8 Top Tips: How to Use Email to Promote Your Facebook Contest


You’ve created an amazing Facebook contest with great branding and an awesome prize. You’ve marketed it through your social channels like Twitter, your blog and highlighted posts on Facebook. How can you get even more participants and keep generating buzz about your Facebook Sweepstakes?

Get back to the good old tried and true method: email.

According to top marketers like Epsilon, email marketing is on the rise. In particular, triggered messages (emails sent to subscribers based on specific events, such as contests) are gaining momentum and generating the best return on investment for your marketing efforts.

Short of Facebook ads, emails get the biggest sure-fire return to directly reach your market. It’s the most personal, opted-in way to connect with your customer. And hey, they’re free.

Email is a crackerjack method to promote a Facebook contest, and to keep in contact with your entrants, turning them into enthusiastic Facebook likes, leads and ultimately sales.

That’s why we put together these eight tactics on how to use email promote your next Facebook contest.

1. Personalized Emails

Send out personalized emails specifically to promote your Facebook contest. Yes, I said personalized – not a uniform sounding mass email blast. Personalized emails improve click through rates by 14%.

To connect with your mail out members, at the very least, tone your email in a friendly manner. You’re inviting potential customers to interact with you on Facebook, after all.  Make your email personable while including an enticing Call-to-Action for your contest.

Here’s an example of a simple, personably toned email. The email is for a vote contest from a photography business. You can see the tone is friendly, with an inviting image of the contest, and a clear easy CTA button. These all work to entice your recipient list to enter.


Take your emails further by including your customer’s name. Remember that you are speaking to your consumer. Let them know that you want to get to know them, by name. Additionally, adding a name can make your email stand out by creating a personal connection.

Some third party apps include marketing tools that let you send emails directly from your campaign dashboard.

With Wishpond’s Social Marketing Suite, you can send out personalized emails very easily. Once you’ve set up your contest campaign, our application gives you simple options to send out emails to your past campaign participants, your MailChimp subscribers, or any other email lists you have.

Here’s a screenshot of what you’ll see:


There’s really no excuse not to make this effort 😉

With the software available these days, adding personal touches to your emails is fairly straightforward. Also check out the email management systems of MailChimp, Constant Contact, or Mailer Mailer.

2. Segment Your Emails to Increase their Relevancy

Segmenting your emails not only helps to personalize your emails, it’s also been shown that segmented emails get 50% more clicks than mail blasts. And a study by MailChimp  further confirms that segmented emails far outperform non-segmented emails.

Your business, like most businesses, will have different consumers, with various demographics and purchasing behaviours. Segmenting your email lists will let you send out more targeted emails that speak  to each of your buyers. This is turn will boost reader engagement, which means more click throughs, and more participation in your Facebook contest.

There’s a lot of ways you can segment your email list. For example, you could divide your email list by:

  • Gender
  • Geography
  • Age
  • Education level
  • Purchase history
  • Social media usage

Send out specific, personalized emails based on your segmented lists.

Most marketers know that it’s easier to collect customer data during the initial signup. What some clever marketers are discovering is that it’s even easier to collect rich customer data through third party apps on Facebook.

A few third party contest apps, like Wishpond, actually allow the rich personal data of Facebook Open Graph to be integrated with CRMs. Yes – you can access your customers’ Facebook Open Graph data.

This means, when an interested consumer gives consent as they enter your contest, you get access to their Facebook information. As a marketer or business owner, this is kind of a dream come true.

You can run Facebook contests to get this deep customer data and automatically segment it within your email subscriber lists to fit specific buyer personas.

For example, you can get customer’s age, gender, geographic location, and even likes and birthdays:


Use this demographic info to further develop your relationships and connect with your consumer. Invite them to your next Facebook contest via personalized, segmented email.

3. Clear Call-to-Actions

In the example email, above, there is a clear call-to-action (CTA). When you’re sending out emails to promote a single offer (your Facebook contest), keep the CTA clear, single and prominent.

The orange “enter now” button is visually distinct and large. It makes it very clear and simple to the recipient what they need to do to take part. The simpler you make it, the more likely a consumer will participate.


Optimizing your CTA achieves results. According to Marketing Sherpa,  41% of marketers rank CTA optimization as very valuable. Take advantage of this to improve your Facebook contest performance.

4. Great Subject Lines

As in any email campaign, your subject line can be the make or break if your email gets read.

Make your subject line:

  • Relevant and specific
  • Clearly identify yourself
  • Show the urgency of time
  • Include the call-to-action

And test it out. Do A/B testing with your Facebook contest mailouts to learn what works and what doesn’t, so you can repeat with improved results.

Here are three examples of subject lines from the I Love Photos contest:

  • “Vote for your favourite I Love Photos image to win. Contest ends June 21.”
  • “I Love Photos wants your vote. Tell us what you love by June 21 to win.”
  • “Love photos for your marketing? Win 25 from I Love Photos. Offer ends June 21.”

Here are three examples for basic “Enter-to-win” sweepstakes:

  • “Our Sweepstaks is on now! Enter to win a $50 Gift Card!”
  • “Enter to Win a $50 Gift Card from (Your Business Name)!”
  • “Want to win a new (Product Name)? Enter our Sweepstakes Now!

5. Newsletters

If you’re like most businesses, you send out regular newsletters to your clientele. Take the opportunity to promote your Facebook contest.

Create a distinct section in your newsletter, or – even better – send out your contest promotion as your newsletter. Include enticing contest images. Describe your contest briefly, with its specific value to your subscribers. Make it easy to enter with a prominent call-to-action button.

Check out this newsletter example from a Belgian chocolatier. It has enticing, playful images of chocolate for Father’s Day. The contest is simply explained. The contrasting coloured CTA button is easy for entrants to click to the Facebook page.


6. Email Signature

A simple tactic to promote your Facebook contest is to include it in your email signature.

Make a short sentence about your contest, or include an enticing clickable image, with a clear call-to-action. Get your entire staff to include it in their email signatures.

This is an easy way to promote your Facebook contest, while reaching potential entrants not currently on your email lists. On average, office workers spend 28% of their time reading and answering emails. Use this to your advantage by making a simple change to outgoing emails.

Here is an example of my recently changed outgoing email signature, to include Wishpond’s own Facebook contest:


To measure the performance of your email signature, make the link trackable by using a link shortener such as bitly.  With a trackable link you can view the click through rates, and even make personal utm codes to encourage friendly competition of click throughs with your staff. (try it –  it’s fun, and gets you more click throughs!)

7. Promotional Emails to Bloggers in Your Niche

A more advanced way to use email to promote your contest is to send an email to prominent bloggers and other media sources. Write an email outlining the merits of your sweepstakes. Then pitch it to bloggers who would be interested in your contest.

Why would you this? Getting bloggers to write or post about your contest spreads the word about it. Getting the word out to industry related media sources means getting your message to those readers who are interested in your business area (i.e. your market). And it’s free.

You don’t have to write a full press release (this is kind of a daunting venture to most), but check out How to Promote a Facebook Contest with a Press Release to get tips on what media sites look for.

Remember from back in elementary school – the five W’s and an H – these are still used by reporters and media writers today. Be sure your email includes the basics of a journalistic story:

  • Who are you?
  • What are you offering?
  • Where can someone enter?
  • When is the contest?
  • Why are readers interested?
  • How does publishing your contest benefit the blogger?

Find the bloggers in your niche, who are read by your customers or prospective clients. If you don’t already know who these are, do searches for your products, your area of expertise and your competitors to find out who is writing about your industry.  Do searches in Technorati (a search engine specifically for blogs) and Google.

Make a list of say 10-20 bloggers and media sites who would write about your business. Send out personalized emails, with pitches about your Facebook contest.

Tip: You could include additional enticements, such as a free product or gift card for writing about you.

8. Follow-up Emails to Promote Your Next Contest

When your contest is over, and you’ve chosen the winner, keep in touch with all of your entrants.

If you’ve email-gated your contest, you’ll have a good list of freshly engaged email leads. This is a great time to keep connected through personalized, segmented emails with fabulous subject lines and calls-to-action.

Send out a thank you email. Include your contestant’s name, your contest, and specific personal details about how they took part.

For example, Stitch Collective runs vote contests in which customers get to vote on exclusive designer handbags. The bags are then manufactured based on voters’ choices. It’s an incredibly innovative concept, using social in creative new ways.

Once a contest is over, Stitch emails their customers using Wishpond’s Social Contact Database. They cleverly send out personalized emails, which are segmented by contestants’ voting choices.


This works incredibly well. It creates highly engaged contestants, and enthusiastic buyers. Ok, it’s also innovating an industry – read the Stitch Collective case study.

Sending out a thank you email is also a great opportunity to begin to promote your next Facebook contest. This will keep your contestant engaged with your brand, and even if they didn’t win this time, they will still have a chance to win again in your next amazing and cool contest.

Additionally, you could give all of your contestants a discount for your product. This is a great chance for you to develop prospective customers into paying customers.


Generate more buzz and get tons more entrants for your contest by using these email marketing tactics.

  • Send out personalized, segmented emails with clear call-to-actions and great subject lines.
  • Promote your contest through newsletters.
  • Try out tricks like including your contest in your email signature, and even leverage your contest via well read bloggers.
  • Follow up with your contestants, to turn your Facebook likes into buyers.

What additional email tips do you have? Tell us about your success.

Learn more about how Wishpond can make your Facebook Marketing Campaigns a whole lot easier. Our Social Marketing Suite includes data-rich social contact databases, giving rocket fuel to your email marketing.


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