PromoSimple makes it easy to run giveaways, sweepstakes and contests, but there are still a lot of common mistakes that we see made on a normal basis. Don’t fall prey to one of these major giveaway no-nos!

1. No Goal in Sight

As with anything, it’s hard to know if you’ve been successful with a task unless you have a goal in mind. Running a giveaway like a shot in the dark won’t do you much good at all.

Before you host a giveaway, be sure to first identify your goals. And make sure that those goals are specific and attainable. And then set up a giveaway that best supports your main goals.

So for example, if your main goal is to increase your Facebook following, make Facebook the focus. Don’t overwhelm your entrants with a ton of requirements to complete before they can enter. Make a Facebook “Like” a requirement, and save the other entry methods for the bonus section.

Read more about setting goals and evaluating your results here.

2. Setting It and Forgetting It

A giveaway without promotion is like a ship without sails. Your giveaway isn’t going to make its way to other people unless it gets a little (or ideally, a big) push. There are, of course, specific times that you should promote your giveaway in order to give it the most visibility, but it’s important to promote throughout so that you reach as many entrants as possible.

Not sure where to start? Check out 8 free strategies for promoting your giveaways.

3. Giving Away a Prize No One Wants

The main reason that people are going to enter your giveaway is because they want to win a prize (duh). So if you’re giving away something that’s not relevant to your target audience, your giveaway isn’t likely to be the most popular kid on the playground of giveaways.

Your prize should be something that’s desirable and sought after, but it should also connect with your audience. If you’re a food blog, you wouldn’t give away sporting goods, right? Right! Depending on your budget, you’re likely to be much more successful if you give away a brand new cookbook or a tablet for easily storing recipes.

4. Leaving Out Your Brand

In a lot of ways, this mistake goes hand-in-hand with picking the wrong prize. You use a prize to entice and audience to enter your giveaway. But after they enter, you want your audience to remember you!

Running a giveaway is a great opportunity to get in front of people you may not normally reach. But you’re not reaching anyone if you’re not shouting about your brand or blog in the process.

You can increase brand awareness in a lot of ways. Use your entry form, your prize, your hosted page and more to make your brand easily visible and, most importantly, memorable.

5. Having Too Many Obstacles in the Way of Entry

Bonus entries are a beautiful thing. You should use them to give extra bonus opportunities to people who want to take the time to complete them. But truth be told, most people do not want to complete dozens of entries before they can enter your giveaway.

As PromoSimple user Jodi Friedman says:

If you’re one of those people that likes to click a lot of buttons, then you can do that (with bonus entries). But it’s too overwhelming if you require people to do too much. And simply, they won’t do it. People will just leave. So if you want to get good results, I think it’s best to focus on that one important thing as your requirement.

Remember your goal. Make the required entries that you’re setting up line up with your goal. Leave the rest of the entries for the bonus section if you don’t want to overwhelm the majority of your audience.

6. Your Giveaway is Gone in the Blink of An Eye

When you run a giveaway for less than a week, you’re not giving it any room to breathe or circulate. And a giveaway that’s not seen by as many people as possible isn’t likely to be successful.

When it comes to running a typical blog giveaway, we think that the “magic” length of time is about two weeks, but you can check out our logic on the subject over here.

7. Letting Your Giveaways Run Wild

It’s easy to focus on doing an excellent job when focusing on one thing. But when you add a dozen more things to your plate, your head will probably start spinning.

When you’re running 10 giveaways at the same time, you’re likely not going to give each one the attention and promotion it deserves. So be honest about how many giveaways you can successfully promote at a time, and give them all of the support you can. You’re probably going to be happier with the results of two or three heavily promoted giveaways than you would be with ten neglected giveaways.

8. Subjecting Your Giveaway to Bad Timing

If you’re running a giveaway during a major holiday where people are away from their computer and/or on vacation, then you’re subjecting your giveaway to bad timing. Before you launch your giveaway, check the calendar and make sure that there’s nothing that will get in your way.

9. Neglecting the Ever-Important Follow-Up

This is a major crime committed by many people who run sweepstakes. You can gain thousands of new subscribers when running a giveaway. But if you don’t follow up with them while you have their attention, you may as well have gained zero new subscribers.

Make sure you’re following up with your newly acquired subscribers to keep them active and interested in your blog or brand.

10. Not Using PromoSimple!

I mean, this one’s a no-brainer, right? 🙂

If you haven’t already, sign up and try PromoSimple for free today!