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How to Run a Successful Identity Marketing Sweepstakes

Sweepstakes campaigns are a great way for marketers to generate leads. According to an analysis by Wishpond, contest email CTRs are 5.5% higher than other emails, and contest landing page conversions are 7.3% higher than typical landing pages.

When your sweepstakes is also an identity marketing campaign, you can see even greater success.

Why You Should Run an Identity Marketing Sweepstakes

Create Greater Appeal

Like all identity marketing campaigns, the offer—in this case, a chance to win a prize—is only available to a specific consumer community, like teachers. This makes the contest more attractive to prospects because they know only their community can enter, which means their chances of winning are better. 

You can motivate prospects further by offering them a promotion they’ve already earned, such as the ongoing discount you give to teachers. Prospects know that even if they don’t win, they’re receiving something of value.   

Collect Richer Data

When you digitally verify a prospect’s eligibility to enter, you get more than just their contact information. You’re collecting zero-party data that gives you meaningful insight you can use to re-engage them with a personalized campaign, such as a special offer during Teacher Appreciation Week.  

Deliver Better Results

Zach Wigham, Purple’s Email Marketing Manager—Acquisitions, saw this potential and ran a sweepstakes campaign during Heroes Week—a series of national holidays in early May that celebrate professionals who provide valuable services to our communities. Purple’s sweepstakes targeted educators, first responders, healthcare workers, and the military, and Zach’s instincts paid off. 

“Our sweepstakes campaign was a highly optimized way to leverage identity marketing because we knew SheerID would digitally verify everyone who entered,” Zach said. “We used the zero-party data we collected to re-engage every participant, and by the end of the campaign we saw a conversion rate that was 12x our typical sweepstakes and a ROAS of 100:1.”

8 Tips For Running a Highly Successful Identity Marketing Sweepstakes

1. Choose Your Timing Wisely

You can raise the visibility of your contest by tying it to a calendar event that is already focusing national attention on your consumer community. For example, you can run a military sweepstakes for Veterans Day in November, or a nurses sweepstakes during National Nurses Week in May.

2. Expand Your Audience

Instead of limiting eligibility for your military sweepstakes to only active duty soldiers or veterans, include their spouses and dependents.  Or extend your nurses sweepstakes to include all healthcare professionals. You’ll create a greater buzz and gather more leads. 

3. Create Your Prize Strategically

Design your prize so it’s highly appealing. If you’re targeting students, offer free home decor for a dorm room makeover. If you’re targeting nurses, make the prize something that relieves their stress, like a discounted vacation or a trip to a spa.   

Consider making it even more compelling by partnering with other companies. If you’re a fashion brand targeting teachers with a free wardrobe, partner with a travel company who can add a free trip, or a general retailer who can offer free classroom supplies.

And make your prize work for you even after the contest ends. If your flagship product is a higher priced item, offer a cash prize that will encourage the winner to add their own money to purchase it. Or make the prize something like free airfare, so winners will also want to book a hotel. 

PRO TIP: Have participants opt in to each brand separately to ensure your contest meets privacy requirements.

4. Be Genuine in Your Messaging

Go beyond run-of-the-mill sweepstakes language and show how much you value your consumer community by explaining why you want to reward them. 

These companies are good examples of brands whose identity marketing campaigns express genuine support. 

  • Mattress company Tuft & Needle targets first responders because it knows they need a good night’s sleep. 
  • Fashion brand Rothy’s gives an exclusive discount to nurses because it knows they need comfortable shoes. 
  • Retailer Target runs a special back-to-school campaign for teachers because it knows they need classroom support.

PRO TIP: When promoting your sweepstakes, feature a quote from your CEO (like this one from Purple) that expresses your company’s high regard for the community you’re targeting.

5. Leverage Your Database

Your database offers a great way to reach qualified prospects—you just need to get creative about how you tap into it. 

For example, if your contest is for students, you could slice your database narrowly and target only those contacts who have a .edu email address. 

Or if your contest is for a community with broad support, such as the military, you could email everyone in your database knowing that if a recipient isn’t eligible, they likely know someone who is and would enjoy forwarding the opportunity to them.

6. Partner with SheerID

We offer a wide range of free resources to help our customers promote their campaigns and would gladly distribute a press release about your sweepstakes and pitch the story to the media.

7. Follow Up with Every Participant

Be sure to contact both winners and non-winners, and give non-winners a consolation prize like a modest, time-limited discount or early-access to your next big sale.

8. Plan Re-Engagement Campaigns

The zero-party data you collect from your sweepstakes is your biggest win. Use it to re-engage participants with ongoing campaigns that reward and celebrate their community.

Sweepstakes campaigns are a great way to leverage the power of identity marketing. If you implement them smartly, your brand will be the biggest winner.

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