What are sweepstakes and how to work with them?

Sweepstake is one of the most effective types of offers in the media buying industry. For many webmasters, this is the main vertical — literally, every newbie knows that driving traffic to sweepstakes can be very profitable. Especially if you approach it wisely.

What are sweep offers? What is the best source of traffic? How to create creatives? We will tell you all this and much more in our article. Newcomers to affiliate marketing will learn how to make money with sweepstakes and can even start using this knowledge today.

Time to get comfortable – we are starting a journey into the world of profit!

What are Sweepstakes in the world of media buying?

The actual definition of Sweepstakes is “lottery”, a form of gambling or a promotional drawing in which prizes are given away at no charge to the participants. When it comes to Affiliate Marketing, it is an online draw on social networks with a random selection of the winner. To become a member and have a chance to win the coveted prize, users must provide information about themselves – at a minimum, a name, and email address. Most often, sweepstake offers are found on social networks with a drawing of the latest iPhone, a discount coupon or certificate, household appliances, or, even, a car.

Sweeps, as one of the offer verticals, appeared a long time ago, but it is still relevant today. Here, the media buyer receives a reward based on the CPL (Coast Per Lead) model, that is, for each user who left his or her data. For those new to media buying, pay-per-lead is the best model and is another reason to choose sweepstakes at the start of your career.

Benefits of sweepstake offers

For the end user, sweepstake offers look like a regular lottery, with one random winner. However, everything is much more interesting, as technically there are already three winners here:

  • The owner (also known as the advertiser) receives traffic, mostly targeted traffic. As a quick terminology refresher, the target audience refers to potential customers of the resource, that is, those who are more likely to perform the target action – leave personal data, subscribe or make a purchase. Therefore, for an advertiser, sweepstakes are an effective way to increase conversions.
  • Participants in an online raffle receive the hope of winning a coveted prize in exchange for providing personal data. Depending on the type of sweepstake offer, the user must leave some information about himself: name, place of residence, email address, and, or phone number. More people gamble than we can imagine – the vertical continues to work and is considered “evergreen”. For a chance to get, let’s say, a brand new gadget, people willingly leave personal data.
  • The media buyer is also in the win by receiving a reward for each completed registration in the draw.

For those who wish to learn the basics of media buying, sweepstakes are a good way to gain experience while potentially sustaining reasonable financial losses. It is important to understand that for serious results continuous practice is important. The high level of competition in this offer vertical requires an affiliate to understand the principles of working with sweepstakes, approaches, and nuances that come only with experience.

Types of Sweepstakes – how to choose and where to start?

With every year it becomes more challenging to keep visitors interested and to keep getting perfect leads. As such, an online lottery should have a really valuable prize. The more personal data you need to get from the user, the longer the registration form for participating in the draw is and the more difficult it is to attract traffic that converts.

There are 4 types of sweepstake offers.

  • SOI (Single Opt-In) is the simplest funnel for which it is enough to enter a name, age, gender, email address, or phone number, which does not require confirmation. But financial gain from pay per lead is not “inspiring” either.
  • DOI (Double Opt-In) differs from the previous one in one step – you need to complete the registration by confirming the entered information. The user receives an email with a link to follow. For an affiliate, this step will be additionally monetized.
  • CC-Submit (Credit Card Submit) is a type of sweepstake offer, which, in addition to personal information, requires entering credit card details. The user can pay a one-time fee for participation in the drawing or for a certain period of using the service, in which such online lotteries take place regularly. The advertiser can also offer temporary access for a nominal fee for a certain trial period, after which the card will be charged the full payment amount. The CPL for such action is naturally higher.
  • PIN Submit – confirms registration via paid SMS or subscription to an email newsletter.
  • IVR (Interactive Voice Response) – for successful registration in the draw, the user must confirm a unique PIN.

The most basic models remain – DOI and SOI, as it is the easiest to get a conversion from. The payout per lead is small, but advertisers in developed countries are willing to pay a lot. IVR offers are rarely used because to convert, it is necessary to keep the user on the phone for 2-3 minutes, which requires good connection quality in different geos, otherwise, the leads will go nowhere.

How to make money on sweepstakes

To understand how to drive traffic to sweepstakes, you don’t need in-depth knowledge. However, a beginner affiliate needs to know some important details to not waste the budget. Let’s take a look at a step-by-step for earning on sweepstakes.

Choosing an offer

The theme of the offer should be relevant and interesting for a wide audience. Many affiliate programs with sweepstakes, offer convertible SOI and CC Submit offers. You can attract a large audience by using the hype around the release of the new iPhone or relating it to the upcoming holidays. On the LosPollos Mainstream vertical, offers are automatically selected for each visitor. For the optimal conversion, many parameters are analyzed – geo, device type, operating system, etc.

Determine the GEO

Depending on the user solvency, all countries are divided into three zones:

    Tier 1 – includes the countries of Western Europe, Australia, Canada, Scandinavia, America, and South Korea.

    Tier 2 – this includes the countries of the former CIS, India, Japan, Thailand, and the developed countries of South America and Africa.

    Tier 3 – these are the undeveloped countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Sweepstakes in Tier 1 have significant advantages, but also come with high competition. When launching an advertising campaign, it is important to find a successful connection between the offer and GEO. As a rule, for Tier 1 and 2 it is better to use CC-Submit. PIN-Submit can be applied to all countries. SOI and DOI models are effective in Tier 1 countries.

Preparing the pre-landers for sweepstakes

We use “filters” for sweepstakes, and do not send traffic directly. Pre-landing helps to “warm up” the audience’s interest in the draw, encourage participation and filter out uninterested visitors. The most effective tricks here are the wheel of fortune, the choice of prizes, and polls. Working on the pre-land visuals for the sweepstakes is 70% of success. It is also recommended to check the download speed, as the longer it takes to load the page, the higher the bounce rate is and, accordingly, the lower the conversion. LosPollos already has a huge number of proven pre-landers. They are optimized for local languages ​​and are individually selected for each visitor who comes through your link.

Optimizing the landing

The last deciding stage, which defines if the user registers, is the landing page. The optimal title size is 5-7 words and should clearly articulate the offer and benefit. Ensure high download speed and correct work on mobile and desktop devices. Again, in the case of our smartlinks, we take care of this step.


Testing is the main contributor to success. At this point, working bundles are determined, which will allow further optimization of advertising campaigns. A media buyer should use the tracker to get data and analyze statistics, try different combinations of pre-landers and landing pages, analyze competitors – “spy” on the creatives that “captured” the audience, and test their own.

Remember that all pre-landers stop working over time, so change creatives, take into account the peculiarities of pre-landers for sweepstakes, optimize them for the languages ​​of the countries you are targeting and do not rely on the international language.

When working with a SmartLink, it is important to test the source of traffic and channels for attracting it.

Creativity for sweepstakes

Many people are familiar with these creatives – they have proven themselves well in a variety of bundles:

  • when using a letter or message icon, add the number 1 to it to make it look like an unread message;
  • if the offer is related to gadgets, use the well-known green android robot icon;
  • use an image of a package with geo-specific information that supposedly awaits the user in the mail, this technique has performed well in Western Europe;
  • find eye-catching emojis that make the text more attractive to users, “light”, “fireworks” and “gift wrap” work well here.

When working on creatives for sweepstakes, try to look at it through the eyes of your target audience. Avoid small mistakes and inconsistencies, as that can lead to user confidence immediately dropping. Do not use “overused” creatives, update and play with current and trending icons in your unique way.

How to write text for sweepstakes

We recommend that media buying beginners use special services to “spy” on other webmasters and learn how to write texts for sweepstakes that convert. The most “working” landing pages with online lotteries look like this:

  • “Leave your email and get a gift certificate from our store!”
  • “Soon we will be giving away a brand new iPhone 13 Pro Max! Hurry up to register!”
  • “For just $1, get a chance to win a PS5! Hurry up to take part in the draw!”
  • “Hooray! We’re giving away a MacBook Air again! If you want to win, simply register with your phone number!”
  • “Download the video tutorial and get a chance to celebrate the New Year in Egypt!”

Sweepstakes traffic sources

Traffic sources can be anything, the media buyer chooses the source from where to drive to sweepstakes:

  • social networks;
  • popunders (“pops”);
  • email newsletters;
  • contextual advertising;
  • search traffic;
  • push traffic;
  • teaser networks;
  • native advertising, etc.

It is important to keep in mind that it will be challenging for beginners in social networks since they have been fighting against sweeps for a long time. Direct advertising of a niche is prohibited, so you need to be able to “cloak” so as not to get banned. SEO promotion will take a lot of time and requires large investments, but it also lasts longer than, say, contextual advertising. For email newsletters, it is desirable to have an accumulated base, otherwise, most of the emails will end up in the Spam folder. Native advertising works well with “banner blindness” since it does not differ from the subject of the resource, however, the targeting options are limited here.

Beginners are advised to start with popunders – they convert well and are promoted on mobile and desktop devices. But it is even easier and more profitable to work with push notifications. Text messages that attract users’ attention convert well and are suitable for various devices. Our high recommendation goes to the push network – TacoLoco.

Pushes for sweepstakes – how to set it up and is it worth it?

Push notifications, as a kind of native advertising, got serious traction back in 2018. Every user has encountered push notifications – such messages appear on top of all browser windows. Push affiliate programs with sweepstakes are used by both beginners and experienced media buyers, as they continue to convert very well.

If we drive sweepstakes with pushes, it is recommended to choose a CPM model with pay per 1000 impressions. Make sure to constantly monitor the click-through rate. After 2-3 thousand conversions, analyze the effectiveness of the creative. Indicators below 2% are a reason to urgently change the creative.

Before setting up sweepstake pushes, find effective creatives first. But do not use other people’s blanks without making changes – otherwise, you risk getting a low CTR. Analyze what made them work and create even cooler ones! We recommend launching an advertising campaign with 7-10 creatives, choosing the best one, and changing at the right time. Remember, even if one of the creatives becomes successful, the success will die down in a few days.

Affiliates programs with sweepstakes — how to choose the best one?

An important step in the work of a media buyer is associated with the choice of a sweepstake affiliate program, as much more than just the profitability of the campaign depends on it. To make it convenient to work with an affiliate network, you need to evaluate the functionality: the ability to analyze statistics, select promotions, and payout conditions. If some of the leads are not accepted, this is normal, but when an affiliate program offers only a few ways to withdraw funds, it is better not to work with it.

For example, LosPollos helps to monetize any traffic (even mixed traffic) by automatically selecting offers. The presence of a SmartLink allows you not to waste time creating pre-landers — they are all translated into local languages ​​and provide a good conversion. Here you can successfully start in different niches – if you want to work with sweepstakes, choose our Mainstream SmartLink.

Of course, there are many other affiliate programs – rely on reviews and make the right choice!

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