Sweepstakes vs. Instant Win – What’s the Difference?

Everyone loves the chance to win something – it is the exhilaration that accompanies the thought of winning that makes consumers want to play each time a new promotion comes along. With 108,800 people per month participating in sweepstakes on Facebook, it is evident that people enjoy the thrill. The emotional excitement they generate is one of the top reasons why sweepstakes and instant win promotions continue to be so popular among organizations and brands looking to extend their reach in the marketplace and directly touch consumers.

It has been predicted that by 2014, over 70% of industry giants will make use of games as part of their strategy. If you’re looking to incorporate a contest into your marketing plan it’s important to understand the difference between a sweepstakes and an instant win promotion. Both games engage consumers and connect them to your brand, but there is a difference in the type of engagement each promotion produces.

Sweepstakes are ideal for businesses that want to create awareness, obtain consumer information, build social media “likes” or “follows”, and drive online traffic. At a lower cost, this option links consumers directly with the company but is often difficult to track its effectiveness at driving sales. If your company is looking to generate greater awareness and brand recognition, then running a sweepstakes might be the ideal option for you.

If your business needs a sales boost, then instant win games may be the right promotion for you. Instant win promotions provide the same awareness components as a sweepstakes; however they more effectively increase consumer engagement and drive sales. Instant win games also provide an opportunity for repeat traffic (i.e., enter once per day), as well as the ability to better track ROI. Consumers gravitate towards the instant gratification piece and will continue to return and play, resulting in greater engagement.