With an abundance of digital advertising, brands are presented with unique opportunities to explore new methods of consumer interactions and engagement. The ultimate goal for digital marketing often being to drive sales across both repeat and new consumers.

With this, however, consumers can often feel inundated with the far-too-similar messages:

“buy buy buy” or “catch a sale before it’s too late”

According to a 2019 report conducted by Salesforce, “75% of customers expect companies to use new technologies to create better experiences.” At Realtime Media, we find that the best “new technologies” aren’t entirely new at all. Instead by pairing modern digital sweepstakes technology with traditional marketing tactics brands can maximize consumer activation and data collection.

There are many ways to increase digital engagement and power successful digital promotions. At Realtime Media we have seen trends across Instant Win, Receipt Validation, and Text-to-Enter promotions as popular means of engagement.

Bring Users Back to Play Again

In a digital first marketplace driving repeat engagement is the key to winning. Not only are Instant win games a means of creating repeat engagement, but also bring an excitement to the customer experience.

What makes instant win games so successful is that they blend different high-engagement tactics to draw users in.

  • Give First, Ask Later - Utilizing a simple user-flow, game play comes before an ask for personal data. By positioning the user experience before a call to action, Instant Win promotions feel more about the customer than their money.
  • Gamification Marketing - A more enjoyable user experience is created when digital promotions turn into a fun game. With opportunities to play and win!
  • Chances to Win - It’s no secret that people enter promotions for one reason, to win a prize. By allowing users to come back for multiple chances to win you are creating solid incentive for repeat engagement.

Built right into the PromoPick™ code base, we have seven pre-made instant win games that fit right into any of our promotion templates.

Regardless of the game you choose, instant win promotions are a great way to reward consumers. With smaller prizes and fun to play games, driving repeat engagement campaigns has never been easier.

Incentivize Purchase Behavior

Recently, we have seen more brands flipping the script on promotions. Rather than putting a call to action after registration, requiring a purchase for entry has become a popular incentive. Once a purchase is made and their receipt validated users are entered into the promotion.

While there are several configurations for purchase-to-enter campaigns, we have seen brands have success with two in particular:

  • Receipt Validation Campaigns - your standard purchase-to-enter campaign. After making a qualifying purchase, shoppers are entered to win a prize.
  • Buy X Get Y Campaigns - After making a qualifying purchase shoppers are entered to win a grand prize. As an additional incentive to participate, users are awarded a gift with their purchase (i.e., spend $10, get $2 back).

It is also important to consider your are placing an incentive behind. Different products will receive different levels of engagement and interaction.

For many shoppers there are two kinds of purchases:

  1. “Every Day” items are a part of the day-to-day routine. They are purchase regularly and require little-to-no consideration (clothes, packaged goods, food product).
  2. “Out of Reach” items are within the means of an average consumer, but not a part of their day-to-day purchase habits. Items are often seen as a “once in a while” type of purchase (high end, ‘plussed up’ items, luxury products).

Text-to-Enter & Mobile Activation

Shoppers spend a lot of time on their phones. To give some context, OuterBox reports 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase using their mobile device within the last six months.

Great for shopper marketing campaigns, text-to-enter campaigns bring promotions right into the hands of consumers. After texting an SMS short code, consumers are brought directly to a mobile friendly microsite. From therethey follow a standard promotion user flow, registering for a chance to win.

Placing a promotion right in the hands of users is a powerful way to increase engagement. The possibilities of text-to-enter campaigns are nearly limitless. However at Realtime Media have seen clients have massive success through the following uses:

  • Instant Win Games - All of our instant win games are designed to bring an engaging experience regardless of what screen they’re played on. Games such as “Scratch and Win” translate really well to mobile as touch-gestures bring games to another level.
  • Gift Card Giveaway/Delivery - With the rise “mobile wallets” physical gift cards can be seen as a burden rather than a prize. By utilizing text-to-enter technology throughout registration and fulfillment, RTM can help deliver prizes right to the winner’s smartphone.
  • Photo Contests - For UGC contests that don’t leverage social media, upload processes typically require having the photo saved to the device you’re using. Users are able to submit their entry by sending a text message, skipping the microsite all together.


As marketers turn to digital media as a primary acquisition method, winning users’ attention is increasing in difficulty. Whether your focus is on customer acquisition or activating existing consumers, the key is a solid engagement strategy. Using digital content that leads consumers to owned properties places them one step closer to your desired point of conversion.

Leveraging industry leading promotions technology, Realtime Media has helped clients find success in launching engaging activation campaigns. Pushing the boundaries of what is possible with digital promotions, our turnkey development solution brings engaging promotions to life. With full-service support covering every aspect of digital promotions including project management, development, and the authoring of official rules.