6 questions to ask yourself before running a giveaway for your e-commerce website

September 6, 2022

Have you noticed how giveaways were flourishing on e-merchants social networks these days? As a matter of fact, they are a convenient way to grow a community, to raise its engagement, or to develop brand-awareness. On top of that, the more brands are taking part to a giveaway, the more attractive it is to a wider audience. But make no mistake: it can be ineffective, or even worse, counter-productive if you don’t plan it meticulously, asking yourself a few questions.

1. What is your objective?

A giveaway can pursue several objectives:

  • attract new followers on social networks,
  • collect emails of qualified leads,
  • increase your brand-awareness,
  • increase your sales.

The more measurable you set your objective (e.g. “gain 500 new followers on Instagram”), the more precisely you will be able to assess your giveaway success, and iterate the following ones.

2. Who to partner with?

You will advertise your giveaway towards your natural audience (mainly your followers on social networks and the leads in your CRM). Acting alone, it will be hardly possible to go beyond this audience, hence, difficult to enlarge your community.

A tried and tested way to solve this issue is to partner with websites that share the same target than you, but whose natural audience is slightly different. Partner matching is a challenge we are working hard to solve at Together.do. It involves many parameters as diverse as product or services sold, brands universes, values, size of the community, business objectives and many more.

By choosing the right partner, you will be able to reach a larger audience that share your target’s attributes, which may be decisive to make your giveaway a success.

3. What prize to offer?

The prize pool is the trigger to join a giveaway. If you chose your partners wisely, their products should appeal to your audience, and vice versa.

Be careful of local tax issues. For example, in the United States, any prize with a value of USD 600 or more must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service.

To avoid these matters, try to find products appealing enough to trigger participation, but cheap enough to stay below tax thresholds. You can build a beautiful prize pool with couple of hundreds dollars in value. Even better, you can split the prize pool among several winners instead of a single one.

Eventually, you will want your partnership to be fair to ensure each part is involved in the giveaway. Each partner should contribute roughly equally to the prize pool.

4. Who can participate?

Local differences in tax regimes are the main reason why many giveaways only allow specific nationals to participate. For marketing reasons, you may also want to specifically target a local audience, or socio-demographic attributes. Also take into consideration shipping costs or tariffs which can amount a significant part of the prize if the winner is located in a distant country.

5. How the winner(s) will be chosen?

You should document precisely the way you will choose the winner(s) of the giveaway so the outcome cannot be challenged. You spend time and money to make your community happy, not to leave frustrated all those who didn’t win.

The easiest way to proceed is to use an app made to operate giveaways (from collecting subscriptions to random draw and results announcement, compliant with personal data regulations). Some of them, like rafflecopter.com, offer a free-tier featuring all the must-have tu run a rigorous process.

6. How will you process personal data?

Be extra-careful in the way you collect and process personal data from participants.

The GDPR, implemented in the EU since 2018, requires an explicit consent from any individual you plan to collect personal data for each purpose it will be used for. In a nutshell, you have to ask each participants to explicitly consent to the sharing of the data collected among the giveaway organizers.

On top of that, you cannot transfer personal data from UE nationals to a country outside the European Economic Area, unless that country has been formally approved by the EU (the US approval, formerly granted under the Privacy SHield framework, has been revoked in July 2020). So, if you plan to collect and process data from EU citizens, be sure to keep their data stored on servers located in the EU.

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