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How to Create an Online Sweepstakes

A sweepstakes is a type of competition that allows entrants to get multiple entries. The winners are chosen at random once the sweepstakes has ended.

There's plenty of advantages to running a sweepstakes for your next competition. You can allow entrants to enter in more than one way, you can incentivize users to do social or sharing actions that amplify the reach of your contest plus the random factor means that users have more chances of winning based on the number of times they enter (rather than a single entry when the "best" winner is chosen).

Designing a sweepstakes with Gleam couldn't be easier, you simply need to know:

  1. What your prize is
  2. How long you want to run the sweepstakes for
  3. How you want people to enter the sweepstakes
  4. Where you want to run the sweepstakes (on your own site, Facebook or a combination of both)

Getting Started

First you'll need to setup an account. It's pretty easy you can signup here, make sure you include the site that you are planning to run the sweepstakes on during signup. Gleam is completely free to run Sweepstakes, we offer additional functionality if you wish to upgrade to a paid plan.

Once you're in Gleam just click the create a new competition button. We store all of your current, previous & scheduled sweepstakes under this area. Another handy tip is that you can always copy the entry options of a previous contest that worked well when starting a new one.

Create a Free Gleam Account

Setting up the Sweepstakes

First you'll need to give it a name, this should be something descriptive like: September Gleam Mega Giveaway

Then choose the dates you'd like to run the sweepstakes over. If you choose a start date in the future users will see a message letting them know when it starts, once the sweepstakes is over users will see a notice that it has ended.

Now comes the fun part, choosing how you would like users to enter your sweepstakes!

We've worked hard to ensure you have huge amounts of flexibility with entry mechanisms for your sweepstakes. We highly recommend reading through our documentation to see all the actions we support.

Some entry ideas you can think about are:

  • Requiring users to visit a Facebook page
  • Asking users to Tweet something on Twitter
  • Asking users to follow you or anyone else on Twitter
  • Getting users to ask a single question or multiple choice
  • Requiring users to submit a photo from Instagram
  • Getting signups for an email list

The applications & combinations are endless, we'll leave it up to you to decide which entry methods work best for a certain prize.

Now you need to add your prize, if you are drawing multiple winners then increase the number of prizes to more than 1.

You can read more about how you can design the prize area of the sweepstakes.

Run a Contest With Gleam

Installing the Sweepstakes

All Gleam users have the ability to embed their sweepstakes in any page that accepts basic HTML. This could be a blog post, a page on your website or on a third party site/social network that allows you to insert code.

Paid plans unlock a few additional installation types:

  • Tabs
  • iFrame

Promoting Your Sweepstakes

Getting entries for your sweepstakes depends on a huge number of factors, however here’s a few pointers you can use to kickstart a campaign:

  • Syndicate the Sweepstakes to your social networks - Facebook, Twitter, Google+ & Tumblr
  • Include a link to your Sweepstakes in your newsletter
  • Include a link to your Sweepstakes in your email signature
  • Include a link to your Sweepstakes in any notification emails that go out to users of your website
  • Add a banner or feature the Sweepstakes in key areas of your website
  • Create a blog post to promote the Sweepstakes & embed it there
  • Organize a group of friends that will cross promote the Sweepstakes for you, simply give them the embed code to include on their sites
  • Run Ads on Adwords, Facebook Ads or Twitter Promoted Tweets to drive traffic to your Sweepstakes
  • Add the Sweepstakes to one of the many Sweepstakes syndication websites on the web

Administering Entries

Gleam offers a way for you to easily adminster any entries to your competitions.

However you will need to upgrade to a paid plan to unlock any identifiable information about your entrants (i.e. email address).

Having access to this data has a few benefits:

  • You can extract newsletter signup data to add to your lists
  • You can extract data that is relevant for sponsors of sweepstakes

Choosing Winners

We automatically help you choose winners when your Sweepstakes has completed. Simply head into the Choose Winners area of the Sweepstakes to run the draw. Gleam uses Random.org to choose entries at random.

We highly recommend that you check a winner still qualifies for their entry, for example a user could like a page to get the entry, then unlike it later. If this is the case Gleam allows you to invalidate particular entries & redraw a new winner.

Once you’ve picked your winners you can then choose to show their names inside the embedded widget, with or without their portraits.

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Ready To Run Your Own Sweepstakes?

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