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Proof SMS Messaging Gets Results: Giveaways and Contests

sms messaging competitions giveaways

Sometimes referred to as “Text to Win” campaigns, SMS giveaways are much like their counterparts you’ve used or seen on email or social media. They help raise awareness, grow opt-ins, increase traffic, even start the ever elusive “buzz” about your products or company. It’s arguable that SMS versions, however, have some advantages over other channels when your target audience is mostly on mobile devices.

The real question is though, how do these types of campaigns fare? Do they get results? I’ve rounded up some examples from around the web to show how well they can do.

Gathering Opt-Ins

While SMS contests and giveaways can have many objectives (some I mentioned in the introduction), getting opt-ins for your mobile marketing campaigns is one of the most common. The good news is it can be used for that purpose, but don’t expect everyone to stay on your list.

Here are some sample numbers for companies that used a double opt-in format in their giveaways. That means the customer would text a message to enter the giveaway, then they would receive a reply asking them to agree to future marketing messages (note, many of these are from the US and Canada where double opt-ins are common and often required. This isn’t necessarily the case in the UK). Here are the percentages of giveaway entrants that also opted in to their SMS marketing:

  • 30% for a cinema company
  • 57% for a fast food company
  • 46% for a candy company
  • 18% for a car company
  • 60% for a resort
  • 44% for a wellness centre

In a non-retail example, a Canadian university grew their opt-in list using a giveaway. Over the course of the short campaign they got 700 opt-ins. Around 300 of those occurred in one day during an educational fair. The students who opted in received information about visiting and attending the university. There was no information saying how many of that 700 ended up attending, but they were quite happy with the opt-in number. I can only assume it led to more students going to their school.

Those are pretty good numbers for growing a list through a giveaway. It may not be the best option for everyone if growing a list is the only objective. But there are additional benefits to running these types of campaigns that are harder to measure, like brand awareness.

Different Types of Campaigns

Simple giveaways and contests are fairly common. But I found an example where companies used an SMS giveaway to keep people coming back to their content.

Here’s how it worked. The brand had a daily TV show. Each day at a certain time they would flash a keyword on the screen. People could then text that keyword to a shortcode for a chance to win a sizeable prize.

Because they used a different keyword every day, people had to come back and watch their show. This obviously increased their viewership and they received around 300,000 entries.

I’ve seen this type of contest using the web before. You find the special word on a TV show, radio ad, or on the web, then type it into a special form on a website to be entered for the draw. But implementing it via SMS seems so much easier! It’s a great idea for any business that wants to keep people coming back on a regular basis. The giveaway can’t go on forever of course, but by the end of it some people will probably stick around, and depending on your business, you could see other benefits during the contest (like a bump in sales perhaps).

SMS Advantages

Contests and giveaways are common marketing methods that utilise many different channels. SMS messaging has one advantage though: it’s hard to fool. Because each entry must come from a mobile number, you know exactly where each one originated. The process is much more resilient in the face of malicious fake entries that often occur in other channels. For example, it’s common to have automated bots that repeatedly fill out web forms.

Now you know that SMS is a great channel for your contests and giveaways. There are many benefits beyond opt-ins, repeat business, and security that I mentioned here. If you want to see more about how SMS messaging is great for business, come back for the next blog for some results on how it can improve sales.

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