12 Tips for Running a Successful Instant Win Contest

Posted by Danny Wood

The blog series marches on! This post is the second of our Words of Wisdom series, where we will share some of our top tips that we have learned over the course of hosting promotions for the past 10-years. In addition to our Instant Win post, we will also share tips for Random Draw Sweepstakes, Voted, and Judged promotions.

Random Draw/Sweepstakes promotions have always been the most popular type of promotion on Strutta. Easy to organize with a low barrier to entry for participants, Random Draw promotions have excellent conversion rates, (Strutta Sweepstakes promotions have an average conversion rate of 90%,) and they drive the benefit of building the foundation for improving email marketing reach by the contest organizers.

Here are our top 7 tips for promotion organizers who are planning a Random Draw Sweepstakes:

Read our 7 Tips on Running a Random Draw!

Although the participant’s experience of an Instant Win promotion will be very different than that of a Random Draw promotion, many details of how the promotion is planned and organized will be the same. Therefore, we recommend reading our previous post, 7 Tips for Running a Successful Random Draw Sweepstakes - it’s a great place to start.

Combine Instant Win with Random Draw

Strutta users enjoy the ability to combine both models in the course of one promotion - an Instant Win round finished off with a Random Draw. In this type of promotion model, participants will have the opportunity to win an Instant Win prize and/or be entered in a final Random Draw prize.

Running a combined-model Promotion with both Instant Win and Random Draw combats one of the potential downsides of an Instant Win promotion - the disappointment of not winning a prize in the instant draw. Participants who enter but do not win a prize right away will still be enticed to stay tuned and watch for the results of the Random Draw at the end of the promotion, potentially exposing them to more of your messaging.

“Gate” Your Entry Form with Code Validation

Participants generally appreciate the instant gratification element of an Instant Win contest - it’s nice to know immediately if you have won a prize as part of the promotion. As such, Strutta has seen higher levels of success with “gating” an Instant Win promotion with code or unique-code validation.

Code validation refers to the entry form requirement that a user correctly input a code or phrase as part of their entry in-order to complete it. The most common examples of this are SMS promotions (“Text WIN to 55555”) or soda brand promotions that provide a unique validation code under bottle caps which is required to enter. In the example of the soda brand promotion, you can see how gating the entry with a code under the bottle cap essentially drives the purchase of a soda, although we encourage you to pay close attention to the relevant rules and regulations that govern your promotion!

Offer Multiple Prizes and Multiple Rounds

Another way to prevent participants from being disappointed by a non-win result in the Instant Win draw is to take advantage of Strutta’s capability to have multiple entry rounds during which time multiple prizes are available to be won. Running a new draw at a regular interval, such as weekly, gives participants a new reason to return to the promotion microsite regularly, and they will enjoy the opportunity to re-enter. However:

..Keep Your Entry Period(s) Short

Another advantage to running multiple prize rounds is the ability to keep the entry periods relatively short. Whereas a normal Sweepstakes promotion would run anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks, we don’t advise running an Instant Win entry round for longer than 2-weeks, unless there are a proportionally large number of prizes to be given away relative to the number of participants anticipated.

Build a Customized Instant Win

Of all of the different possibilities for custom-built promotions, Instant Win models present the best opportunity to build something special and uniquely customized to your brand. Ranging from involving an SMS component to mimicking a “scratch-and-win”-like component of entry, there are a lot of available options for custom-developing an Instant Win promotion. If your team has development resources available, you can also consider our Promotions API as an option to develop your own Instant Win.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for our next installment, where we’ll tackle Voted UGC Promotions!

We Love Talking Random Draw Promotions! Have a further question about something we’ve laid out here that you’d like to follow-up on, or even something else that we didn’t cover? The Strutta Team love talking Social Promotions; shoot us a message with any question related to a promotion, and we’ll get back to you!