Why Instant Win Giveaways Earn Big Results With Minimal Effort

ShortStack headquarters held an Instant Win Beanie Giveaway, using their popular Instant Win feature to attract new subscribers and collect user-generated content.

By Jessica Miller-McNatt ・4 min read
Campaign & Contest Ideas
Customer Stories
Email Marketing
ShortStack Tips & Tricks
Social Media

Whoever said “good things come to those who wait” wasn’t referring to our recent Instant Win Beanie Giveaway. Here at ShortStack headquarters, the crew had a box full of beanies and a list of marketing goals. It was the perfect opportunity to make good use of our Instant Win feature - a feature ShortStack users have been raving about since roll-out.The Instant Win feature has been a hit with ShortStack users for good reason. By launching our own giveaway, we saw for ourselves how enticing instant win results can be. Plus, the time and cost investments put into this campaign were at an all-time minimum. When it was all over, our endeavor proved well worth the effort. We were able to get fresh email list subscribers, collect some valuable UGC and find good homes (or should I say heads) for some well-deserving beanies.

Contest Basics

The first order of business (and a best practice we never skip) was to lay out a list of goals. For the Instant Win Beanie Giveaway our aim was to:

  • use our Instant Win feature IRL,
  • build up our email list with fresh subscribers,
  • collect user-generated content to showcase in a gallery of ShortStack brand advocates,
  • unload some ShortStack swag we had in the closet. After all, beanies should be on heads, not in boxes.
ShortStack's Instant Win Beanie Giveaway

The campaign ran for three days - from February 12th to 14th.Giveaway participation was kept ultra simple - participants submitted their email address into a form to enter. That’s it! If they were selected as a winner at random, a new entry form displayed to collect their shipping info. If they were not selected to win, they saw “try again tomorrow” text.One hundred winners were randomly selected by our Instant Win feature to win a ShortStack beanie.

Entrants were shown messages based on whether they won or notBeanie winners were sent their prize along with a postcard asking them to post a beanie-boasting selfie with #ShortStackSwag. The posts are collected automatically into a feed within ShortStack and displayed in a gallery. The hashtag feed will remain live for future swag giveaways.

Campaign Elements

The main feature we’re highlighting here is, of course, the Instant Win feature, but the real hero of this giveaway was the number of elements we could automate. Setting up Instant Win in ShortStack is simple - indicate how many prizes you’d like to award over a number of days and that’s it! ShortStack does the rest.Winner selection was now off the to-do list, and virtually everything else in this campaign was configured to “set and forget.” Visibility settings were used to display content during different phases of the campaign. For example, when the contest was over, the “sorry, the giveaway has ended” message was automatically revealed.

Once the giveaway was over, a scheduled message was shownThe autoresponder email sent to participants after they entered (to winners and non-winners) and the scheduled emails sent to non-winners reminding them to enter again were both automated. Lastly, the posts on social media were scheduled in Buffer.With a little effort on the front end, the execution and follow-up involved in this campaign were a breeze. Here’s a list of all the elements of this campaign from start to finish:

  • To build the campaign, we started with the Instant Win template and customized it with a header image and copy.
  • Visibility settings were used to automate when the campaign would “go live” and when it would end.
  • To promote the campaign, an email was sent to our current list of subscribers and social media posts and Stories were published.
  • We sent a scheduled email on day two of the giveaway to remind those who didn’t win that they could enter again.
  • Beanies were mailed with a postcard asking them to post a beanie-wearing selfie with #ShortStackSwag. The entries collected are displayed within a gallery that can be used for future swag giveaways.

Postcards sent to winners with their beanies

The Results

As mentioned previously, we were able to meet all of the goals we set out to achieve - we kicked the tires on our Instant Win feature, attracted new subscribers, and started an incoming stream of brand-building UGC.Other interesting tidbits to note - the majority of the entries were collected on day one of the contest. At ShortStack, we preach the importance of testing your campaign before launch and this proved why. The majority of participation typically happens at the time of kick-off. Any bugs or hiccups could impact this initial surge in participation.Another observation - the majority of entries were collected on desktop vs. mobile. One could infer that participants were mostly at work? Have desk jobs? And have the luxury of viewing content on a larger screen. Although this doesn’t lend any input to the success or failure of this campaign, it can give us valuable insight into setting up future campaigns. For example, if the majority of our users view our content from their desk, a prize appropriate to desk workers (a bobblehead, a coffee mug, or some other desk-friendly trinket) could boost participation.The results of this giveaway are still very fresh so beanie-bearing selfies are just starting to trickle in. So far, we’re loving the UGC #ShortStackSwag has generated.

Winners showed off their loot by posting to Instagram and Twitter. Shortstack featured these posts in a gallery on their site.

How to run your own Instant Win contest

No matter your business, an Instant Win giveaway is simple to set up and can get you quick results. Our Instant Win feature is available on the Business Plan and higher. All of the other features used in this giveaway - automated emails, visibility settings, data export - are available on this plan as well. To use unique prize codes, an Pro Plan is required, however, the giveaway can be executed just as effectively without the use of that feature.Any contest or giveaway can be exciting, but Instant Win takes the cake in fulfilling our need for instant gratification. Who wants to wait days or even weeks when winner results can be delivered in seconds? Leverage the excitement of an Instant Win giveaway for your business, paired with ease of entry and a comprehensive promotion strategy and enjoy the satisfaction of hitting your marketing goals.

Immediately reveal win after entry

ShortStack's Instant Win Giveaway template. View and Create Your Own.

About the author

By Jessica Miller-McNatt ・4 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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