Features & Services

Promotion Security & GDPR Compliance: An Overview

GDPR and CPPA compliance come standard with PromoPick and we exercise industry standard best practices with database security and consumer data handling. Additionally, we are able to arrange database compliance with other or anticipated future enacted policies as needed due to the flexible. As per company policy, all data we collect through digital promotions is destroyed 90 days after the promotion is over.

Tracked and segregated personally identifiable information (PII) collected through promotional registration allows us to easily adapt to new requirements that may arise based on new legislature. On a per-promotion level this information is all stored in a single table, which is encrypted in the database, utilizing hash values for comparison, additionally stated in Realtime Media’s in-house data policy.


We have offered full GDPR compliance and support since the regulation was initially introduced. Our environment, business processes and technology all adhered to the guidelines as established in GDPR, including:

  • A privacy policy notice/agreement via onscreen page load banner.
  • A manual opt-in consenting to data usage rights at registration.
  • A privacy policy with defined roles and process for right to information requests/be forgotten by emailing our promotions support team.


All internal processes for CCPA compliance have been in-place as of January 1st, 2020, the official enactment of the law. This includes, but is not limited to, engineering internal workflows and infrastructure-wide tools we can use to identify all data we may have on any individual requesting information about the use of their data. Realtime Media is a flexible technology partner an, whenever possible, operates to champion the individual privacy policies’ of clients.

In addition, and when necessary, Realtime Media’s in-house data security policy and practices are enacted to ensure full legal compliance for the intake and response to consumer requests.


Our backend systems are designed to operate publicly only over secure web protocols, and we leverage industry leading third party services for protective content management & storage, encryption, and bot/fraud detection.

All consumer data is encrypted using RSA 256 and all consumer data at REST outside of promotional databases are encrypted using PGP. As a standard inclusion with all promotions, microsites have SSL certificates and any captured data is transferred over SFTP or encrypted API connections.

Additionally, we follow standards defined by ISO 27001 as well as other industry best practices. The key byproducts include fully encrypted data in all states, server permissions limited as needed to systems accounts, back-end developers and our IT lead.

Database Structure

All promotional databases are segregated both brand and again by promotion, which allows for logical separation of data. Further more, this creates easy user flows for analytical measure such as metric comparison at the promotion and brand level and provides a firm grasp on data location and retention.

This structure, in turn, allows for the easy compliance of internal data policy as well as the handling of CCPA and GDPR consumer requests.

Prize Fulfillment Services: What's Included

Prizes are the core incentive driving engagement toward your marketing goals when running a sweepstakes or contest. That’s why we offer specialized prize management and fulfillment services for your promotional needs.

You’ll want to ensure you have the right incentive to engage your customers with your brand. As the promotion concludes, you can save time and effort using prize fulfillment services to handle the logistics of rewarding your customers, while you spend your time on reaping the marketing benefits of the promotion’s registrants.

Since prizes are the central component of sweepstakes or contests – here at Realtime Media, we’ll guide you through our prize strategy process to ensure your campaign’s success from beginning to end:

  • Strategic Planning and Prize Conception

Prizes are the main draw of a great sweepstakes or contest – The right rewards can drive the best results. That’s why we include prize concepting for your promotion with our prize fulfillment services.

Our end-to-end services begin with delivering prize options best suited to your audience and brand. We can assist with strategic planning of your prizes that will incentivize your audience to act, while working within your budget and entrant demographics.

  • Prize Procurement

Concepting prizes that match your audience is just the start. Ensuring these prizes are fulfilled is crucial to protecting your brand by delivering your audience the promised rewards.

We can assist with planning and executing the tedious logistics of experiences such as dream vacations and getaways or curation and delivery of physical rewards.

We consider all factors including:

    • Winner Affidavits
    • 1099 Tax Forms
    • Shipping, Custom Labeling/Packaging
    • Entrant Support
    • Winner Screening (to ensure eligibility)
    • Winner Verification (to prevent fraud  e.g.: limit one per household)
  • Winner Drawing & Outreach

In addition to supporting your contestants or entries, we also handle verification and management of winners to ensure a complete, positive experience between your brand and audience.

Why Winner Verification?

As part of our winner outreach process, we ensure full enforcement of the official rules by verifying the winner’s identity. We use the winner’s name, email, phone number, and in some cases a notary to verify winners’ identity so that if the limit is, for example, “one winner per household” that is executed.

Winner Outreach Services

From initial winner outreach to the option to include special winner letters and packaging we have all the capabilities to ensure your verified winners have a special experience. You can choose primary and secondary channels of communication you would like us to use to reach out to your winner(s) and we can even complete outreach in social media Direct Messages when you grant permission through each social platform.

  • Prize Administration

Our services are covered by a $1,000,000 Errors & Omissions Indemnification Policy.

Handling the obligations of a prize-driven promotion can be daunting, however, we provide the legal expertise to ensure your official rules, prizing parameters, and promotion are up-to-par with state, national, and international guidelines.

  • Prize Fulfillment

Even if you have prizes in hand, we can still work with you to ensure the often tedious details of prize management are covered.

Prize Strategy & Planning

Prize Strategy & Planning

The driving power of digital sweepstakes and contests are the incentives that sit at their core. Using prizes to drive consumer engagement can aid in lead generation and the conversion of passive user into active shopper, driving marketing goals.

At Realtime Media, our end-to-end fulfillment services start at the very foundation of incentivized engagement – prize strategy & planning. Working with and guiding your brand through the process of determining prizing, our account strategy team takes the follow factors (and more) into account:

  • Number of Winners
  • Brand’s Products & Goods/Services Sold
  • Digital or Physical Prize Deployment
  • Budget

With decades of experience and millions of prizes sent to excited winners, our industry leading experience will save your brand time and effort. There isn’t a prize that we can’t fulfill. Our prize strategy and fulfillment suite of services handles all of the logistics of rewarding your customers allowing for more of your time to be spent on reaping the marketing benefits of a successful promotion.

Legal Administration & Compliance

Legal Administration & Compliance

Depending on the size and approximate retail value (ARV) of your promotion, certain steps must be put into place to ensure that both your brand and your winners stay legally compliant.

Bonding & Registration – For promotions where the total ARV of the prizes is above $5,000, bonding & registration is necessary in New York, Florida, and Rhode Island if your brand plans to allow residents of those states eligibility to win. Each state, while similar in regulation, have slightly different processes and timelines for the bonding & registration process. Realtime Media follows industry-wide best practices in ensuring that all promotions, where necessary, are bonded and registered well ahead of state-by-state deadlines.

1099 Tax Forms & Prize Reporting – For individual prizes with an ARV greater than $600. Whenever the sum of a single winner’s prize(s) is valued at over $600, that prize and its value must be reported to the IRS in order to make sure that it is claimed as a taxable item. While not necessarily a long process, the process of filing requisite tax forms can easily become tedious as prize pools get larger and the list of winners gets longer.

Alternate (Free) Means of Entry (AMOE) – If your promotion requires a purchase as a means of entry (receipt validation, in-pack promo code, etc.), an alternate (free) means of entry (AMOE) must be offered in order to remain legally compliant. Realtime Media offers support for mail based AMOE and will handle the P.O. Box set-up as well as the storage and manual entry of mail-in entries.

Insurance & Indemnification – Protect your prizes. Realtime Media offers insurance and indemnification that covers up to $1 Million under our Errors & Omissions Indemnification Policy.

Handling the obligations of a prize fulfillment can be daunting, however our in-house legal team offers the expertise necessary to ensure your official rules, prizing parameters and promotion are up-to-par with state, national, and international guidelines.

Registrant Services

Registrant Services

Winner Drawing – For Sweepstakes – Central to every sweepstakes promotion is the random winner drawing(s). Realtime Media has pre-built programs and protocol to make sure that every promotional registrant has an equal and fair chance at winner as per your promotion’s rules. Before any winner drawing takes place we scrub every entry-list for duplicates, scripted & bot entries and invalid registrations. From there Realtime Media will randomly draw all necessary winners from the finalized entry list.

Winner Outreach, Verification & Affidavit – Ensure that all prizes go valid, eligible winners. Especially for high-value and experiential prizes, Realtime Media recommends (and will administer) background state and federal level background checks on all winners to check for criminal record* and any other outstanding articles. Additionally, Realtime Media conducts all winner outreach and affidavit, notifying registrants of their winner-status, arranging prize delivery and coordinating tax forms

*Criminal record, if disclosed and non-outstanding, does not necessarily disqualify a registrant from winning.

Promotional Support – User experience is not only important to the consumer, but should be just as important to you and your brand. With every promotion we help administer, full e-mail coverage is included as a means of promotional support. From promotional launch through the end of prize fulfillment, our team of dedicated project managers and fulfillment specialists are there to answer and user questions and help with any problems that may occur. Whether users are having trouble registering for the promotion or have questions about fulfillment or winner statuses, we answer it all so your brand doesn’t have to.

Content Moderation & Judging – For User Generated Content (UGC) Contests – Enforce brand standards for digital content with integrated content screening. Built into the admin tool for photo and video UGC promotions is an industry leading AI tool that can be easily trained to identify, monitor, and automatically tag submitted content. Make sure that every piece of content that is eligible to win meets criteria set by your brand.

Realtime Media also offers manual screening and impartial judging services for UGC. Based entirely on criteria provided to RTM from your brand, we complete screening, sorting, and judging 100% in-house and deliver full results back to your brand for the final say on winner selection.

Prize Procurement & Fulfillment

Prize Procurement & Fulfillment

Procurement – Coordinating prizes can be a lot of details to juggle. Bring surprise and delight to consumers hassle free. Our in-house team of procurement specialists work to make sure that any imaginable prize that your brand can think of available as a potential prize. We handling the research, sourcing, and procurement of both digital and physical prizes for your promotions. Additionally, Realtime Media offers full planning services for experiential prizing including the booking of flights, hotels/accommodations, ground transportation, ticket/event purchase and more.

Warehousing – Prizes take up a lot of space that your brand might not have. Realtime Media can take care of the warehousing and storage of all prizing. All warehousing has 24/7 security and all staff are background checked and cleared to safely and securely handle any prizing. Prizing, once received, is inventoried and securely stored until winners are drawn and it is time for shipping and prize delivery. For digital prizing (e-tickets, giftcards, coupon codes), the same inventory and securities protocol applies. All digital prizing, once received, is stored in a database with password protected securities.

All prizing, once assigned to winners, are linked to winner records through our internal databases and any tracking, shipping, or fulfillment information is connected at the winner-level.

Kitting – For Sampling Programs – When running a sampling program that requires promotional kits to be sent to winners, Realtime Media can take care of all packaging, taking the burden off of your internal team. Our in-house fulfillment team will work with your brand to develop and put together all kitting elements and make sure that every package meets your brand’s standard.

Fulfillment – After your promotion’s entry period officially ends, it is important to get their prizes as quickly and efficiently as possible. With all fulfillment services run in-house Realtime Media makes surprise and delight easy. We’ll help to make sure that all prizes are sent directly to all winners as quickly as possible. Every prize, once shipped, is tracked (via standard tracking services) and all tracking codes are sent to winners via email as well as recorded internally to ensure that all prizes make it to the correct winners.

Standard Legal Services: Overview

Standard Legal Services: Overview

Official Rules (Full and Abbreviated)

Any promotion that contains prizes, chances, and considerations (such as purchase-to-win, or time requirements) is constituted as an “Illegal Lottery” in the United States.

To run a compliant sweepstakes or contest, you must adhere to rules and regulations set forth to protect both your business and the consumer. Official Rules outline the promotion parameters and becomes your contract between your brand and the public to ensure quality, fairness, and proper disclosure or requirements and prizes.

We highly suggest speaking with our expert team to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal law, in addition with our standard services of providing you with both a full and abbreviated set of official rules.

Legal Review of Promotional Materials

Prizes are the most exciting part of a promotion, however there are considerations that must be taken when building out a prize strategy or preparing for fulfillment. Prize winners who are subject to U.S. taxes are often required to receive a 1099 form within the start of the following year, as well as a winner affidavit.

Our professional team can guide your prize strategy and ensure full legal compliance both nationally and internationally, in addition to preparing and fulfilling the proper forms and documents required.

Insurance and Indemnification

Realtime Media’s services are covered by a $1,000,000 Errors & Omissions Indemnification Policy. This warranties our services and deliverables including legal consulting and official rules and mitigating liability of the promotion from the client or brand.

Social Platform Compliance Consulting

Each social media channel has unifying rules or terms of use when executing a prize promotion, in addition to parameters that differ between each platform.

Our standard legal services take these measures into account to keep your promotion within the proper parameters of each social networking platform. We execute drafting of rules, in addition to consulting your ads and printed material being used for the promotion.

In addition, our PromoPick solution can provide a landing page to house your promotion outside of social media for actions that can’t incentivized due to Terms of Use.

Additional Services (Optional or As-Required for Compliance)

Alternate (Free) Means of Entry (AMOE) and ‘Mail-To’ Addresses

Alternate Means of Entry are required for any contest or sweepstakes that requires purchase for entry by law. AMOE allows participants to submit an entry when the primary method requires something they may not be willing to fulfill.

AMOE methods can include mail-to entry, email entry, web entry, and more – We can handle the details of these entries from both a logistics and compliance with consideration laws.

State Bonding and Registration

State-by-state regulations may require promotional games to be registered and bonded. For example, some states may require registration and bonding if the value of prizes exceeds a certain value.

Our expert legal team handles the necessary precautions and paperwork required to ensure your promotion is compliant within every state.

Winner Drawing and Verification

Our team can conduct winner drawings for your sweepstakes or contest, in addition to notifying and verifying the winners. We take several measures to ensure proper verification, including anti-fraud measures and confirm that they have agreed to the terms of your official rules and prize acceptance.

In addition to winner drawing and verification, we also offer prize fulfillment services. Our fulfillment team handles the logistics of distributing your prizes and reduces the effort needed to conclude your promotional campaign.

What is the Difference Between a Contest and Sweepstakes?

Sweepstakes and Contests are fundamentally different in one way: How the winner is selected.

Sweepstakes are a game of chance: The winner is randomly selected.

Contests are a game of skill where judging based on criteria determines a winner.

Prizes are the whole reason to run a promotion. They serve as the incentive for consumers to participate in a promotion, and we happen to think they are the best part!


No Purchase Necessary Sweepstakes: Can I Require a Purchase for Entry?

Yes, but there are a few steps to take to ensure it isn’t ‘consideration’, the main characteristic of an illegal lottery.

Sweepstakes are a great way to incentivize a purchase and trial of new products. If you are using a purchase as a qualifying entry, you must have a free means of entry set up to accept entries.

We refer to this as Alternate Means of Entry or (AMOE). This is a fully managed service we offer in our standard compliance package. The process looks like this:

  1. We become your sweepstakes administrator and draft your official rules.
  2. We set up a mailbox to accept mail-in entries.
  3. We wait for 5 days after the end of the promotion for all mail-in entries to arrive (for compliance purposes)
  4. We merge the database of mail-in entries with your online entries.
  5. We conduct your winner drawing (removing any last possibility of consideration from your sweepstakes).
  6. We can verify and notify winners or you can choose to.
What is a sweepstakes administrator?

What is a sweepstakes administrator?

A sweepstakes administrator generally ensures that all logistics for a promotional campaign are in line with national and international sweepstakes laws. This includes:

  • Official rules
  • Winner verification methods
  • Prize recipient tax paperwork
  • Advertising statements made in association with the campaign

At Realtime Media, we are specialists at the entire promotions process. We serve as a partner to brands and agencies to take care of all legal compliance details. As much as we have mastered the legal aspects of promotions, we were actually born to bring promotions online.

To this day, we remain a leading technology and strategic partner providing our clients with superior value in our full-service model and flexible technology platform.

What are official rules and why are they required?

Many brands, marketers, and agencies make the mistake of selecting easy-to-use sweepstakes software to manage their promotions, often forgetting to include a proper set of rules.

Official Rules layout the compliance of your entire promotion – this set of rules must align with local, state, and federal laws. While there are many templates available online to draft your own rules, we advise a proper legal consultation to ensure full compliance.

We recommend considering a full-service option from a sweepstakes management company – While the perceived external costs may differ, you can ensure your promotion is completely compliant and avoid even costlier legal ramifications.

At Realtime Media we handle the tedious details to increase your team’s capacity to launch fully compliant promotions.