Referral Contests, Sweepstakes and Giveaways

William Harper Updated by William Harper

A contest or sweepstakes is a great way to drive strong engagement with your referral program. Entice your advocates to share with friends and family by offering the chance to win a gift card, gift bundle or shopping spree to your site.

Merchants offering a subscription service can enter advocates into a drawing for a free year of service.

Perhaps your brand sells only a single product or service, so a shopping spree may be less appealing to advocates. Instead, consider offering a gift card or big-ticket prize for sharing. 

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Cash, gift cards, or the chance at a shopping spree are all great prizes when running a referral contest; however, consider your existing network of fans and ambassadors and what reward would most influence them to share.

On the other hand, referral contests don’t have to be limited to just your customers. Your employees and fellow team members can also be powerful advocates for your brand. Friends and family discounts, coupled with the promise of merchandise when a sales threshold is reached, can drive strong performance. As with any threshold or tiered campaign, use the Top Advocates Report to identify what level of click, share, and purchase activity exists- don’t make your goals unattainable. 

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Awareness is a critical part of any referral program and is a key part of any referral contest. Regular program promotion, SMS pushes, and social media posts are critical to ensuring your entire audience is aware of the contest. It’s also important to not oversaturate your referral program with contests and sweepstakes. While the chance of a shopping spree or swag is enticing for a short time, extended contests begin to lose their appeal. Limiting such offers to a few times per year and for a few weeks at a time can prevent the offer from becoming stale. 

Running a contest or giveaway based on sharing with friends is a great way to engage your advocates, while also building out your email and SMS lists!

Questions? Reach out to your dedicated Customer Success Manager or email us at

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