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How to Do a Giveaway to Grow Your Email List

How to Do a Giveaway to Grow Your Email List

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.

Do you want to run a giveaway to grow your list?

An email giveaway is an easy way to get more subscribers by offering the chance to win a prize. To take part, users need to sign up with their email address, which helps grow your email list with more subscribers.

We’ve run many email giveaways over the years, resulting in impressive growth for our list. Today, we’ll use that knowledge to show you how to do a giveaway to grow your email list in WordPress.

Table of Contents

Why Grow Your List with an Email Giveaway?

Running an email giveaway has several benefits besides being a quick way to increase your subscribers. Here’s what we’ve learned in our experience running them:

  • Giveaways are cheaper to run than other marketing methods, such as Facebook ads.
  • Subscribers from giveaways are people interested in your business’s products and services, making them more likely to shop with you.
  • Contests and giveaways incentivize immediate action. The sense of urgency and fear of missing out is irresistible to average audience members.
  • With excellent email marketing, you can nurture leads from your giveaway newsletter into customers and turn those customers into brand ambassadors to further grow your business and sales.

According to OptinMonster, checking their email is the first thing people do every day. In fact, 58% of users check their email before social media or the news.

Email vs social media first check of the day

If that isn’t enough proof, check out how Agile’ grew their client’s email List by 52% with giveaways.

As you can see, running a giveaway can have massive potential to boost business awareness and increase product revenue.

How to Run a Giveaway to Grow You Email List

You can’t build a giveaway to grow your email list without putting some necessary steps in place first. So follow the steps below to get started and run a successful contest.

Step 1. Plan Your Giveaway Strategy

Successful giveaways don’t happen by accident. Before you start building your contest, take some time to plan your strategy.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What are my goals for this giveaway?
  • What is my timeline?
  • What is my budget?
  • Who is my target audience?
  • What legal rules and regulations do I need to follow?

Once you have this information, you’ll have a better idea of how a giveaway can help grow your business.

Step 2. Define Your Target Audience

Define your target audience

Your target audience is a group of people most likely interested in your business. These are the people you ultimately want to buy your products or services, so defining them is essential.

The easiest way to define your target audience is to create a buyer persona. A buyer persona is a fictional person who represents your ideal customer and includes details of the personality, lifestyle, and interests that inform their buying decisions.

Include the following details in your buyer persona:

  • Demographics: age, gender, income, and occupation
  • Personal life: marital status, number of children, pets, and type of housing
  • Customer needs: What do they need that your product can offer?
  • Motivations: What motivates them to look for a solution?
  • Pain points: life goals, frustrations, accomplishments, fears, and regrets

For example, if I was creating a persona for a new budgeting app, I might write something like this:

  • Demographics: 26, female, $50,000 – $100,000, Finance Analyst
  • Personal life: Single, wants to settle down, no children or pets, rented accommodation
  • Customer needs: Effective ways to save money and get investment advice
  • Motivations: Wants to be financially secure enough to start a family and retire early
  • Pain points: Often feels she doesn’t have enough money saved and is unsure how to invest what she has for substantial returns.

You’ll better understand who your ideal audience is with the above information. That will help with targeting your email giveaway to the right people online.

Step 3. Choose an Email List Service Provider

The next thing you’ll need to run an email giveaway is an email marketing service provider. An email service provider is a company that lets you collect email addresses (email list), so you can send your list email campaigns that promote your business and, of course, your giveaway newsletter.

When you run your giveaway, you’ll connect to your email service provider, so anyone who subscribes as a result of entering will end up on your list, growing it.

For example, you can create a:

Here’s a list of the best email marketing services for small businesses to help you decide which platform is right for you.

Step 4. Pick a Powerful Contest Builder

Once you’ve defined your ideal audience and picked an email marketing service, you’ll need a powerful contest builder to help run your giveaway.

While there are many options to choose from, RafflePress is my favorite choice for this. It’s one of the best giveaway plugins for WordPress users to grow their email list, site traffic, and social media followers.

RafflePress makes it easy to create and run a successful giveaway and includes everything you need to skyrocket your email subscribers. Plus, it integrates with the most popular email marketing providers so you can create your email giveaway quickly, with no hassle.

event giveaway join an email newsletter

Later in this guide, I’ll walk you through setting up RafflePress and using it to launch a giveaway that attracts email subscribers.

Before you start, get your copy of RafflePress here so you have everything you need to get up and running.

Step 5. Choose a Desirable Prize

With your target audience, email marketing service, and giveaway builder in place, your next step is to choose a prize that resonates with your audience.

Choose a great giveaway prize

If you don’t have a great prize, people won’t put in the effort to enter your giveaway. So make sure you pick a prize that will attract a lot of attention.

Your prize should also be relevant to your brand and audience. Otherwise, people won’t be interested enough in your brand to stick around after.

So, it’s a delicate balance between making the prize desirable enough to draw in an audience and relevant enough to create genuine interest in your business.

Email giveaway prize idea

Here are a few prize ideas I’ve curated to get you started:

  • Book reviewers can run a book giveaway in a blog post to attract avid readers
  • Gym owners can offer exercise equipment as their grand prize to promote their gym
  • Parent bloggers can run a blog giveaway with prizes for children’s toys
  • Freelancers can provide a digital product or service to the winner
  • Fashion brands can choose a clothing bundle as the grand prize
  • Sports clubs can offer giveaways of sporting goods as a sports marketing and promotion idea

For even more inspiration, check out our list of contest prize ideas.

Step 6. Define Your Email Giveaway Rules

Email giveaway rules

The next step in running your email list giveaway is to create a set of rules and logistics to keep your contest fair.

Usually, you’d start with figuring out the type of contest you’ll run, such as running a simple contest where people only have to enter to win.

Since you already know you want to do a giveaway to grow your email list, it’s clear that you’ll require participants to subscribe to your email list in return for a giveaway entry.

You’ll also need to include the following details in your giveaway rules:

  • The age requirements for entering
  • Start and end dates and times for your contest
  • How people can enter (subscribe to your email list)
  • How often people can enter
  • If people can gain additional entries (follow your social media channels etc.)
  • How you’ll choose a winner (random draw)

After planning your contest, choosing a prize, and setting out your rules, it’s time to build your email giveaway.

Step 7. Create Your Email Giveaway

To create your giveaway, click here to get started with RafflePress. Then, follow these instructions to install a WordPress plugin on your website.

Once you’ve installed and activated RafflePress, hover your mouse over the RafflePress logo and click Add New to create a new giveaway.

Choose a Giveaway Template

Upon clicking, you’re taken to a page where you can enter your contest name and choose a giveaway template.

Name your giveaway

First, enter your giveaway name. For example, if your prize is a Nintendo Switch, you can name your giveaway “Nintendo Switch Giveaway.”

Next, choose your giveaway template. RafflePress has several pre-made contest templates designed to reach specific giveaway goals. Since you want to grow your email list, you’ll need that particular template.

Grow your email list giveaway template

So hover your mouse over the Grow Your Email List template and click Use This Template.

After heading to the giveaway builder, the builder automatically comes with an entry method to subscribe to your newsletter.

Connect Your Email Marketing Service

If you click the Join an Email Newsletter entry method, you’ll see several options on the left-hand side of the builder. That includes a place to enter a new label, how many entries people get from that action, and if that option is mandatory.

giveaway to grow email list entry method

The most important features are the Select an Integration dropdown box and Optin Confirmation Checkbox.

RafflePress email integration options

The integration dropdown lets you choose from several popular email newsletter services to connect to. At the same time, the optin confirmation box is a way to ensure that people subscribing to your newsletter give you permission to add them to your list and send them emails.

The email marketing services you can integrate with RafflePress include:

You can also enter an HTML web form and connect to Zapier. This allows integration with tons of other apps and services. You can learn how to collect emails with Zapier in our documentation here.

To connect to an email marketing service like MailChimp, choose from the dropdown list and click the orange connect button. You’ll be asked to log in to your email service provider. Then, follow the on-screen prompts to connect your account.

Email marketing integration with RafflePress

Click Get Lists to find your existing email lists, and select the appropriate list from the dropdown when you’re connected. Then, when you’re done, click Save Integration Details.

Design & Launch Your Giveaway

Next, it’s time to add your giveaway prize details, design your giveaway landing page, and publish your contest on your website.

I’ve created a step-by-step guide to creating an online contest here. So refer to the steps there to finish setting up your giveaway.

Step 8. Promote Your Giveaway

With your email giveaway published, you can’t sit around and wait for people to enter. You need to actively promote the giveaway to spread the word and generate excitement.

Contest promotion is an essential part of any good contest marketing strategy as it’ll help your giveaway go viral so you can grow your audience and generate tons of email subscribers.

The easiest promotion method is sharing your giveaway across your social media channels and asking people to tag a friend in the comments to increase exposure further.

You can also promote your giveaway in the following ways:

  • Encourage people to spread the word about your giveaway by offering bonus entries or a separate, smaller prize for those who share it on social media or refer friends.
  • Send an email to your existing subscribers, asking them to share the contest with their contacts
  • Add a popup to your website encouraging people to enter using a tool like OptinMonster
  • Create a banner for your homepage linking to your contest landing page
  • Use social proof notifications to evoke the fear of missing out with platforms like TrustPulse
  • Use SmashBalloon’s suite of social media feed plugins to display a feed of people discussing your contest on your website.
  • Guest post on other websites and link back to your giveaway page

Remember to start promoting your giveaway weeks before you go live to drive tons of traffic from the day you launch.

You can check out our list of contest promotion ideas for even more help to make your giveaway go viral.

Step 9. Choose a Giveaway Winner

When your giveaway has ended, you’ll need to draw a winner. The fairest way to choose a winner for your email list giveaway is to pick a winner randomly.

With RafflePress, it’s easy to pick a winner. At the end of your giveaway, navigate to RafflePress » Giveaways and click the Needs Winners link.

choose winner

The next page shows you how many people entered and how many entries they have. To choose a random winner, click Pick Winner, select your options, and then click Choose Winners Now.

pick a winner

The winner is instantly highlighted, making it easy to email them with great news about their win.

You can learn more ways to pick a winner of a giveaway in this article.

Step 10. Follow Up With Participants

Let’s not forget that after the end of your giveaway, you’ll have a list of new leads for your business. If you let them sit on your list without further interaction, those leads will go cold and unsubscribe, undoing all your hard work.

Giveaway to grow email list thank you email

To keep your new audience engaged with your brand, follow up with an email after the giveaway, thanking them for entering and inviting them to join again in the future.

You could also offer participants a commiseration prize in the form of a discount on their next purchase to help build a relationship and convert them into paying customers.

Step 11. Analyze Your Results

Lastly, it’s a smart move to analyze the results of your email giveaway to see if you were successful in meeting your goals. Since your goal is to grow your email list, you can measure your results by calculating how many new subscribers you gained from running your giveaway vs. the size of your list before.

You can also use a WordPress plugin like MonsterInsights to track contest landing page visits, referral traffic, eCommerce traffic, and other website activity.

MonsterInsights overview report

With smart dashboard reports, you can see the results within your WordPress dashboard, removing the need to access a different website like Google Analytics.

Analyzing your traffic, you can see which contest promotion strategies drove the most traffic to your giveaway page. Then, you can use those insights to make improvements on future giveaways.

You can learn more in this detailed MonsterInsights review.

Need another example of successfully growing an email list with giveaway marketing? Here’s how Smash Balloon grew its email list by 3,584 subscribers with a giveaway contest.

Email Giveaway FAQs

How do I do a MailChimp giveaway?

You can do a Mailchimp giveaway easily with RafflePress. Just add the Join an Email Newsletter action and choose Mailchimp from the dropdown list of email integrations.

How do I create a giveaway email message?

To create a giveaway email message, start with a catchy subject line that will grab the reader’s attention.
Then, in the email body, explain what the giveaway is and how to enter.

Include a clear image of the prize and create a sense of urgency by letting readers know how long the giveaway is running. You should also make it easy for people to sign up by including a clear call to action.

How do I run a competition in an email?

The easiest way to run a competition in an email is to create a giveaway landing page and link it from your email newsletter. Then, readers can click the link to enter your contest.

There you have it!

Now that you know how to do a giveaway to grow your email list, get started with running a contest!

It will help you develop relationships with your ideal audience, but you’ll also skyrocket your email list, generate laser-targeted leads, and attract new customers to grow your business.

And don’t forget to follow us on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook for more great tips to grow your business.

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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