The saying is true, winning isn’t everything – but it sure is fun! There is nothing like winning a great prize, right? Social media sweepstakes, contests and giveaways have become very popular, and Realtime Media helps many leading brands execute these exciting promotions. We can assure you, people really do win! If you’re the one sponsoring the promotion, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by managing the winners and prizes, especially if you have a large quantity of winners. Don’t let that stop you from launching a sweepstakes, contest or giveaway though, the results you get in registrations, clicks, impressions, likes and follows are totally worth it! Try looking into a sweepstakes management firm that can help you manage winners and prize fulfillment, making the marketing promotion a fun and rewarding process for you and the winners.

Let’s say you just completed a social media or microsite promotion campaign, looking to award 100 lucky winners a prize. The first step will be to simply notify the potential winners that they have been selected for the prize. This winner management tactic is a fundamental step within all promotions. From letting users know they have won, to keeping them up to date on the status of their prize – successful winner management is about proactive and efficient communication. Additionally, not only does good communication build brand equity but it also allows you to manage winner expectations and prevent misconception from the winner’s perspective. (prize confirmation, timing of receipt, consumer questions, etc.).

Winner Outreach Sets Expectations and Upholds Critical Timelines

Winner outreach often serves a dual purpose. Not only is it important to keep winners up to date on their prize, but it also serves as a means to collect any missing information necessary to fulfill prizes. Through the utilization of Realtime Media’s Prize Claim Form you can easily manage winner outreach and data collection whenever necessary. Prize claim forms create a secure, streamlined approach for handling high volumes of winners and enforcing accurate capture of user data, making it easy for consumers to input their information and is a time-saving, cost-effective solution.

Within your initial email to the winners, you should request that the winner(s) confirm they accept their prize, in addition to stating a concrete timeline that winners must follow. This timeline should be stated not only in your email communication to winners, but also written clearly in your official rules, typically outlining requirements that are grounds for disqualification if not completed by the selected winner. At Realtime Media, our standard winner outreach timelines include initial and reminder emails to account for those that may not be checking their email every day or paying close attention to unexpected emails. Should a potential winner be disqualified for failing to claim their prize in time, we find it important to reach out to alternates to make sure that all prizes are awarded.

To note, staying on track with the timing is important and helpful for everyone! Put yourself in the winners’ shoes…they’re going to want to stay informed on the timing of receiving their prizes, so letting them know when the prizes are on the way is an industry best practice.

Tip: distributing shipping notifications and tracking information when prizes are sent is the easiest way to help winners track their prize(s) closely through delivery.

Legal Compliance Aspects of Winner Management

Before winner outreach even takes place, it’s important to remember the basics! Often times, it can be easy for companies to forget about the little (but big) steps in this process – like tax compliances, liability forms and tracking winner eligibility – but Realtime Media are experts in the field and can certainly help handle these critical steps for you. As a compliance partner, we issue and track winner eligibility as well as release of liability forms to collect all required information and paperwork. This includes Eligibility forms, W9 IRS Tax Compliance, and 1099 IRS Tax Compliance forms.

Additionally, not only can we help with the tax compliance of managing winners, but we can also handle prize procurement and fulfillment. With years of prize fulfillment experience, we help you build and source a prize pool that's right for your consumers and will take care of all the prize logistics, so you can sit back and relax. To explore our full list of fulfillment and winner services, please click here.

Lastly, if you’re interested in building a quote for our fulfillment and winner management services, you can do so for free here.