Somewhere in between your brand’s content marketing strategy, paid marketing strategy, social media marketing strategy, and any other marketing strategy you can think of, there’s probably a gap just waiting to be filled. Your company’s promotional marketing strategy.
If you’re like most marketers, running a sweepstakes, contest, or instant win game sounds like a fun and effective way to get more leads, generate some buzz about your brand, increase sales, and promote brand loyalty. However, administering a sweepstakes comes with complexities and a list of tasks that most marketers simply don’t have the time to manage.
That’s where we come in, a full-service sweepstakes administrator with over 50 years of collective experience. Together, our team of legal, fulfillment and promotional marketing experts make us the perfect partner for your brand.
In the complex world of promotional marketing, you’re not alone. Hiring a third-party sweepstakes administrator allows your company to delegate the heavy lifting and tedious execution to dedicated promotional marketing experts. While you sit back and enjoy the positive ROI, our team is focused on administering a winning sweepstakes for your brand.
With a number of promotional marketing agencies vying for your business, all you need to do is select the right sweepstakes administrator partnership for your brand. Not sure who to team up with? We’ve identified some of the key items to be on the lookout for when hiring a third-party sweepstakes administrator.
What is a Sweepstakes Administrator?
So, what exactly is a “sweepstakes administrator” and what do they do? You’ve come to the perfect place to find out! An award-winning sweepstakes administrator for nearly 30 years, we know exactly what makes a trustworthy partner.
In short, a sweepstakes administrator manages all aspects (or whichever aspects you decide) of a sweepstakes campaign. They’re experts at all things promotional marketing, including but not limited to:
- Campaign strategy and design
- Development of creative assets
- Official rules writing
- Legal review
- Microsite and custom app development
- Prize fulfillment
- Winner verification and notification
It’s important to note that a third-party sweepstakes administrator is not a “sweepstakes sponsor.” A sponsor provides the prize or reward and “hosts” the sweepstakes. However, some sponsors opt not to hire an administrator. In this (not recommended) case, those sponsors also administer their own promotional campaign.
A “sponsor” is usually a brand, and they hire an “administrator” to help them execute a sweepstakes.
Why Should You Hire a Sweepstakes Administrator?
If you can administer a sweepstakes campaign on your own, why go through the extra effort (and cost) of hiring a sweepstakes administrator? Several reasons!
First and foremost, hiring a sweepstakes administrator protects your brand. Experts at writing complex and lengthy official rules, our team of sweepstakes administrators ensures your brand has, to be reductive, crossed all of its t’s and dotted all of its i’s. We ensure legal compliance across all 50 states and federally, and provide your program with a set of clear rules outlining everything you need.
Not only that, but having a degree of separation between you and whoever selects your campaign’s winner also protects your brand. When you delegate winner selection and verification to a trusted sweepstakes administrator, your brand avoids any speculation about grumblings or being “unfair.” Nobody wants to see a brand accused of favoritism or running an unfair sweepstakes. With a sweepstakes administrator, on the other hand, brands avoid any negative speculation.
Furthermore, hiring a sweepstakes administrator ensures that a dedicated professional follows your campaign from pre to post-launch. A quality, write-home-to-mom-worthy administrator should have the capabilities to execute every aspect of a campaign, while also having the wherewithal to let the brand run the show. Your sweepstakes administrator should not have an ego and should be comfortable operating behind the scenes.
Have They Been Here Before?
Has your sweepstakes administrator.. you know.. run sweepstakes before? That’s not to say that you absolutely cannot run a successful campaign if you don’t have the experience, but do you really want your company to be the guinea pig for a promotional marketing agency? Probably not.
Your partner should have a high level of expertise in not only your industry, but also within promotional marketing itself. Look for an administrator with several years of experience, who has worked with clients like your company, and who can easily point to their success. Ask for examples of work they’ve done or customer testimonials to support their claims. If they’re not able or willing to show you, trust us, you don’t want to work with them.
It’s important to note that while awards are not the only way to identify a high-quality sweepstakes administrator, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a full shelf of trophies. PRO Awards are generally well-respected within the promotional marketing industry, so if your partner has earned some hardware, they probably know what they’re doing. Again, awards are not the end all be all when finding a partner, but they certainly can be a distinguishing factor.
Can Your Sweepstakes Administrator Protect Your Brand?
Protect your brand? What does that even mean? Is it going out late at night and getting into fights? Well, not quite, but it might feel that way if you catch yourself on the wrong side of a poorly facilitated sweepstakes campaign.
You might be surprised to find out that sweepstakes come with a complex minefield of legal dos and don’ts. You can’t just offer a prize up, close your eyes, cross your fingers, and hope for the best here. If you do, may we suggest finding a decent lawyer? Sweepstakes administrator fees are significantly less than those of a lawyer though, so let’s just stick with finding a quality promotions partner.
You can check out our guide for a quick background on the laws regarding sweepstakes, but keep in mind that they vary by state and are subject to change. We’ll keep them as up-to-date as possible, but managing multiple states and multiple laws can get out of hand quickly. Save yourself the time, stress, and potential legal fees, and leave your sweepstakes legal administration all to a trusted sweepstakes partner.
In the event that a mistake was made and your sweepstakes campaign violates a law, your sweepstakes administrator should offer your company indemnification. While this doesn’t give your brand free rein to run a campaign any which way, it should offer your company protection from any activities or losses as a result of the campaign.
Does Your Sweepstakes Administrator Collect and Manage Submissions?
In today’s digital age… mobile marketing.. everyone has a smartphone.. yada yada yada. You already know the technology exists to capture consumer data from millions of different checkpoints. Your sweepstakes administrator should, at the very least, be able to explain how they can support your company in the collection of submissions. Submission collection should be a bare minimum competency for any sweepstakes administrator.
How they manage that information is the critical piece to consider here. Just to make your decision a little bit tougher, most promotional marketing agencies will have their own unique process for managing sweepstakes submissions. Do you want to see your submissions in an Excel spreadsheet? Maybe you prefer a dashboard with real-time updates (if it’s real-time updates you’re looking for, MRi is one of the only providers of a proprietary dashboard with all the information you need). Whatever you prefer, your promotional marketing agency should oblige.
At MRi, we take data management a step further than most typical promotional agencies. We continually monitor data as it rolls in while we execute your purpose-driven campaign. In the end, we evaluate the results by measuring them against your established goals and use what we learn to identify the purpose of your next purpose-driven digital promotion. We’ll provide context to your results so you and your executive team can easily digest the information, understand your results, and prepare for your next campaign.
Will They Support Your Big Picture?
Whether or not an agency will support your company’s “Big Picture” sets true promotional partnerships apart from just hiring any old administrator.
What are your goals? How do you hope to achieve them with promotional marketing? Are you sure you want to run a sweepstakes and not a contest or instant win game (and yes, the terminology matters! For more on the difference between a sweepstakes and contest, we’ve got you covered)? If you don’t have the answers to these questions just yet, don’t sweat it. A sweepstakes administrator worth your time should be able to help you figure these out and offer guidance along the way. You might just find out that the sweepstakes you wanted to run would be more appropriate as a contest.
Your sweepstakes should not just be a one-off, never-think-about-it-again, type of campaign. What is its purpose? How can you improve your strategy for an even more successful campaign down the road? With a quality promotional partner, optimizing your campaigns will always remain top of mind. Your partner should help you understand your results after the campaign ends and help you determine whether or not you’ve run a successful promotional campaign. If you have, congrats! But, if you missed the mark this time, your promotional partner should provide you with insights and help you regroup for your next effort.
Ready To Run Your Next Promotional Campaign?
The case for implementing promotions into your marketing strategy is an easy one to make. Your brand can increase its awareness, consumer engagement, and revenue all from one campaign. Even better, the data you gather from your campaign can offer a wide variety of valuable insights.
If you’re looking for a partner who’s been in the business for over 25 years and who can help you take your sweepstakes to the next level, contact one of our experts today for a free consultation.