Day 77 - Announcing A Giveaway Winner

Day 77 of #100daysmarketingcreatives - Announcing A Giveaway Winner - How to draw and announce your winner

Ok nearly there with your giveaway but how do you draw and then announce your winner? Well there are a few things to consider here

  • close the giveaway so you know who qualifies
  • draw the winner fairly
  • make sure the winner qualifies
  • announce the winner promptly as specified in your main giveaway post
  • direct message the winner to obtain address details
  • post the giveaway prize promptly

Close The Giveaway

There are a number of ways to close the giveaway but some are better than others. I have seen people turn off comments so people cannot enter. I discourage this because all comments will get hidden and anybody coming to the giveaway afterwards will think it was a very unpopular giveaway, even if you turn it on again later. Another way a lot of people use is to edit the comments and write 'GIVEAWAY CLOSED' at the top of the post caption. This is much better because it leaves your comments for people to see so they have confidence that your giveaway was successful!

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I think a better way, however, is to simply post a comment yourself that says 'Giveaway now closed' as a new comment that gets added below all the comments your have received from entrants. This is better because it doesn't turn people away too soon because it is right at the bottom of the existing comments rather than the first thing people see on the post. That means they continue to read the post, learn about the giveaway and you and your work. They might then be disappointed the giveaway is over but will read enough to visit your profile and perhaps website to find out more about you. If they don't read the rules properly you might even get more people trying to enter. They cannot win if they do this but it means even more people might get to hear about you!

Draw The Winner

There are many ways to draw the winner, some lend themselves to low numbers and a bit of drama perhaps that can be good publicity on a post and others lend themselves to larger numbers but might be a bit more boring perhaps! Choose the one that suites your giveaway.

For smaller numbers you might consider cutting up small pieces of paper, working down the comments on your main post and writing an Instagram user name on a piece of paper for each entry, folding it up and putting it in a hat. Take photos of you drawing from the hat or ideally a video as you draw and then unfold the piece of paper to reveal the winner.

For larger numbers the above might be too time consuming so consider an electronic version. On a computer view the comments on your post and ensure you reveal all comments and hidden replies etc (in Instagram click '+' to show more replies and click 'view replies' where replies have been hidden in case the reply is also an entry!). Then select all the comments and copy them to a text editor such as Windows Notepad for example. Save a copy of this so you can refer to it again later then make a new copy that you can edit.

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Now work your way down through it pulling out the user names of the entrants. If your draw said 2 name mentions count as 1 entry then count how many name mentions there are and add the user name to your list as many times as needed for the number of entries required.

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Once you have a list of entries copy and paste this into a spreadsheet where each entry will be assigned a number automatically or just print the list if you prefer and number them yourself.

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Next visit a website such as www.random.org where you can enter a start and end number and the system will generate a random number for you. The winner is the entry associated with the random number that is generated. 

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Make Sure The Winner Qualifies

Some people will check that every entry is eligible before doing the draw. This can be very time consuming if your giveaway needs every entrant to like your post, follow you, mention you to at least 2 friends in the comments and name a prize - this is not necessary. You simply need to ensure that the winner has followed all of your rules before you announce them and if they have missed anything then you simply draw a second and then a third until you find a winner that has met all of your criteria.

Announce The Winner Promptly

You should have said how and when you will announce your winner in your main giveaway post so make sure you do as you said you would. Ideally this will be a striking post on your social media feed so that people can easily spot it and it should go out as soon as you can after the draw closes while it is still fresh in people's minds. Also remember to do a story post too

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Before you announce the winner, while you have everybody's attention, you need to go in for another 'big ask'. Take the opportunity to explain to people why a giveaway is one of many tools you use to market your work, why it works so well to help new people find you and how difficult it can be to do this at the same time as creating your work as an independant business. Ask people now if they will do you another small favour and sign up to your mailing list. Explain what benefits that will bring them (such as 10% off there first online order as Lucy does here) but also explain that by signing up they will get to hear about all future giveaways so that they have a chance of entering them too. 

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Many people will tell you a single mailing list sign up is worth 10 or more social media followers. This is definitely my experience too so imagine 100 newsletter signups, that's like another 1000 social media followers or better!

Direct Message The Winner

Hopefully the winner will see the announcement in social media and respond with delight but you should also contact the winner by direct message to congratulate them and ask for their address details privately rather than have them post them in a public area. Again do this promptly as you announce the winner in social media.

Post The Giveaway Prize Promptly

We haven't finished yet as you will find out in my next and final post about giveaways. In order to do the next step well, however, it is important that you post the prize to the winner as soon as possible, the same day the draw is done if possible. Stay tuned for my next post to see why and what we do next!

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Have you run a giveaway and if so how did you draw and announce the winner? Did you do anything else?

If you have found this free advice useful, please return the favour by following me on Instagram or Facebook liking my posts and mentioning me to your friends! Switch on notifications (see Day 40 - How To Get In First) so you don't miss any posts! Thanks.

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