How to Pick a Giveaway Winner (And Keep Everyone Happy)

by: Leave a Comment

Congratulations… You’ve won the vacation package for the Walt Disney World Resort in our Summer giveaway contest! ?

This is the most exciting message that your giveaway audience could read.

As your contest comes to an end, people wait in anticipation for you to announce the winner. Those who’ve actively participated and did their best expect to win.

On that note, you have a challenge:

That is to make sure that you choose a giveaway winner in a way that leaves everybody feeling positive… yes, that includes non-winners!

6 Ways to Select a Giveaway Winner

To prevent participants from thinking that you’ve manipulated the results or played favoritism, follow one of these methods:

1. Fishbowl method

This method of picking a giveaway winner is super simple and classic:

Write down the names of your leads on pieces of paper, fold or roll each paper, and put them inside a bowl or another container.

Make sure that you don’t get to see your participants’ names.

Now that all they’re all inside the bowl, shake the bowl to mix the paper. Without looking into the bowl, pick a piece of paper at random.

You have a winner!

Read the name out loud to your audience.

I recommend that you do a Facebook live video while picking the winner. This builds hype and increases trust!

2. The person with the most points

Deciding who your winners are based on who gets the most points generates more engagement. People feel motivated to spread the word and perform the action you require them to do.

Let me explain:

Basically, you can assign a specific number of points for a particular action.

For example, each lead that a participant refers to your campaign is equivalent to 20 points. Meanwhile, watching your live video (where you talk about and show the prize) lets them earn an additional 25 points.

Wouldn’t your audience be thrilled and keep doing their best to win?

Bonus tip: Assign higher points to actions that are most valuable to your campaign and business.

3. Multiple winners

What comes to your mind when you read that a giveaway will have 3 winners? You would probably think, “I could be one of the winners!”

Multiple winners mean multiple prizes which are great for boosting engagement.

Max Rhymes, an UpViral user, decided to have 3 winners in their children’s book giveaway.

As soon as someone entered the giveaway, they were taken to a share page where they learn that there’s a first, second, and third prize after all!

They made this clear in their copy, as you can see from the screenshot above.

They awarded the 1st prize to the person with the most points, the 2nd prize to the person who referred the 1st prize winner, and the 3rd prize to a random winner.

Here’s why we think this works:

Everyone gets a fair chance at winning. Whether you had the most points or not, you can still win.

Read the complete Max Rhymes case study.

4. Daily, weekly, and monthly winners

Do you plan to run an evergreen giveaway?

An evergreen campaign is one that runs all the time. And that means people have more chances of winning. If someone doesn’t win today, they can still win next week!

You decide how often to pick your giveaway winner… It can be on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Using this method has many benefits:

  • You get new leads continuously. More leads = More Sales (if you have proper follow-up process!)
  • You have an option to vary your prizes, making your entire campaign more enticing.
  • If you offer just one prize, for example, the free version of your tool, you can gain potential sales if people decide to purchase the paid version.
5. Best entry or popular vote

What about contests where participants need to submit their best content — such as a photograph or video?

In this case, it’s clear that the winner is the person who has the best content.

To avoid bias, make sure to have other people cast their votes. This strategy leverages on popularity.

And since you’re not the one who’s choosing the winner, you get to avoid any negative feedback from the contestants.

6. Contest tool

Whether you select a winner at random or the person with the most points, you can skip the hard work and avoid accusations of favoritism.

This is where you will need a contest software. A tool offers the following benefits:

  • You can save time in determining who got the most points. This is especially true for bigger contests.
  • You get to keep a record of the winners, along with their details.

But instead of using a free random name picker, which by the way, limits your options of choosing a giveaway winner, I recommend UpViral.

UpViral is an all-in-one viral marketing software that lets you put together a successful contest or giveaway in no time. Picking a giveaway winner is just one of the many things you can do.

Watch my short video below to learn what’s in it for you:

Bonus Tips for Choosing a Giveaway Winner

One of the signs of a successful campaign is you made everyone happy – or at the very least, kept people from feeling that they were tricked. So before you go, keep these additional tips in mind:

1. Protect your giveaway from fake entries.

Cheaters manipulate your campaign by entering fake email addresses or using bots to fill your entries with spam. To ensure genuine entries from humans, use a CAPTCHA. Also, send all participants an opt-in confirmation email so they can confirm their entry by clicking a link inside the email.

You can set-up this email inside UpViral, as you can see below:

By preventing fraud, you can guarantee that your next giveaway winner is a TRUE WINNER.

Related: How to Prevent Cheating in Your Online Contests

2. State all the details of your campaign.

Don’t leave your audience wondering:

  • What prize you’re offering
  • Ways they can enter your contest
  • How they can win and boost their chances of winning
  • Methods you use to deal with contest fraud (for example, a message that says you have the right to disqualify suspicious entries)

When people get all the information they need, their confidence in your campaign increases.

As a result, they grab every opportunity they can to win your contest!

3. Choose the right incentive.

Has it crossed your mind to select a winner in such a way that it also helps your business long-term?

Here’s what I mean:

Not every winner in your contest is genuinely interested in your business. Meaning, they’re less likely to become your customer.

Sometimes, people want to win simply because a prize is expensive and fancy, and the only way they can get it is to win in your contest. So, they do everything they can to get their hands on the prize.

While there’s nothing wrong with this (in the sense that no fraud has been committed), you know that you’ve attracted untargeted or low-quality fans.

You may not realize this, but your incentive should be your starting point in attracting a qualified audience.

Just imagine what it would be like to pick giveaway winners that are also potential customers. You build a loyal audience and brand advocates!

Final Thoughts

When you plan your next contest, carefully consider how you choose your giveaway winner.

If people aren’t satisfied, examine other areas of your contest.

Are you being clear about the mechanics of your contest? Are you protecting your giveaway from fake entries? Is your prize relevant to your ideal audience?

Think about these things.

If you’re interested in more tips on running successful giveaways, check out our blog section.

Have you got any experience to share? Comment it below!