One of the easiest ways to drive traffic & build a readership is by using giveaways.
This is also true for building email lists.
If you are already a regular reader of ShoutMeLoud, you must be aware of the various giveaways I run to help our community start blogging. Most of our giveaways are related to hosting, domain names, WordPress themes, online courses & some other stuff which makes it easier for anyone to start & grow their online business.
If you are wondering what kind of prizes you should offer for your giveaway, here is a detailed guide to help you.
Before using Gleam to run giveaways here at ShoutMeLoud, I have also used Kingsumo which is another useful tool to run giveaways on a WordPress site. The only downside to Kingsumo is it’s way costlier. For anyone without a giveaway strategy, it’s not worth the price.
On the other hand, Gleam is a perfect tool to get started with your first giveaway as it offers a free plan & you can upgrade depending upon the features you need. For ShoutMeLoud, I use their “Pro” plan which costs only $39/month.
It’s good enough for running occasional giveaways. You can upgrade anytime for more features or downgrade anytime to save money. More on this later…
For now, let’s learn how to use this nifty tool for running & hosting your first giveaway.
Why is Gleam a great tool for running giveaways?
Most marketers use giveaways as a tool to build their lists.
This is a good strategy, but ROI is often not that great because such lists also consist of people who have no interest in your niche/product who only participated because it’s a free giveaway. This is why I recommend you use these contests to primarily grow your social media following.
If you are getting sponsors for your contest, you can also use your contest as an incentive to give those sponsors more social media exposure.
Apart from building an email list, Gleam also gives you an option to grow your social media following and/or engagement. It supports all major social networking platforms including Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook (to name a few).
Not just a tool for bloggers, Gleam is an ideal choice for entrepreneurs and internet marketers who are either launching a product or promoting a SaaS product. The best part is they have lots of sample contests that give you an idea of what is possible for your first (or next) giveaway.
In fact, this is the first thing that you will see after getting inside your Gleam dashboard.
See this example screenshot:
In the below screenshot, you can see an example of a contest created for an app download:
The possibilities are endless with the features Gleam offers.
Since you & I are on the same page now, let’s start by creating a sample contest.
(This is an actual contest I created for ShoutMeLoud readers.)
Once you are inside the dashboard, you can start creating a giveaway in two ways.
- You can copy a giveaway idea from the example competitions.
- You can create a new competition from scratch.
- For this tutorial, I’m creating a contest from scratch.
Setting up the giveaway
It only takes a few steps to set up the giveaway.
The very first thing you need to do is give a name to your giveaway & set the start and end time.
Do notice the box that says “Locations & Language”. Using this, you can restrict your giveaway for a specific geo-location. I believe this is useful for many of us in specific scenarios.
Once you have completed all the fields here, click on the “4. Prize” tab to enter the prize information:
How to enter
This is where things get interesting as you can set rules/conditions for users to participate in the giveaway. This section completely depends upon your target & what you want to achieve with the contest.
You can make any method of entry as mandatory or optional.
I usually make email subscriptions & viral shares mandatory. If you also want to build an email list, you should select the “Subscribe to a Newsletter” option.
Currently, Gleam supports the following email marketing services:
I use AWeber & ConvertKit to manage my email list. You can read about AWeber and ConvertKit in detail over here.
In my case, I made the email subscription mandatory so users don’t have to login before taking an action.
But, if you are not building an email list, you might want your users to sign in. For this, you can click on the “2. User Details” tab & configure the settings. Again, this is simple & straight forward so you should have no issues configuring it.
Click on “Save” & that’s it. You are done creating your contest!
How to add your contest on your blog or Facebook page
Now, the next step is to add the contest on your blog or Facebook page (or simply let Gleam host your giveaway page).
If you also want to embed the contest on your blog post (just like ShoutMeLoud did), click on the “6. Install Options” tab & copy/paste the code into your blog post where you want giveaway widget to appear.
Since this contest is currently live, you can see the example of the giveaway we just created in the above giveaway widget.
Picking the winner & handling the faulty submissions
Once the contest is over, you can directly select winners from the Gleam dashboard. They also handle bogus entries.
Here is a result from the latest giveaway I ran for Bluehost hosting:
The winners’ names can also be displayed on the widget. This saves a lot of time & once you have set up everything, the next contest could be run by one of your team members.
Pricing & conclusion of Gleam review
I have used various giveaway tools in the past, but to date, Gleam is the best.
It offers all the features one needs to run a successful giveaway. The base plan starts with a price tag of $0 which is perfect for anyone with no budget.
For a user like me or you, the “Pro” or “Business” plan is most appropriate.
As I said earlier, you can always downgrade your plan to free or upgrade your plan to Pro/Business. This way, you are not locked in with them forever & you pay only for those months when you need to run the contest/giveaway on your blog or Facebook page.
Overall, I’m pretty happy after using Gleam & give it 5/5 stars for the great features & perfect pricing.
If you have never hosted a giveaway before, this is the right time for you to start.
Do let me know: how did you find this review & what kind of giveaway are you planning to host using Gleam?
Do share this guide with others, as it might help them to grow their blog with the help of giveaways!