How to Promote an E-Commerce Business With Gleam

Launching a new E-commerce business? Learn how Gleam can help you promote your business and grow your social following with this helpful guide.

Here at Gleam we've seen a lot of E-commerce businesses use our tools to grow their brands and drive revenue. Our suite of apps are easy to use and incredibly powerful. So if you're looking to drive E-commerce growth then running a campaign with Gleam should be at the top of your to-do list.

To show you exactly how our tools can help grow your E-commerce business we're going to take you through some of the most effective promotional techniques that are suitable for online retailers of any size.

Running a giveaway is one of the best ways you can generate awareness, engage an audience, drive powerful actions and ultimately grow your business. With Gleam Competitions, setting up and running a giveaway of your own has never been easier. To help you kickstart your E-commerce business's growth we're going to take you through exactly how you can run your own powerful giveaway. We'll cover:

  1. Types of Giveaways
  2. Entry Actions
  3. Choosing a Prize
  4. Promoting Your Giveaway
  5. Post-Campaign Tactics

As an online retailer, you have tonnes of perfect opportunities to run engaging campaigns, and it's important that you don't let them slip away. Here's a rundown of some particularly effective giveaway campaigns you can run. 👇

Holiday seasons are great for running giveaways because everyone is in a celebratory mood and ready to make purchases for themselves or others. In fact, retailers often record epic sales during holiday periods. Running a giveaway is the perfect way to capture the attention of a festive audience, encourage powerful actions and ultimately drive sales.

For example, popular lingerie retailer AdoreMe were able to drive huge amounts of engagement by using Gleam to throw a successful giveaway in the weeks leading up to Valentine's Day 🌹

Adore Me's Gleam Competitions campaign widget

For seasonal campaigns like this, focus on aligning your campaign and marketing efforts with the holiday you are pairing with. For example:

  • Encourage people to buy gifts for their loved ones. E.g. Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, and Christmas.
  • Build awareness for a cause. E.g. Beardbrand's No Shave November giveaway.
  • Celebrate a community or groups of people. E.g. Women's Day.

Looking for more unique holidays you can celebrate? There's a complete list of holidays on Days of the Year, maybe you can find something related to your product to provide a theme for your giveaway.

Your campaigns don't have to be limited to holiday seasons or unique days of the year, you can also throw giveaways to celebrate your business's own milestones, achievements or anniversaries.

Achievement campaigns are a great way to reward your active users and strengthen your audience relationships by developing a sense of community around your brand. It can even be a good idea to limit participation to existing subscribers to encourage feelings of exclusivity and promote brand loyalty.

A great example of a campaign aimed to inspire a sense of community comes from Shopify, who set up their own matcha store on their own platform and wrote an epic long-form blog post detailing the process of setting up a successful online store. Shopify then celebrated their successful effort by running a giveaway which actually gave the new store to a user and generated a whole lot of attention and actions in the process.

Achievement unlocked? We think so 🥂

Shopify's Gleam Competitions campaign widget

Some other ideas for milestone campaigns include:

  • Xth Subscriber/Follower Giveaway
  • Xth Customer Giveaway
  • X Year Anniversary Giveaway

If you're launching a new product or a new brand, then running a giveaway is the perfect way to capture attention.

Linjer Fine Leather Goods, a customer of Gleam, used Competitions to promote their Indiegogo launch campaign. For each day the campaign was active they gave away one wallet to a lucky entrant.

The result? They nearly doubled their e-mail list and used their new following to promote the Indiegogo launch which contributed 30% of their initial fundraising.

Consider throwing a pre-launch campaign to build hype for your own product launch. You'll be able to draw attention to your product and greatly extend your promotional reach by drawing in new social media followers and email subscribers. This is a great way to give your official launch a significant boost.

Sponsoring micro-influencers can be a great idea for both new and established businesses alike. Whether you're trying to generate awareness or increase your brand's relatability, being able to tap into a micro-influencer's social following is always a good idea.

To run a sponsored campaign, there are two different routes you can take:

  1. Run your own campaign and reach out to influencers to ask them to promote your campaign.
  2. Sponsor your products to influencers and ask them to run a campaign for it in exchange for money, product, or even just the engaging content.

The great thing is, sponsorship can go beyond just one campaign. If you're able to develop a meaningful relationship with an influencer, then you'll put yourself in position to acquire a powerful brand ambassador who can do wonders for your long-term promotional efforts.

Partner with influencers
Run A Gleam Campaign With Influencers

Learn more about finding the right influencer and running partnered campaigns to expand your audience and drive powerful actions.

If you're a small business with a tight budget, then co-hosting a giveaway with another brand is a great way to help you tap into new, relevant audiences and gain a whole lot of exposure from potential customers.

By partnering with other brands you'll also be able to build a large prize pool with all of your products which will make the final prize much more attractive.

An example of this type of giveaway comes from our customer,Greenbelly, who partnered with 8 other brands which grew their prize pool from $75 to $750 and exposed the giveaway to a much bigger audience than the young brand could have attracted on their own.

Greenbelly's Gleam Competitions campaign widget

When you run a partner campaigns, we highly recommend you connect with other brands who not only have a wider reach, but also brands which are not directly competing with you. Their products should complement yours and make it seem more appealing, not compete with them and diminish their allure.

Running a Partner Campaign
Learn How to Run a Partner Campaign

Find out everything you need to know about using Gleam to partner up with other brands and run powerful giveaways.

We've taken a look at some particularly powerful and engaging types of campaigns, but it's important to remember that regardless of circumstance, a giveaway will always be a powerful tool for promoting your store and driving growth.

When running your own giveaway one of the most important decisions you'll have to make is what actions you want to drive. To help you make this decision we're going to take you through some of the most powerful entry actions for running an E-commerce giveaway:

You can have entrants make a purchase on your website as a way of entering your campaign. If you're running a luck-based giveaway, we recommend offering a free entry alternative to comply with anti-lottery laws. If you're running a skill-based contest, most countries allow you to freely incentivise purchases in your campaigns.


If you want to incentivise purchases, make sure you are not violating any No Purchase Necessary laws applicable to your country. Find out how you can mitigate that and run a regulation-compliant campaign in our Complete Guide to No Purchase Necessary Laws.

Setting up Enter With Purchase with Gleam is easy, simply create a Custom Action and ask entrants for their Order ID with the 'Ask a Question' feature, like below 👇


👉 Are you an Australian business? Learn more about Australian Competition permits before setting up your campaign.

Competitions has a Viral Share feature which generates a unique sharing link for each entrant to refer to their friends. For each successful referral, they are awarded with additional entries.

This action is incredibly powerful. It can help you create a viral loop effect and gain massive amounts of exposure. This is particularly useful for pre-launch or newly launched businesses who are looking to gain as much exposure as they can.

Viral Share links can be shared across, email, SMS, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, Facebook and more, and users can earn additional entries for each successful referral across any platform.


A successful referral means the referred has also entered the competition. They must have at least completed your mandatory actions for the original entrant to receive additional entries.

If you are launching an E-commerce business, you obviously want more eyeballs on your store and products.

You can achieve this goal by setting up a Visit a Page action and having it direct users to your store's URL.

With the Visit a Page feature, you can add an optional question to verify that the entrant has indeed visited your website. You can try asking a simple question like what was your favourite product? for verification purposes.

Are you crowdfunding your business right now? You can have entrants visit your crowdfunding page to drive sales and raise funds, we have actions for Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

If you're launching a unique product or a product with an interesting story behind it then you should consider having entrants watch an informational or promotional video as an entry method.

We currently support watching videos on Vimeo and Wistia.

Don't worry, entrants can watch the video directly from our Competition widget, so there is no need to redirect the entrant. Check it out 👇

If the product you want to highlight happens to be your prize, you can even feature a video from YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia at the top of your widget.

User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful way to get closer to your audience with original, authentic and relatable content straight from the customer.

Consider having entrants submit photos of themselves using your product. You can use the Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, Select a Photo actions or the Media Submit action to let entrants submit their own original content.

Much like UGC, reviews and testimonials are an incredibly powerful tool for building a successful E-commerce brand. Positive reviews are fantastic at driving sales creating trust, and negative feedback can help you make necessary improvements.

You can use Gleam Competitions to set up Submit URL Actions which get entrants to submit a review on your preferred platform as an entry method. Here's an example using Google reviews:

You can also use the Answer a Question action to get customer feedback:

With our Coupon action you can offer discount codes from within your giveaway. This is a great way to offer participants a discount code to redeem at your store which is a great way to help drive sales.

You can use the actions required setting to lock your discount until users have already completed a certain number of actions. This will allow the discount to incentivise users to complete more actions, maximising the effectiveness of your campaign while simultaneously encouraging online purchases at your store.

When you run a giveaway another important decision you'll need to make is what exactly you want to give away. Your prize is ultimately what will encourage entry, so it's important that you get it right. Your prize should be valuable enough to incentivise entry and be specific to your target audience so you don't attract unwarranted attention from irrelevant users.

If you're running an E-commerce store then there's no better prize than your own product. There's no better way to ensure that your contest entrants have a genuine interest in your store and its products than by actually giving away a specific product or a discount coupon to use at your store.

You can easily add multiple prizes to your campaign. This allows you build a larger prize pool, offer up unique prizes on a weekly or monthly basis, or give out runner up prizes to some entrants.

Promotion is a crucial component of any giveaway campaign. If people don't know about your campaign, they won't enter it. It's as simple as that. If you want your contest or giveaway to reach your target audience and drive real action then you need to make sure that you're using the right promotional channels and tactics.

Your social media followers (and their social circles) are likely to be made up of individuals who have an interest in your store and thus make for prospective customers. It's because of this that announcing, promoting, and linking to your contest across all your social media channels is always a great idea.

If you haven't yet accrued much of an online following you can even promote the giveaway from your own personal social media account.


If you want to learn more about promoting your giveaway on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram just follow the links. 😎

If you've got the budget for it, using paid ads can be an outstanding way to reach a new audience and expose a highly relevant audience to your giveaway.

Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, Instagram Ads and Google Adwords are all excellent advertising channels for reaching and connecting with your target audience.

As well as making sure your social media following is aware of your contest, it's also critical that you keep your e-mail subscribers in the loop.

Your mailing list is likely made up of previous customers and individuals with a strong interest in your store. These are people who like what you do and have lots of potential to be converted into customers, making them ideal entrants that you don't want to neglect.

Tradlands' giveaway campaign promotional email blast

Once you've run your own giveaway you'll be left with a bolstered mailing list and a strong social media following. It will then be time to think about you can retain your audience and convert them into customers.

Here are some tactics you can use to drive sales and keep your customer relationships as strong as ever.

Once your giveaway has ended it's important that you wrap up the campaign and announce the winner. If you want to get as much engagement as possible from your campaign's conclusion consider sending out a wrap-up email which includes a discount code to your store.

This is a superb way to reward the entrants who weren't lucky enough to win and drive some sales!

Tradlands' 'better luck next time!' campaign email blast

If your contest was well-received then you know you have just earned yourself a highly engaged community of fans! Reward your customer base regularly with flash sales or giveaways. Gleam makes it so easy to set up a campaign that you may as well run them on a regular basis.

It's a rewarding moment to marvel at a gallery full of fans who adore your product. Consider adding UGC to your lifecycle e-mails, Instagram account, blog posts, product descriptions and more. The possibilities are endless!

If you managed to collect some feedback or reviews during your campaign, now's the time to put it to good use. Here are some ideas on how you could use the reviews and feedback you generate to improve your business:

  • Gain a better understanding of your customers and use your marketing to position yourself accordingly.
  • Improve your product based on customer's feedback.
  • Write content addressing any customer concerns.

You can also start showing off any glowing reviews and testimonials on your social media sites and your website, like this one from Trefiel:

Trefiel's customer testimonials displayed on their website

While going through customer testimonials, you may also stumble upon highly-engaged customers that could become brand ambassadors. Don't let the opportunity go to waste! If they have a strong social media following consider reaching out to them for promotional opportunities.

Run Your Own Competition
Ready To Run Your Own Giveaway?

Check out our documentation on setting up your own Competitions or just get started right now!

With Gleam's Rewards App you can setup campaigns designed to instantly reward your customers. Here are some ideas for campaigns you can run to start driving more sales and engagement:

If your business is gaining traction and you are looking to gain a better understanding of your customers, set up a Rewards campaign to help you drive instant feedback and generate some positive word of mouth.

Implement this Rewards campaign post-sales to encourage users to give you their feedback. You can either:

  • Embed Rewards on the post-checkout page.
  • E-mail customers with a link to your dedicated Rewards page a few days after.

Each Rewards campaign comes with a unique hosted landing page, but you can also choose to embed our Rewards widget on any page you wish.

You can also use Rewards as a way to drive more sales. Encourage your customers to purchase more by either cross-selling or up-selling. For example, you can incentivise users with free upgrades, free shipping, or free samples.

The great thing about this widget is that you can easily share it with your partners or ambassadors. If you have a sponsored post with an influencer, simply ask them to embed this widget at the end of the post.


Using Rewards' Redirect feature, , you can easily redirect users to your store when they have completed the required actions.

You can also complement your sale or promotion periods with Rewards to grow your e-mail list or to collect reviews and feedback.

Some ideas for incentives include:

  • Buy one get one free
  • Buy X free Y
  • Discount on next purchase
  • Free shipping
  • X% off storewide

You can use Rewards to encourage product trial by offering free samples to users. This type of campaign can also be used to drive social actions, as you can require users who want to claim a free sample to first complete an action such as signing up to your mailing list or visiting you on Facebook.

Gleam's Capture app boasts powerful custom rules which allow you to show the right popup to the right visitor at the right time. To show you just how powerful Capture's can be we're going to show you some of the most effective ways you can use Capture to promote your E-commerce business:

Recommended Capture template: Bar, Coupon, Floating, Popup

Entry opt-ins are like a 'welcome mat' to your store. They pop up as soon a new visitor arrives on your website and entice visitors to leave their e-mail with you by offering a coupon or a small gift.

While they are a great way to get more e-mails from your visitors, it could also be annoying if not implemented properly.

We recommend implementing an opt-in with low barriers to entry (don't ask for date of birth, full name, credit card details) and offer a very appealing discount to convert the visitor into a customer.

Welcome gift offer on a Gleam Capture popup

You should also make sure the form only appears to new visitors so returning customers don't get annoyed by invasive opt-ins.

Use the New Visitor rule to ensure your Capture only pops up for new visitors:

Gleam Capture's 'New Visitor' behavioural rule for targeting first-time visitors

If you are offering a discount in your entry opt-in, just use the Coupon template and your discount code will automatically show when a visitor opts in.

Recommended Capture template: Coupon, Countdown, Notification

If you have a specific product that is currently on sale, consider implementing a Custom capture that only appears on that page.

Page-specific popup form for targeting specific products on sale

Use the Current URL rule to control where the Capture is shown. We recommend implementing this on your sales page:

Gleam Capture's 'Current URL' behavioural rule for targeting page-specific visitors

Recommended Capture template: Coupon, Notification, Takeover

You can let visitors from specific countries know you provide shipping in their location, or encourage them to change the website's language to their locale where available.

Location-specific popup form for targeting visitors from a specific country

Use the Country or Language rules to control who can view your Capture:

Gleam Capture's 'Country' behavioural rule for targeting visitors from a specific country Gleam Capture's 'Language' behavioural rule for targeting a specific browser language

Once users have engaged with your Capture you can redirect them to a desired URL, display a thank you message and more.

Recommended Capture template: Coupon, Notification

If your visitor is leaving your website without engaging with your offers, consider using an attractive incentive to try and win them back.

Exit-intent win-back offer on a popup form

Use the On Exit rule to make the Capture show when the visitor is displaying exit intent:

Gleam Capture's 'On Exit' behavioural rule for targeting visitors leaving your website
Exit Intent Opt-Ins
Learn More About Exit Intent Opt-Ins

Find out what makes exit intent popups so awesome and how you can set up your own in minutes.

Recommended Capture template: Coupon, Countdown, Notification

Abandoned cart opt-in form

Use the Cookie Match rule to make the Capture show when the visitor is about to abandon their shopping cart:

Gleam Capture's 'Cookie Match' behavioural rule for targeting visitors with a stored browser cookie

Our Countdown template allows you to add a live countdown to the opt-in form to give the visitor a sense of urgency and an extra boost of encouragement for re-engagement.

Recommended Capture template: Coupon Floating, Notification, Popup

Running a campaign on a separate platform? Welcome them to your website with a special offer to build a sense of community.

Welcome offer popup form for Pinterest visitors

Use the Referring Domain rule to show the Capture to visitors who arrive from a referring site:

Gleam Capture's 'Referring Domain' behavioural rule for targeting visitors from a specific domain

Recommended Capture template: Bar, Coupon, Takeover, Embedded

If your product is not yet ready, don't fret! Start growing your e-mail list as soon as possible by implementing a Capture on your landing page.

Pre-launch offer popup form

We recommend offering a massive discount or a limited edition product to early birds who sign up for your waiting list.

Gleam's Gallery App lets you show off your best branded and user-generated content to all of your visitors and customers. Gleam's Galleries are highly customisable to match your branding and can be embedded anywhere.

Here's how you can start use Galleries to engage your customers and collect user-generated content (UGC):

If you're an established brand with a sizeable following then you may not even need to run a contest to procure user-generated content. The chance to be featured in your gallery or on your social media feed will provide most users with enough incentive to send photos your way.

With Gleam, you can set up a Hashtag Gallery which will automatically import specifically #hashtagged images from a variety of sources, so all you need to do is encourage your customers to upload #hashtagged images to social media and watch the submissions roll in.

Another terrific way to display hashtagged images is by activating Carousel Mode in your Gallery and showcasing user-generated content in a scrollable carousel. This is a highly effective way to stylishly and unobtrusively incorporate powerful UGC into your website.

Remember to be highly specific when choosing your hashtag. It should be unique to your brand and campaign theme so only relevant content will show up in your gallery. This is especially important because hashtags are publicly circulated and not regulated by anyone.

Running a Successful Hashtag Campaign
Running A Hashtag Campaign

Create your own hashtag and run powerful campaigns that will grow your audience, drive engagement, and generate awesome user content.

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Ahron Burstin

Ahron is a Growth Marketer at Gleam. Shoot him a Tweet if you got something out of this post ☺