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, if you’re like most marketers, sweepstakes probably aren’t your first priority and you might not know where to begin.
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 to promotional marketing experts, while you sit back and enjoy the (hopefully positive) ROI. 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.
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 it 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.