Don’t give up on Giveaways: A step-by-step guide

Anatomy of a Giveaway & Why You’re Doing it Wrong

Giveaways are favourites amongst social media managers & marketers, especially the ones starting out.

The flurry of new users engaging with their business attract the owners.

The immediate increase in activity holds with it a promise to increase revenue.

It does make sense — everybody likes the free stuff, don’t we?

However, the smart ones are wary. The chance of users engaging just because the good is FREE & then never returning to their business is very reasonable.

But are the giveaways, actually doing that?

Here are some example giveaways I found on Instagram & Facebook with a quick search.

However, if you have been on the internet for long, you would know that almost every giveaway follows this template.

Goal of a Giveaway

“ The ultimate goal of a giveaway is NOT to generate awareness or engagement. It’s to generate revenue”

Engagement’s good, but that doesn’t pay the bill.

The giveaways we are doing right now start and end at the first phase itself.

Breaking Down The Giveaway

A giveaway consists of essentially 3 elements:

1. The Prize

2. The Conditions/Rules

3. The Winner Announcement

The Prize

What you offer is completely up to you. However, I have some pointers for choosing the prize:

  1. Choose something the users would be comfortable sharing with friends

  2. Choose something aspirational (ask yourself “if money was no object, what would the user want from my store?”

  3. Don’t offer many options. You want the user to not think before entering your giveaway.

The road from the giveaway to $$$ in your bank account is looong. Better to not waste time on things that slow the journey.

4. Don’t offer complicated products/services.

Understand the state of awareness of your user and offer something that they understand at the first glance.

User Awareness Levels

5. Have up-sells, bonuses & incentives (UBI).

In order for your campaign to succeed on its own, you need to push the users to share your giveaway. The UBI trio comes handy here.

E.g. If I am offering a concert ticket, I can give the user another free ticket if he/she can get 20 of her friends to sign up. You don’t need to be good at math to be convinced of this in principle.

Or if the product/service is limited in quantity. You can incentivise the user with a jump in queue for sharing the giveaway & getting his/her friends to sign up.

This snowballs into an avalanche effect & you get free publicity, leads & revenue.

One last thing,


This adds nothing to your business. The users don’t get to ‘taste’ your business, nor does it attract people that would be interested in the business.

It attracts the exact kind users we all dread…

In other words, if you own a Scuba Diving company, don’t giveaway iPhones!

Give us an extra tank of oxygen or extra dives. Iphone’s not that good anymore anyway…

The Conditions

The classic giveaway always has this:

1. Like/Follow the business’s Facebook page/Instagram account/<insert latest social media>

2. Comment on the post

3. Tag a friend

What does it do?

Creates engagement, generates page likes, some visits to the website & if you’re lucky, maybe some sales.

Now what?

Now you pay Facebook again to reach out to these users.

Is it effective in generating revenue? Yes

Can we make it more profitable? Definitely, YES


Generate leads.

A major piece of the puzzle missing out from giveaways is the generation of leads.

When you only push for engagement, you HAVE to pay again to have your product/service again in front of these engagers.

(Organic doesn’t work. Instagram proudly highlights how limited organic reach has become)

But when you generate leads, you get a free highway to get anything & everything in front of your target, WITHOUT SPENDING ANYTHING!

Well, you probably knew the importance of leads. Let’s understand it from the context of giveaways & generating revenue.

P.S. You can always push ads too for a holistic campaign. If I had the money, I would🙌

Winner Announcement & Making Money

Step 1 — Announce the giveaway

Step 2 — Generate Leads

Step 3 — Announce the winner

Step 4 — Include a discount code or coupon with the Announcement & a CTA for them to buy the same product.

If their original interest was high, there’s a good chance a fraction of them would buy the product.

Step 5 — Start a drip feed campaign. Send value & promotions ( I follow the 1 sales offer for 3 pieces of value)

These can link to your website or any other 3rd party tool you want to.

The ultimate goal is to push the user to a sale.

It could also be a conversation starter where the entire transaction happens over Messenger.

Leads & Giveaway — A How-to

Most popular ways to generate leads:

1. Email leads

2. Phone numbers

3. Messenger Leads *new*

4. Direct mail

Comparison between most popular ways of lead generation

With so much of spam emails, shady marketers & public availability of one’s data, people have increasingly become hesitant in sharing private information.

And this is not because the usage of the email, phone or messages have gone down, it has shot up dramatically.

Plus, there’s a general disdain for email for their slow response expectations & for phone for being a waste of time when things can be done via email or messages

Messaging has slowly but steadily revolutionised the way we communicate. It’s the #1 preferred choice for majority of the population.

Messenger apps are bigger than the social networks they sprouted out from. (Source: BI Intelligence)

And it beats email, hands down in everything you want. It’s like the ultimate Tesla to your petrol car

1. Customisable

2. Almost 100% inbox rate

3. Extremely high open/click/response rate

4. Easier to opt-out

5. One stop solution for sales & support

The companies of the future and the companies of the present that will make it to the future will and have Messenger Chatbot applications developed or in various stages of development.

But how does it matter to a giveaway?

It does significantly.

  1. 2 tap sign up. No information requested. No confirmation required. Friction lowered = Higher Conversion Rate

    2. Easy to Share. The future of communication is private. Allowing users a way to share the giveaway equals free leads & word-of-mouth publicity. Free Leads = Higher Revenue

    3. No coding required. To get started, you don’t need to be Whiz Kid. A few quick steps (read below) and you can start generating leads

Case Study

Facebook Ad Campaign — 20,000+ Leads Generated

Industry — Pillows

Giveaway Prize — Most Popular Product (Mid price range)

Giveaway Conditions — Just Sign Up

Targeting — People that showed interest in Pillows or sleep related interests AND who were Online Shoppers.

*The ‘And’ part is very important as here is when you minimise your chances of receiving users that aren’t just after the freebie.

Total Leads — 20,329

Total Engagement — 381,308

Total Comments- 922

10X Performance With Quick Upgrades to your Chatbot

Remember we talked about creating the avalanche effect? Where the users spread awareness about your giveaway in-return for a better chance at winning?

Yep, this is how you do it within the Chatbot (or rather how I do it)

We add 2 components to the Chatbot

  1. Leaderboard

  2. “Share” button

The Leaderboard gives the participation a competition-esque feeling that encourages them to get more involved with the giveaway.

The “Share” features allows the participants to share the giveaway with their friends.

The recipe for a viral, funnel-proof, revenue generating giveaway is in place.

It’s time for Facebook ads!

To be continued…

Psst. If you’re interested in upgrading your giveaways too, go here