A sweepstake is a type of contest, mainly conducted online, where prizes, vouchers, or money are provided to an arbitrary individual or sometimes to a bunch of people, i.e., a group. Usually, in sweepstakes, you win because you were chosen randomly and not due to any skill or activity undertaken on your behalf. Because when skill is involved in an activity, it is known as a contest.
Mainly, sweepstakes are usually part of a promotional or marketing plan offered by a company as an attempt to induce consumer awareness about several commodities. Companies or individuals who offer sweepstakes cannot charge any sort of entry fee, and this also includes requesting the purchase of a product. Since sweepstakes can potentially be used in fraudulent ways, most states have specific laws regulating their use.
How does Sweepstakes work?
A sweepstake is eventually a lottery scheme that works by having you participate in an activity or event for which you have to pay fees to acquire the privilege of entry. Further, the cost of the ticket is being used towards the total prize fund. Unlike other contests or prize-winning activities, in sweepstakes, the tickets for the winning team, the runner-up, and occasionally the team with the worst performance are also awarded prizes.
For example, when you download a sweepstakes kit, you are eligible to cut out the squares with the teams involved and place them in a bag from which they will be drawn at random. All the participants are instructed to choose a square that has been folded so that the name of the team is not visible.
Some of the most common warning signs of a Sweepstakes –
- Not acquiring a clear understanding of the sweepstakes’ terms and conditions, which include eligibility requirements and entry procedures, can be a major red flag.
- No purchase of an advertiser’s product or service claims that you can win a prize by purchasing their commodities that will increase your chance of winning prizes.
- If you receive an unsolicited win notification by email, check the email address that sent it. If it’s from a free email address, like Gmail or Yahoo Mail, take preventive measures as it could be a warning sign of a scam.
- If you receive a call from a sweepstakes company claiming that you have won a lottery that you have never entered, that can be a red flag. Scammers use this technique by bestowing enticing offers that are fraudulent in reality.
- Receiving an enticing sweepstakes offer with a hefty amount of money but being required to act immediately as the offer won’t last for a long time, can be suspicious. Scammers often lure people to act immediately and provide less time to scrutinise.
- Asking for your bank account or credit card number in order to send you the sweepstakes money that you have won can be apprehensive. As legitimate sweepstakes sponsors, they only need your social security number to meet ends.
Pros and Cons of a Sweepstakes –
- Gaining social followers – One of the most obvious benefits of holding a sweepstakes contest is that it will help your small business gain more followers. Giving away prizes through different contests and creating texts to win sweepstakes tend to attract quick attention from the public. Companies that develop a strategy for these sweepstakes through social media or mobile greatly increase their chances of generating people’s interest in their company.
- Engaging the audience – Comparatively, it is easy to gain the attention of the people, but it is hard to retain their interest further. “Text sweepstakes” is a legitimate technique that helps to keep your audience engaged and maintain their interest for a substantial period of time. However, the main aim is to increase the loyalty of the customers who trust the firm for its kindness and care through regular giveaways.
- Increase in sales – Generally, every firm needs increased exposure of its brand to the public and engaging subscribers that are directed towards buyers and customers, and eventually you obtain a higher sales pitch. The whole idea of giving away prizes in a sweepstakes contest is to generate sales and company development effectively.
- Brand building – There is no doubt that sweepstakes contents help organisations reach out to their target and non-target audiences. Organising a contest is considered one of the best ways to develop your product and service into a brand by reaching thousands of people and potential buyers through newsletters. Building awareness of your brand is a primary key to expansion.
- Short-term followers – In various cases, the new followers sometimes decide to follow you only to participate in the contest. Once the contest is over, you can notice a huge downshift in the number of followers. This can happen when social media users are only interested in the prize and show no genuine interest in your brand or content in your profile.
- Need time and money – Being a small company, it gets difficult to execute these sweepstakes contests because you have to look out for everything that goes into them by yourself rather than a person below you (if not). Sometimes the prizes are expensive to the pocket, which does make a difference and dent your company’s expenses, and it also takes much more time to organise such activities in a minimal amount of time if they are announced accordingly.
- Fake/Bot followers – The lower the entry level of your sweepstakes contest, the higher the chance of not attracting higher-level or legitimate accounts. For instance, a tranquil contest named ‘like to win,’ can get you several potential bot followers. However, if you continuously lose your followers at a substantial rate, there are higher chances you get followed by a bot account.
- Can be frustrating – You probably expect your sweepstakes contest to be a booming success, but this might not be the case all the time. Supposedly, if you don’t acquire enough followers for the contest to gain traction or people aren’t interested in the giveaway, it won’t be worth your time and effort, which can build up frustration to some extent.
Sweepstakes can definitely play a vital role in the growth of your company. However, careful planning and moderate utilisation can greatly help if you want to engage with your target audience rather than assail them and provide false promises that are prevailing to them. Furthermore, organising a scheme for your target audience always has pros and cons that one should look out for in order to advance their firm. And most importantly, you should keep in mind that not every giveaway will bestow you with gains through a relevant audience due to the difficulty of its design and management. Although if you are viable enough to overcome the cons while making the most of the pros, you are ready to launch a successful sweepstakes contest.