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How to Do a Gift Card Giveaway (with Examples & Ideas)

How to Do a Gift Card Giveaway (with Examples & Ideas)

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.

My first gift card giveaway was several years ago. But even then, it was a game-changer for my blog. It brought in a flood of new readers, ignited lively discussions, and grew my email subscribers.

But I soon discovered it wasn’t as simple as picking a prize and crossing my fingers. There were rules to navigate, promotion strategies to master, and tools to learn.

Don’t let that intimidate you. I’ve been there, and I’m here to help. In this guide, I’ll share my hard-won lessons and walk you through creating a gift card giveaway that gets real results.

Table of Contents

Why Run a Gift Card Giveaway?

If you’re a small business owner, you might wonder if a giveaway is worthwhile. Let me assure you, the benefits are huge:

  • Get noticed: Gift card giveaways put your brand in front of new eyes, boosting your visibility and attracting potential customers who might not have found you otherwise.
  • Grow your audience: People love free stuff! By offering a gift card, you can encourage people to follow your social media pages, sign up for your email list, and join your community.
  • Drive traffic: Giveaways can create a buzz that leads people to your website, where they can learn more about your products or services.
  • Find new customers: When people enter your giveaway, you capture their contact information, turning them into leads you can nurture and potentially convert into paying customers.
  • Build excitement: A giveaway generates excitement and goodwill around your brand, strengthening customer loyalty and making people more likely to return.

Moreover, the digital gift card market is booming! According to the Business Research Company, it was worth $405 billion in 2023 and is on track to hit $740 billion by 2027.

Still worried about the cost or time commitment? Don’t be.

Gift card giveaways don’t have to break the bank. You can set a budget that works for you and still see great results.

Types of Gift Card Giveaways

Gift card giveaways aren’t one-size-fits-all. There are different ways to run them, each with their own advantages. Let’s explore a few popular options.

Social Media Contests

Social media giveaways are perfect for expanding your reach and boosting engagement on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. To make your giveaway stand out, you can get creative with platform-specific features like Instagram Stories or Facebook Live.

Instagram story giveaway promotion

Email List Giveaways

Want to grow your email list or reconnect with subscribers? Gift card giveaways are a proven tactic. They incentivize sign-ups and can drive traffic to your website when you announce the winner.

Partnered Giveaways

Teaming up with another business for a joint giveaway is a smart way to reach a wider audience. Just be sure to choose a partner whose audience complements your own. This way, you’ll both benefit from the exposure and gain new followers or customers.

Brand partnership giveaway example

How to Run a Gift Card Giveaway Step-by-Step

While you could technically cobble together a giveaway on your own or with various tools, this approach is often disorganized and time-consuming. How do you manage the entries, draw winners fairly, and, more importantly, maintain control over the campaign?

If you have a WordPress website, there’s an easier way to create a giveaway that keeps your audience engaged with your brand from start to finish and offers full control over the whole process.

RafflePress best WordPress giveaway plugn

RafflePress is a popular WordPress giveaway plugin that takes away the guesswork. It’s user-friendly, affordable, and packed with features that make running a giveaway a breeze:

  • Drag-and-Drop Builder
  • Customizable Templates
  • Tons of Entry Options
  • Social Media Integration
  • Email Marketing Integration
  • Fraud Protection
  • Winner Picker

Let’s walk through how to run a gift card giveaway using RafflePress without leaving your website.

Step 1: Set Clear Goals for Your Giveaway

Before you begin the setup, you’ll need to define the goals for your gift card giveaway. 

Are you looking to:

  • Boost brand awareness? Get your name out there and introduce yourself to new potential customers.
  • Grow your email list? Gather valuable leads for future marketing efforts.
  • Increase sales? Drive traffic to your website or store and encourage purchases.

To get the most out of your giveaway, set SMART goals:

Create smart goals for your gift card giveaway
  • Specific: Clearly define your goal (e.g., “Gain 500 new email subscribers”).
  • Measurable: Track your progress with concrete numbers.
  • Attainable: Set realistic goals that you can actually reach.
  • Relevant: Choose goals that align with your overall business objectives.
  • Time-Bound: Set a deadline for your giveaway to create a sense of urgency.

By setting clear, focused goals, you can tailor your giveaway strategy and measure your success more effectively.

Step 2: Choose a Gift Card That Makes People Say “Wow!”

The prize is the heart of your giveaway, so you want to ensure it’s something people want to win.

Think about who your ideal customer or follower is. What are their interests, hobbies, and spending habits? Choose a gift card that aligns with their preferences.

For example, a gift card to a popular clothing store would be a hit if your audience loves fashion. If they’re foodies, a restaurant gift card is sure to entice them.

The value of the gift card will depend on your budget and goals. A higher-value prize might attract more entries, but it’s not always necessary. Even a smaller gift card can generate excitement and buzz, especially if it’s for a brand your audience loves.

A great example is this case study of Agile’ Marketing, who helped a client run a successful giveaway.

Basil Thai Cuisine RafflePress restaurant contest

The value of the prize was only a USD 25 gift certificate, but it still helped the client grow its email list by 52%.

Consider offering multiple smaller gift cards instead of one big one. This can increase the perceived value and give more people a chance to win.

Setting Up Your Prize Details with RafflePress

First, ensure you’ve installed and activated the RafflePress plugin on your WordPress website. If you need help, you can see our documentation on how to install RafflePress.

Once that’s done, head to your WordPress dashboard and go to RafflePress » Add New.

Add a new RafflePress giveaway in WordPress

You’ll have the option to choose a pre-designed giveaway template (a great shortcut) or start from scratch if you’re feeling creative.

Choose a RafflePress giveaway template

Next, click on the prize area in the giveaway builder and fill in all the juicy details: the name of the gift card, a short description that excites people, and an eye-catching image.

Enter your gift card giveaway prize details

Don’t forget to mention the gift card amount – that’s often the most enticing part for potential entrants. And remember to save your changes to avoid losing your hard work.

Step 3: Get Creative with Entry Methods

Now comes the fun part – deciding how people can enter your giveaway. The more engaging and varied your entry methods, the more buzz you’ll create.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Follow and/or Like: Ask people to follow your social media accounts or like your posts.
  • Share and Tag: Encourage participants to share your giveaway post and tag their friends.
  • Comment and Engage: Ask questions about your brand or product and have people comment with their answers.
  • Refer-a-Friend: Give extra entries for every friend a participant refers to your giveaway.
  • User-Generated Content: Have people submit photos, videos, or stories about your brand.
  • Quizzes and Surveys: Create interactive quizzes or surveys to learn more about your audience and boost engagement.

To get started, click the “Actions” tab in your RafflePress giveaway. You’ll find a treasure trove of entry options, from following your social media accounts to subscribing to your email list, referring friends, and more.

Gift card giveaway entry methods

Choose the actions that best align with your giveaway goals.

Once you’ve selected your actions, click each one to customize the details.

Customize giveaway entry methods

You can adjust the number of entries each action is worth, set specific requirements (like sharing a particular social media post), and even tailor the text that appears on the giveaway widget.

Finally, arrange the actions in order of importance using drag-and-drop. This ensures the actions that matter most to you are prominently displayed.

Drag and drop giveaway actions

Pro Tip: To make your giveaway stand out more, hit the “Design tab”. Here, you can pick a different layout, button colors, and set a background picture for your giveaway page (if you choose to use one).

Customize the giveaway design

Step 4: Create Your Giveaway Rules

Before you launch your giveaway, it’s essential to have clear and concise official rules in place. This will protect you and your participants and ensure the operation of the sweepstakes is fair and legal.

Your giveaway rules should cover the following:

  • Eligibility: Who can enter (e.g., biographical information, age restrictions, geographic limitations).
  • Entry Methods: How to use the entry form and the number of eligible entries each person can get at the time of entry to increase the odds of winning.
  • Start and End Dates: Clearly state when the giveaway begins and ends.
  • Prize Details: Describe the prize in detail, including its approximate retail value and any restrictions, local taxes, and further compensation.
  • Winner Selection: Explain how the winner will be chosen and notified, such as random drawing.
  • Other Terms: Include any disclaimers, limitations of liability, disqualification criteria, or additional terms and conditions.

Be sure to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including those related to age restrictions, exclusions, and advertising disclosures.

Thankfully, RafflePress simplifies this process with its built-in Rules Generator.

RafflePress giveaway rules generator

From the builder, click on the “Settings” tab to access various options for customizing your giveaway. Locate the “Giveaway Rules” section and click the “Generate Rules” button.

This will open a simple form where you can enter important details about your giveaway, such as the sponsor’s name (usually your business name), contact information, and the locations where participants are eligible to enter.

Giveaway rules generator form

RafflePress will then generate a draft set of rules tailored to your giveaway. Take a few moments to review these rules and make any necessary adjustments carefully.

RafflePress generated rules

This is important to ensure that your giveaway complies with all relevant laws and regulations.

When your giveaway is live, users can see the rules inside the giveaway widget.

giveaway rules in the widget

While the Rules Generator is helpful, it’s always a good idea to consult a legal professional if you have any specific questions or concerns.

Step 5: Publish Your Giveaway

Now that your giveaway is ready, it’s time to share it with the world. RafflePress gives you several ways to publish your giveaway live on your website. All you need to do is click the Publish option at the top of the builder.

Click the publish button to publish your giveaway

WordPress Block

If you’re using the WordPress block editor, simply add the RafflePress block to your desired page or post.

RafflePress giveaway block

Then, choose your giveaway from the dropdown menu within the block settings.


RafflePress provides a unique shortcode for your giveaway. Copy and paste this shortcode into any page, post, or widget area on your site.

RafflePress shortcode

Giveaway Landing Page

For a dedicated page, RafflePress allows you to create a clean and focused giveaway landing page specifically for your giveaway. 

Simply head to the “General Settings” and assign a page slug.

Giveaway Landing Page URL settings

This text comes after your main URL, for example, yourwbsite.com/your-new-giveaway.

After saving your changes, you can share the page on social media or via your email marketing campaigns.

Gift card giveaway landing page

Step 6: Promote Your Gift Card Giveaway

Your giveaway is live, but don’t just sit back and wait. Promote it across all your channels to reach as many people as possible.

Promoting a giveaway on LinkedIn

Here are some practical ways to spread the word:

  • Social Media: Share your giveaway on all your social media platforms. Use eye-catching images, create engaging captions, and encourage people to share with friends. Consider running paid ads to reach a wider audience.
  • Email Marketing: Send an email blast to your subscribers announcing the giveaway and inviting them to participate. Ensure the email is visually appealing and includes a clear call to action.
  • Website and Blog: Add a banner or popup to your website announcing the giveaway. Write a blog post about it and share it on social media.
  • Offline Channels: If you have a brick-and-mortar store, promote your giveaway with flyers, posters, or in-store announcements.

You can also see this guide for more giveaway promotion ideas.

Step 7: Select and Announce Your Lucky Winners

Once your giveaway ends, it’s time to pick the winner(s). Transparency is key here. Announce the winner(s) publicly and clearly to build trust with your audience.

RafflePress makes choosing a winner as easy as 1-2-3 (well, 1-2-3-4, but you get the idea).

When your giveaway ends, head to your WordPress dashboard and go to RafflePress » Giveaways. Find your giveaway on the list, and you’ll see a button that says ‘Need Winners.’ Give it a click.

choose winner for your contest

Now, decide how many lucky winners from the winners list you want to select. Once you’ve made your choice, simply click ‘Choose Winners Now’ and let RafflePress work its magic.

Pick a random giveaway winner

It will randomly select the winner(s) for you, eliminating any bias or guesswork.

After the winners are chosen, you can easily notify them by email from the same screen.

email the giveaway winner

Also, announce the winner(s) on your website and social media channels. This will help build excitement and anticipation for future giveaways.

Step 8: Analyze and Learn from Your Giveaway

After the confetti settles and the prize is awarded, it’s time to reflect on your giveaway’s performance. This is where RafflePress’s entry reports come in handy. They provide valuable insights into the number of people who entered, which entry methods were most popular, and more.

rafflepress giveaway entries report

You can also use Google Analytics to analyze the data more thoroughly. Track the traffic your giveaway generated, the length of time people spent on your website, and even which pages they visited.

This information helps you understand what resonated with your audience and what you can improve for next time.

If you struggle with Google Analytics, you can always use a plugin like MonsterInsights to simplify it for you. It collects and displays your Google Analytics data in easy-to-understand reports inside your WordPress dashboard.

monsterinsights overview report

Don’t forget to gather feedback from your participants. Ask them what they liked and disliked about the giveaway, what prize they’d love to see next time, and how you could make the experience even better. 

Budget-Friendly Gift Card Giveaway Ideas

Don’t let a tight budget prevent you from running an awesome giveaway. Here are some creative ideas that will not break the bank.

Simple Gift Card Giveaways

One of the easiest gift card giveaways is offering a gift card for your business website. However, if you don’t sell products, you can always offer one to a popular online store relevant to your brand.

PlayStation, Xbox, Steam, Apple iTunes, and Google Play gift cards are great choices for entertainment or game-related sites.

gift card giveaway example

If you want to give your audience more freedom, consider Visa, Target, or Walmart gift cards. Of course, an Amazon gift card giveaway is always a popular choice.

Themed Gift Card Bundles

Instead of giving away a single gift card, bundle a few smaller ones to create a themed experience. 

Gift card bundle example

For example, you could create a “Pamper Yourself” bundle with gift cards to a local spa, salon, and boutique. Or how about a “Foodie Fun” bundle with gift cards to different restaurants in your area?

An “Adventure Awaits” bundle could include gift cards for outdoor gear or experiences.

Holiday or Event-Specific Giveaways

Tie your giveaway to a specific holiday or event like Christmas or Halloween to create a sense of timeliness and relevance.

Chistmas gift card giveaway example

This could be a Back-to-School giveaway with gift cards to school supply stores, a Valentine’s Day giveaway with gift cards to romantic restaurants, or a Summer Fun giveaway with gift cards for activities or travel.

Flash Giveaways

For a quick burst of excitement, try a flash giveaway. These giveaways have a short duration, usually a few hours or a day, which creates urgency and encourages people to act fast. You can announce them on social media or email to generate a buzz.

Flash gift card giveaway example

These are just a few ideas to get you started. For more, see our complete list of proven giveaway prize ideas.

Tips to Make the Most of Your Giveaway

Ready to take your giveaway to the next level? Here are some tried-and-true tips to improve your results:

Grab Attention with Eye-Catching Visuals

A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to showcasing your prize. Use high-quality images or videos that make your gift card look irresistible.

Write Compelling Copy

Your giveaway description should be clear, concise, and persuasive. Highlight the value of the prize, explain the entry methods in simple terms, and create a sense of excitement. Use action words and phrases that encourage people to enter.

giveaway action words

Team Up with Partners

Partnering with other small businesses or micro-influencers can significantly expand your giveaway’s reach. Look for companies with complementary audiences and offer co-branded prizes to sweeten the deal. This cross-promotion benefits both parties and attracts a broader range of participants.

Tap into User-Generated Content

Encourage participants to share photos, videos, or stories related to your giveaway on social media.

Ben and Jerry's UGC example

Create a unique hashtag for the giveaway to easily track and share this user-generated content, amplifying your reach and generating even more buzz.

Track and Analyze Your Data

Analytics provide valuable insights into your giveaway’s performance. Track metrics like reach, engagement, and conversions. Use this data to refine your strategy and make future giveaways even more successful.

Your Turn: Grow Your Business with a Giveaway

We’ve covered a lot of ground, but the key takeaways are simple:

  • Gift card giveaways are a powerful way for small businesses to boost brand awareness, grow their audience, and drive sales.
  • They don’t have to be expensive or complicated, especially with the right tools and strategies.
  • By setting clear goals, choosing the right prize, and promoting effectively, you can create a giveaway that delivers real results.

Now it’s time to put these lessons into action and launch your own gift card giveaway. Don’t be afraid to experiment, get creative, and have fun with it.

Remember, RafflePress is here to make the process easier and more enjoyable. With its user-friendly interface, powerful features, and helpful resources, you’ll be a giveaway pro in no time.

You might also find the following giveaway guides helpful in growing your business:

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.

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