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3 Ways to do a contest or giveaway for your crowdfunding campaign

Published by Salvador Briggman. Find him on Twitter.

Doing a giveaway or creating a contest for your Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or other type of crowdfunding campaign is a great way to incentivize potential backers to become involved with your project early on. In exchange for subscribing to your newsletter, liking your Facebook page, or following you on Twitter, they could have the chance to win some cool prizes related to your project.

Below, I’ve included three software tools that I’ve found to be easy to implement for giveaways. Let me know which your favorite is and whether or not you found them to be helpful in growing your mailing list or social media following.

1. Rafflecopter

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 12.01.41 PM

Rafflecopter has been around since 2010, but has recently been used more and more to coordinate giveaways related to crowdfunding campaigns. Using the software, you can create and launch giveaway promotions & sweepstakes across your website, blog, and Facebook page.

You must first add a prize or prizes and then select how participants can enter the contest. I’ve included a few ways that participants can enter below. You can also select the option that participants can enter the contest by referring a friend, though this is a premium option.

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 11.57.39 AM

Pricing: Free – $59.99 per month. The free version has most of the functionality you would want.

2. PunchTab

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 12.15.05 PM

PunchTab is another online giveaway software that lets you incentivize users to take actions in exchange for prizes. You must first select a prize, a duration for the giveaway, and then specify how users will pledge their support. I’ve included a few examples below. You can also configure multiple steps that a user must take (like your facebook page, then tweet you).

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 12.10.22 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 12.10.32 PM

Finally, you must embed the giveaway on your website or Facebook page.

Pricing: Free version still supported. Paid versions have been retired.

3. PromoSimple

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 12.17.41 PM

PromoSimple offers similar functionality as the two above solutions. You can design the entry form, enforce age and location restrictions, accept Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter entries, etc. 

One thing I don’t like about this software is that it sets the “referral contest” option at $75/month and Rafflecopter is only $60/month.

I’ve included some of the actions and items that you can customize below.

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 12.23.31 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 12.23.44 PM

Pricing: $0 – $295

Conclusion

My personal favorite is Rafflecopter because I think they have good integrations, a reasonable price, and have a beautiful user interface that is easy to navigate.

For most campaigns, I think the subscribing to an email list would be most effective in terms of long-term benefits, as I see better click through rates from email marketing than any other social network. However, I would experiment! You can also invent your own “action” that participants must take to be entered.

As with all internet activity, “social proof” goes a long way, so if the software you choose also lists “total entries” to potential participants, I would first ask your friends and family to enter the giveaway before you promote it to strangers.

If you’re looking to generate a buzz and gather a following leading up to your campaign, I’d also recommend reading through my post on using Thunderclap as a promotional tool and my experience using it.

Finally, I encourage you to share the contests and giveaways you create in the comments below! Let me know which tool you like best.


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  • The Grill Canopy

    This is an interesting idea, we could definitely use a traffic boost
    @theGrillCanopy https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2069435800/grill-canopy-innovative-grill-covering-system

    • CrowdCrux

      Let me know if you decide to do a giveaway. Would be curious to see how it goes.

  • Thank you so much for this article and all of the tips and tricks for new campaigns like us! We are going to look into the use of Rafflecopter for our campaign. Keep up all the great tips! @garagegamesinc https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lofcutus/we-all-hate-your-f-cking-friend-by-garage-games-in

    • CrowdCrux

      Cool! Be sure to share your link if you do choose to do one so I can enter 😀

  • Stephanie

    I love the ideas you present here! Keeping interest in a campaign, especially mid way through is something I was wondering about. Rafflecopter seems to be a great option! Thank you!

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/810475917/project-skirt-a-dollar-towards-a-dream?ref=discovery

    @Project_skirt

    • CrowdCrux

      Welcome :). Yea I like their UI and it’s pretty simple to keep to do one.

  • Interesting, I had never heard of any of these services before! We wanted to do something like that but had no idea how. http://kck.st/1jJQy16 @Disparitygames

    • CrowdCrux

      Yea, they aren’t very well known in the crowdfunding world. I like Rafflecopter most.

  • Thank you for this article! As our company is not manufacturing a physical product (eazyer.com is a service), we really had to tweek our perks. We designed them to where our contributors will benefit from the perks given at thier contribution levels more as our company continues to grow and succeed. We also decided to give 20% of all funds raised to 4 of the most voted on national charities.
    As far as a contest…we are definitly going to look into Rafflecopter. Because our finished site will be giving away prizes on a regular basis ($500 VISA debit cards, cruises every 3 months, etc)…do you think Rafflecopter can offer a solution for that?
    Our referral contest will run like this. Everybody that referrs will get a 5% bonus of what their personal referrals contribute. The top 3 people that refer and raise ther most will each get 3% of the total funds raised in the campaign. Have you ever seen anythinbg similar before?
    Sorry for the long post. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    Our campaign is at http://www.igg.me/at/eazyer

  • Erica Gadsby

    Great idea to integrate a giveaway with our Kickstarter campaign… people can’t resist free stuff! Thanks for the article.

    • CrowdCrux

      Definitely. Happy the article was helpful!

  • Helen Maimaris

    Excellent Idea! We’ve developed a giveaway, linked to our upcoming Kickstarter Campaign to promote the literary journal F(r)iction, for exactly these reasons and put together a great giveaway! Check it out:

    Want to read the sequel to Warm Bodies before all your friends? Crazy about collecting original artwork? Desperate to get your hands on an award-winning comic? Want all those things SIGNED by their creators?
    https://artorder.leadpages.co/friction6giveaway/

  • Bad Actors Game

    Curious what your thoughts are on offering the actual product you’re launching on Kickstarter as the giveaway item?