The other day, I received a question from another blogger asking about giveaway etiquette.
Hey Tina! Do you have any posts on Giveaway “etiquette”? I just received some free goodies and was thinking about doing one on my blog. I really don’t have many followers, but if I do one not sure exactly how to go about it.
I’ve written all sorts of blogging posts over the years, but not one about giveaways, so I decided to tackle the topic today. That said, here are some tips for hosting a giveaway on your blog!
Make sure the product is something you like
Ok, this might sound like a ‘duh’ tip, but I’ve seen all sorts of blog giveaways over the years and sometimes the prize just doesn’t match the focus of the blog, if you know what mean. You want to make sure you feature a product that jibes with you and/or your blog and not just because you got it for free.
Make sure the product is one your readers will like
Similar to the tip above, make sure your readers will like the product you are giving away. Of course, not every single reader will want to win every single prize you feature on your blog, but YOU know YOUR readers the best, so be sure to consider the majority of them. I mean, you want people to enter your giveaway after all!
Chat with the company/brand sponsoring the giveaway
Be sure to have a quick discussion (via email or phone) with the company/brand, who is sponsoring your giveaway, to make sure you’re both on the same page. You want to make sure their expectations and ideas mesh with yours (i.e. prize, how to enter, length of giveaway). And, again, YOU know YOUR readers, so think about what will work best for them and discuss those thoughts and concerns with the company/brand before you publish your post.
Keep it simple!
Oh my gosh, you’ve seen those giveaways before, right? Leave a comment, tweet this, follow me here, like my Facebook page, Pin an image… wooaahhhh, who has time for that? Personally, I’m a fan of giving readers 1-3 options to enter a giveaway. Once you start adding more than that, it gets confusing and discourages readers from entering. Plus, not all of your readers are on multiple forms of social media, so not everyone has the same number of chances to win. Bottom line: Keep it simple to encourage more entries!
Set a deadline
When you’re setting up your giveaway, make sure you tell your readers about the deadline to enter. You don’t want there to be any confusion! I usually just announce the day that I will pick a winner (Thursday) since I typically pick a winner within a couple of days, but you can be specific with the date and time if you’d like (Thursday, November 14, 2013, 12:00 AM EST). Just try to make it clear as possible.
Give readers time to enter
This one really depends on how active your posting schedule is. I post two times a day, most days of the week, so I typically keep my giveaways open for 48 hours to give readers a chance to enter. If you’re blogging 2-3 times a week, your readers likely expect to hear from you only a few times a week, so they’re likely not checking in with your blog everyday. If this is the case, you want to leave your giveaway open for a longer amount of time, so more people have the chance to enter.
Disclose whether you received the product for free and/or if you were paid for writing the post
According to FTC rules, you are required to do this. It’s also important to be open and honest with your readers. A brief disclaimer or mention of how you received the product in your post will usually do the trick.
Spread the word via social media
Once you publish your giveaway on your blog, spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Basically, blow up your social media channels, so even more eyes can see your giveaway! However, please do not post your giveaway on another blogger’s blog in the comment section without their permission. It just looks tacky and, well, kind of desperate. But, feel free to email a blogger friend and see if they’ll mention your giveaway on their blog or Tweet about it. And when they offer a giveaway on their blog, be sure to reciprocate the favor!
Remind your readers to enter
A quick little note in one of your posts or on social media is a great way to remind readers to enter your giveaway in case they missed your blog post. As you know, I’m a big fan of the “P.S.” at the bottom of my posts as a little reminder!
Randomly pick a winner
I use the “True Random Number Generator” to pick my giveaway winners, but you chose a winner however you’d like (maybe put names in a hat?). Just make sure it’s fair!
Announce the winner on your blog
When you pick the winner, be sure to announce it on your blog along with your contact information (your email) and how to claim the prize (by sending you their mailing address, shoe size, color preference, etc.). For privacy reasons, I only announce the winner’s first name, not their last name. (I will just use the first initial of their last name.) If the winner doesn’t contact you in a day or two, drop them an email and let them know that they won your giveaway.
Share the winner’s info with the brand/company
If the brand/company is sending the prize to the winner, be sure to share the winner’s contact information (name, mailing address, email) with them. When I email the brand/company, I usually copy the winner on my message, just in case the brand/company wants to send a tracking number to the winner or if they need additional information from them.
Send a follow-up email
And, finally, I typically send a follow-up email to the brand/company—thanking them for a fun giveaway, sharing my giveaway link, and mentioning that I would like to work together again in the future. It’s a nice way to close the project and it keeps the doors open for future opportunities.
Question of the Day
Did I miss anything? What are your tips for hosting a giveaway/giveaway etiquette?