How do sweepstakes work?
January 11, 2019
A sweepstake in its entirety is just a contest where prizes or gifts are given to randomly selected people. There is no skill involved in winning a sweepstake. It is random, and you are not even required to pay an entry fee or purchase a product of any sorts. Sweepstakes are a great way to promote your brand or introduce a new product into the market.
Running a Sweepstake
Running a Sweepstake is not a joke. It is a process that should and must be conducted legally and ethically. There are ten basic rules of running a Sweepstake, and I will cover them in just a moment. Many companies do not abide by these basic rules and violate the laws enacted to regulate the Sweepstake process. In the United States there are many Federal, State and local agencies who are involved in supervising the sweepstakes. Also, each state has its own rules and regulations regarding sweepstakes.
10 Basic Rules that Must be Followed
in Conducting a Sweepstake
- There should not be a purchase clause to be a part a sweepstake.
- Sweepstakes must have defined beginning and ending dates.
- Sweepstakes must explicitly and clearly state out the eligibility criteria.
- Sweepstakes are obliged to declare if there is a limit on how many people can be a part of it.
- Sweepstakes must have a clear description of “how to enter the sweepstake?”.
- Sweepstakes must have a statement clearing mentioning the odds of winning.
- Sweepstakes are bound to and must declare the prizes being offered and their value.
- Sweepstakes must state the process of winning and how the winner would get informed.
- Sweepstakes must explain if there are any restrictions on how to win?
- Sweepstakes must inform about the name and address of the ones who are sponsoring the prizes.
How to Participate in a Sweepstake?
The process of participating in a sweepstake is relatively simple. All you have to do is to check the guidelines to ensure that you qualify according to the location and demographics. Once you verify that, all you have to do is to fill your necessary information such as name, address on an entry form and turn it in.
Types of Sweepstakes
There are many kinds of sweepstakes. Following are the most popular:
Mail-in Sweepstakes are the ones where you send your entry to the sponsor through the mail.
Advantage: Mail-in sweepstakes are less well known and hence your chances of winning are higher.
Disadvantage: It is more time consuming and hectic than online sweepstakes.
In this day and age, everything is online. You can find sweepstakes on the internet as well. Online Sweepstakes is easy as you do not have to go to a particular business location or a store to register and play. All can be done on a click. As there is no entry fee involved, online sweepstakes are enjoyable as they are effortless.
Advantage: Online sweepstakes are very easy to enter and free of charge.
Disadvantage: Since it is easy to enter in an online sweepstake, there is usually much competition for the prizes. So, your chances of winning are less.
Email Sweepstakes are the one where you send your entry via email.
Advantage: They are free to enter, and your odds of winning are higher.
Disadvantage: They are more time consuming than the online sweepstakes.
Call-in Sweepstakes have a phone number where you have to submit your information to enter.
Advantage: There are less well known, and your odds of winnings are higher.
Disadvantage: There are often hidden call charges, and you should be aware of that.
What do Companies Get out of a Sweepstake?
Sweepstakes help create a buzz about the products:
Sweepstake makes people visit a company’s website:
Online sweepstakes give a strong motivation to customers to visit a company’s website. Once there, the customer will most probably continue to explore the site to see what product or services a company has to offer.
Free Giveaways strengthen the company and customer relationship:
Fast food restaurants frequently arrange sweepstakes for boosting their sales. One of the most famous sweepstakes was run Macdonald’s, i.e. The “instant-win.”
Difference Between Sweepstake and Contest
Many people get confused between a sweepstake and a contest. The primary difference between a sweepstake and a contest is that a winner is randomly selected or picked in a sweepstake. On the other hand, a winner of a contest is evaluated by officials on a specific criterion. Contests are a good choice when you want to limit the target audience. For example, if you own a camera shop, then you may want to organize a contest to target the photographers, who may be interested in your shop.