What Is A Giveaway: A How-To Guide

When boosting customer engagement or increasing brand awareness, giveaways can always serve as the best business ally. They are affordable and simple to run, and if executed properly, they can increase brand visibility and strengthen the relationship with the target customers.

What Is A Giveaway?

A giveaway is something a company or an organisation offers to its customers for free to improve brand awareness or drive sales. It is a promotional tool that can range greatly in size and value.

Giveaways can be categorized into two types –

  • Contests – where the brand offers something of value to the top entry selected based on specific winning criteria.
  • Sweepstakes – where there are no winning criteria and the winners are chosen based on the luck of the draw.

That being said, depending on the scope and purpose of the giveaway, it can involve offering the product or service for free or an all-inclusive five-day vacation.

Why Are Giveaways Important?

giveaway benefits
Source: Amazon

It’s a proven fact that businesses need timely promotional activities to ensure that their visibility among their target customers does not fade away. Below are some of the reasons why running a giveaway as one of those activities is crucial for any business:

Instant Brand Recognition

When you give back to your customers through free gifts or prizes, they easily remember and recognise your brand. According to Sageworld, 89% of consumers can recall a brand from which they have received a promotional product in the last two years.

Network Growth

Running a giveaway is the best way to build a social media following on sites like Twitter and Facebook. Most of the giveaways include micro-tasks like liking their page on Facebook and following them on Twitter and other social media networks.

These micro-tasks come with points which add up to the winning probability. People don’t mind doing it since there’s nothing to lose from performing these tasks.

Low- Cost And Effective Marketing

A giveaway campaign capitalizes on viral marketing and word-of-mouth marketing. If planned correctly, giveaways prove to be a low-cost, high-benefit marketing strategy compared to other brand-building strategies like advertising campaigns.

Lead Generation

Giveaway contests are a secret weapon for generating leads. They can be very useful for increasing email list subscribers and fueling excitement among customers about your business.


Giveaways result in brand and product promotion as the customers search about the brand organically online and offline to know about the products it deals in and ensure it’s a legit giveaway. It increases both brand awareness and brand equity.


Giveaways are an interactive marketing strategy involving customer participation and brand interaction. They are designed to engage customers and promote the brand and its offerings at the same time.

Advantages of Giveaways

Create Lasting Impressions

Marketing brands through advertisements, SEM, etc, may result in sales but do not make a lasting impression. On the other hand, when you give away an item to your customers to promote your brand, it sticks around longer than any other kind of advertisement.

Make Memories

Engagement is more memorable. People who hear information about your brand are less likely to remember it for a long time. But if the same information is engagingly presented to them or rather when some souvenir is given, there are fair chances that they will never forget your brand.

Build Loyalty

Customer loyalty is one thing you cannot compromise while running a business. Giveaways make this task easier by building customers’ trust in your brand. As they feel the love, they want to keep coming back. Thus, giveaways are the best investment you can make in your customers.

Strengthen Sales

Adding a personal touch to your business is never a bad idea. It is the best technique to boost sales without spending much on marketing and advertising. Whether you are a small venture or an established business, giveaways can make your brand noticeable in a way that no other marketing strategy can!

A giveaway is a pull strategy which results in customers looking at your brand’s products organically without you interrupting their daily life with ads.

Stand Out From The Crowd

45% of a brand’s image is directly related to what it says and how it says it. While it is very important to have a solid digital presence, delivering something that people can see and feel is equally important. Giveaways offer you a chance to be different regarding the strategies for growing a business.

How To Host A Giveaway?

A solid strategy is necessary to make a giveaway worthwhile for you and your audience. Below are the crucial points you need to keep in mind while hosting a giveaway:

Decide On A Goal

The goal is chosen based on your current focus. For some, it is growing email subscribers or social media followers; for others, it is simply a marketing move to increase sales. Therefore, the first and foremost step is to recognize the goal you want to achieve.

Pick A Relevant Prize

The next crucial step in hosting a giveaway is picking up a suitable prize. The prize should serve the needs of the target market. Remember to pick something reasonable and interesting for your ideal audience.

Giving away iPhones to the audience that already owns an iPhone won’t really attract many people. However, giving them an iPhone accessory bundle that enhances their experience might attract them.

Most businesses choose to give away their product or service for free as it attracts the audience and lets them experience what they are offering to become a customer later on.

Keep It Simple!

Too many variables may cause the audience to not enter a giveaway contest at all. Keep the instructions short and the micro-tasks simple to follow.

You can also keep many microtasks optional to remove the barriers to entry in your giveaway.

amazon giveaway

The giveaway structure should be such that it should impact the target audience, and there are as few restrictions as possible.

Something For Everyone

Try to keep something for everyone who takes part in the giveaway. It increases the number of participants.

giveaway entry bonus


Simply creating a giveaway will not help unless you promote it seriously. If you really want to reach the widest range of people, make wise use of digital platforms.

Use relevant hashtags and keywords and run ads to reach the desired target market. You can also include some promotion-related micro-tasks to encourage the participants to promote it themselves.

giveaway twitter

Avoid Spam

Nobody likes a spammer. Spam drives people away from you, your brand and your site. Spamming creates ill will at best and can get you banned from certain services at worst.

Giveaway Best practices

While numerous ways exist to host and run a giveaway, you need a hack that stands out. Below are some essential points that you need to keep in mind and that many brands often miss while running a campaign:

Make The Most Of Your Email List

Email is a channel that offers businesses a precious opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with subscribers. It is good to send an announcement mail to your list 24-36 hours after you have launched your giveaway. This is done to ping your subscribers who haven’t participated in the contest yet and remind them that they can still participate.

Send A Loser Email

Many companies that host giveaways send emails only to contest winners. The people who have lost do not get notified at all, and thus, they start losing interest in the brand.

When you first notify the non-winners, they will get disappointed at not winning the contest. So your goal with the email is to provide them with consolation by thanking them for participating and telling them that though they could not win this time, there is something for them to – say discounted products for example.

This will boost their trust in your brand and they will want to come back.

Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Referrals

When it comes to the best marketing strategies, word of mouth tops the list. Nothing can replace the power of personal recommendations. Nielsen research has shown that 92% of people trust referrals from people they know, which is how the network effect is created. Therefore, you should promote your giveaway by using referrals.

Use Twitter and Hashtags

Using appropriate hashtags on Twitter will help you attract the right audience to your giveaway and your brand. Useful tools such as Hashtagify can help you determine the popularity of a certain hashtag and complete it with other relevant ones to increase your giveaway’s visibility.

Use The Scarcity Principle To Attract More People

The fact that something might end really soon and people might not be able to become a part of it in future gives rise to fear of missing out which increases the chances of them applying for it as soon as they can.

Always use a countdown on your giveaway landing page to get more participants by capitalizing on the scarcity principle.

Examples of Giveaways

Running a giveaway contest is not as easy as it seems. Your idea must be unique enough to attract an audience and keep them interested throughout your campaign. Below are some awesome contests run by big brands that can give you major giveaway goals!


Dove is known for its two missions: supporting young girls’ self-esteem and fostering an appreciation for ‘real beauty’. Their contest Love your curls, was inspired by the same idea. In the contest, the participants were asked to submit a poem or story about why they love their curls, encouraging them to embrace instead of subduing their natural look. The winner received $100 gift card, blow dryer, curling wand, Dove products and the opportunity to contribute to the ‘Dove Love your curls ebook’. Later, the poems and stories were compiled and transformed into a piece of dynamic content.

This is the perfect example of how incorporating user-generated content can amplify the effect of your contest.

dove love your curls giveaway


Appsumo is a daily deals site specifically designed to deliver digital goods and services. It was created with one idea: the tools that businesses need to grow should not put them out of business. Therefore, the Appsumo team works each day to provide the best software solutions at the most affordable price.

In their Ultimate Hustler Giveaway contest, Appsumo offered participants the following prize package worth Rs $2000 for free, which consisted of:

  1. 11 books handpicked by the Appsumo team
  2. One-on-one coaching calls with the team
  3. A beautiful desk set made by Grovemade
  4. $500 in Appsumo credit.

The contest entry was 100% free; participants had to register using their email IDs or Facebook accounts and wait for the lucky draw result.

Amazon Giveaways

Amazon lets its merchants hold giveaways and more exposure and increase sales. Here are some examples of the same –

amazon giveaways

Modern Giveaways

Platforms like Gleam and Kingsumo have made it really easy for anyone to run a giveaway with just a few taps. Here’s an example of modern giveaways which aim at increasing awareness and followership of the brand-

gleam giveaway


It’s a proven fact that we all love a good game. The chance of winning something big brings anticipation and the opportunity to daydream. That is why a Giveaway contest is such a tried-and-true marketing method. You have nothing to lose, but if you succeed, you can do a lot of good to your brand. Your brand’s popularity and visibility can touch the skies in just minutes! All you need is a unique idea!