If you have heard that doing a Facebook giveaway is a great way to get more email subscribers and followers, then you heard right.
What I am going to share with you today goes beyond just theory. I've run several contests on Facebook and gone through the trenches to learn how to do a giveaway on Facebook properly.
In fact, I'm going to share with you a very specific Facebook giveaway example that I just completed last week. In a period of 7 days, I generated 626 email entry subscribers and made 16 product sales. I'll share all the numbers and details below.
But more importantly, I will share with you step by step how to run a successful Facebook giveaway. I truly believe that these results can be replicated in just about any niche, whether you have any kind of following or not.
What Results Can You Expect From Contests on Facebook?
Perhaps you've heard of others having huge success running contests on Facebook and Twitter. I've heard of one guy generating 200,000 email subscribers in short period of time, but that's obviously an outlier. I've also heard of people getting almost no results at all.
So, when you start planning your Facebook or Twitter contest, you should go in with realistic expectations. You probably aren't going to add 100,000 fans and subscribers, but you should definitely be doing a lot more than zero if you follow my instructions.
I've had some promotions add several thousand new email entry subscribers, the one I ran last week added 626 email subscribers, 572 were new subscribers not on my list before. I also generated $252.84 in revenue!
The cost? Just $100.
Before I show you step by step what I did and how you can do the same to run a giveaway on Facebook, I want to show some of the results.
I used a Facebook and Twitter giveaway app called Contest Domination to help me run the sweepstake. Here's the results:
As you can see, we were able to get 626 leads, and 572 of those were new to our email list. This really is a great way to get more email subscribers fast.
However, if you are smart, you will try to sell your products or generate revenue right away while these leads are hot. We had an email series going out immediately when people registered for the sweepstake offering one of our products at a discount.
So, in a nutshell, we spent $100 and generated $258.79 in revenue. In addition, we have 572 new email subscribers on our email list. I'll take adding hundreds of new email subscribers and making money any day of the week.
As a reminder, I think these results are pretty typical. This isn't my best contest or my worst.
Here's a quick screenshot of a few other sweepstakes I've run on Facebook and Twitter, just so you can see the range of results I've gotten in terms of new email subscribers. This stuff works…when done correctly!
Each line below is a different contest. “All Leads” is the number of email subscribers. (The 2 with only 4 direct visits were just tests, not real sweepstakes).
Now, let's dive into the meat of the subject, how to actually run a Facebook giveaway.
How to Run a Facebook Giveaway
Now that you know what kind of results you can expect, here are the step by step details you need to run your contest on Facebook.
Quick step by step reference guide for Facebook Contests:
- Decide what to giveaway.
- Set up your landing pages and opt in forms.
- Pick the contest length.
- Write your auto-responder email series that will maximize revenue.
- Set up a promotions tool (like Contest Domination) to help you manage the process and gain more exposure.
- Write your Facebook ads.
- Select your target audience and interests on Facebook.
- Set your budget for the contest.
- Launch the contest with an email to your list, sharing on FB, Twitter, social media, and turning on your advertising campaign.
- Write a blog post or do other content marketing to maximize contest potential.
- Select a winner when the contest ends.
- Email everyone that didn't win and give them a special offer on the product they didn't win.
- Set up an email campaign for long term success.
- Repeat the process to grow your email list even more.
This is the exact process that I followed in my most recent promotions. I know there are a ton of details in the 14 points above, so I below I'll share more details and depth on many of the points.
Deciding What to Giveaway in a Contest
Don't giveaway money or something that anyone in the world might want (like a phone or tablet). Give something away that ONLY people in your niche are interested in.
The idea is to attract people that are interested in YOUR products and services. If you giveaway gift cards to a place that just about anyone shops at, or money, or an iPad, you won't have a targeted audience at all. Sure, you might end up with tons of people on your email list, but they probably don't care about what you sell, they just wanted something for free.
So, if you are in the Barbecue niche, giveaway something related to grilling. Even better, give away a product you already sell. The best way to attract interested buyers for your products and services is to giveaway your products and services.
For example, I own TableLabs.com. If I were to run a contest, I would giveaway a lifetime copy of Table Labs. This would only attract people that are actually interested in the software. Then at the end of the contest, I would offer a special discount for Table Labs to anyone that didn't win.
Contest Landing Pages and Contest Length
If you are using Contest Domination or any other contest app or tool, then creating the landing page is pretty simple. In general, you want one or two really nice pictures of the product that will be winning and a paragraph or two describing why the product is so great. Think of it as a mini-salespage.
Then just have a button or opt in form where they can input their email to get a chance to win.
I personally feel like the contest length should typically be around 7 to 10 days. We have run contests that have a timeline as long as 30 days. I've just found that the excitement for many people tends to wear off after 10 days or so for a timeline.
Rather than run one long timeline contest for 30 days, why not run 3 different promotions for 10 days each? Yes, you'll get some of the same people entering all of your contests, but that just fine. This gives them more opportunities to share it with friends or on Twitter or other social media with each new contest.
Auto-responder Email Series
Your first email should thank them for entering the contest AND ask them to share it with their friends via email, Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else. This is where the magic starts to happen with tools like Contest Domination, because they can gain more entries the more they share it. People are incentivized to share on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, because they are more likely to win the more they share.
Before the contest ends you can be emailing people every day, every other day, or whatever you are comfortable with. But in general you should be reminding them to share the contest and also telling them about your brand story and what products you sell.
If done properly, you can have a 10 day email series that is generating sales or at least clicks to your affiliate website (if you don't have your own products) before the contest is even over. Remember these “leads” are hot when they first get on your email list.
If someone gets on your email list and they don't hear for you for 10 days (when they first join), they will probably forget who you are and unsubscribe.
Set Up Your Contest App
I happen to use Contest Domination for my contests. I've known the founder, Travis Ketchum for a long time and even had him on my podcast.
However, it's very possible that there is a better Facebook giveaway app out there. I personally haven't gone around looking at a bunch. So, you absolutely do not have to use Contest Domination to make this work, there are other apps that can serve the same purpose. I just happen to be familiar with Contest Domination.
In most tools, including the one I use, you can select from a template and process. As you can see below, there is a template landing page (which I used), then an email a friend page, then a social share page (Twitter, FB, etc) that people see when they enter the contest.
In Contest Domination, you can easily set up the first email that people get to include their personalized contest links (so they get points properly when it's shared). You can also adjust the number of points that people get when they generate unique referrals, etc.
Once you have everything set up on the “back end” you can start preparing your Facebook ads.
Facebook Ads, Target Audience, and Contest Budget
You don't have to run Facebook ads for your contest, but it can certainly help. If you don't have a very large following, you should likely plan on spending a little bit of money to get the ball rolling.
Remember, you don't have to spend alot. I just spent $100 and got 572 new email subscribers.
You have a couple of options when deciding how to run your Facebook ads. You can set up a traditional ad campaign, or you can just boost a Facebook post to get more people to submit entry. For my Facebook giveaway, I chose to simply boost a post.
Here's what our boosted Facebook post said to launch the contest (feel free to use this as a template if you want):
Want a FREE (enter product name here)? For our new contest, we are giving away one of the top selling (insert product name) absolutely free!
All you have to do is enter your email address to enter the drawing.
And it even gets better! You can increase your chances of winning our top selling (product name) for referring others, sharing on Facebook, or other social shares.
The contest ends at midnight on (enter date)! Submit your entry today, so you can be fully equipped to (name benefit of your product here).
Enter the giveaway here: (Insert Your Contest Landing Page Link Here)
As you can see, it's pretty simple and to the point. But if you are targeting the right people on Facebook, they would LOVE to submit an entry for your free stuff!
Which brings me to targeting. Be sure to target those people that are most likely to be interested in buying your products. You don't want to go so broad that you start paying for people to click on your ads that you never really wanted on your email list in the first place. You are on a limited budget, so use it wisely.
I only spent $100 on my latest campaign in order to “test the waters”. Since it worked so well, I plan to spend more money on the next one. You can do something similar. If $50 is all you can start with, that's fine. If you have $500 to try things out and then ramp up from there, go for it.
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Launch Your Contest Where You Have Influence
Now that you have launched your contest on Facebook through a boosted post or regular ad campaign, you should mention it wherever you have influence.
For example, if you have a blog in your niche, consider writing a blog post about it. If you already have an email list, then definitely send an email or two to your list about possibly entry. In addition, be sure to post the contest on Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or other social media channels that you might be involved with.
If you want to go the extra mile and find other content marketing opportunities, leveraging other people's audiences can work really well.
How to Pick a Winner of Your Facebook Giveaway
If you aren't using any software tools, then picking a prize winner could be a difficult process. You might have to resort to spreadsheets and random number generators.
However, if you are using a tool like Contest Domination (or others) then the software does all the heavy lifting for you. The official rules of the contest would have been established ahead of time, so the person with the most shares and referrals has the highest chances of winning, but really anyone could win the prize.
The official rules are laid out for all potential entrants to see. These promotion guidelines are important to have so there is no dispute when you announce the grand prize winner.
All you do is click the “winner” button and it tells you who won, what their email address is, and you can view all their referral stats.
Important Emails Once the Contest is Over
Once the contest ends is when you start to make money. As soon as you pick the prize winner, you should send out a blast email to everyone that entered the contest and announce the winner.
Oh and be sure to send the winner the product they won! There is no online contest scam here, you really are giving away a product for free.
However, you don't reveal the name of the winner in the email that goes to all entrants. You say something like, “We just picked the winner for our contest, to see if you won, CLICK HERE.”
That way, everyone clicks on that link that takes them to a page that does 2 things: 1. Lists the name of the winner and 2. Is a salespage trying to sell the product you just gave away at a discount.
Remember, if you followed the steps I described above for targeting the right audience only, then these people are very interested in what you are offering. They might be a little sad that they didn't win, but they will be happy to see that product is now offered at a discount that they can take advantage of.
I did a contest and then immediate discount offer (like I just explained) a couple of years ago for Long Tail Pro (a software business I used to own). I don't remember the exact numbers, but that one contest and subsequent special offer generated well over $20,000 in revenue. However, there are lots of reasons why this worked so well that may not apply to every contest.
In my most recent contest, I was able to generate 11 direct product sales and a few more affiliate sales as part of my special offer. The total revenue was about $280.
If you are wondering about the affiliate sales, it was pretty simple. On the contest winner announcement page / salespage, I linked to my own product on Amazon with an affiliate link. So, when people bought my product at a discount that I was offering, I also got the affiliate commission.
Finally, sending out regular emails becomes important once the contest is over. You need to either have a long term autoresponder campaign set up, or stay on top of sending regular emails to your list to keep them acquainted with you and ready to buy your products when you make the right offer.
Remember, the biggest benefit of doing a contest is to collect warm email leads, so don't forget to continually nurture them once the contest is over.
Additional Facebook Contest Ideas
What I've described above is a fairly straight forward way to gain entrants into your contest. Depending on your niche, you could get more creative like doing a photo contest, asking for user-generated content, or even doing something surrounding holidays (like Valentine's day).
In fact, if you want to increase your chances of something going viral, you can consider doing some sort of survey where you ask entrants to vote for their favorite product or brand. If you can generate some sort of competition between users and their opinions with your marketing promotions, you can increase the odds that your fans will share.
Frequently Asked Questions Related to Facebook Contests
In my research for my own giveaways and for writing this article, I've run across a few questions that people are asking across the web that I want to attempt to answer.
- Where can I get Facebook fans? Yes, running a contest is also a great way to generate more Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram fans. While it's nice to have more fans, I personally think it's better to have them on an email list. But a Facebook giveaway can help do both.
- How do I create a promotion on Facebook? If you use one of the contest apps I mentioned above, it's pretty simple. If you want to do it on your own, you can try this app, but I've never used it and don't know of any reviews about it.
- Is it illegal to host a fake giveaway? Yes. Don't do that.
- Can a Facebook contest be integrated with an Amazon book giveaway? Sure! You can simply offer up a free copy of the Amazon book as the prize and then run the contest as described above.
- I started a giveaway but nobody entered? That's probably because you didn't share it across social media channels or spend a little bit on advertising as described above.
I'm sure there are plenty more questions that will come up, but that should be good enough for now.
Overall, I've shared some of the best practices I've learned for starting and launching Facebook giveaway campaigns that can help grow your email list fast. When I look at the results, I often wonder why people don't do this more often.
If you have any additional questions or thoughts, I'd love to hear from you in the comment section below.