Promoting sweepstakes affiliate programs can be a lucrative way to earn money online, and they are among the most accessible niches in the industry for newcomers. Unlike other online businesses, you don’t necessarily need to have a website or YouTube channel to start, so almost anyone can sign up for them. However, you will need to partner with an affiliate network.
Sweepstakes affiliate networks serve as the bridge between enthusiastic affiliates and the affiliate programs that allow them to promote sweepstakes-related offers. Choosing the right affiliate network can make your job easier and more enjoyable. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything there is to know about sweepstakes and how to effectively promote them.
What Are Sweepstakes?
Sweepstakes are contests in which the winner is chosen at random and receives a prize. While participation is typically free, users are usually required to take some form of action, such as filling out a form with their name, email address, phone number, and other information. However, some companies offer sweepstakes as a reward for purchases or as a way to show appreciation to their customers. Popular sweepstakes prizes include Apple products, vacation packages, and gift cards.
Although users do not have to pay anything to participate, affiliate marketers can earn compensation for each user who signs up through their affiliate link. Emails and phone numbers are highly valuable, and companies are willing to pay for these leads. Publishers can then target these leads for future marketing campaigns.
Sweepstake Affiliate Programs Types Offers and Payment Models
There are two primary types of offers in sweepstake affiliate programs:
- Email Submits. Email submit offers require users to provide their email addresses. There are two types of email submit offers: SOI and DOI. With single opt-in (SOI) offers, a simple registration from the lead is enough. In this case, confirming the email is not necessary. SOI offers are simpler and typically have lower payouts. Double opt-in (DOI) offers are more demanding and require the user to confirm their email address. DOI offers can be more challenging to work with than SOI offers, and they have lower conversion rates, but the payouts are higher.
- CC Submit. Some sweepstakes may request the user’s credit card and billing information. Credit card submission offers are less common and not always legal, but they typically have the highest payouts. However, not all affiliate programs work with them.
Advertisers use submitted credit cards in two ways. Firstly, they may charge the user $1-2 to verify the credit card’s legitimacy. This is a form of quality assurance, and stolen, fake, or prepaid credit cards will be blocked. The second way is by signing leads up for free trials. These trials usually last between 3-14 days, after which the user will be charged a monthly fee, which is usually high. The profit advertisers make from those who continue with their subscription is high enough to justify the high payouts of CC submit sweepstake offers.
How to Promote Sweepstake Offers
The popularity of sweepstakes continues to grow as people realize they are legitimate and not scams or hype. However, this also means that the competition is getting more fierce. Nevertheless, classic approaches are still effective in this niche, unlike in other areas of affiliate marketing.
One factor that can help increase your conversion rates is creating hype around your offer. For example, is a new iPhone about to be released? Or maybe the school season is about to start again. Creating a sense of urgency and excitement around your sweepstake offer is the secret to success. You can also create a sense of urgency by setting a time limit for registration or applications.
If there is no time limit for the sweepstake, emphasize other benefits such as the offer being free or costing only $1, quick and easy to participate, new, and so on.
Here are some examples of effective sweepstake titles and messages:
- “Great news for students! Win a year-long supply of school items for free!”
- “Do you want to win an iPhone 13? Enter the sweepstake now and claim your prize immediately.”
- “The draw takes place on June 15th. Fill out the application form and win a trip for two to France.”
For push traffic, indicate the deadline and date on the notification. Let the user know that there is a time limit and encourage them to click on the push ad. Also, inform them when to expect the results. Do not hide this information on your landing page.
Sweepstakes Affiliate Programs: Classic Creatives
The classic approach to promoting sweepstake offers online involves a landing page that displays a message such as “You are our 1000th visitor! This is no internet scam! You have won a $20 Amazon gift card” or something similar. While this method has become questionable, it still works effectively in practice. It’s important to note that some sweepstakes are scams, which is why we recommend using trusted affiliate networks.
The primary difference between sweepstakes and other niches is that even the oldest tricks and forms of creatives in this vertical never go out of style. They always work with the same level of efficiency. However, it’s important to recognize that sweepstakes tend to have relatively low conversion rates, especially in their classic form.
Take a look at this sweepstake creative example from Luster, which offers a $350 AirBNB gift card. The dates are clearly stated, and there is more information at the bottom stating that the offer is free of charge. The design is clean and straightforward, with explicit instructions and an attractive call to action.
Above, we have a pre-lander for a year’s supply of Lululemon sports gear and KIND bars. Visitors only need to enter their email addresses to participate, and the start and end dates are clearly highlighted. There isn’t much time left, and below the form is further information reminding users of the sweepstake’s terms and conditions, including being over 18 years old and a resident of the United States.
Choosing Traffic Source and GEO
Having a landing page is critical when promoting sweepstake offers since direct linking usually doesn’t yield the best results. Popunders, push notifications, native ads, and email are some of the most effective traffic sources for sweepstakes. The GEO and audience are also important factors that are closely related to the type of sweepstake being promoted. As a result, affiliate marketers need to be strategic in selecting the right sweepstake to run.
To succeed in an affiliate campaign, it’s crucial to understand your audience. This is especially true for sweepstakes because if your audience isn’t interested in the prize, you won’t make any profit. Choosing traffic sources with comprehensive targeting options helps ensure that you reach the appropriate audience. The rest depends on your approach.
For example, the younger generation may prefer winning a brand new iPhone or gaming console as a prize. While Amazon gift cards are trendy in Western countries, another relevant online retailer might perform better in other GEOs.
Push and In-Page Push Notifications Traffic
Push notifications have come a long way since their inception as a means for mobile users to receive important updates. Nowadays, they are a popular advertising format in affiliate marketing.
For promoting offers in sweepstakes affiliate programs, push notifications are an excellent choice as they are highly engaging and statistically more expensive than some other traffic sources. However, the benefits of push notification advertising far outweigh the cost. To be successful with push ads, it’s crucial to have good creatives. A downside of this format is that it’s not available on iOS, but this can be remedied by using their counterpart, in-page push notifications.
Push ads offer affiliate marketers the ability to customize their ads based on users preferences, much like emails. Affiliate networks provide a variety of targeting options that allow marketers to select the user’s device operating system, GEO, subscription age, browser, and day and time.
By using push notifications, you can alert users about upcoming sweepstakes. As previously mentioned, generating excitement and urgency is crucial to the success of sweepstakes campaigns. Push notifications are particularly effective in this regard because they prompt users to take action.
The traffic generated by push ads is particularly valuable because users have opted in to receive ads. These users are more likely to engage with the ads they receive, and push notification traffic is 100% legitimate.
Popunders are a widely used traffic source for offers in sweepstakes affiliate programs that most of us have come across at least once. Popunder ads are the subtler version of pop-up ads. Instead of appearing on top of the website you’re browsing, they lurk in the background. Users will see the ad only after they close their current browser window.
Popunder ads are a highly cost-effective traffic source, despite representing only 2% of online advertising. Their effectiveness is beyond doubt, as pop-ups and pop-unders have been popular since the 1990s. On average, popup ads have a CTR 6 times higher than banner ads.
However, there is a significant challenge with pop traffic: ad blockers and browsers have started taking measures against them. Additionally, many internet users complain about the intrusiveness of pop ads. While browsers haven’t entirely prohibited publishers from displaying popunders, they are less intrusive than pop-ups. For a more user-friendly traffic source, push notifications may be a better option.
To succeed in a sweepstakes advertising campaign for sweepstakes affiliate programs, it’s crucial to inform and incentivize potential participants. Direct linking won’t cut it in this niche, so a pre-lander or landing page is always necessary. Creating a custom pre-lander is fast and easy, and some of the top affiliate networks for sweepstakes may even offer pre-landers for your specific offer. You can use tools like Canva for design ideas and affiliate spy tools for inspiration for titles, messages, and creatives. A well-designed pre-lander that converts should have:
- A clear and explicit call-to-action that guides visitors on how to enter the draw.
- An eye-catching design that captures visitors’ attention, as the visual aspect of your pre-lander accounts for 80% of its success.
- The native language of your target audience, which can significantly increase your conversion rates by matching visitors’ preferences and expectations.
- A fast loading time, as visitors are likely to leave if your pre-lander takes too long to load due to excessive animations or high-quality images.
When it comes to native advertising, Facebook Ads network is undoubtedly one of the most popular options available. With over 2 billion daily active users and complex algorithms, Facebook’s advertising platform has proven to be a powerful tool for reaching your target audience.
However, if you’re new to sweepstakes affiliate programs and prefer a more user-friendly platform, you may want to consider other advertising networks. Advertising on Facebook requires passing moderation, staying up to date with changes, finding new payments continually, and being ready to pay higher prices per click.
Despite this, native advertising remains a useful traffic source for promoting sweepstakes offers. Many companies use native ads, such as Facebook ads, to promote their own campaigns. As an example, consider the following:
Suppose you’re interested in promoting offers in sweepstakes affiliate programs to your email list. In that case, it’s essential to create a personalized message that highlights the sweepstake and its prize, provide a link to your landing page, and send it to everyone on your list. This approach is simple and similar to other affiliate verticals.
However, if you’re looking for a quick lead generation hack, emails may not be the best option. It takes time to build a valuable email list, and purchasing emails is not recommended as it may result in being marked as spam or blocked by the user. It’s crucial to have a valuable digital asset to attract subscribers and grow your list organically.
Beginners often opt for sweepstakes affiliate programs as they tend to convert easily. However, a common mistake they make is not selecting the right GEO or getting lured by the high payouts in Tier-1 countries. It is advisable for new affiliates to look for offers in Tier-2 and 3 countries instead. Competition in Tier-1 countries is fierce, and chances are high that you may end up wasting time and money on them.
In contrast, Tier-2 and 3 countries offer an abundance of cheap traffic, and their laws regarding online activities are not as strict. With cheap traffic, you can invest more in optimizing your campaigns. Starting with Tier-2 and 3 GEOs can provide valuable insights and experience to beginners.
Testing and Optimizing
To optimize your sweepstake campaign, it’s essential to test different pre-landers, experiment with various traffic sources, and try out different GEOs. This testing phase doesn’t have to take long, and after some time, you’ll have enough data to analyze. Once you understand what’s working and what’s not, optimization becomes more straightforward. You can then block any sources that are underperforming. Additionally, using trackers can help you gather more data, such as the most converting time of day, top-performing sources, users’ device and browser types, and other useful metrics.
Sweepstake affiliate programs can be a lucrative niche for those looking to enter the affiliate marketing world. However, it’s important to choose the right offer, traffic source, and GEO to maximize your chances of success. Whether you’re an experienced marketer or a beginner, there are various options to explore, such as popunders, push notifications, email marketing, and native ads. Additionally, testing and optimizing are essential to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your campaign. With the right strategy and approach, sweepstake affiliate programs can be a profitable venture for anyone willing to put in the time and effort.