is the best way forward. Web-based platforms often charge extra to remove their logos and watermarks, whereas running a giveaway on your website gives you complete control over your branding.

Moreover, third-party platforms have access to any data you collect. With your website, you own the data and can control what happens to it.

RafflePress best contest tool WordPress

If you have a WordPress website, we recommend using RafflePress, the best WordPress giveaway plugin on the market. It works seamlessly with your existing branding and lets you maintain ownership of everything you create.

If that wasn’t enough, RafflePress makes it easy to do a giveaway online. It gives you everything you need to accomplish your giveaway goals, whether to grow your email list, increase website traffic, or boost social media followers.

So, if you’re wondering, “How do I set up a giveaway?”. Here’s how it works with RafflePress’s giveaway maker.

Create a New Giveaway

Follow these steps to learn how to do a giveaway with RafflePress.

First, you’ll need to download the RafflePress plugin.

Pro Tip: Don’t make the mistake of getting RafflePress nulled – it could seriously harm your website.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on installing WordPress plugins if you need help.

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

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

Name Your Giveaway and Choose a Template

Once you click Add New, the plugin will take you 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 several 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, including running a blog giveaway.

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

Set the Giveaway Prize Details

After selecting the Classic Giveaway template, it’ll take you to the RafflePress giveaway builder. The first step to building your online 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 can then 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

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

You can also set the date, and the 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 save your work throughout building your contest periodically.

Don't forget to save your giveaway contest periodically

Choose Your Raffle Entry Methods

RafflePress is one of the best contest apps for learning how to run a giveaway because you can give users multiple ways to enter your contest. These actions will also help you reach your goals 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, etc.

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 participate in your online competition. The raffle contest entry methods are groups 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 set the entry options. These settings include the title, value (how many entries the action will be worth), whether the action is mandatory, and a field to add your Facebook Page URL.

If you add many entry methods, ensure 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, including 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

Related: How to Create a Daily Giveaway With Multiple Entries

Design Your Online Giveaway Contest

Next, you can customize the look of your online giveaway in the Design tab. You can choose from 2 different layouts (display image, then header, or header, then image) and several 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 and a background image if you want.

Hit the Save button once your contest looks precisely the way you want.

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 allow you to type in the sponsor name, email, address, eligible locations, the 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.

After configuring your settings, click Save.

Publish Your Online Contest

Now you know how to run a giveaway, 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 an excellent 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 your contest landing page.

View your giveaway contest live!

Voila! You now have a fantastic landing page for your giveaway.

Step 5. Promote Your Giveaway

Now, you can’t just sit around and wait for people to enter your contest. Instead, it would be best if you started promoting your giveaway to help spread the word. A good contest marketing strategy will help your giveaway to go viral so you can grow your audience and generate as many leads as possible.

There are several ways to promote your giveaway. 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 section.

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

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 post to contest and sweepstakes directories
  • Adding relevant giveaway hashtags to your post on social media
  • Reaching out to relevant bloggers and influencers to mention your giveaway
  • Encouraging users to tag friends in the comments

Start promoting your contest weeks before it goes live to get tons of traffic and entries on day 1.

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

Step 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 fairest way to pick a winner is by a random draw.

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

How to pick a winner for a giveaway

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

RafflePress will highlight the winner instantly. You can easily click to email them and tell them the good news!

Contact the giveaway winner with a click

Step 7. Follow Up After the Contest

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

Announce your giveaway winner on social media to thank everyone for entering

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. You should also thank everyone for participating and invite them to join you for your next giveaway in the email.

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

Step 8. Track Your Results

Lastly, smart marketers always analyze the results, so they know how to run a giveaway that’s even more successful giveaway the next time. And RafflePress includes insightful Entry Reports that make it easy to visualize what worked best for your contest.

You can find it by heading to RafflePress » Giveaways and clicking Users under your giveaway. Then at the top of the screen, click the Entries Report link.

RafflePress giveaway entries report

You’ll see a pie chart breaking down each giveaway action based on the total entries on the following screen. With this information, you can see which actions resulted in the most contest entries. That way, you know which actions are most effective for future giveaways.

Another easy 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 easy to track your contest landing page visits, traffic to your website, referral traffic, website activity, eCommerce promotions, etc. 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 your next contest’s success.

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

If you’re interested in learning how to do a giveaway on various social media platforms, take a look at these detailed guides:

How to Do a Giveaway: Frequently Asked Questions

How long should a giveaway last?

The length of a giveaway can vary, but typically they last between one and four weeks. It’s important to choose a timeline that will give your audience enough time to enter but not so long that they lose interest.

Can I run a giveaway on multiple social media platforms?

Yes, you can run a giveaway on multiple social media platforms to reach a wider audience. However, it’s important to make sure that the entry requirements and rules are the same across all platforms.

How many times can someone enter my giveaway?

You can decide how many times someone can enter your giveaway. Some common options include allowing one entry per person or offering bonus entries for completing certain actions.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when running a giveaway?

Some common mistakes to avoid when running a giveaway include not clearly defining the rules or entry requirements, not promoting the giveaway enough, not following up with the winner promptly, and not complying with legal requirements.

Can I run a giveaway if I don’t have a large following?

Yes, you can run a giveaway even if you don’t have a large following. A giveaway can be an effective way to attract new followers and increase engagement on your social media channels.

How can I ensure that my giveaway is fair and transparent?

To ensure that your giveaway is fair and transparent, you should clearly define the rules and entry requirements, use a tool to select the winner at random, and make sure to follow up with the winner promptly. It’s also a good idea to announce the winner publicly and provide a way for entrants to contact you with any questions or concerns.

Creating an Online Contest is Easy with RafflePress

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

And if you’re confused about the terminology, you can learn about the difference between Sweepstakes vs Lotteries vs Contests here.

If you liked this article, please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for RafflePress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

author avatar
Stacey Corrin Writer
Stacey has been writing about WordPress and digital marketing for over 10 years and on other topics for much longer. Alongside this, she's fascinated with web design, user experience, and SEO.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. We only recommend products that we believe will add value to our readers.

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    1. 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.


        1. Hi Mic. The best way to send giveaway winners your prize, is by contacting them via email and getting their delivery details.

  1. 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. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. It is bit of pain for mobile device user from my experience if you can improve mobile device and as well as add social login with client branding that would be great

    1. Hi,
      Thank you very much for your valuable feedback, we have added this to our list to look into.
      Can you let us know the specific mobile issue that you are encountering?

  4. I am looking for a plugin that will allow me to run a cover photo contest and give people that submit photos to the contest the option to opt-in to a newsletter.

    Can rafflepress do this?

  5. How can you run a pay to enter raffle competition that chooses a winner based on a random number with this plugin? Thanks in advance.

  6. Is there a list of all the possible different entry options available? For example, is it possible to have ‘like’ Giveaway post on Facebook, ‘like’ xxxx Facebook page (& multiples of this if collaborating for the giveaway), share Facebook post?

  7. Hi Team,

    An abso-bloody-lutly fantastic plugin.

    Please add to your list –

    1) A multiweek contest with weekly prizes and final grand prizes. The plugin with choose the winners and only allow them to win one weekly prize but still be in the contest for the grand prizes.

    2) For the viral refer-a-friend, allow the person entering to specify a url to show the people they refer. I want each entrant to have the option of joining our affiliate program and have them send their friend to the affiliate page so I can pay them for promoting the contest.

    Thank you for your amazing work

    1. Thank you very much for your valuable feedback, we have added this to our list to look into.

      if you have any other suggestions please let us know!


  8. Hi here in Australia the classic style promotion or game of chance requires state by state permits which cost big $$$ however if you run a game of skill you do not require a competitions permit. So for example… Tell us in 25 words of less tell us why you should protect yourself from identity theft.

    Does this plug-in allow these type of competitions?



  9. Hi John

    Thanks so much, another quick question I see on social links it says go to say FB page, can that change to say ‘Like Us’ on FB etc

  10. I purchased the plug-in and changed to action to ‘Like Us on Facebook’ but this copy comes up when you expand that area

    “To get credit for this entry, visit our Facebook page. Likes are welcomed, but not required.”

    This is required I want likes how can I edit this copy please or defeats purpose

  11. When you have the option of ‘visit us on facebook’, do we get an option to edit any of the following wording text-“To get credit for this entry, visit our Facebook page. Likes are welcomed, but not required.”

  12. At the top of the prize giveaway form, it has 3 areas: Your entries/total entries and days left.
    Do we get the ability to leave out the total entries at all?
    This might not be a good look for smaller business just starting out and not getting that many entries-so can we omit that at all?

  13. The giveaway rules & terms is displayed in a very small box. Should think about a link for customers to have the rules emailed to them with a single-click or allow the rules to be displayed on a new tab or window so they can read without hurting their eyes or getting upset.

  14. Hi

    1) in the actions part, is “sharing via whatsApp” an option?

    2) can the raffles be in spanish



  15. How to my winner(s) get the prize. I don’t think that they are going to just give me there address to ship it to.

    1. If they signed up for the giveaway why they would give you their address if they won? Otherwise, choose a new winner.

  16. When I choose a winner, does the app update to show the winner info? I’m not seeing an options to publish the winner info, but maybe it is automatic?

    1. Hi Diana. You’ll need to edit your giveaway and go to Settings » General. After that, scroll to the Display Options section and tick the “Show Winner” checkbox. This will automatically display your winners in your giveaway widget. I hope this helps!

    1. For now, the plugin only works with WordPress. There is no talk about the plugin being available in the Shopify App.

  17. In 2019 an user asked on the comments about Whatsapp Sharing button. I’m planning to create a whatsapp campaign for my company. Does this plugin allow the share on whatsapp?

  18. Hi team, I’m currently a member of your plugin, is there a way to capture phone / cell numbers as well?

    1. Hi Babak,

      You can use our “Invent Your Own” giveaway action to do this. Just rename the action to something like, “enter your phone number”. You can learn more in the documentation here.

    1. That’s a great question. In RafflePress, you can duplicate any giveaway to create an exact copy. I hope this helps.

      1. Is there a way to change the name of the duplicate

        eg. you have a competition called giveaway. When you create a duplicate it automatically defaults to giveaway copy. How do you change that to something like giveaway 2

        1. Hi Brenton, absolutely. Click the Edit link to edit the duplicate, then click the Settings tab in the left sidebar and select general. On the right-hand side, you’ll see the Giveaway Name field. You can change the name there. Here’s a screenshot to show you what I mean https://a.supportally.com/IPIKaE

  19. Hi, does rafflepress let you extract data from participants such as name, email address, and contact numbers? If yes, how can I do this? Thank you

    1. Hi Arlene. You can extract data from RafflePress using the Export function. Simply, click the ‘Users’ link on any contest, and on the top-right side of your screen, you’ll see links to Export Users and Export Entries. I hope this answers your question.

  20. FYI – Before you start asking people to tag/share your competition, don’t!

    Facebook T&C are very clear that you are not allowed to do it yourself, or encourage others to tag or share your post.

    A LOT of big pages who did this method of entry have been suspended or deleted from Facebook. We have had multiple sites with over 1M followers taken down immediately by Facebook, and even a couple of High Street brand names get suspended for a week over contests that require LIKE/SHARE entry.

    Competitions are okay, and comments are okay, but do not ask for a Tag A Friend or Share for a competition post as it only takes one reported post to trigger a suspension for 24 hours, and permanent if you do it multiple times.

    On top of that, you are causing your site and brand to be blacklisted when it comes to advertising should you ever pay to advertise your page/group.

    And finally, your customers/followers will give you bad reputation as it is proven that people that Tag/Share several times trigger moderation and get their accounts suspended for the same reason you are not allowed to do it, it is classed as spamming.
    And when your clients find they cannot post for 24 hours – 7 days on Facebook because of a competition they entered on your page… they are going to give you negative feedback or take their custom elsewhere.

    So please… have your competitions and giveaways but do not risk Tag/Share entry if you value your Page/Group and don’t want it to suddenly vanish on you over night. It CAN and DOES happen regularly to major brands who trip up on this lazy marketing style.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Paul. We have updated this article to remind users to check the terms and conditions for different social media platforms before running a contest.

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