The Power of a Giveaway: Setting it up for Success


In the early days of Gigantic, one of our first clients was a small batch coffee roaster called Hatchet Coffee. They had a small fan base around their local town and a couple hundred followers on Instagram, but nothing substantial.

Jeremy & Jeremy, the co-founders, wanted a way to grow quickly; to get in front of more and more folks that really identified with the new brand. People who love craft coffee and outdoor sports like rock climbing. The founders weren’t quite sure what to do and they, like the majority of new businesses, were on a budget.

We put together a marketing plan for them and strategized a giveaway; the ultimate outdoor coffee brewing kit. This thing was insane! It had everything you’d need to brew incredible coffee when you’re out on the trail looking for the next crag, or first thing in the morning at your campsite.

It was perfect.

While we were building the website for them, we put up a landing page. The one below. And in the month that we were building the site, we collected over 300 email addresses for the giveaway with little to no marketing!

Below, I’m going show you exactly how we ran that giveaway, why it is SO important to collect email addresses, and how you can replicate Hatchet’s success.

Understand who your audience is

The first thing that we had to do when creating the marketing plan for Hatchet was ask, who is their target audience? Through talking with Jeremy & Jeremy, researching directly competing coffee companies, and our user research, we found that the target audience is a 19-27 year old male who loves rock climbing, extreme sports, camping, and the great outdoors. He also probably works in the food industry in some capacity either as a baker, cashier, and probably at a farm-to-table establishment. He might be in college, or is a post-grad, either studying nutrition, exercise science, or something related to global affairs. He prefers quality over quantity, and is willing to pay a bit more for a better product and experience.

Take Away:
You may think you know who your target audience is, but it is always helpful to create an avatar, like we did above, to know exactly what the majority of your audience is thinking, feeling, what they love, and who they really are. You can even name him! We named our guy, Jeff. ;)


Ask yourself, what would they Pay For, But Be Ecstatic to get for free?

Hopefully, you can personally identify with your target audience.

If you can, perfect!

Ask yourself the question; what would I give my email address up for (yep, just an email address) to potentially get something really cool, that brings me value, for free?

By asking this question, you’re opening up the perceived value of what you’re giving away. Meaning that if you would give someone your email address to potentially win ________ (insert item here), your target audience probably would too.

And don't just answer these questions yourself and run with it. Ask people in your target audience for feedback. You wouldn’t want to give away your email address for a bottle of Rogaine, would you? Your audience probably wouldn’t either. It has no value to you or them. That's why you ask them directly.

The value of the giveaway has to be high enough for your avatar to perceive that giving you their email address is worth the upside of winning your giveaway.

Take Away:
Don’t giveaway junk! If you wouldn’t want it in your house and life, no one else does either. Focus on the value that you are able to provide to your avatar. Ask yourself the question above as a starting point for brain storming ideas.


Depending on the cost & logistics of what you’re giving away, don’t buy it yet.

You know what you want to giveaway to your audience now? 


Depending on what you are giving away, do not buy it yet!

The reason being is that you don’t want to buy a bunch of stuff to giveaway, and no one signs up for the giveaway. Don’t waste your time, or your money.

What you need to do is test!

Understand first if people are actually interested in what you have to offer. Now, we’re talking about physical objects here. If your giveaway consists of digital downloads, you may want to make those ahead of time, or at least a visual summary of one, however that depends on how you setup your giveaway. More on this in a minute.

Take Away:
Don’t waste time, or money, without any validation of whether, say over ~50 people, are interested in signing up. Keep reading to learn what to do.


Create a landing page that collects emails

Setting up a landing page is extremely simple. If you already have a website, just create a new page. If you don’t have a website, go to Squarespace and signup to create a cover page. They will walk you through how to set it up. You could also use a WordPress blog, LeadPages, or Launchrock. Of the four, we recommend Squarespace, or LeadPages.

Your landing page can be as simple, or as complicated, as you want. Refer to the Hatchet Coffee landing page above. We only put a picture, some copy, and a button to signup by entering their email address. Simple.

These are the minimums that you need for the makings of a successful landing page. Notice, that we did not show any images of the coffee kit we were giving away. The reason being, we didn’t know exactly what we wanted to giveaway in the kit.

However, if you do know exactly what you want to giveaway, you can get product images from the company’s website, or Google Images, and then create an image in a graphics editor like Canva, or Photoshop.

You need visuals that relate to the audience and giveaway, but don’t worry if you don’t have images of what you are giving away. One could argue that if we had images of the whole kit we would have collected more emails, but we didn’t and the campaign was still a success.

Take Away:
If you’re not technically savvy, don’t worry! Squarespace and LeadPages make it simple for you to get your giveaway up and running.

Or, drop us a note here and we can set it up for you.

Just remember to include visuals that relate to the giveaway and audience, copy that demonstrates the value of the giveaway, and a way to collect email addresses.

Feel free to experiment!

Maybe create two landing pages that offer the same deal, but have different images and copy on them. Measure which page does better of a period of a week, or two, and adjust from there.


Run the email collection for a specific amount of time

Now that you have your landing page(s) all set to collect a boat ton of emails, you need to decide how long you want to run your giveaway for. This means, what time frame do you want to allot for people to enter their email addresses?

For the Hatchet giveaway, we collected emails for one month.

Majority of the giveaways that I’ve seen are anywhere from a week to a month. Any longer than that, and it starts to piss off your audience in addition to them potentially forgetting that they ever entered. When this happens, it starts a downward spiral where people just don’t want to hear from you anymore. It gets annoying.

Take Away:
Pick a time. Stick to it. A few days to four weeks.


Tell people that you want to give them a free _________ on social and give them the link to signup

At the beginning of this article I told you that we collected over 300 emails addresses in a month with little to no marketing.

The only marketing that we did to invite people to signup was one Instagram post.

An advantage that Hatchet had with their giveaway was that they already had their coffee bags in a local bakery, one that both Jeremy & Jeremy work at.

They had a built-in way to nonchalantly market themselves. I understand that you may not have that. One solution is to take to social media!

Even if you have a very small following you can still collect quite a few emails. A great way to make this situation successful is to select products that are brand name 1) more people will identify with this brand than an off brand 2) that brand name more than likely has a much larger social media following than you do, and if you tag them in your posts and put the link to your landing page in your posts and profile, they will probably like the post, and potentially share it as well. This automatically gives you an upper hand. 

People love supporting local and if you use social media to target people and other businesses in your vicinity, you'll also gain an upper hand. I won’t get into all the nitty gritty of how that works, but trust me, it does.

Another way to make your giveaway a success is to email your current email subscribers, if you have any. How they could enter is by entering their email and the email of a friend, or they must share the giveaway on their Instagram/Facebook page.

The last way, if you have a physical location, is to print out flier and put it in a prominent place. Say what you’re giving away and how to enter. Think of this as a physical landing page.

Take Away:
Your situation on how to reach people is different than everyone else’s.

Get creative!

Figure out how to get emails in the most effective way(s) while providing a lot of value. It is important that during the email collection period, you engage with your audience everyday. Being consistent is the most important thing you can do.


Do something engaging to announce who won.

This is where you can be even more creative!

To announce the winner of the Hatchet outdoor brewing kit, we had a video made and shared it on Instagram and emailed it to everyone who gave us their email when they entered. That was the most effective way for Hatchet to announce.

You could do the same, or throw a party, set off some fireworks, whatever you can come up with! The more fun and interesting you make the announcement, the more email subscribers you’ll collect even after the giveaway is done.

A little side note: if you are going to announce the winner’s names/social media handles publicly, you need to email them first, tell them that they won, have them share your social media posts about the giveaway saying that they won (not necessary, but a great shameless plug), and ask permission if it is okay for you to share their name/handle.

Take Away:
Do something big to announce who won! Not only will it make the winner(s) feel good, but also you could get even more subscribers from it. Think of it as extra marketing for your business.


Continue to keep in touch with those emails on a consistent basis.

Here’s the kicker that many people forget to do after a giveaway… They don’t follow up on a consistent basis!

Like I said above, consistency is the most important thing you can do. You’ve worked incredibly hard to get those emails, make sure that you have a set schedule to follow up with them once per week, twice per week, every two weeks, once per month, whatever time frame you want.

If you want to generate more sales, you have to be consistent in your marketing. By not being consistent, you’re missing out on potential sales from people that have already expressed interest in your business.

Take Away:
Consistency is the path to success. Engage with those who already have interest in what you’re doing. If you don’t, you’re passing on potential revenue.

Now that you’ve read through this entire article (almost two thousand words), I want to congratulate you! I also want to invite you to take action with the steps above. If you don’t, than you’ve just wasted who knows how long reading this article. Don’t let your time be wasted!

Have you every done an giveaway?
How did you set it up?
Tell me in the comments below.