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KingSumo vs UpViral vs RafflePress: Best Referral Marketing Apps?

KingSumo vs UpViral vs RafflePress: Best Referral Marketing Apps?

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 referral marketing contests for your business? And are you unsure of what the best apps are to use? Don’t stress! In this article, we’ll compare KingSumo vs UpViral vs RafflePress, 3 popular referral marketing tools, so you can run viral giveaways and referral marketing campaigns to grow your business.

KingSumo vs UpViral vs RafflePress: Detailed Comparison

In this comparison, we’ll create the same giveaway campaign in KingSumo vs UpViral vs RafflePress so you can compare them easily. Then, at the end of this article, we’ll look at how they compare in price.

First, let’s see how easy it is to set up these referral marketing and giveaway apps.

Setup and Installation

When you’re first starting out, using KingSumo and UpViral seems like the fastest way to get started. Both platforms run through your web browser, so you won’t need to add anything to your website.

The fact that these are both hosted platforms also means that they’re fairly limited. For example, embedding campaigns on your website or viewing entries isn’t quite so slick.

Another big factor is the data: you don’t have full control over the data collected through your giveaways because it stays on KingSumo and UpViral servers.

In contrast, RafflePress runs on top of WordPress. That means you’ll want to install WordPress first, then install the giveaway plugin on top.

RafflePress best WordPress giveaway plugin

It sounds like a hassle compared to KingSumo or UpViral, but installing WordPress is much easier than it used to be.

So why should you use WordPress?

There are so many benefits to using WordPress for your business website. By investing just a little more time to get your giveaway campaign set up, you could save time and frustration later.

For example, one of the biggest benefits is that you control everything so you can launch giveaways in a way that suits your business best. Moreover, you control the data you collect, putting both your and your audience’s minds at ease.

Bluehost WordPress hosting

With the right website host, setting up WordPress is easy and affordable. Bluehost lets you install WordPress with 1 click and offers 24/7 support if you need a hand getting set up.

Bluehost also offers a free domain and SSL certificate to keep your giveaways secure. So you don’t need to buy anything else to start your own online store or business website.

Since UpViral is hosted, you’ll have limits on the number of leads you can receive. Even though those limits are high, starting at around 10,000 leads, RafflePress and KingSumo have no limits.

Building Your Campaign

Moving onto creating your referral marketing giveaway, KingSumo, UpViral, and RafflePress all have slightly different campaign builders.

First, let’s look at KingSumo.

KingSumo has a minimal interface when you first start creating your giveaway. It offers a simple form with basic text labels for each form field. You can click inside each field to add your giveaway details, choose start and end times, and upload a cover image.

kingsumo giveaway builder

In contrast, when you create a new campaign in UpViral and RafflePress, you start by choosing a template that aligns with your campaign goals.

For instance, UpViral offers templates for boosting your email list, social media, engagement, and new product releases. However, what each template does isn’t clear at first glance.

Upviral campaign templates

The confusion continues as you move into their campaign builder. From there, you can add an incentive to encourage users to enter your sweepstakes and select actions users can perform to earn points.

In UpViral, users need to earn points for entry into your campaign. As such, the more points that people earn, the more chances they have of winning your grand prize.

UpViral incentives setup

But how this works isn’t immediately obvious since there aren’t many tooltips explaining the process.

Yet, in RafflePress, your options are clear right from the start.

email list giveaway template

Its laser-targeted giveaway templates include details that tell you exactly what they do:

  • Grow Your Email List
  • Refer-a-Friend Viral Giveaway
  • Pre-launch Campaign
  • Grow Your Facebook Page
  • Grow Your Instagram Following
  • Grow Your YouTube Channel
  • Grow Your Twitter Following

After choosing a RafflePress template, you head straight to the beginner-friendly giveaway builder.

Rafflepress has the best giveaway builder interface. It combines an easy drag-and-drop layout with clear labeling, so there’s no need to waste time figuring out what everything does.

giveaway builder

And unlike KingSumo and UpViral, the entire giveaway builder pops out of the WordPress dashboard. That’s a big plus because you don’t need to work around the WordPress navigation menu, offering more screen space to work with.

In RafflePress, your giveaway settings and options are on the left, while on the right is a preview of how your giveaway looks. This is something neither UpViral nor KingSumo offer. And it’s a game-changer because you can adjust your giveaway visually, in real-time.

Moreover, you can drag and drop any element on your giveaway widget to reorganize it easily. Or, you can click an element to enter more details, such as your social media URLs, assign how many giveaway entries an action is worth, and more.

Giveaway entry options rafflepress

Campaign Features

The features you can access in RafflePress, KingSumo, and UpViral differ considerably. For example, while KingSumo lets participants share your giveaway on social media, it only offers bonus actions to:

  • Like or follow your various social accounts
  • Enter your giveaway daily
  • Click a link
  • Watch a YouTube video
  • Subscribe to a podcast
KingSumo bonus giveaway entries

These options are limiting for businesses with more complex needs and goals. Yet, with UpViral and RafflePress, the features are more varied and comprehensive.

For instance, UpViral includes all the important social media actions, custom actions you can create yourself, and referral signups for word-of-mouth marketing.

UpViral giveaway entry actions

In our opinion, RafflePress offers the most user-friendly layout and variety. Besides following and sharing on social media, you can invite users to:

  • Enter automatically
  • Sign up for your email newsletter
  • Follow your Twitch channel
  • Answer a question
  • Submit an image
  • Leave a comment
  • Write a blog post
  • Subscribe to RSS
  • Complete a poll or survey
  • Subscribe to your podcast

And, of course, you can use the viral refer-a-friend action to drive even more giveaway entries and leads.

Rafflepress giveaway actions

Giveaway Settings

When it comes to growing your email list, all 3 tools offer email marketing integrations.

With KingSumo, you can integrate your email list by connecting your giveaway to Zapier. Yet UpViral and RafflePress let you connect to your email service directly from their app, saving a few extra steps.

RafflePress email marketing integrations

In addition, how each tool handles your giveaway terms and conditions differ wildly.

For example, KingSumo doesn’t have a dedicated giveaway rules section, whereas UpViral’s terms and conditions editor is hidden in the advanced settings.

Upviral giveaway terms and conditions

In contrast, RafflePress offers both an easy-to-find giveaway rules section and a rules generator template. All you have to do is enter some basic information, and it generates customizable rules for you.

Easily generate contest rules in seconds

Publishing Your Campaign

Both UpViral and KingSumo let you publish your giveaway campaign on one of their hosted pages without embedding it on your site. This is a convenient way to get your campaign out in the wild quickly.

Upviral giveaway page

But if one of your goals is to drive traffic back to your business website, hosting your giveaway on your website is the best solution. KingSumo, UpViral, and RafflePress have different ways to do this.

For example, KingSumo and UpViral allow you to copy and paste an embed code you can add to your website.

Kingsumo giveaway embed

Since RafflePress uses WordPress by default, you can display your giveaway anywhere on your site with a few clicks.

Rafflepress lets you publish your contest on a distraction free giveaway landing page

In Rafflepress, there are 3 ways to publish your giveaway:

  • Use the RafflePress WordPress block to add your giveaway widget in posts and pages
  • Paste the giveaway shortcode inside the classic WordPress editor, your sidebar widgets, or in your WordPress theme.
  • Launch a distraction-free giveaway landing page on a custom URL right on your website.
RafflePress giveaway landing page

Plus, you can easily turn off the RafflePress branding, something you have to pay extra for with UpViral and KingSumo.

Choosing a Winner

When you’ve published and promoted your giveaway, you’ll want an easy way to choose a winner. First up, let’s see how KingSumo handles the winner selection process.

Once your giveaway is over, you can click the “Ready to Award” button on your KingSumo dashboard, and the system randomly picks a winner (or winners). However, it doesn’t automatically email the winner for you.

Pick a winner KingSumo

In UpViral, choosing a winner is slightly different. You can either pick a winner at random or choose a winner with the most overall points. After, UpViral emails the winner automatically based on your autoresponder settings.

Upviral pick a giveaway winner

Finally, RafflePress allows you to choose single or multiple winners randomly or manually. You can also filter out unverified emails to reduce spam and false entries.

pick a giveaway winner

The winner is then highlighted at the top of your entry list, with a handy link allowing you to send a custom email with the good news.

email the winner

Pricing: KingSumo vs Upviral vs RafflePress

Now that we’ve looked at the essential features for each giveaway app, how much do they cost?

First, KingSumo offers a free version, but it has the distinct KingSumo branding stamped on every contest you create. The paid version comes in at $49, but it doesn’t offer much more in extra features. So what about the KingSumo alternatives?

UpViral doesn’t currently offer a free plan which will be the biggest barrier for many users. Plus, the pricing starts from $49 per month for up to only 10,000 leads.

And just like KingSumo, you’ll need to upgrade to a much more expensive plan to remove the UpViral branding.

Finally, RafflePress does offer a free version of its plugin that you can download and try before spending any money. It provides everything you need to run a successful contest for free with a powerful WordPress plugin.

Pricing for the paid version of RafflePress comes in 4 tiers, as you can see below, offering plenty of choice for different budgets and business sizes.

RafflePress pricing

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KingSumo vs Upviral vs RafflePress: Which Is Best?

Now we’ve looked under the hood and used all of the giveaway builders; you should have a good idea of the pros and cons.

For ease of use, functionality, and competitive pricing, RafflePress is the clear winner.

RafflePress is the only WordPress plugin on this list with a giveaway builder for free; then, you can upgrade your license as you need more features.

It also gives you access to giveaway templates and actions that support your business and boosts your leads like:

  • Refer a friend viral giveaway actions
  • Built-in giveaway entry reports
  • Prize image gallery
  • WordPress giveaway landing page
  • Image submissions
  • Polls & surveys
  • Social logins

That’s why tons of businesses, both small and large, have already chosen RafflePress.

rafflepress is the best giveaway plugin for WordPress

If you’re not convinced, check out these RafflePress case studies:

So are you ready to build your referral marketing giveaway campaign? Get started today with the easiest WordPress giveaway plugin.

RafflePress Pro includes lots of free templates and also offers a 14-day money-back guarantee.

If this article helped you out, then 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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