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How to Run SMS Competitions and Sweepstakes

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A great way to boost your mobile marketing campaign and create buzz around your brand is to run an SMS Competition. 

An SMS Competition also frequently goes by the name of a “text to win” campaign. To enter, contestants text a specified word, phrase or numerical sequence, and they are automatically entered for a chance to win a prize.

It’s important to note that many businesses often use the terms “SMS competition” and “SMS giveaway” or “sweepstakes” interchangeably. However, competitions generally require some sort of input from the entrant that will be judged in order for them to win. 

Meanwhile, giveaways and sweepstakes are simply a random draw. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll be framing our “how to” around contests that randomly select their winners.

Some advantages of running such contests include:

  • Growing your subscriber list
  • Engaging with your customer base 
  • Raising brand awareness

How to Run SMS Competitions 

To conduct a well-organized and successful competition, you need to employ a bulk text messaging software, like Texting Base. Our platform is streamlined and allows you to tailor your message for any giveaway you would like to run. It is important to note that you need to enable two-way messaging for the competition to work.

1. Determine Key Information About Your Competition

The first step is deciding on the parameters you want for your competition, such as:

  • When you want it to start and end - Consider whether it will be a weeklong contest or longer 
  • When the sign-up period ends - Be sure to  let your customers know how long they have to enter
  • Who can enter - Specify the terms that apply to your entry rules like age range, city, county or country of residence, etc.
  • How many winners you want to select - Determine whether you would like to award  a single winner, multiple winners, or choose a winner at certain intervals throughout the competition
  • How you will select your winner - You can choose a winner yourself through a random draw or automate a program to choose a name from your list of entrees
  • How you will announce the winner - Decide if you’d like to share the winner on your website, social media accounts, email or via some other channel  

2. People Enter Using Keywords

Next, you need to determine a word, phrase, or number sequence that you want people to text in order to enter the competition. It should be related to the prize you are giving away or the competition's theme. Make sure to promote your contest and advertise your keyword on your website, social media accounts, and email blasts.

If they are not already signed up for your subscriber list, they will have to opt-in to enter the competition, increasing your marketing list. An important thing to include in your opt-in message is whether you will be sending marketing texts to them after the contest is over.

3. Send an Auto Response 

Now that you have a keyword, you need to set up an auto-response to send out after they have texted the keyword. An automatic message lets contestants know that their entry was received and have successfully joined the competition. An example would be:

“Thanks for entering the [name of your competition]! We will notify our winners by [date and time]. Keep an eye on our [website/social media account] for announcements regarding the winners!”

4. Select Your Winner

After the sign-up period ends, you will choose your winner or winners. Note that if the competition spans multiple states or is international, you will need to wait until the latest time zones have reached the deadline to enter. You can randomly choose the winners yourself, or employ some other randomized process. 

5. Inform Participants That a Winner Has Been Selected

Prepare a text message to send to the winner or winners. It is important to get the winner’s permission to share their name or other personal information on your website or social media accounts. If they do not give their permission, you can simply announce that winners have been chosen and they have been notified.

Run Your SMS Competitions with Texting Base

Running an SMS Competition is an easy way to boost your engagement and increase your subscriber list without having to be too hands-on. Once you decide on the contest's parameters and set up auto-responses and text messages for the winners, the competition practically runs itself! 

Texting Base offers a streamlined, easy-to-use SMS marketing platform that makes SMS Competitions fun for both you and your customers. Find out just how much an SMS Competition can do for your company by starting your free trial of Texting Base today!