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A recent discussion with Brandon Pindulic inspired these questions. I've had varied success with giveaways. I've found that "Conversion rate = desire - friction" plays a role when requesting that users make an action in exchange for a giveaway entry. Would love everyone's input on the following questions:
  • What are some best practices to ensure that giveaways have an impact on KPIs such as CLV rather than a short-term impact on vanity metrics? What are some good case studies that have explored this topic?
  • I've observed how HubSpot uses inbound marketing + e-book, etc. giveaways and it's definitely working for them. (One of the representatives told me that they have over a 90% retention rate and I assume these giveaways have a played a role in that.) What are some other companies that are "getting it right"?
  • What are your experiences with giveaways, especially in the realm of growth hacking and / or gamification?
  • SK

    Steven Kovar

    about 7 years ago #

    * My co-founder and I spent a month working on an advanced sweepstakes guide to help our customers make the most of their giveaways. We cover the whole process of planning, creating, and running a giveaway. It's too much to cover here (something like 10,000 words), but you can read it here: http://www.viralsweep.com/advanced-sweepstakes-guide/
    * I really like New Relic's giveaway strategy: they give away prizes that appeal to their hardcore geek target market (most recently XBox One and Playstation 4: http://newrelic.com/lp/holiday-offer) where you can only enter after installing New Relic on your app. Their product is fantastic and most users stay after installing. Sometimes all they need is a little incentive to start using the service.
    * Giveaways can be a great way to build or reward your audience. My one piece of advice would be to think small and consistent vs. trying to go for a maximal number of entries. A giveaway (or series of giveaways) with hundreds or thousands of highly targeted entrants will provide much higher ROI per user than a large giveaway with hundreds of thousands of entrants. In some cases, a massive giveaway can even damage your brand or cost yourself a lot of money by sending emails to a non-responsive audience (cost of sending emails + risk of being marked as spam).
    * The best giveaways offer an experiential prize vs. some tchotchke that will be forgotten after a few weeks. Give your winner(s) a story they can tell for the rest of their lives rather than an iPad. Make it interesting, quirky, or fun, and most importantly... in line with your brand.

  • SZ

    Savvas Zortikis

    about 7 years ago #

    Hi Nichole,

    Nice topic. Regarding your second question, I think Neil Patel of Quicksprout does great inbound. They constantly prepare nice infographics and guides (e.g. the ultimate guide to growth hacking.)

    I'd also like to note that HubSpot does a great job, despite the fact that the ebook templates they gave were a bit ugly :-(

  • BP

    Brandon Pindulic

    about 7 years ago #

    I too had similar takeaways…before I kind of was thinking of giveaways purely in an acquisition context and gamification more for retention, but never really thought of the two together.

    I believe AppSumo is one of the best examples. They encourage and incentivize sharing throughout their entire site such as giving out free content that you can access either through “paying with a tweet” or a Facebook share. Also, they had a campaign a little while back where you refer a friend to enter, and they choose one random (friend couple?) to each receive a Macbook Air. It’s a big enough reward to refer a friend to, it’s memorable, and it shows the creativity and quirkiness at AppSumo. I’m assuming email addresses were required, but I don’t remember the specifics.

    They do these sorts of things all the time. When I get a chance, I’ll try to dig up some links of promotions/contests/giveaways Noah & co. have run there for some added context.

  • MB

    Morgan Brown

    about 7 years ago #

    I have so much to say about this and share, but my day is insane, so I will leave just one thought here:

    The best incentives and giveaways are those that are aligned and valued by the same type of people that will value your product. This alignment creates opportunity for the incentive to create awareness among the right types of people.

    The worst incentives are those that are not aligned with your core value proposition. You end up getting a big, worthless list who doesn't care about what you actually do.

    I have volumes to say on this subject, so I will try to get back to the thread w/more later.

  • SM

    Stuart McKeown

    about 7 years ago #

    This is a subject that I know a fair amount about, we have been working on a platform in this space since ~April 2013. On average across all our clients they achieve 1.58 actions per unique impression (data sample of 1M+ impressions).

    There's quite a few considerations:

    The most pressing is that the setup is only about 20% of the work. The majority of work in a successful contest is how you promote it, just like any other type of content marketing that you do - it obviously helps to have a mailing list or large network that you can leverage.

    Morgan mentioned this already, the prize needs to not only align to your target demographics but it also needs to be compelling enough that users will want to enter. The harder the prize is to obtain for a normal person the more hoops you can make them jump through.

    Sharing & viral metrics matter, It is against Facebook guidlines to give contest entries for sharing something on a personal timeline. There's ways around it though. For example we have viral links that users can share however they want & they get entries when their friends enter - this can really blow up with hard to get prizes. Here's one over Xmas that achieved 100k+ actions: https://gleam.io/mv2et/10-days-till-christmas-classic-firearms-giveaway-#/

    Syndication is a great way to get exposed to new readers, people often overlook this. Some of the most successful contests are ones that get created then given to a network of hundreds of bloggers to promote, you just need to be careful with this approach as it can definitely reduce the quality of your entrants & data. I prefer working with high quality partners where possible. But this does allow you to drive extra exposure for your clients, also if you're the publisher you can drive much more value than a typical banner ad or sponsored review/post. Here's an example: http://fussfreeflavours.com/2013/12/giveaway-set-five-valleys-cordials/

    How you engage with the users post competition is the key to driving sales & ROI. Giveaways are perfect to get users onto your list, use this opportunity to followup with a coupon or special offer right away. We also allow people to unlock coupons during the giveaway, this particular campaign drove 1000 coupon redemptions (650 were actually redeemded in cart) in ~24 hours: https://gleam.io/bWKQh/10-off-outerwear

    I've got heaps more examples, we're looking into revenue tracking early this year so we can get more data around the actual revenue impact of campaigns - so that should give more insight into what works best.

    Feel free to get in touch if you have any crazy ideas, we're always looking to test new things :)

  • SC

    Shana Carp

    about 7 years ago #

    a) Actual contests and promotions have very specific rules - talk to a lawyer.
    b) do a cohort analysis against given away content and see how it performs compared to other campaigns

  • CC

    Chris Conrey

    about 7 years ago #

    your giveaways and gamifications are part of your growthhacking scheme - you're not combining them with growthhacking. They are parts of your smart marketing (assuming you track and target etc like you should).

    Giveaway metrics are likely best as something that looks kind of like this:
    ROI = (Net New Business generated) - (Cost of Giveaway Marketing + Giveaway value)

    With things like impressions that you can now retarget (should have a separate campaign so you can track back to original source), links for organic rankings, etc as harder to quantify directly up front.

    Beware of what anyone at an organization says their retention rate is. Hubspot has an incentive to report a higher retention rate to you than may be true - not saying they are lying, but they have no reason to say the truth either.

    • ND

      Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré

      about 7 years ago #

      Chris, "+" in this context meant and, as in "giveaways in the context of gamification or growth hacking." Sorry for the confusion.

      Also, I don't just accept everything everyone tells me. It's well known that their retention rate is high, I wasn't solely basing that on the discussion that I had with the representative.

  • GV

    George Vasiliadis

    over 4 years ago #

    Hey there,

    A quick intro, I run Growth in Viral Loops(https://viral-loops.com/giveaways), our goal is to help people like you, run hassle-free viral & referral marketing campaigns and build viral loops in their products.

    We are template based and we offer 3 giveaway/sweepstake templates along with 2 referral marketing templates. We got inspired by successful company cases and we created templates based on these cases. For giveaways and sweepstakes we're offering:
    - The Leaderboard Giveaway, inspired by Viral Loops
    - The Sweepstake Giveaway, inspired by Mailchimp
    - Spread the E-book, inspired by Lemonstand

    The main difference here is that we focus on the viral factor a lot so all of our templates have sharing options, this means that your campaign participants have to share with friends in order to win more.

    Learn more here https://viral-loops.com/giveaways