Horizon Featured Article

Giveaway Ideas to Help Your Brand Cut Through the Noise

Some Tips & Tricks from Northsail You Can Use for Your Next Giveaway

Everyone loves getting something for nothing.

At its heart, this is the driving factor that attracts a potential customer to giveaways. Regardless of what you're offering, it's easier to engage customers with these types of promotions than some others, but the way you frame your giveaway can have a huge impact on its success.

This type of proactive, forward thinking is what Northsail specializes in. It's part of our commitment to always providing our services on-time, on-spec and on-budget.

We don't believe in mediocrity. That's why we're so adamant about meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations that we'll turn down projects if we don't think we can complete them to our own high standards.

We strive to build long-lasting relationships with each and every client. The same way that you want your promotional campaigns to connect with every customer that walks through your doors or visits your website. It's the only way to create truly loyal customers.

In our continuing efforts to help you further develop your promotional marketing strategies to reach a larger audience, Northsail has put together a list of giveaway ideas that you can use to entice customers with your next promotion.

What is a Giveaway?

Before we discuss some giveaway ideas, it's important to understand what 'promotional giveaways' actually means. Similar to the types of promotions we discussed in our Contest Prize Ideas article, 'giveaway' is actually a term that encompasses both contests, as well as sweepstakes.

Typically, with a contest, the customer needs to fulfill some sort of obligation on their end (most often making a purchase in order to earn a ballot). Sweepstakes just require the customer to offer you their name and contact information in order to enter. This usually involves getting their email address, so you can add it to your email list for future marketing purposes.

A giveaway can be either of these types of promotions. Now that we've cleared that up, let's talk about some ideas you can use to create your perfect giveaway.

20 Great Giveaway Ideas for Your Next Promotion

1.) Host the Giveaway Yourself

The easier your giveaway ideas are for customers to enter; the more customers will inevitably throw their hats into the ring.

One common business tactic is using a companion app that the customers have to access to enter their giveaways. However, many customers don't want to have to download a secondary app in order to apply, so they will pass on entering.

Run the giveaways from your own site, and it's easier to get the promotions in front of your customers as they're shopping. Plus, since they only need to give a little bit of information and click a few buttons, it's much more likely they'll take the time to enter.

2.) Involve Customers by Having Them Create Content for You

One of the easiest ways to engage customers is to get them involved in your promotions, and getting customers to provide user-generated content isn't nearly as hard as it sounds to do.

As we talked about in our article about increasing Brand Visibility, designing a social media giveaway is a wonderful way to interact directly with your target audience.

Have them share photos of their favorite product they purchased from you in the past, with a selected winner earning the giveaway prize. Not only will those build engagement, but those photo contests could be invaluable marketing materials for you to use in the future.

3.) Use Urgency to Your Advantage

As we talked about in our Email Marketing Ideas article, urgency is a powerful tool that you can utilize to draw customers attention and prevent them from procrastinating about entering your giveaway.

All you have to do is limit the amount of time your promotional giveaways are running, and then give the customers some kind of visual triggers that enforce the fact that the clock is literally ticking down.

4.) Build 'Gamification' into Your Giveaways

'Gamification' is a term we use to describe promotions that can create intrigue and excitement from customers. This may sound more challenging than it actually is.

Take a holiday giveaway promotion for example. You could build giveaway ideas around the classic '12 Days of Christmas' song, and give customers the opportunity to enter daily draws for giveaways across a chosen 12 days during December.

Not only will this draw repeat traffic to your store and website, but it continually re-engages customers, because they have the opportunity to win multiple times within the same giveaway.

5.) Use Value to Compel Customers

Regardless of what you're choosing to offer for your prizes, a successful giveaway needs to be compelling.

The most effective way to do this is to create value for them through your giveaways. This could mean rather than offering a product, consider a service instead.

In our Using Rewards & Prizes in Successful Promotions article, we discussed how a car dealership could create prize value for customers using free services for giveaways; such as regular maintenance services, rather than a physical product like air fresheners.

There's a lot more to a good contest idea than just offering an expensive prize.

6.) Partner with Market Influencers

Every market has experts and influencers; people who are well-known among the community and carry a voice of authority. With the rise of YouTube, Twitch and other entertainment-driven social platforms, influencers have become the minor celebrities of countless industries.

You can use their fame to your advantage through partnerships. If you can get their face and brand behind your business, you'll be able to draw at least part of their social media followers towards your giveaway.

Done well, this can be an enormous benefit to your business in the long-run, by putting you in front of many new customers you may not have been able to reach otherwise.

Sometimes this can even be a gateway into new social media channels that your business hasn't explored yet. If your partnership has a strong presence on specific social media platforms that you haven't been utilizing, use this as an opportunity to build a place for your brand in those spaces as well.

7.) Do Your Research Before You Start

This may seem like a no-brainer, but many businesses fail to do any kind of in-depth research prior to designing their giveaway ideas.

One way to do this is to research some keywords that apply to your giveaway, and then optimize the landing page for SEO when you're writing in the details of your giveaway, in order to draw more natural search engine traffic.

You could even look into what Hashtags are doing well in your industry. Then, run a short hashtag contest within your customer base. This is a very useful tactic for brainstorming some clever ways to promote your brand and products, before you try to start trending.

8.) Don't Underestimate the Power of Price Reductions

Coupons and discount codes may seem like simplistic giveaway ideas, but that doesn't make them any less effective.

As we talked about in our Utilizing Price Reductions article, while not always the best choice, using discounts and markdowns can be an incredibly smart way to leverage overstocked inventory and slow selling products into customer engagement.

9.) Incentivize Your Target Market

During our In-store Promotions article, we talked about how loyalty programs can be used to incentivize customers. Another way to get the same effect is offer customers an added bonus for referring people to your giveaway.

This could be in the form of additional ballots for every other person they refer, or even a special 'referrals giveaway' that only referrers are eligible to enter.

10.) Themed Giveaways Create Excitement

It's no shock that themed giveaway ideas are effective, they've been an excellent option that many businesses have used for years. Countless stores use themed giveaways, especially around the holiday season, to help increase foot traffic and promote customer engagement with other sales they may be running.

Think outside the box and you can create themed giveaways that are unique to you. Run a St. Patrick's Day promotion for green items. Arrange a scavenger hunt around your store to win a small prize, or a ballot towards a big one.

11.) Gift Cards = Freedom

While you may not be a fan of giving these to family members around the holidays, there's no reason you can't utilize them in your giveaway ideas.

Offering your customers the opportunity to win gift cards, means putting the control back in their hands. Sure, it isn't a specific product prize, but you're essentially giving them money as their prize.

Money that they can only spend in your business. It's a win-win for you and the customer.

12.) Offer Live Chat Through Your Website

Providing customers with a live chat feature on your website not only gives them the opportunity to ask you questions about specific products, but it gives you the chance to give your customers a little extra nudge towards your giveaways.

Just remember to be very casual about giveaway reminders on this platform, or you can quickly go from helpful to pushy.

This is meant to be a much more personalized, casual manner for them to reach out to you with questions and concerns. Ideally, this saves customers from having to try and track down your contact info through your website, or backtracking through your business' previous mailing list contacts.

13.) Put Together a Video for Your Giveaway

These days, many customers want to know who is running the businesses they support. They want to see the faces behind the brand, so that they can make that personal connection with your products. 'Support local, buy local' is a mantra many people have adopted recently.

It doesn't have to be big, elaborate or expensive to produce. Just be excited and speak honestly about what you're offering. Include some of your team members if you can. Anything you can do to encourage the family/personal image is going to work to your advantage.

14.) Did Someone Say SWAG?

Giveaway prizes don't need to break the bank. Sometimes the best kinds of giveaways are the ones that you run all the time, without putting a lot of effort into direct marketing campaigns.

For example, using shirts, hats, pens, and lanyards are great ways to keep your brand in front of the customer long after they've left your store.

Just offer them as bonuses at checkout, the customer will be happily surprised, and you'll have earned yourself a little extra customer loyalty from them for your trouble.

15.) Create Beneficial Product Bundles

Rather than give something away, you can actually organize giveaways in the form of product bundles, where you group a handful of products together to be purchased at a discount.

This provides a discount over the cost of the items individually, and it's a fantastic way for you to group slow-moving products with high sell-through items to move inventory; at a higher margin than you would if you simply marked down the less popular stock.

Think of this as an entry method to get your potential customers to try out products that just aren't moving the way that you hoped they would be.

16.) Give Customers a Choice

Some giveaway ideas aren't actually a specific prize, but actually a range of prizes from which the winner can pick.

The benefit of this is that you can offer a selection of giveaway prizes that hit a number of different parts of your customer base, and then simply let the winner choose what appeals to them the most.

This is a great way to engage a substantial portion of your customer base in one fell swoop.

17.) Temporary Subscriptions Mean Long-Term Engagement

If your business offers any kind of subscription or membership services, you can offer your giveaway winners free temporary access to these things as their prize.

The benefit of this is two-fold. They'll be far more engaged with your business for the entire length of their trial, because they'll want to make use of their prize.

On top of that, they'll be more inclined to pay for the services after their trial period of time has ended; especially if they really enjoyed the benefits they were receiving while they had access.

18.) Exclusivity is a Catalyst for Excitement

When you consider providing limited edition products as your giveaway prizes, you're doing more than using exclusivity. You're also creating competition.

Customers want to be on the 'inside' of these situations. They want to be one of the few that get access to these products, because otherwise they'll feel like they missed out.

They'll even compete against other customers, if given the opportunity. If you can offer them ways to earn additional entry ballots (i.e., through referrals), you can encourage them to go out of their way to promote your giveaway for you, since it’s also a benefit to them.

19.) Just Ask Them What They Want

There's nothing wrong with just asking your customer base what kind of giveaways they'd like to see from your business.

In fact, this can be a smart tactic for engaging with your customers through social media platforms and email campaigns. If you don't want the sky to be the limit, offer them a few suggestions and see what appeals to them most from your selections.

Any knowledge you can gain from this to tailor future giveaway ideas is only going to help you plan more efficiently in the future.

20.) Event Tickets are a Real Treat

With things just starting to return to normal around the world, one of the things that most people are going to be excited about returning are live events.

This is a great reason to include event tickets in your giveaway ideas, because odds are if you cater the prize towards events most of your customers will enjoy, like concerts or sporting events, you can easily create a lot of excitement.

Bonus points here if you can get your hands on some very sought-after tickets or sold-out shows. You'll have customers lined up out the door just trying to enter!

Speaking of Giveaways

Check Out Northsail's Newest Service - 'Horizon'

We'd like to do a giveaway with you right now, and give you the opportunity to check out a new service we'll soon be offering called 'Horizon'.

Sign-up below for a free trial, and we'll let you try it out for yourself before it's available as part of our regular services.

Horizon allows you to quickly and easily create high-performance landing pages and microsites. Plus, you can add Customer Data Forms to any of your pages, to start collecting valuable customer information. All we ask is that you take a few minutes to tell us what you think, once you've had a chance to check it out.

It's this kind of open communication with our clients that sets Northsail apart, and why so many people consider us Canada's #1 custom software developer.

Sign up for early access to Horizon!

We’ll send you important updates about the early access program and your free invite when we are ready.

Your contact information will only be used for the early access program, not for future sales and marketing.

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