So, this isn't THE final word on sweepstakes vs contests - but you get what I mean. We've really only covered the basics, and you're welcome. We could write novels on this stuff, but we'll spare you. If you take anything away from our series, these next few points are it:
1) Sweepstakes are a random draw, and cannot require a purchase. Contests are "skills based" - meaning the entries will be judged, and the best one wins . There are legal reasons for this distinction, namely to prohibit illegal lotteries, (This is one of those junctures where a novel could start..)
2) Sweepstakes are great for building a customer base, email list, etc.
3) Contests engage your existing customer base. So, a good 1, 2 punch: Sweepstakes to build the list, and then a contest to further engage.
4) Regardless of the promotion you choose - you need rules. Because of the ever changing landscape of rules, regulations, and terms of service for various social networks (which is where many of these promotions are administered these days) - you should have them legally reviewed. This protects your brand and most importantly, the consumer.
5) Promotions can be as simple as a free product giveaway or as complex as a multi-level contest with judging and sweepstakes overlays, and trips around the world as prizes. Bottom line, if you have no idea where to start, consult an expert. We certainly would prefer you call us -- but I would definitely advise you to speak with someone who's done this before.
So, there you have it. A top line, birds eye view of sweepstakes and contests. If you ever want to dive into the details, give me a call!