What I’ve learnt about prize promotions

As my third year at Prizeology draws to a close, I decided to reflect on what I’ve learnt working in prize promotions. I started working here fresh out of Sixth Form and ready to give the working world a good go. I had completed placements within some marketing agencies previously, so I had an idea what to expect. At least I thought I did! Toss that all aside – working for Prizeology was nothing like I expected (in a good way). I’d like to share with you what I’ve learnt so far, because you might find it useful, too.

People LOVE cash prizes

Throughout my time here at Prizeology, we’ve given away some pretty amazing prizes. From cars to televisions, garden makeovers to unforgettable holidays (remember those!?), you name it – we’ve awarded it. But what I’ve realised is that you cannot go wrong with a good ol’ cash prize. Some of our highest customer engagement has been for promotions with cash prizes, which is why we frequently recommend it to our clients – and especially during COVID times. They’re easy, straight-forward and everyone loves cash. On top of this, it’s also pretty nifty that we offer 3 methods of awarding cash – via bank transfer, cheque or picking it up directly from a cash machine. If you’re struggling to come up with an enticing prize for one of your shopper marketing campaigns or band activations, something as simple as a cash prize is a win for you, and a win for the consumer.

Poor prizes = poor results

Although this may seem pretty obvious, it’s really important to consider what your customers would like to win in a prize promotion. This is even more important if your entry mechanic requires something a bit more time consuming, like uploading a receipt. Customers will not take time out of their day for a chance to win a pair of socks with your brand logo on it – shocking, I know. However, they will take time out of their day to win cash, a holiday, a tech bundle or gift vouchers. This will be reflected by the level of entries each promotional campaign receives, so if you’re looking for high entry rates – you need to think carefully about your prizing. Lots of low-value prizing does not always result in lots of entries, in fact – fewer high value prizes are more likely to equate to high entry levels.

People forget that they enter prize promotions

As the (beautiful) face of winner management and fulfilment, part of my job is to ring lucky winners and inform them of their wins (yes – it is as great as it sounds). 98% of the time I am greeted with excited shrieks of sheer delight, but I was surprised at how many winners actually forget that they had entered the prize draw. Sometimes, even after I have detailed the entry mechanic and provided specific details regarding the promotion and prize, there are still the odd few that think I am telling porkies. Luckily, as official Friends Against Scams and active members of the Fraud Women’s Network – it’s pretty easy to authenticate our claims and after a bit of jogging of the memory, we are usually able to remind the winner how and why they have won their prize, resulting in happy winners and of course – happy Prizeologists.

Some people cheat

We are strong advocates of equitable prize promotions. We create entry mechanics for our brand and agency clients that ensure a fair outcome for consumers. It’s really important to us that all entrants have an equal chance of winning which means we look to weed out the cheats – of which there are a heck of a lot. Obviously, we love when people get involved in the campaigns that we’ve created and although we want our clients to receive as many entries as possible, it is very important to acknowledge that some consumers try to worm their way around the terms and conditions so that they can win several prizes. Which isn’t fair on all the other entrants!

There’s a lot of compliance in Promotional Marketing

In my first few months at Prizeology I was quite unaware of the compliance aspect of prize promotions. But after having worked with 3 compliance whizzes over the past 3 years – you may now call me Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. There are A LOT (hence the capital letters) of rules and regulations surrounding promotional marketing and it is essential to get them right. They are not only there to protect consumers, but you (the promoter) too! From not being able to change the terms and conditions of a promotion once its live, to having to provide winners lists to anyone that makes a request, regulations that must be considered throughout the duration of a promotional campaign is not in significant. That’s why we always recommend that brands come to us for compliance and best practise advice – because after a lot of CAP-code training and decades of experience between us, we really are experts and prize promotion compliance has become second nature to us. As Elle Woods would say… what? Like it’s hard?

Promotional marketing law differs from country to country

This is probably one of the most interesting things I have learnt throughout my time at Prizeology – the beauty of global prize promotion compliance. The rules that need to be considered whilst planning a prize promotion differ from country to country, and in the case of the US even from state to state.

For example, in Northern Ireland, consumers cannot purchase a product to enter a prize draw. As a result, the promoter must include a no purchase necessary route for Northern Ireland residents.  In Italy, cash prizes are prohibited – however you can give away gold. Bizarre, right? And lastly, in Germany there is no requirement to make a winners’ list available unlike the UK, where the surname and county of winners must be made publicly available to anyone who asks. Obviously, I’ve only chosen a few interesting facts out of potentially thousands, but getting to know the ins and outs of global compliance has been extremely interesting. If you need any advice on running a prize promotion in another country, you can read more about our expertise here.

It’s pretty clear that I have learnt a tonne of information throughout my time working on prize promotions (be it a text to win, brand activation, or on-pack promotion). From drafting terms and conditions, to learning the ins and outs of GDPR, my knowledge of the prize promotions industry has expanded significantly. Running a prize promotion is not as simple as it seems – it requires a vast wealth of knowledge, a lot of proof reading and some insightful fraud detection! But that’s exactly why we love it, and why we will continue to produce amazing prize promotions for our clients! If you need any help with running a prize promotion, please do get in touch – we would love to help.

Poppy Smith is Prizeology’s Project Assistant. 

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