8 Ways to Gamify Your Giveaways

Learn how to gamify your giveaways and increase participation with these eight exciting strategies and customizable templates.

By Jessica Miller-McNatt ・6 min read
Campaign & Contest Ideas
ShortStack Tips & Tricks

While scrolling Instagram, strolling the mall, or even twisting the cap off a coke, “Enter to Win” is a phrase that echoes from every corner of our daily lives. At any given moment, exciting giveaways are happening all around us, but the entry process is usually pretty lackluster. Most require us to like, comment, or fill in an entry form. If your business is keen on running giveaways, and this form of entry is your go-to, it’s time to pep things up.

With the strategies outlined in this article, gamifying your giveaways can do more than help you increase participation. Including these features can also earn your business added benefits such as an increase in web traffic, social media followers, brand awareness, and engagement.

In the following examples, learn different methods of gamification and the benefits they can offer your business. Plus, learn how to build them for yourself.

But first, what does ‘gamify’ even mean?

Here’s the Oxford Dictionary definition:


1. apply typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to (an activity), typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.

In relation to a giveaway, gamifying could mean including functionality to an otherwise boring giveaway to add an element of fun, such as scratch and win, earning points for actions, or even guessing a score.

And, as mentioned previously, adding gamification can do more than increase participation. It can help you to reach certain marketing goals. For example, by offering points for actions, you can incentivize a click on your Instagram profile and even ask participants to follow you, thusly growing your Instagram following.

Ready to dive in and learn more? Here are eight ways to gamify your giveaways.

Hidden Objects Giveaway

This unique experience sends participants on a virtual scavenger hunt. Players must solve clues to find the next image. Finding all of the images reveals an entry form. The Hidden Objects Giveaway can help boost your brand's top of mind awareness, collect leads, or, replace the entry form with a discount code to help your business increase sales.

ShortStack's Hidden Objects Giveaway template

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Guess the Score

Nothing rallies enthusiasm like a sports-related giveaway. Allowing giveaway participants to guess the score in an upcoming big game is a great way to attract attention, increase participation, and keep engagement high until the game is over.

ShortStack's Guess the Score template

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In this giveaway, participants will guess the score of each team and enter their guess in two fields. Decide how you’d like to determine a winner - whether by entering only those participants who guessed within a specified point margin into a drawing or by awarding everyone who guessed with 100% accuracy with a prize - either way, how to determine a winner in this giveaway is really up to you.

Scratch & Win

You may be wondering how one might enter a scratch and win giveaway without a nickel and a silvery wax-covered card. But in this brave new high-tech world, scratch and win giveaways can be done digitally, with the use of a fingertip (on mobile devices) or a mouse.

ShortStack's Scratch & Win template

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With the scratch-off feature covered, what makes this giveaway truly exciting is the element of “instant” allowing participants to know if they’ve won within a second of submitting their entry.

Knowledge Quiz

Whether it’s history about British royalty, little known facts about the Beatles, or even hot TMZ gossip - everyone has a topic they take pride in knowing a lot about. Challenge your audience with a Knowledge Quiz that offers up a score immediately after submitting the final answer.

ShortStack's Knowledge Quiz template

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Much like the Guess the Score giveaway, you can decide how you’d like to determine a winner. Prizes can be awarded to all who answer with 100% accuracy or one winner can be chosen from the pool of correct entries.

Pick Your Prize

In a Pick Your Prize giveaway, offering multiple options for a prize to win has a few benefits. First, it allows the participant to get hopeful about winning something they’d genuinely want. Second, offering multiple prize options opens up your giveaway to new audiences that may not have been interested. Lastly, it allows you to collect product preferences, helping you to better understand your audience.

ShortStack's Pick Your Prize Giveaway template

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Scavenger Hunt

Although this type of giveaway has a few moving parts, it’s a lot of fun for participants and also offers the benefits of increasing your web traffic as well as raising awareness of what your business has to offer amongst your audience.

In a nutshell, this is how a scavenger hunt works - create clues that lead participants to different pages on your website. When a clue is revealed and the web page is found, the participant can click on an image or link to reveal an entry form.

To better explain, check out this example of an Elf on the Shelf giveaway we recently ran called Jack on the Stack.

ShortStack's Jack on the Stack Contest

A new clue was revealed once every week over the course of four weeks. Each clue led to Jack who was hiding somewhere on our website. When participants found him and clicked on him, an entry form was revealed that also happened to offer an instant win giveaway.

Each week, multiple winners were selected instantly, and all were entered to win the grand prize that would be announced after the 4-week giveaway was over. This meant that if participants entered every week, they’d have four chances at winning the grand prize.

To create a scavenger hunt giveaway for your business, you could tweak any component of it to fit your goals. You could run the giveaway for longer, shorter, offer a new clue every day instead of every week, or remove the instant win component and do a traditional drawing instead.

Points for Actions

This Points for Actions giveaway incentivizes actions such as visiting your website, Facebook Page, Instagram Profile, etc. in exchange for extra chances to win. Although you can’t ask participants to like your Facebook Page, you can always ask for a follow on Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. It’s a simple way to increase your social media following or traffic on your website or online store.

ShortStack's Points for Actions template

View and Create Your Own

Need more ideas? Let us know!

If you’re new to gamification and gamifying your giveaways, it’s high time you give it a shot. But if none of these examples pique your interest, reach out to our team - we’ll help brainstorm new ideas and even send you the tools to help you get started.

About the author

By Jessica Miller-McNatt ・6 min read

Jessica Miller-McNatt has been with ShortStack for over a decade and has served in every role from Marketing Team Lead to Customer Success. Her journey in martech continues to fuel her fascination for what drives growth. Jessica's favorite weekends are spent in the North Georgia mountains, chasing waterfalls and exploring with her family.

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