How to promote your giveaway with email marketing

Posted in: Digital marketingLast update: 13/08/21

Social media has become an essential part of marketing – but it’s not the whole story. Email is still the most powerful tool to generate leads, follow up, and build a relationship with your customers. Here’s how.

You already know that a great giveaway depends on great publicity. It’s important to share as widely as possible: with your mailing list, on social media, and on your website. So let’s talk about how to boost your giveaway with email marketing – and how to follow up afterwards.

There are 3 key moments for email marketing when you run an online giveaway.

  • First, you have to announce the giveaway.
  • Next, you should keep up the pace during the contest, with reminders, welcome messages, and winners’ announcements.
  • Finally, you need to give people a reason to stay in touch.

Plan your emails

Before we dive in, let’s have a quick reminder of what makes a good email. If you really want to make an impact on consumers, then you should plan every campaign message well in advance. Here are the essential points:

  • Platform. You can use your standard mailing service, such as Mailchimp or Intercom. Or you can speed things up with an email service that’s integrated with your contest. With Easypromos, you can send automatic, personalized emails to everyone who registers for the contest.
  • Type. Think about your audience, and the kind of content they expect from you. Will they spot your contest in a regular newsletter, or do you want to send a special mailshot?
  • Subject line. Give your readers a reason to click. Make the contest sound exciting and urgent. It can’t hurt to advertize the prize, as well!
  • Tone. Just like your email type, make sure that you use the right tone to reach your audience. Let them know that you’re excited about the giveaway – but don’t stray too far from your normal brand voice.
  • Design. Make sure your email is on-brand and attractive with the right colors, layout, and images. Use videos, gifs or animations to take it to the next level! Don’t forget to add alt-text and descriptions for accessibility.
  • Call to Action. Finally, the most important point. Share a direct link to your promotion, and explain exactly how people can take part.

1. Announce the giveaway with email marketing

The first email in your campaign should be the giveaway announcement. It’s sad but true that we sometimes see exciting, creative giveaways – with zero participants. Why? Because nobody told customers the competition was open!

Example of announcing a giveaway with email marketing. The title text reads, "Yay for 100k!" The email ends with a large green button, marked "enter now".
Example via

You can easily announce a giveaway with email marketing. Your email contacts are already interested in your brand, and want to stay in touch. So an online giveaway is the perfect way to reward their interest and highlight specific products.

2. Thank participants and serve up some reminders

Announcing your contest is only the beginning. You should be with participants every step of the way, sharing updates and reminders via email.

Why is this step so important? There are several good reasons!

  • Transparency. Consumers want to know that their chosen brands are open and honest. A well-administered giveaway is a fantastic opportunity to show that you can be trusted. Share updates about how the winners will be selected, and make sure you announce the decision.
  • Thanks. When they join your giveaway, people are sharing their time, attention, and personal data with you. That deserves some thanks! You can send a simple email, welcoming people to the giveaway – or you can offer a more tangible reward, as in this example.

Example of a thank you email after a giveaway with email marketing. The email explains the findings from a survey and rewards participants with a 10% off coupon. The email CTA is a button which goes to the brand's store with the coupon activated.
Example via

  • Reminders. Most giveaways have a closing date, and a limited timeframe to claim prizes. If you’ve asked people to collect votes or refer friends to win a prize, then they might need a nudge, too. Send carefully-timed emails to give your contest a sense of urgency, and keep excitement at fever pitch.

Example of a reminder for a giveaway with email marketing. The title text reads, "Don't forget to claim your $50 gift". The CTA button reads "Claim your gift now".
Example via

  • The final prize draw. Most importantly of all, you need to share the results of the giveaway! This is a key moment, so your announcement should be as dynamic as possible.

Use Broadcast Mode to create instant, viral video with thrilling sound effects. Announce your contest winners with a dramatic drum roll and a burst of confetti!

3. Follow up the giveaway with email marketing to build a relationship

Here’s a secret: your giveaway is never really over.

When you run an online contest, you open the door to a new relationship with your customers. Some of them will be new sales leads; others will already be fans of your brand, who now trust and appreciate you more than ever.

That’s why it’s so important to follow up with email marketing and remarketing. You can’t afford to let those leads go cold.

Example of a reminder after a giveaway with email marketing. This example, from Starbucks, explains how to use reward points in 3 easy steps.
Example via

At a minimum, you should close out the giveaway with an email to everyone who took part. Say thank you, declare the winners, and tease your next competition.

But you can go further. Offer a small gift or discount code as a consolation prize to those who didn’t win. Suggest some next steps with your brand, like joining a reward scheme or visiting you in-store. And if you added people to your regular mailing list, then they should be welcomed with targeted onboarding emails.

Use the integrated Easypromos platform to send personalized, automated emails to everyone who joins your contests. Click here to sign up and run a giveaway with email marketing – the easy way.


Corinna Keefe

Content marketer at Easypromos

Publication date: 2019-01-28