Who doesn’t like free stuff?
Giveaways are a great way to generate some buzz and exposure around your brand. Because, again, free stuff. And we found that launches are an especially great time to do a giveaway because it amplifies an already curious and excited audience.
People are naturally curious about launches—they want to know what the finished product looks like. But, we often see people launch without giving any direction to visitors around what people should do on the site. And people often don’t take advantage of “capturing” that traffic.
Gleam.io enabled us to grow our email list significantly, providing more chances at building relationships with the people who visit our site. Additionally, we were able to encourage people to take specific actions such as visiting our photography website and Facebook page.
(If you’re wondering why you should consider starting a mailing list, check out The Super Simple Guide to Starting a Mailing List [Blog Post]).
What is Gleam.io?
Gleam.io is a business growth software that enables businesses to run competitions such as giveaways and capture email addresses.
We looked into a few different giveaway software solutions, including Rafflecopter and King Sumo, before settling on Gleam.io. Ultimately we chose to use Gleam because…
- We believed it was the software best suited to help us reach our goals.
- The price point made sense (and there’s a free option!).
- It easily integrated with Convertkit, our mailing list software.
- There is tons of customization opportunity around how one can enter the giveaway or competition.
It only took a few minutes to set-up the giveaway after signing up. I was impressed with how easy it was, and the ways a competition could be customized.
We did have one question for the Gleam.io team as we were setting up the giveaway regarding giving away multiple prizes. So I fired off an email to their support team, we received a response within 8 hours. Awesome.
How did we use Gleam.io?
We used Gleam.io to run our most recent giveaway celebrating the launch of the Davey & Krista and Krista A. Jones Photography websites.
As we set goals around our launch, it was important to us that people were encouraged to do more than simply browse the website for a few minutes. We wanted people to visit certain pages and accounts, especially since we were launching more than one website.
We set the following goals for our giveaway launch:
- Collect email addresses.
- Encourage visitors to check out both Davey & Krista, and our photography website.
- Point people to our Davey & Krista Facebook page.
We decided on a giveaway because we thought it was the perfect way to drum-up excitement around the launch and to help us reach our goals.
Setting up our giveaway competition
Setting up the giveaway using Gleam.io only requires five steps, and we had organized it in about 30-60 minutes. Now that we know how everything works, I could get something set-up in 5-10 minutes.
We decided to run the giveaway for a week because we thought that allowed enough time for people to take a look around and get entered, but not long enough that excitement would die down. We also had other events like the Two Bright Lights Grow Your Brand online conference and Instagram takeovers planned for the week to drive traffic to the new site.
The customization options around how people can enter the giveaway is one of the primary reasons we used Gleam. Whether it’s having people subscribe to a Youtube channel, visiting a website, commenting on a blog post, or following you on Snapchat, Gleam can handle it.
We were disappointed to see that requiring people to follow on Instagram or like on Facebook was no longer an option due to policy changes by Instagram/Facebook. Lame. But otherwise, lots of options.
We ultimately chose the following entry methods for our giveaway:
- Subscribe to our mailing list: This action was mandatory because it was the most important. People were only able to enter using the other methods if they first subscribed to the mailing list. If you want to read more about why we think a mailing list is important, check out our Super Simple Guide to a Mailing List [Blog Post].
- Visit a page on Facebook: Although we couldn’t ask people to Like our page in order to enter, we did have them visit our page in hope that they might choose to like it.
- Visit a Page: We wanted people to check out our photography website, too. It’s sort of a “model house” for our design work.
- Viral Share: Here’s the thing about giveaways: The more people who enter, the less likely a person is to win. The great thing about a software like Gleam is that you can give people who share about it extra entries, thus incentivizing people to share.
The big takeaway here: It’s important to make sure the actions you’re asking people to complete align with your goals. For us, we wanted to build our mailing list and get people to take a look at both sites.
We chose our prizes by making a list of the resources that people could access when visiting our site. Then we made another list of possible giveaway items related to the resources and information we offer.
Narrowing down the list of potential prizes for the giveaway was difficult. We wanted it to be fun, related to what we do, and something most of our audience would be interested-in. Originally we had planned to just giveaway 1-2 prizes, but ultimately gave away 8 prizes. That just sort of ran away from us. We figured that we’d cast a wide net this time around, and make adjustments for future giveaways.
The Ona bag was a late decision, but probably one of the most popular items. Duh. We decided to add it at the recommendation of a friend who said it worked well for her giveaway.
As we elaborate below, we didn’t need to give away eight different prizes. The important thing is that it’s something relevant to you and your audience that has value (which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s expensive).
What worked really well?
Overall I think the giveaway was a success. There are a few things that I am really glad we did:
1. Coordinating with other events: As we planned our launch, we reached out to friends in the industry to see if we could share in their Facebook groups, do Instagram takeovers, and to see if they’d be willing to share about our new sites. This helped us reach people who may not have otherwise heard about our new websites. We’re grateful for our friends who helped us out!
We also knew we were going to be speaking at an event hosted by Two Bright Lights, so we intentionally kept the giveaway open through this event.
2. Sharing throughout the week: Rather than overloading audiences and posting on social media, mailing our list, taking over other Instagram accounts, doing a Facebook live, etc on the same day – we staggered our promotion throughout the week. Every time we shared about the giveaway different people saw it and entered.
If you’re considering doing a giveaway, create a schedule for sharing about it across your different social media and marketing accounts. And see if you can partner up with some other people in your industry to do takeovers, or get them to mention it in their Facebook groups.
Also, remember that if you share about it on Facebook once, it doesn’t mean that everyone who Likes your page saw it. Don’t be scared to share about it a few times.
3. The software: There are a number of options out there, but I’m happy we decided to go with Gleam. Everything from how the software works to the price point makes sense. There are a lot of customization options without it being super overwhelming.
In general, I’m glad we decided to use a software. It would have been a headache to keep track of entries, especially if we wanted to give people multiple ways to enter. Using Gleam enabled us to make the most of the launch. Instead of focusing on the nitty-gritty areas like tracking, we could simply focus on promoting. It was worth the $39 we paid for the software!
What we would change for next time?
And as always, there’s plenty we learned and will change the next time around…
1. The Prizes (and how they’re delivered): It wasn’t so much the prizes as it was the number of prizes and how we delivered them. We drew eight winners and started by emailing the first one giving them the option of 8 prizes, the second the option of the 7 remaining prizes, and so on.
This gets tedious, and towards the end it gets difficult because some of the prizes may not be able to be claimed by anyone. For instance, someone who is Showit subscriber can’t claim the 6-month Showit subscription. Plus we gave people 3 days to decide (per our terms and conditions), which is way too much time.
Next time we’ll either offer fewer prizes (as in 1-2 prizes), or we’ll assign prizes. Something like a Yoast SEO license and the Ona Bag are good prizes because so many people can use it, and both are valuable.
2. Viral Share option: This was a typical case of “Davey-overthinking-things.” We added the Viral Share entry method (getting an extra entry if you share with friends and they enter) 36 hours out from the contest ending, and sent out an email to our mailing list and contest entrants. The thought was that this would create an added buzz as the contest ended. People did use end up sharing with their friends, but we should of had this as an option throughout the entire giveaway. Silly me.
3. Promoting the giveaway before launch: We didn’t announce anything we were giving away until the day of the launch and we think we could have had an even bigger impact if we had hinted and teased items prior to the launch. Part of it was that we were so caught up in just getting the sites ready. We also didn’t want to tease something, and then have to delay the launch due to some technical reason.
At the end of the day the giveaway proved to be an effective way to amplify excitement, drive traffic, and collect emails. If you’re giving away something in the future, give Gleam.io a shot. It’s legit.