Thanks to a bunch of wonderful bloggers out there, I recently ran a birthday giveaway. While I did a few things right, I also learned from a handful of mistakes. Now I’d love to share my gleanings of insight with you, to make each of your next giveaways run without a hitch! Here are my top tips for how (not) to run a spectacular blog giveaway.
[Updated July 2015]
Go at it alone
>> No man is an island, and blog giveaways are most successful when they’re held by a handful of gracious hosts. Not only will you get more entrants from a wider, more expansive audience, but your giveaway will be published on others’ websites. This additional blog traffic plus bonus traffic from social media coverage of the giveaway from each host will help reel in traffic to your blog giveaway.
Throw like a girl
>> What prizes will you give away? Most likely, you’ll need sponsors to donate items, whether from big brands like KitchenAid or smaller handmade shops, like Etsy. Either way, you need to pitch well to get the goods. Don’t be shy and assume companies won’t be interested. Put on your game face and pitch your giveaway like a pro. Here are a few articles to get you started:
- Write an Elevator Pitch for Your Blog from ProBlogger
- Pitch Letter Templates from Eli Rose
- 9 Tips to Pitch Your Blog Successfully from Daily Blog Tips
Place a minimum value on items
>> There’s not much that puts me off to sponsoring a giveaway more than when the host requires a minimum value on the prize you offer. It seems tactless. (Is it tactless to call something tactless?) Maybe that’s just me, and I’m not judging those who do it, but I am saying to exercise caution and use your best judgment in this arena. This girl would rather win a $5 Starbucks card than a set of gaudy earrings that cost upwards of $60.
Forget to ask sponsors if they will ship prizes internationally
>> If you’re like me, a giveaway fiend living outside North America, you highly appreciate giveaways that are open worldwide. When hosting your own giveaway, it’s up to you to determine how prizes will be available. Remember that shipping overseas does cost a teensy bit more, so it’s best to clearly explain to potential sponsors the simple and most cost-efficient ways to mail prizes if you’re trying to lure them into a worldwide giveaway.
Email sponsors less than a week before the giveaway debuts
>> Be a peach and give your sponsors plenty of notice. Contact them at least 10 days before you plan to put together the giveaway post granting them minimum a week to get you their links, photos, and other information. You are relying on them after all, and if you’d like your sweet sponsors to return and collaborate again, treat them like royalty.
Put all the weight on others
>> Don’t let your sponsors carry all the weight. Donate a prize yourself. It is your blog after all.
Limit the giveaway only to bloggers
>> Sometimes giveaways limit themselves only to bloggers, by requiring mandatory “follow” entries. Remember that many readers may not be bloggers with the social media profiles to follow along with you. Open up entries to this audience by adding comment entries, or even “enter your email” entries to your giveaway.
Maintain a haphazard inbox
>> Place all giveaway contacts in a separate email folder. Be sure to include their names in every mailing to ensure they feel the love. After all, without your sponsors, you’ve got one major fail of a giveaway.
Gather sponsors in advance and lose touch
>> Maintain effective correspondence with giveaway sponsors. Keep them updated and let them know your plan. Get them on board to publicize your giveaway. Make the most of your partnership.
Forget to check links
>> Serve your sponsors well by checking each and every link in your giveaway post. Be sure that all sponsor blogs/shoppes and sponsor names are spelled correctly and that all rafflecopter links open correctly too. This photo is a real snapshot of a follow “link” from a giveaway going on at a blog. Feeling kinda lousy for the sponsor, but I did let the host know about the error.
Don’t follow up with sponsors after the winner has been chosen
>> Follow up contact is vital to ensure that the giveaway winner and sponsors are both happy. Be certain to thank your sponsors personally and be sure that prizes were sent. Encourage your winner to do the same. Post-giveaway is also a great time to ask for sponsor feedback, suggestions, and comments.
Now that you’ve got a hold on how to run a successful blog giveaway, go ahead and do it! And please invite me to enter, because I love me some hand-selected prizes!
What is your best tip for holding a successful blog giveaway? Please share in the comments so we can rock the giveaway scene!