Is it worthwhile to include bonus entries in your giveaways and sweepstakes? Does anyone even complete them? Why not just make everything mandatory? The decision of whether to include social media actions such as ‘Liking’ a page on Facebook or ‘Following’ a Twitter account can be debated without end. By incentivizing entrants to interact with these networks, are you growing a less qualified audience? If these actions are required how many people are not going to participate because they are either not on social networks or just don’t want to follow your blog or brand?

Let your audience decide where to interact with you

One way to look at this is to consider email subscriptions and social media ‘followers’ as part of an overall CRM (customer relationship management) process. In all of these areas it doesn’t hurt (for the most part) to have a part of your audience that are not die-hard brand loyalists. They may still be interested in your brand but don’t feel the need to stay updated on every change you make or article that you’re posting. In this case, perhaps they are happy to receive your newsletters monthly but dont’ really need your twice daily updates in their Facebook feed. This is where Bonus entries for giveaways are key.

Participation rates for bonus entries in giveaways

By giving the entrant the option to subscribe / ‘follow’ / ‘like’ they can customize where and when your messages are reaching them. When looking at a sample set of 78,000+ people who entered giveaways in 2013, we found that 42% did complete at least one bonus entry. The most commonly completed entry that involved opting into further communication was opting into an email newsletter, followed by ‘Liking’ a Facebook and then by ‘Following’ on Twitter. This data is not that surprising since every entrant has an email account, and so can subscribe to a newsletter. The percentage of those on Facebook is lower than email and lower yet again for those on Twitter.

Significance of participation rates

The reason this data is significant is that it does show that entrants are interested in hearing from brands across the multiple platforms. By providing the option of engaging on multiple platforms you’re able to grow your audience in multiple areas simultaneously. Although this could also be accomplished by requiring these actions, when they are required you are going to have a percentage of potential entrants who will not participate at all because they are not on the specified social network.

By letting your entrants choose where and how to hear from you your unsubscribe/spam rates and the number of people hiding your posts should also start to decrease. This means that with each giveaway you will have a steadily growing audience of people who are actually interested in receiving your messages and continually learning about your brand.