The Advanced Guide to Sweepstakes

Proudly presented by ViralSweep

Why we wrote this guide

Our goal with this guide is to help you use sweepstakes to grow your business, generate more leads, increase sales, and learn how to utilize sweepstakes as your most reliable marketing strategy.

Sweepstakes are easy and affordable to run; and they help to quickly build an audience. This guide will take you step-by-step through planning, building, launching, marketing, and managing your sweepstakes.

This guide is packed with 5 years of insights, hard-learned lessons, and simple tips to help you get the most out of your promotions.

Who is this for?

and a bit about us

ViralSweep co-founder Giancarlo Massaro

Giancarlo Massaro

Co-founder twitter icon linkedin icon email icon

Created ViralSweep's predecessor, AnyLuckyDay. Alumnus of Sacred Heart University. Serial Entrepreneur.

ViralSweep co-founder Steven Kovar

Steven Kovar

Co-founder twitter icon linkedin icon email icon

Previously Lead Designer at AppSumo. Alumnus of University of Texas. Interned at NASA's Habitability Design Center.

Who is this guide for?

icon symbols


Bands, Promoters, etc.


Designers, Boutiques, etc.

Food & Drink

Restaurants, Bars, etc.


Teams, Apparel, etc.


Bloggers, Marketers, etc.


Authors, Athletes, Celebs

It's for anybody

This guide is for any business owner, entrepreneur, marketer, or blogger that is looking to grow their business through the use of sweepstakes.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner, or if you already use sweepstakes actively in your marketing strategy. This guide will help you master the art of running a successful promotion.

B2C vs. B2B

If your company is B2C (business-to-consumer), sweepstakes are pretty straightforward.

B2B (business-to-business) sweepstakes are a bit tougher to pull off because they require more creativity, marketing, and execution.

In this guide we'll show you how to properly target the right audience and generate quality leads.

social chart

The benefits of running sweepstakes

You can get a whole bunch of awesome results from your sweepstakes: more email subscribers, new customers, a boost in sales, increase in followers on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and greater brand exposure and awareness.

Going into a giveaway with a predetermined goal in mind and executing towards that goal will maximize your outcome. We'll cover this in Part I, which is about planning your sweepstakes.

What about contests?

Sweepstakes vs. Contests vs. Lotteries

The differences are subtle

This entire guide is going to talk about sweepstakes—not contests or lotteries. Many people use these terms interchangeably but they are distinctly different types of promotions.

There are three main things that differentiate sweepstakes, contests, and lotteries:

Prize: Anything of value, like goods and services with a monetary value.

Chance: A drawing where the participant has no control over the outcome. Usually, this is a random drawing where luck is the deciding factor.

Consideration: A participant is required to make a purchase, pay an entry fee, or expend significant effort to participate.


  • checkmark icon


  • checkmark icon


  • x icon


Entrants can only win a prize based on chance.

There is no consideration involved with sweepstakes, so no purchase is required to enter, and a winner is picked entirely at random.

For example, giving away a $100 Amazon gift card and choosing a winner at random is considered a sweepstakes.


  • checkmark icon


  • x icon


  • checkmark icon


An entry fee or significant effort may be required to win a prize.

For example, a promotion where users are required to create a video in order to enter would be considered a contest.

Chance is not involved, and a winner usually is determined based on some form of judging or voting.


  • checkmark icon


  • checkmark icon


  • checkmark icon


Consideration and chance are both present to win a prize.

For example, Powerball is a lottery because an entry fee is required, and a winner is randomly picked.

For something to be considered a lottery, all three elements must be present (prize, chance, and consideration).

ViralSweep faded logo


The guide is split into 7 parts, taking you through planning, building, launching and managing your sweepstakes from start to finish.

Now that you know who sweepstakes are ideal for and what makes them different from contests and raffles, let's get to planning our giveaway!

Let's get started!

Go to Part I

Looking to have a custom giveaway built or managed?

Contact ViralSweep →

Ready to start running sweepstakes? Try viralsweep logo small.

Run a sweepstakes →