Entrepreneur & Investor.
Entrepreneur & Investor.

How We Spent Just $110 On Giveaway Marketing and Generated 658 Leads

No that wasn’t a click-bait headline, and no I am not exaggerating those stats one bit.

From the period between September 1 and September 14 (2 weeks), I ran a “giveaway marketing campaign” for PureFilters, an eCommerce company specializing in air filtration products. The campaign costs were around $110 (including the giveaway prize) and it resulted in 658 brand new email addresses of potential customers, $0.17 per new lead

If you have ever spent money on digital marketing to generate new leads for your business, you know just how expensive it could get. In fact, some of our clients at my digital marketing agency, ClientFlo, are willing to spend up to $1000 for a new lead!

But it doesn’t have to be that expensive if you think outside the box and use a little creativity. In this post I’m going to walk you through how to use something called Giveaway Marketing”. This is an effective strategy for any business owner looking to grow through digital marketing because;

  1. It won’t cost you a lot to execute
  2. It’s simple and easy to setup (no steep learning curve like SEO or Facebook Ads)
  3. You can rapidly grow your sales pipeline in a matter of weeks


Giveaway marketing is a very simple concept; a company runs a contest in which something of value is award to a selected winner. Customers are able to enter the contest for free, in exchange for giving up their data (usually their email address).

It follows 2 basic human psychology principles:

1. Reciprocity. As Robert Cialdini explains it in his book titled, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

“It’s the principle that suggests that people give back to you the kind of treatment that they’ve received from you. If you do something first, by giving them an item of value, a piece of information, or a positive attitude, it will all come back to you.”

2. People love free stuff.  Most people are willing to give up their valuable data just to get free stuff (or a chance to get it). Just look at social media platforms like Facebook where people are willingly giving up all of their personal data in exchange for using the free platform.

Many large and established brands do giveaways all the time. Whether it’s a new product, a sample, a brand experience or something to get customers attention, there is 1 reason why it’s used over and over again…


Over time companies will monetize on the newly acquired customer data in numerous ways such as email marketing, Facebook audience targeting and even traditional snail-mail campaigns. Once you have a list of leads you can utilize, the opportunities are endless!

So here is exactly how you can run your very own giveaway campaign for your business.


Required Tools

Before you begin any campaign, you need the right tools first. Here are the various tools that will be required to run a giveaway:

Sample Giveaway Landing Page
  1. Landing page – a page dedicated to the giveaway where the prize and deadline are clearly stated. Some background information on your company, product and or services would be helpful too. This page must also have a place for the contestants to input their email, and ideally it is synced to an email service provider.
  2. Email service provider – a platform to collect. store and send emails to your subscribers. It should be integrated into your landing page, to allow contestants who sign-up on your landing page to also opt-in as a subscriber.

There are a TON of landing page and email service providers out there with varying degrees of quality, complexity and costs. At the bottom of this post, I will reveal the exact tools I used to effectively execute the giveaway campaign for PureFilters. With these tools you can have your giveaway landing page and email setup in less than an hour.

Defining Goals

Once you have the tools in place, the next step is deciding what the goal of your giveaway campaign is.

Are you trying to drive awareness for a new product or service?

Or perhaps you plan on doing intensive email marketing to generate new sales?

The giveaway marketing campaign should be used in conjunction with your other digital marketing initiatives or funnels. It should be considered as a starting point in the customer acquisition journey for your business.

The goal for the PureFilters giveaway campaign was building an email list for future email marketing campaigns. A survey of US marketers found that email had a median ROI of 122% — more than four times higher than other marketing formats examined, including social media, direct mail and paid search.

You shouldn’t run any campaign or initiative for your business without a clear end goal in mind. Defining it upfront will help you properly execute a campaign that meets your business goals.

Selecting a Prize

The options are endless, but you don’t want to giveaway something that’s either too expensive or irrelevant.

  • Affordable – the whole point of a giveaway campaign is to generate a ton of leads without spending too much money! But there needs to a strong value proposition for your target to take time to enter.
  • Relevant – you want to build a list of people that may actually become customers in the future. Therefore you need to offer something relevant to your business, that way you know when you promote to the list in the future they are actually interested in what your business offers. It’s way better to have a few hundred people sign-up to win a product/service relevant to your business than a few thousand signing up to win something generic and flashy (like an iPad).
  • Tangible – people are far more likely to get excited for something tangible over something they simply can’t see or touch. It will also help you with showing off the winner (I will explain later).

Does your business have a complimentary or ancillary product that isn’t too expensive? It doesn’t even have to be something that your business regularly offers, as long as it is relevant.  Maybe you can pick it up at a local store, but it online or have a partner donate it to your business in exchange the exposure as a part of your giveaway.

You may think that a small, inexpensive prize, won’t do much but you would be surprised. As mentioned earlier, people love free stuff, don’t underestimate how many people will be willing to give-up their data for it.

With PureFilters, the prize we choose was something so simple and easy yet it was still exciting and cost effective. At the end of this blog post, I will reveal the exact prize that we used and maybe that will give you some ideas!

Promoting Your Giveaway

There are numerous ways to promote your giveaway, the opportunities are endless. You will want to avoid any EXTRA paid traffic (PPC) specifically for the promotion, simply because the whole point of this strategy is to keep costs down.

Here a few ideas to get people to signup for your giveaway:

Website popup example
  • Pop-up – have a pop-up on your website asking the visitor to sign-up for the giveaway. This is especially important if you are ALREADY spending money on paid traffic. 70-90% of paid traffic visitors leave your website without taking any action, why not get them to sign-up for the giveaway and get their email?
  • Banner – similar to the previous point, a banner at the top of your website is a little less invasive than a pop-up and can be just as effective.
  • Email – even if you have a tiny list, sending an email blast is an effective way to get some sign-ups and engage with existing customers/subscribers.
  • Social media – posting on Instagram or Facebook is a good way to get the word out. Don’t be afraid to post your giveaway multiple times throughout the contest time period.
  • Incentivize sharing – this is how you can make your giveaway go viral. Give your contestants extra entries if they share the giveaway with their friends either through social media or email.

We used numerous methods in promoting the PureFilters giveaway, all of which is detailed at the end of this blog-post with screenshots. None of the strategies we used were overly complex or expensive yet they were very effective. You can easily use them to promote your own giveaway.

Selecting and Showing off the Winner

After your contest period expires, you need a fair and unbiased way to select a winner. Depending on which county your business is in, there are laws surrounding contests and selecting winners, so always double check this before selecting a winner.

When giving the prize away to the winner, make sure you obtain a photo or video of the winner holding the prize.

There is a reason why lotteries why lotteries always show off the winner holding a gigantic cheque. They want to encourage people to play and make winning seem attainable.

You need to do the same for your business, show off the winner to get people to sign-up for your next giveaway.

So now that you have built a list of new subscribers, what next? Well, you will need to monetize it.


There are a ton of different ways to monetize your list, but I will discuss 2 of the most effective ways to do so.

Email Marketing

Email has lasted the test of time. Since the dawn of the internet, email marketing has consistently ranked as the highest ROI for a digital marketing initiative. If you are not utilizing email marketing to grow your business you are leaving money on the table, simple as that.

Assuming you selected a prize relevant to your business, you know your list contains potential customers for your business. You can start off by first warming your list up, providing free content and value to nurture and build trust. You can also try limited time promotions and offers to entice your subscribers to convert quicker.

Don’t be afraid to blast your subscribers frequently, they signed up to hear from you, so give it to them! Email marketing is truly a numbers game, track your metrics/ROI and watch the numbers continue to improve over time.

For PureFilters, we generate, on average, $0.66 per recipient for every email that is sent. This is why we are constantly trying to grow the email list – more subscribers = more revenue. Email marketing is core to PureFilter’s growth strategy and it should be for just about any business.

Facebook Ads

Even with all the controversy that Facebook has received this year, it still continues to be an advertising platform that delivers very high ROI.

  • Custom Audiences – upload your subscriber list to Facebook and target them with ads on the platform. You know they are interested in your business, so they are a lot more likely to see your ad on Facebook and take action! This works very well for limited time offers and promos.
  • Lookalike Audiences – after creating a custom audience, with 1 click of a button, you can have Facebook find similar profiles to your subscriber list. This is a very effective tool to expand your reach and target the right audience on Facebook.

Half the challenge of running an effective Facebook Ads campaign is figuring out who exactly to target. Having a subscriber/lead list solves this problem instantly.

I’ve only recently started running Facebook Ads for PureFilters and have already seen a considerable ROI. The platform has so much potential if harnessed correctly. There is a reason why Facebook is generating almost $50bn a year, it delivers outstanding return on ad spend.

Below is a quick summary highlighting the pros and cons of Facebook Ads and Email Marketing.


Would you like the full case study on the giveaway marketing campaign for PureFilters for free? I will reveal…

  • The exact tools we used to execute the campaign (there is 1 power tool that combines almost everything you need to run an effective giveaway)
  • The prize we selected for the giveaway (you’ll be surprised at how simple it is)
  • How we promoted the giveaway on various channels with the exact content which you can copy/use for your business

Download the free giveaway case study here.

If you’re interested in running a giveaway marketing campaign for your business, schedule a free strategy session with me, and let’s discuss some options!

Have you ever ran a giveaway to grow your subscriber list and generate new leads? What are you currently doing to generate new leads? Leave a comment below!

Hi there! I’m Jay Vasantharajah, Toronto-based entrepreneur and investor.

This is my personal blog where I share my experiences building businesses, making investments, managing personal finances, and traveling the world.

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