How To Do a Giveaway: 7 Tips To Drive Sales

How to Run a Giveaway on Social Media

Every brand wants more eyeballs on their products. Going viral is the dream, but it’s not an easy feat, especially if you’re in a saturated market. Giveaways are the perfect balance of showcasing your products and expanding your reach while providing an engaging activity for consumers to take part in. 

Wondering how to do a giveaway to increase brand awareness and sales? We’ve got you covered. This post will walk you through a step-by-step process, from defining your end goal to choosing which giveaway platform to use. 

How to do a giveaway to increase brand awareness and drive sales

  1. Define your goals
  2. Offer an exciting prize
  3. Find partnership opportunities
  4. Decide on the entry requirements
  5. Choose a giveaway platform
  6. Launch and promote your giveaway
  7. Announce the winner and follow up

1. Define your goals 

It’s important to identify what you want to achieve with your giveaway, otherwise it can end up being a pointless and time-consuming exercise. 

There are three main goals that ecommerce brands are shooting for with a giveaway: 

  1. Brand awareness: Introduce your brand to more people. This usually results in more social media followers and email subscribers.
  2. Engagement: Generate a buzz around your brand and products. In action, this looks like more comments, tags, and shares of your posts.
  3. Sales: Sell more products. This obviously results in more customers. 

Decide which goal is best for your business at the time of running the giveaway. For example, if you want to raise awareness of a new product during its launch, brand awareness might be the best goal. Once you’ve decided on a goal, you can map it to relevant key performance indicators (KPIs). For brand awareness, this might be follower count or the number of email subscribers. 

2. Offer an exciting prize

Giveaways with an enticing prize tend to generate higher participation levels. It’s no good offering something your audience isn’t interested in, especially if your goal is to get more customers. 

Are you going to give away a new product? An entire collection? Or money? Ideally the prize should align with your brand and give your audience a taster of your products. A very obvious example of a disconnect would be a vegan cheese brand giving away a gift pack of BBQ meat rubs. 

Here are some examples of possible prizes: 

  • A limited-edition product
  • An entire product collection
  • Products from relevant influencers 
  • Gift cards
  • Travel
  • A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity 
Giveaway example by Itsy running a contest for its product collection

ipsy gives away a product collection. 

The caliber of your prize will ultimately dictate what kind of participants you get and the success of your giveaway. More importantly, the prize should be something that helps you meet your end goal. For example, if you want to generate user engagement, a big prize like travel or money might work best. If you want to generate sales and get new customers, giving away a product collection or new product might work better. 

Sephora gives away multiple gift cards in this social media campaign example.

Sephora gives away multiple gift cards in this social media campaign example

When choosing the right prize, consider: 

  • Your audience (or the audience you want to reach): What are they interested in? What products get them excited? 
  • Your brand values: What do you want people to associate your brand with? Do you have any staunch values and beliefs that you want to share? 
  • Your goal: The prize you choose should be geared toward the end goal of your giveaway. 

3. Find partnership options 

Partnering with influencers and high-authority brands in your niche can dramatically boost the reach of your giveaway. You don’t necessarily need Kim Kardashian on side, per se, but it can be a great help having relevant individuals with large clout sharing your giveaway with their pre-established audiences. 

One effective way to partner with influencers and brands is through affiliate marketing. By offering a commission for every sale made through an influencer’s unique referral link, you can incentivize them to promote your products or services to their audience. This is where Shopify Collabs comes in handy, as it streamlines the process of managing and tracking affiliate campaigns directly from your Shopify admin.

Find influencers to drive sales with Shopify Collabs

Shopify Collabs makes it easy to partner with creators, promote your products, reach new customers, grow your sales, and track affiliate campaign performance all from Shopify admin.

Discover Shopify Collabs

Again, consider the goal of your giveaway: Do you want to increase brand awareness? Try working with an influencer who has a large audience. Want to generate sales? It might be better to team up with micro-influencers who have small but niche audiences and high conversion rates. 

When choosing who to partner with, check out:

  • Previous influencer marketing campaigns: What giveaways have they been a part of in the past and what were the results? 
  • Influencer values: Ideally you want to partner with influencers who share your brand values. 
  • Engagement levels: The engagement levels of an influencer is an insight into how trusted they are and how much sway they have over their audience. 
  • Audience: While a high follower count means you might be able to reach more people, it’s not the be all and end all. In fact, it can be much more fruitful to partner with an influencer who has a smaller audience made up of the kind of people you want to reach. 

You can also partner with like-minded brands and businesses, like relevant lifestyle magazines, other parallel ecommerce businesses, and organizations. Again, consider what you want to get out of the partnership and whether the chosen brand has the means to get you there.

Example of a giveaway partnership

Vegan chocolate brand Mummy Meagz partnered up with several vegan businesses to promote this Christmas giveaway. 

4. Decide on the entry requirements

How will people get involved in your giveaway? If you take a closer look, most ecommerce brands running a social media giveaway encourage participants to do one or more of the following: 

  • Follow the brand account
  • Share the post with their followers
  • Comment on the post
  • Tag friends
  • Sign up to an email list 
  • Like the photo or post 
  • Upload a photo or video 

The easier it is to enter, the more participants you’ll get. In fact, some brands count each “action” from the list above as an entry, so one person can claim up to seven entries if they do all of the actions. Again, consider the end goal of your giveaway before you dive into the entry requirements. 

Want to grow your email list? Make signing up to your list an entry requirement. Want to generate a buzz around your brand? Get participants to tag a friend and share your post with their followers. Choose just two or three entry requirements to make it as easy as possible to enter while still making it possible to reach your giveaway end goal. 

Benefit Cosmetics asks participants to like the post, follow the brand account and the partner account, and tag someone in the comments.

Benefit Cosmetics asks participants to like the post, follow the brand account and the partner account, and tag someone in the comments. 

5. Choose a giveaway platform 

Where will you host your giveaway? Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or TikTok? Choose the platform that you either want to see growth on or that you already have an established audience on. If you want to grow your Instagram account, host your giveaway there, or if you already have a huge TikTok following and want to increase the chances of your giveaway going viral, host it there instead. 

There are several giveaway platforms on the Shopify App Store that will help you streamline the process from start to finish. They help you set up your giveaway, add your entry requirements, collect participant information, and generate a winner, all in one place. This saves you the time and effort it takes to scroll through entries and handpick a winner (and, ultimately, the winner should be chosen at random anyway). 

7 giveaway tools to try 

1. ViralSweeps Giveaway Contests: run contests and giveaways across a variety of platforms and easily capture participant information with dynamic forms 

Viralsweeps giveaway tool

2. Rafflecopterbig-name giveaway tool that simplifies the process and makes it easy to scale your giveaway efforts 

Rafflecopter giveaway tool

3. Social Boost Giveaway Contest: incentivize participants to get involved in your giveaway and run a variety of different giveaway campaigns 
Social Boost Giveaway Contest Tool

PineRafflereward giveaway participants with raffle tickets they can cash in for prizes and products 
Pine Raffle Giveaway tool

Instant Giveawaycreate giveaways and track people who visit the sweepstake page to retarget them later
Instant Giveaway tool

Giveaway Ninjareward participants with extra entries when they share your giveaway with friends and family

Instant Giveaway tool

SweepWidgetchoose the entry requirements for giveaway participants and offer prizes or coupons as a reward

Sweep Widget giveaway tool

6. Launch and promote your giveaway 

Your giveaway is all set to go. Now it’s time to put it out into the world and get some momentum going. There are plenty of ways you can promote your giveaway, but here are some popular giveaway ideas to get your creative juices flowing. 

Send it to your email list

Your email subscribers are already invested in your brand. They’ve either bought from you in the past or are interested in what you’re selling, so there’s a very high chance they’re also going to be interested in any giveaway you run. 

Create a simple promotional email (or a series) that shares your giveaway and the steps participants need to take to enter. Remember to emphasize the giveaway prize and give subscribers a good reason to enter. 

Apto Skincare sent a branded email to its list highlighting a giveaway with a high-quality photo of the prizes.

Apto Skincare sent a branded email to its list highlighting a giveaway with a high-quality photo of the prizes. 

Share it on social media

Social media is a great place to get traction on your giveaway. The more people share it with their followers, the wider your reach will be—just remember to customize your messaging depending on the platform. You can add a giveaway post to your Instagram feed, promote the giveaway in your Stories, and even turn it into a hashtag challenge on TikTok. The best part is giveaways can create a buzz in the comments section, which boosts overall engagement across your accounts. 

Olive Wellness does a last call for its giveaway on its Instagram Stories.

Olive Wellness does a last call for its giveaway on its Instagram Stories.

Add a popup on your website

People who visit your site are already interested in what you’re selling. Capture high-intent shoppers with a pop-up on your website that allows them to enter the giveaway without leaving your store. This is a great way to get email addresses, if that’s your goal, but it’s also a surefire way to attract your target audience, since they’re already shopping on your site. 

Hauser’s pop-up appears when visitors land on the website and encourages them to enter their email address for the chance to win a product kit.

Hauser’s pop-up appears when visitors land on the website and encourages them to enter their email address for the chance to win a product kit. 

Collaborate with influencers 

Partner up with relevant industry influencers and partners to spread the word about your giveaway. Find accounts that have a similar target audience or an audience you’d like to reach and offer them an incentive to share the contest. You might choose to partner with just one influencer or team up with several smaller collaborators depending on the goal of your campaign. 

Credo Beauty teams up with Briana Dai to promote their sun-care giveaway on Instagram.

Credo Beauty teams up with Briana Dai to promote their sun-care giveaway on Instagram. 

Create a hashtag 

Hashtags increase the visibility of your giveaway, attract new followers on your social networks, and help you see where and how it’s being promoted by your customers and Instagram followers. Choose a hashtag that’s relevant to the giveaway and take it one step further by encouraging participants to share the giveaway or a piece of content with the added hashtag.

Shea Mositure uses the hashtag #SheaMoisturexLipBarSweeps to promote its giveaway and encourage participants to get involved.

Shea Mositure uses the hashtag #SheaMoisturexLipBarSweeps to promote its giveaway and encourage participants to get involved. 

Encourage participants to share 

Your customers and followers are your greatest marketing tool. Encourage them to share your giveaway on their own social channels—or, better yet, offer additional entries for every time they share the giveaway on their accounts or in their Stories.

Sassy Woof gives participants 20 extra entries if they share the giveaway in their Stories.

Sassy Woof gives participants 20 extra entries if they share the giveaway in their Stories. 

Write a blog post 

Publishing a blog post about your giveaway can boost organic traffic to your site and promote your campaign to people searching on Google. It can also act as a landing page that participants can share with their friends and family. You can also bring other bloggers on board to create a series of blog posts to boost SEO and expand your digital marketing strategy. Make sure they understand your Instagram contest rules and eligibility—it can help to give them some promotion guidelines to work with. 

Master of Malt wrote a blog post to promote its annual giveaway.

Master of Malt wrote a blog post to promote its annual giveaway. 

7. Announce the winner and follow up 

Once the giveaway has ended and you’ve got a load of entries, it’s time to announce the winner and follow up with them. You can do this privately, but it can boost the credibility of your giveaway and brand if you announce it publicly too, so that participants who didn’t win know that you’ve followed through on your promise. 

Use an automated giveaway tool to pick a winner at random and tag them on your chosen social media platform. Send them a DM, too, so they know what steps they need to take next and how they can claim their prize.

Serendipitously Craft announced the winner of its successful Instagram giveaway by tagging them in a feed post and asking them to reach out via DM with their address. You can see that this post also generated a lot of engagement as other participants raced to congratulate the winner. 

Example of announcing a winner by tagging them on Instagram with follow up instructions

4 tips for running a successful giveaway 

1. Give updates throughout

While your giveaway is in full swing, be sure to update contestants throughout the length of the contest and remind them to complete certain actions to earn additional entries.

Depending on your giveaway, you might be giving away products throughout the duration of the contest too—so be sure to keep anyone updated on those prizes as well!

Here's an example of Beardbrand doing that using Gleam:

Example of Beardbrand using Gleam for a giveaway tool

2. Notify all parties involved

While this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s often forgotten when everything begins to come together. If your prize consists of another product from an influencer, be sure to let them know when you plan on launching the giveaway to ensure that they help promote it too.

Here's an example of an actual email reminding a partner of ours about a contest that went live:

Here's an example of an actual email reminding a partner of ours about a contest that went live

Don’t forget to actually email them, text them, tweet at them, or contact them by whatever means of communication you need to use in order to actually let them know when the giveaway is live!

3. Let your current customers know

If you already have a few customers, let them know about the giveaway and contest too! Chances are, if they’ve purchased a product from you in the past, they’ll be thrilled to hear about getting a new product for free!

Use your favorite email marketing tool to send an email to your existing customers informing them about the giveaway.

4. Encourage virality

Adding a viral loop baked right into the giveaway can be essential toward the success of your giveaway. If you’re able to make an entry method include sharing the giveaway with friends and family to earn entries, you’re golden. Referral marketing is a good tactic to use to promote your giveaway, since participants get rewarded for sharing the campaign with their network. 

Most tools (including the ones we covered above) do have this functionality built into them, so take advantage of that!

Grow your business with giveaways

Giveaways are a great way to reach new audiences and spread the word about your product. You can offer a new product, a collection of products, or a cash prize. But whatever you choose, make sure it’s relevant to your brand and something your target audience will be excited about. 

Ready to get started? 

How to do a giveaway FAQ

How do you run a good giveaway?

  1. Choose a goal for your giveaway.
  2. Offer an exciting prize.
  3. Partner with influencers.
  4. Decide how people can enter.
  5. Use a giveaway tool or platform.
  6. Promote your giveaway.
  7. Announce the winner.

How do you pick a winner for a giveaway?

Here are some ways you can pick a winner:
  1. Use a giveaway tool to automatically select a winner.
  2. Pick the person who has completed the most entries.
  3. Select a winner based on the quality of their entry.
  4. Create a database of entrants and choose a winner at random.
  5. Have a partner or influencer choose the winner.

What are the rules for a giveaway?

The rules for a giveaway tell participants how they can enter and if there are any restrictions in place. Rules can include age limitations, valid participant locations, how the winners will be chosen, and how the winners can claim their prize.

How do you get people to enter a giveaway?

Here are some ways to get people to enter your giveaway:
  1. Email your current customers.
  2. Share your giveaway on social media.
  3. Add a pop-up on your website.
  4. Team up with influencers and partners.
  5. Create a hashtag for your giveaway.
  6. Encourage participants to promote the giveaway.
  7. Write a blog post.
  8. Include entry requirements in your packaging.