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How to Boost Your Giveaway Contest Engagement With Social Proof

Are you tired of creating killer online giveaway contests only to have no one participate?

Sponge Bob alone at a diner GIF

Creating an online contest is a great way to boost your site’s traffic and generate leads. But if your company isn’t already well-known, you may find that consumers are hesitant to join your giveaway.

That’s why in this article, we’re going to show you how to boost your online giveaway contest’s engagement using fear of missing out (FOMO) and other social proof tactics.

By the end of this post, you’ll know how to run a killer promotional giveaway that not only drives traffic but builds trust in your brand.

Let’s get started.

The Power of Online Giveaway Contests

When it comes to improving your brand’s online reputation, there are few better tools than running an online contest.

Social media giveaways are an excellent way of increasing your followers, building authority in your niche, and boosting your brand’s popularity with your target audience. Put simply, online contests are a killer marketing tool.

Not convinced? Check out these stats sourced by OutGrow that show just how effective online giveaway contests can be:

The benefits of online contests for TrustPulse

  • Contests have a conversion rate of nearly 34%
  • 33% of contest participants are ok with getting information about your brand
  • 62.13% of contest participants share the promotion with a friend
  • Brands gain an average of 17500 fans through organizing online contests on their fan page

Statistics like these clearly show the power of online contests. At worst, the right promotional contest can drive massive amounts of traffic to your site. And at best, you’ll find these contests create lifelong customers and increase your bottom line.

So what’s the downside?

Running an online giveaway can be discouraging to marketers who’ve tried in the past and had little success with engagement. That’s because running a successful online contest isn’t as easy as you might think.

Before we dive into how to use social proof to improve your contest engagement rates, let’s look at some more general tips for how to run a successful contest.

5 Tips for Running a Successful Giveaway Contest

Running a successful giveaway can take a bit of elbow grease to get the kind of results you want.

That said, these results typically pay off for your company in a big way. By using the following 5 tips for running a successful giveaway contest, you can drastically increase your chance of boosting engagement.

Let’s dive in.

1. Build Your Contest With the Right Tool

Once your marketing team hits the brilliant idea of running a contest, they usually get super excited, brainstorm tons of giveaway contest ideas, choose their prize, and start creating the rules.

Then someone inevitably realizes they’re still missing something:

Where do you even begin creating an online contest that can be shared with others?

While there’s a lot of software out there to help you out, we really recommend going with RafflePress:


RafflePress is hands down the best WordPress giveaway plugin on the market. It’s designed to help your contests go viral and takes surprisingly little effort to get started. With RafflePress you can:

  • Create a custom campaign with a drag and drop builder
  • Allow for responsive mobile designs
  • Add fraud protection to reduce false signups
  • Take advantage of word-of-mouth marketing with the “refer a friend” feature
  • Track, target, and retarget your audience

And so much more!

The driving idea behind RafflePress is simple: let the plugin take care of the nuts and bolts of the contest so marketers can focus on the fun creative parts.

2. Choose the Right Prize

Next, you need to be sure you’re choosing a prize that is specifically targeted to your audience.

So many marketers make the mistake of creating a killer prize to get more leads. You’ve probably seen something like this before:

Choose-the-right-prize-for your online giveaway contest

And if this kind of prize always gets more leads, isn’t that a good thing? Not necessarily.

While you want to get more participants, don’t lose sight of your goal: to attract the right type of leads who will eventually become customers.

If you’re a fashion consultant looking to drum up business, for example, it makes no sense to give away a free MacBook Pro.

What would be smarter is giving away free clothing, a book on fashion, a free consultation session, or anything else that would appeal directly to your target audience.

3. Write a Special Email Campaign

Most people think that once they’ve built their online contest, that giveaways on social media are the only way to go.

But don’t discount the power of relying on a good email marketing strategy.

You can create a special email marketing campaign to send to your current email list. This works particularly well if your contest’s goal is to:

While social media contest giveaways are more suited for going viral, don’t forget to include the large audience of participants you may already have!

4. Create a Landing Page

This is arguably the most important part of creating a successful online giveaway contest. When you distribute your online contest, you need to have a special landing page that gets your audience excited about the idea of winning.

Here’s a good sample giveaway landing page made with RafflePress:

Glendalough Gin Giveaway contest landing page

Landing pages are a great marketing strategy for online contests because they have a highly specific goal: to encourage users to sign up.

Plus, they allow you to provide more information to potential participants who are tempted to join but not sold.

So what makes a good landing page for your online giveaway? As RafflePress points out, a good contest landing page has:

As we’ll see, there’s one missing ingredient from that list: social proof to improve your online giveaway engagement rates.

And that leads us to the heart of this post. Let’s turn out attention to how using some basic social proof best practices can increase the popularity of your online contest.

Boost Giveaway Contest Engagement With Social Proof

How Social Proof Boosts Online Giveaway contest engagement image

When you run an online contest, most of your participants are going to do two things before signing up:

  • Check out your landing page
  • Head over to your website

Your participants are likely to do this because they want to know whether or not they can trust you. Most people are wary of promotional offers that ask for an email address because of the sheer amount of scamming sites out there.

That means it’s your job to put their minds at ease. And how can you go about doing that?

Relying on social proof to reassure your target audience that your brand is reputable. Let’s see how you can succeed at building trust for both your online giveaway contest’s landing page and your website as a whole.

Adding Social Proof to Your Contest’s Landing Page

Display the Number of Participants

One of the things that you can do with RafflePress is to proudly show the number of participants you already have. This is great for tapping into the marketing tactic “fear of missing out” (FOMO).

FOMO refers to a feeling of anxiety or jealousy caused by the idea that others are having more fun, living better lives, or doing something good that you’re not a part of.

And while it’s typically associated more with social media, marketers use FOMO to encourage customers to take action.

By displaying the number of participants in your contest, you’ll inspire a healthy amount of FOMO in your target audience. When they see the hundreds of people joining your online giveaway, they’ll want to join too.

Here’s a sample giveaway landing page that does this really well:


Write Copy to Further Leverage FOMO

Another way that you can use FOMO to your advantage is by writing good copy on your landing page.

Explain the benefits of what the prize will be and get your participants excited about winning. Look at this example of a landing page that uses their copy to effectively leverage FOMO:

mcabook-pro-rafflepress-good-copy-for a giveaway contest

In this scenario, participants aren’t comparing their lives to others. With the strong leading copy of “Your future could be now,” participants begin comparing their current lives with what it could be if they win the prize.  

Show off Your Social Media Presence

Not only should your contest help grow your social media followers, but you should also include your social icons on the landing page. That way, your participants can check out your online brand.

Showing that you have a strong social media presence is a good way of assuring your potential customers that your company is legitimate.

But before you do that you need to make sure you actually have an online presence.

If you only have a few followers and you’re using your contest to specifically grow on social media, simply make joining your platform one of the requirements of participating!

This is a great giveaway idea for social media engagement. Here’s an awesome example from Themify who did just that:


They rewarded participants with an extra point for following their brand online. And you can do the same.

Then on your next online giveaway, you can include the social media icons totally unrelated to the promotion on your landing page.

Including these little icons can make a big impact on winning over a skeptical audience.

As a side note, are you looking for some social media giveaway ideas? Check out these articles by RafflePress for some inspiration:

Add a Link to Contact Your Company

This is a small but powerful tip for your landing page to include. You should provide a link to your website for participants to check out before they commit.

Just like adding social media icons, some of your users may never even click. But simply knowing those links are available makes your landing page visitors feel empowered.

So if they do end up having questions about your promotion, they know exactly where to go.

JustJack’s did this with their RafflePress online giveaway in the same way we saw Themify use social media:

JustJack's online giveaway contest visit website offer

This is a great way to drive traffic to your site.

And when your participants do eventually find their way to your homepage, you’ll want to make sure it’s loaded with signs of social proof to put their minds at ease.

Which brings us to our next point…

Social-Proofing Your Website

In the past, we’ve written extensively about how you can add social proof to your website’s design in order to increase user experience (UX) and your brand’s credibility. But here are the top 4 areas we’ll cover today:

  • Display testimonials and reviews proudly
  • Show well-known past or current clients
  • Add trust signals to your site
  • Use positive action notification popups

Let’s take a brief look at each of those points so you can get your site looking more trustworthy in a matter of minutes!

Display Reviews and Testimonials Proudly

One thing that you can do is display any online reviews you’ve received on your website. Some people feel uncomfortable with this, as they’ve been taught not to brag from a young age.

But your website is no place to be humble.

Instead, you want to show as much good press as you can to instill confidence in your users. And the same goes for testimonials.

Adding a few reviews and testimonials to your site lets your visitors know that your brand has been tried, tested, and adored by many others. Plus, that leads to inspiring feelings of FOMO, which, as we’ve already said, can really help your company grow.

Here’s an example of how OptinMonster instills trust with their users by displaying many testimonials:

optinmonster testimonials page

Creating an entire section for your testimonials is a great way to boost your brand’s credibility.

Show Well-Known Past or Current Clients

If you’ve ever worked with large company names, feel free to show their logos on your website. This tactic allows you to borrow some 3rd-party credibility to your site.

Awesome Motive, for example, does this very well:


Though someone may come to Awesome Motive’s site without specifically knowing the brand, they’ll definitely recognize some of the bigger names such as Playstation, Zillow, and Shutterstock.

You’ll also notice that they display large publications that have published or recommended their product. Again, this helps borrow some credibility to earn instant trust.

The mentality for new visitors is, “If a big company like Forbes trusts Awesome Motive enough to feature them, they must be a reputable company.”

Add Trust Signals to Your Site

Trust signals (or trust badges) are little signs that you can put on your site to show clients that you’re a legit company. If you browse on Chrome, for example, the little lock next to your URL displaying an SSL certificate is a great example:


This trust badge shows that your site is secure. But there are many others, including:

  • Site security badges
  • Money-back guarantee seals
  • Free-trial badges
  • Accepted payments
  • Industry awards

And many more. For the full list, check out our post on how to use trust badges to boost sales and conversions.

Use Positive Action Notification Popups

When it comes to using social proof to boost confidence in your site, positive action notifications are what we do best.

As their name suggests, these “mini” popups show your visitors that other people have taken some positive action on your site in real-time. You’ve probably seen them before:


And they’re not just to show when someone has purchased your product.

Any action that you want can be triggered to display this popup to viewers. A popular use for bloggers, for example, is to show their readers when others have subscribed to their services.

There’s a lot of software that offers this service but, frankly, none that accomplish the task as well as TrustPulse. That’s because it’s an open secret that many of these products let you fabricate fake social proof.

Once your viewers see you’re using a company that lets you do that, they automatically assume these popups are fabricated (even if they’re not!).

TrustPulse, on the other hand, only shows real positive action notification popups. We pride ourselves on only allowing our customers to display authentic social proof.

As a result, even our customers’ customers trust us.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this article helped you understand how you can use social proof to improve your online giveaway and contest engagement rates. As you’ll likely see, a few minor tweaks can really boost the number of participants your contests generate.

If you enjoyed this article, we’d love to hear from you! Feel free to reach out to us with your online contest tips on Facebook or Twitter. Or you can always leave a comment below.

And would you like to make one small change to your site that leads to a 15% boost in sales? We thought you might. 😉

That’s why we’d love to invite you to join TrustPulse today!

Author Photo
Published by Nathan Thompson
Nathan Thompson is a father, a writer, and a lover of travel (in that order). When he’s not wrestling with his kids, you’ll likely find Nathan giving his eyes a much-needed break from screens with a good book or planning a family trip with his awesome wife.

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