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How to run a giveaway to grow your online store

Giveaway’s can be a really good tool to grow your business, especially if you are just starting out. They can put your business and products in front of new audiences and if done correctly can nurture potential customers through your sales funnel and turn them into buyers.

There are a few different types of giveaways, the one most commonly used seems to be a like/comment/share via social media or a loop giveaway.

The issue I have with these is that in the most part they only serve to grow your social media following. Social media following is not an indicator of sales growth. Especially once you start doing loop giveaways or tag a friend and share.

You really need to think about whether the people you are attracting via the loop or tag and share are your ideal customers. Are they actually interested in your products and business and is there potential for them to become customers down the track.

If the answer is no, then all you are really doing is growing fake followers who won’t interact with your content and help increase social engagement. Which in the long run leads to an audience who is un-engaged and can tank your social pages.

A better way and one that I have found works well, is to set a giveaway up where the main condition of entry is to sign up to your email list. This moves people off social media and onto a list that you own and control. This also means you have a way of contacting them down the track and usually also weeds out people who only want free stuff.

To set up a giveaway like this you will need to either create a landing page via your CRM or install an app on your website which automatically collects names and emails. There are a load of apps available for this on Shopify and Woocommerce. My personal favourite is social boost on shopify as it’s free till you hit a certain number of entries and creates a unique URL hosted on your website where you can direct traffic.

This not only helps bring people onto your website but also allows you to get their email and add in additional entries if they follow your social pages. Pretty much covers all your bases.

In addition once you move your giveaway off social media and onto list building you can run engagement ads through to a cold audience on Facebook and Instagram. This can be done for $5 a day and can really help build a new cold audience for nurturing.

After the Giveaway Has Been Drawn

So once you have run the giveaway and drawn a winner then what?

You need to tag or segment the email list in your CRM so you can send them a few quick nurture e-mails. The first one should be to announce the winner, thank everyone for their entry and put an offer out in front of them. It’s pretty much a consolation prize like a special code, free shipping or perhaps a bundle buy just for them.

Make sure you follow this up once or twice with a reminder and some educational information about you and your store/products and even some customer reviews. You need to try and capitialise on the giveaway as much as possible and treat this like a new subscriber welcome sequence.

A few things to note:

Before running any giveaway you need to check the lottery competition rules for your state and make sure you are complying with these. Each state has a different set of rules but you only need to be compliant in the state the giveaway is being run from.

In terms of prizes, it doesn’t matter as long as it is something your audience/ideal client will be interested in. I’ve done giveaways valued at $50 which pull in hundreds of entrants.

Running a giveaway is a great way to build your business especially if you are just starting to build a list or are ready to grow into new target markets. It does need to be done effectively though so you don’t end up wasting your time and product for little return.

E-mail list building via a giveaway is one of the best way’s you can grow your brand awareness, social media channels and your list all at the same time.

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