Sweepstakes Administration

Written by Linda Alexander
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Sweepstakes administration is a feat that many companies leave up to a marketing agency to handle. While you can do it yourself, why not save yourself the headache by going with an agency that specializes in online promotions? Sweepstakes are a unique marketing tool, one that rewards customers and keeps them loyal. But when outsourcing the sweepstakes administration to your agency, know upfront what they will be able to do for you.

Sweepstakes Administration Services Available

Generally, a marketing agency that specializes in sweeps will offer the following services: promotional and legal advice, writing the official rules of the game, providing mailboxes or email "mail to" addresses, data entry, winner confirmation (and selection), and issuing 1099 forms to winners. If you need additional sweepstakes administration services, agencies will also review ad copy to make sure it complies with local laws, judge contests, and help with planning and logistics. If you are new to running a sweepstakes, you may also want help with obtaining prize bonds in states where they are required by law.

Running large-scale sweepstakes requires good sweepstakes administration. A competent agency will be familiar with all types of online and offline promotion, and know where sweeps fit into the mix. You should also select an agency with years of experience managing contests and sweepstakes promotions. They should have a good track record of increasing sales of products and services in companies like yours, for that is the ultimate goal of sweepstakes.

Whether you go with an agency or do it in-house, proper sweepstakes administration and planning should involve goal definition, an appropriate prize value, and a prize that will motivate people to play. For example, the prizes you offer should fit your prospects and customers; if you pull the wrong people into your contest, it will not help your business grow.

Points to Keep in Mind with Sweepstakes Administration

Your official rules must also be accurate and conform to local, state, and federal laws. You don't want the rules written poorly--to do so may increase your liability in the case of a dispute over rules or prizes. Also, in certain areas, sponsors are required to register the sweepstakes. Somebody on your team must know the legalities in order to keep your company out of hot water.

Sweepstakes and other online promotions benefit your business by building traffic and sales. You can reward customers for doing something you want them to do and, in turn, gain their loyalty. The environment is relatively controlled, making the outcome easy to measure.

Integrating online and offline promotions often produces optimum results--promoting an online contest or sweepstakes, for example, on your offline product. In general, sweepstakes allow you to learn more about your existing customer base while attracting new customers. Of course, the Internet allows you to do this at a lower cost than ever before.

Games Work Well, Too

If your company is not interested in sweepstakes administration, there are other games that you can use in a similar fashion. Consider skill contests, online or offline. Your marketing firm can also alert you to what other types of games companies are using to promote their products and win new business and customer loyalty.

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