You gave THAT away? Email Marketing Giveaways

By Lisa Wozniak

Have you been in this situation before? You spend countless hours creating your email list for your email marketing campaign, you come up with a giveaway to entice your readers to give you their email address, you create an opt-in page, and set up your auto responder emails. You’re ready to go and with enthusiastic anticipation you spend countless ad dollars from your budget creating a stellar advertising campaign on all of the social media platforms you know, and then…………crickets. You wait in anticipation checking your email subscription list several times a day to see how many people have subscribed to your newsletter or campaign and either their trickling in at a snail’s pace or they’re just not coming in at all. As you watch the advertising dollars trickle through your fingers, you go to a social media marketer for advice only to be told, “You’re giving THAT away?” You continue to listen as she explains how to determine what to give away in your email marketing campaign.
If you have a huge following on your site and blog often, the need to have an attractive giveaway may not be as great, as you’ve already established a brand identity and strong following. But for those small business owners and medical professionals out there who don’t yet have this luxury, you’ll have to be a bit more creative. Remember, people are naturally hesitant to give away personal information like an email address. There have been so many companies in the past that have treated this privilege with endless SPAM that it’s made consumers very shy about providing any information at all on social media.
Providing great content in your blogs and your posts is a great start at establishing yourself as an expert in the field and building consumer confidence but often not enough for people to let go over their email address in hopes of hearing from you again. You’ll want to create something that is valuable enough to your consumers that they don’t mind parting with their email address to get it. There are several ways to do this and I often encourage clients to create a giveaway around something that is very relevant to your business and industry. Think about what clients are asking about most often and to create a giveaway around that. For example, if you run an electronic supply company, giving away a massage package may not be the most relevant gift to your client base. While many would enjoy this gift, it will not result in people remembering your business. A better giveaway may be a discount on their next purchase, discount on your services if you provide them, relevant uses for your top selling electrical product, or a video showing a how-to installation. It does not have to be expensive but definitely keep your giveaway relevant to your industry.
With that in mind, there are several formats in which to provide the giveaway to people who have graciously given you their email address for your email marketing campaign.
• Video – Whether your company provides a product or a service, videos are a great idea. We tend to be a very visual and if you provide a video that shows how something works or how it is done, this will yield great dividends for your email campaign.
• Checklist – For service related industries this is a great idea. It’s such a great tool for people to have that they can use to accomplish a task that they’re new at and know that they’ve covered all of their bases.
• MP3 – For many businesses this is a great approach. In my mind this is the equivalent of receiving free samples. It gives your potential consumers a taste of who you are and what you do before they buy. This can be as simple as music for a massage, a talk on the most common signs of depression for a Psychologist office, or a lecture on the importance of juicing.
• Infographic – Infographics are huge right now and can contain everything from how-to analytical information to the necessary steps required to brand your business. What makes them so successful is that they come in an easy to read visual format.
• Webinar – For the do-it-yourself consumer, this is very powerful. Remember, you have to meet people where they are and help them where they’re at. Building their trust by offering to help them in this format will go a long way to building long lasting clients.
• Podcast – This is a great opportunity to establish your credibility in the field by allowing people to hear you and ask questions.
• PDF – The possibilities here are unlimited. Reports are a pretty popular giveaway as well as spec sheets in some scientific industries. In the medical community this can be detailed information regarding a particular ailment like cancer, gingivitis or depression respectively.
I’ve had clients often ask me if giving away this sort of information isn’t like putting themselves out of business voluntarily; and my answer to that is a resounding NO! You really do have to meet people where they are to gain their trust and respect. Think of it this way. How many times have you watched a how-to video online, let’s say about how to install wood flooring, in hopes that you could master this process, only to become overwhelmed and end up calling a contractor anyway? Even those who go on to do it themselves anyway will still view you as the leader in the industry and trust you with your product or service.
So the next time you are creating a fresh new Giveaway for your email campaign. Take a look at it from the consumer’s viewpoint and decide if your response would be, “You gave THAT away?”


  1. When exploring new opportunities, marketers tend to land on sweepstakes, giveaways, or contests as tactics to quickly help grow their audience. In doing so, many set their expectations too high assuming that giving something away for free will generate amazing results for their company.

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