Nothing gets the attention of a person like free money, and the best way to give out free money is through a sweepstakes. Most companies find themselves running a sweepstakes of some sort at some point; the ability to raise awareness of the company and therefore the number of customers of that company is something that makes them popular. For a company that can afford to do so a sweepstakes can offer a major bump in sales, especially if they can tie it in with the release of a new product or service, possibly even tying the prizes in with the new item. In short, a properly managed sweepstakes can offer a company a major boost in sales.
A sweepstakes has a number of moving parts that need to be properly coordinated in order for it to be successful. A purpose needs to be developed; that is, no promotion is done without a specific purpose in mind, such as promoting a new product or awareness of an established product. A theme of some sort needs to work on, such as a tropical party theme or a popular game. While this is happening, the legal team needs to do thorough research into the various laws and regulations of the areas where people can play the sweepstakes; not all sweepstakes are the same after all, and thus not all are legal in every jurisdiction. And then there is the matter running the sweepstakes itself; no one ever said that a sweepstakes management was easy.
When it comes to how to run a sweepstakes it needs to be run as an independent business. That is, once it has started it needs to run its course and it cannot be interfered with. A sweepstakes represents a commitment by the business to its customers, and it has to be met; there are just too many public relations and legal ramifications should the sweepstakes be called early. While the sweepstakes is being run customers need to be updated as to who has won what and prizes need to be delivered upon; the sweepstakes represents a promise between company and customer that needs to be delivered upon. If that promise can be delivered, then the company will do nothing but win from the sweepstakes.
The biggest question is whether or not to outsource sweepstakes administration. As the sweepstakes can easily become a logistics nightmare for someone not experienced in running one, it needs someone experienced in running even a simple sweepstakes. If it is done in-house there is the problem that the staff needs to be dedicated to running the sweepstakes; they cannot be used for anything else. However, as the sweepstakes is not run continuously this means that the staff involved needs to be able to redirect to other departments when the sweepstakes is not being run, thus creating potential labor issues. Outsourcing it may be more expensive, but it does solve the problem.
Overall, a sweepstakes can be a major win for the business, but it needs to be allowed to run on its own terms. Do that and the sweepstakes can be a major win for your company.