Working with ShortStack Custom Services

A step-by-step guide to working with us to plan and run a contest, giveaway or promotion.

ShortStack Custom Services
Step 1

Set Campaign Objectives

ShortStack Custom Design Services

We’ll start with a meeting to discuss budget, deliverables, timeline and objectives.

Everyone involved in designing your campaign should understand the objectives and focus every decision on achieving them.

Among the objectives we’ll discuss:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Increase social media followers
  • Increase engagement
  • Grow an email list
  • Gather useful data about buyers
  • Collect user-generated content
  • Convert prospects to customers
Step 2

Plan Campaign Details

What type of campaign do you want to create? If you don’t know yet, don’t worry. We can help you determine the option(s) that will help you meet your objectives.

Decide on a Campaign Category

ShortStack campaigns generally fall into the following categories (but our team can build anything you can dream up):

  • Contest
  • Giveaway
  • Quiz
  • User-generated content
  • Data collection and lead nurturing
  • Some combination of the above

Build a Schedule

There are several planning and scheduling elements that’ll determine the date on which your campaign can go live, including:

  • Campaign start and end dates
  • Key deadlines and milestones — for both planning and execution
  • Your brand’s internal approval processes
  • Content scheduling considerations, e.g., email and ad initiatives
  • Conflicts with other marketing initiatives

Consider Customization Options

There are many options available to customize campaigns in each category listed above, including:

Photo and video submissions

Photo and video galleries

Hashtag feeds

Written entries (captions, recipes, stories, etc.)

Friend referrals



Multi-day giveaways

Earn extra point features

Discounts and coupons

Downloadable content (ebooks, whitepapers, etc.)

Landing pages

Contact forms


Newsletter signups

Event countdowns

Surveys and polls


Step 3

Create Compelling Data-Collection Forms

If one of your goals is to collect information — such as an email address or birthday — or user-generated content — such as photos or reviews — ShortStack makes it easy.

Form Example

When collecting data, having forms that include only the most essential fields is key. Most forms request:

  • Name
  • Email
  • A checkbox for opting into an email list

You have complete control to add fields to request or require the information you want. You can offer open-ended fields or make it easier for people to complete your form by using multiple choice drop-down selections or radio buttons.

Email and Marketing Automation

ShortStack enables you to send participants autoresponders and scheduled emails. We also offer additional marketing automation functions. As such, a part of your campaign planning should address questions such as:

How will we respond instantly to entries and signups?

How do we keep our audience engaged throughout the campaign?

Should we create a series of subsequent emails to increase engagement?

Does it make sense to integrate the data collected with other CRM and/or marketing platforms?

Campaign Integrations

Take advantage of our software integrations so you can capitalize on the services and platforms you already use for marketing and social media. ShortStack offers integrations including:

Google Maps
Constant Contact
Google Analytics
Step 4

Plan Campaign Details

To ensure that the campaign we build reflects your brand, we’ll work with you to select an appropriate Google font and complementary colors for your campaign. We’ll also work with you to choose appropriate photos and illustrations.  

As we move through the campaign-building process, there are a few things you can provide our team that’ll help streamline things for everyone involved — and we will provide a list of all required assets for your campaign.

Among the assets we may ask for:

  • Your brand’s style guide—if one exists
  • Links to other marketing collateral
  • Examples of promotions from other companies featuring elements you like
  • Specific images which must be used or should be considered

Writing Requirements

The hub of your promotion is likely to feature a landing page which includes a headline, promotional content, and more.

We’ll want to know if:

  • There is any existing content that should be re-used or modified
  • You have or will develop a specific hashtag for the promotion
  • You plan to use autoresponders
  • You plan to send scheduled emails

Social Media Sharing

You’ll probably want those who participate in your promotion to be offered social media sharing options somewhere during the process. To take advantage of social sharing features you’ll need to decide:

  • Specific social media network buttons to include
  • The images you’ll feature
  • Titles and descriptions
  • If and how socially shared content would differ by channel

UGC Gallery

If you are collecting user-generated content and you want to display it on your campaign, you’ll want to consider the following:

  • What to display for each entry (e.g., name, caption)
  • Whether or not you will moderate entries before they’re displayed
  • Whether to Include voting and voting restrictions
  • Rights management
Step 5

Write Campaign Rules

When we’re building a contest or giveaway for your brand, we’ll need to create a set of rules that abide by the regulations in your state/country.

If your plan is to publish the campaign to Facebook and promote it on other social networks, we’ll help ensure you follow the networks’ guidelines.

Among the things to consider:

  • Rules, terms and conditions
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Campaign start and stop dates
  • Details about prizes
  • Odds of winning
  • Winner selection and notification
  • Rights management
  • Limitations of liability
  • Privacy policy

To help you with this effort, we have a template you can use as a guide for writing your own campaign rules, which indicate where you’ll need to enter the information specific to your promotion.

Step 6

Test and Publish the Campaign

Testing a campaign before it’s published will ensure that the campaign functions and appears as expected. We will test your campaign and recommend that you do as well.

Facebook Embed


ShortStack will host your campaign. It can be published to the web and/or as a Facebook app and/or embedded on your website.

When your mobile-responsive campaign is ready to be published you can:

  • Customize your subdomain
  • Choose from one of five domain options
Step 7

Understand the Importance of Promotion

ShortStack custom services will advise you regarding the launch and promotion of your campaign. Consultations are likely to cover promotional opportunities including:

  • Advertising
  • Social media
  • Content marketing
  • Use of hashtags
Step 8

Measure Campaign Performance

ShortStack Analytics

As a result of running a ShortStack campaign, you’ll collect data and have the ability to track your promotion in real-time via our analytics dashboard. While setting up your campaign, you may want to consult with the custom services team if you have specific needs, such as:

  • Establishing the most relevant key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Applying the data you collect with list-building and marketing automation
  • Implementing tracking requirements using Google Analytics and/or Facebook pixels

You’ll have access to ShortStack’s Advanced Analytics report which includes:

  • Campaign traffic, including sources, device type, and country
  • Entry data
  • Email open and click-through rates
  • Social media sharing statistics
  • Campaign interactions, including voting, video plays, and poll interactions

Haven’t scheduled your call with us?