Contest vs Sweepstakes

Not sure if you should run a sweepstakes or a contest?

We can help.


Sweepstakes can help create awareness and excitement around a brand or company and help to reach the desired objectives by just running on their own or acting as an overlay to an integrated marketing program. They are highly measurable and can be very effective when integrated with the right incentive. An effective sweepstakes will not only offer the chance to win great prizes, but will also build your brand and its base.

Why Run a Sweepstakes?

  • To build your database: entries capture user information

  • To drive traffic to a website, social media channel or physical location

  • To stay on budget: prizes are determined up front so there’s no worry about escalating sponsor costs

  • To reinforce product/service features and benefits through themed sweepstakes and prize tie-ins

  • To entice consumers with hard-to-get prizes: leveraging existing sponsors opens the door to bigger and better prizes


Like sweepstakes, contests also generate buzz and awareness. Unlike sweepstakes, however, contests can require a purchase as part of the entry process. Additionally, contests are judged based on a degree of skill or uniqueness, whereas sweepstakes are games of chance. As such, you may receive fewer entries for a contest, but your entrants will be significantly more engaged with the contest itself—and with your brand.

Why Run a Contest?

  • To engage your customer base: fewer will enter, but those that do will be invested

  • To spread the word: your engaged followers will spread the word for you, especially through social channels

  • To reinforce your brand attributes: your customers’ photos, videos and essays highlighting your product’s/service’s strengths speak volumes

  • To elicit user-generated content that can then be used in future promotions

Is one better or worse than the other?

One is not inherently better or worse than the other, it just depends on your company and what you are trying to achieve by running a promotion. Are you look for something sweeping or specific? Are you looking to generate new customers or engage the ones you already have? It’s these types of questions that lead us to determine which one is better for you.

Both promotion types offer increased engagement by providing a way to involve you audience that is more in depth than simply talking to them. Plus, the potential to win a prize or highlight skills are both good ways to get people excited and engaged with your promotion -and your company- making them more likely to talk about it and share it with their friends.

Let us help you with your next sweepstakes or contest promotion. We’ll work with your team to help
develop and execute the program, and we’ll do as much or as little as you need us to do.

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