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Effective Promotional Giveaway Ideas For Small Businesses

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

If you're like most small business owners, you're always looking for ways to attract new customers and grow your business. And what better way to do that than by giving away free stuff?

But finding the right giveaway idea can be tough. You want something that's popular enough to attract attention, but not so popular that everyone else is doing it. And it has to be something that fits your budget and brand.

Don't worry, we've got you covered. Here are 17 out-of-the-box giveaway ideas for your small business.

1. Run A Photo Contest

A photo contest is a great way to engage people with your brand on social media. To enter, all they have to do is post a photo of themselves using your product or service, and tag your business in the caption. You can also require them to use a specific hashtag that you create for the contest.

To promote the contest, you can post about it on your own social media channels, as well as reach out to relevant influencers and ask them to share it with their followers. You can also partner with other businesses in your industry to help cross-promote the contest.

2. Free Gifts With Every Purchase

A great way to increase traffic to your store or website is to offer a free gift with a purchase. This is especially effective if you own a small business that sells products that are consumables or have a short shelf life. Offering a free product with purchase gives customers an incentive to buy now, rather than wait until they need the product.

To make this work, you need to choose a product that compliments your main product line. For example, if you sell coffee, you could offer a free bag of beans with the purchase of every 1/2 pound of coffee. If you sell tea, you could offer a free box of tea bags with the purchase of every tin of loose-leaf tea. Offering a freebie also gives you an opportunity to upsell customers on other products in your store.

black gift box on a gray textured table

3. Discounts Vouchers For The Next Purchase

You can offer a discount on a future purchase to customers who participate in your giveaway. For example, you could offer a 10% discount voucher to everyone who enters the giveaway.

This would encourage more people to participate, while also providing an incentive for customers to use the voucher at the business. This is a great way to get repeat business and build customer loyalty.

4. Sweepstakes

A sweepstake is similar to a contest, but instead of requiring skill to enter, a sweepstake simply requires that entrants take some action, such as sharing a post or subscribing to a mailing list. Any small business can easily create and promote a sweepstake, making it a great option for businesses of all sizes.

There are a few things to keep in mind when running a sweepstake:

  • First, make sure your prize is something that will appeal to your target audience. The prize should be relevant to your business and something that your target customers would actually want to win.

  • Second, be sure to promote your sweepstake widely. Utilize all of your marketing channels, from social media to email marketing to in-store promotion.

  • Finally, make sure you follow all applicable laws and regulations when running your sweepstake. This includes ensuring that all entrants are eligible to win and that the contest is fair.

SteelSeries brand's headphones with instructions to win them by entering the giveaway contest

Source: Steelseries

5. Gift Customization

When it comes to promoting a business, Customized Products are very helpful in getting people's attention. Not only do these items serve as a physical reminder of your brand, but they also make great thank-you gifts for loyal customers.

For example, if you own a restaurant, you might give away Customized Frisbees with your logo and contact information printed on them. Or if you run a graphic design studio, you could give away Customized Stickers with your clients' logos or favorite designs.

The possibilities are endless, but the important thing is to choose items that will be used and appreciated by your target audience. With a little thought and creativity, Customized Products can be an invaluable tool for promoting your business.

6. Branded Swags And Merchandise

There's no better way to get your brand out there than to give away branded swag and merchandise. Swag is a great way to promote your brand and get people talking, and it's also a great way to thank your customers for their business.

Some great ideas for branded swag include:

  • T-shirts

  • Hats

  • Mugs

  • Pens

  • Tote bags

  • Keychains

  • Magnets

two mugs for a custom design mockup

7. Themed Gift Baskets

Themed Gift Baskets are a great way for you to promote your brand. By selecting a basket that fits the theme of your business or the holiday season, you can create a gift that is both unique and memorable. For example, if you are a business that specializes in selling health and beauty products, you could create a basket filled with spa items such as scented candles, bath salts, and lotions.

Alternatively, if you are a business that sells home decor, you could create a basket filled with candles, vases, and picture frames. Themed Gift Baskets are an ideal way for your business to show your customers that you care about them and are willing to go the extra mile to make their shopping experience special.

themed basket with eatables inside

Source: The Spruce

8. Dinner And Movie, What’s Better!

Dinner and a movie is a classic date night, so it's no surprise that it would make for great small business promotion, too! You can partner with a local restaurant to offer a discount on dinner for two when customers present your business's coupon. Pair that with discounted or complimentary movie tickets, and you've got yourself a winning promotion and a successful giveaway.

9. Be Creative And Show-off

This type of giveaway is well-suited for businesses in the design industry because it allows you to show off your creative chops while also giving customers a chance to engage with your brand. The premise is simple: you create two images that are identical except for a handful of discrepancies. Then, people can enter to win a prize by correctly identifying all the differences.

This is an ideal social media giveaway because it's easy to share and enter, and it can be a lot of fun for both your business and your followers. Plus, it's a great way to get people talking about your brand and showing off your work at the same time!

10. Partner With Other Businesses

Another great way to promote your small business is to partner with other businesses in your area. You can do this by teaming up to offer a discount or joint promotion, or by simply collaborating on a blog post or social media contest.

By working with other businesses, you’ll reach a wider audience and might tap into a new customer base.

Shopify and Starbucks collaboration

Source: Eventige

11. Win A Year’s Worth Of Products Or Services

No matter what your product or service is, your customers or clients will always need it. Why not give them the chance to win a year’s worth of it? This is an excellent way to show your appreciation for their patronage and give them the incentive to continue using your business in the future.

Small businesses often have a hard time coming up with creative giveaway ideas that will appeal to their target audiences. If you’re struggling to come up with something unique, here are four great ideas that are sure to be winners:

  1. A year’s worth of your product or service

  2. Free haircuts from a local salon for a whole year.

  3. Free car washes.

  4. A year's worth of free coffee from a local café.

  5. Free dry cleaning services for a year.

  6. A year-long gym membership.

  7. Free music downloads or streaming service subscription for a year.

  8. Free pet care services for a year (i.e., dog walking, grooming, etc.)

12. Give Back To Community

One way to make your giveaway stand out is by incorporating a charity element. This could be as simple as donating a percentage of proceeds to a worthy cause, or you could make the entire giveaway about giving back.

For example, you could host a food drive and offer a discount or freebie to everyone who donates. This is a great way to get your customers involved in something bigger than themselves and make them feel good about doing business with you.

13. Gamify Your Entry Process

One fun way to increase engagement and excitement around your giveaway is to gamify the entry process. This means making the act of entering the giveaway itself into a game.

There are a few different ways you can do this. One popular method is to hide virtual “ Easter eggs ” throughout your website or social media channels, and those who find them can enter for a chance to win. You can also set up a scavenger hunt, with clues that lead entrants to different landing pages or social media posts where they can enter the giveaway.

Other ideas include trivia quizzes, spin-the-wheel games, and more. The sky’s the limit when it comes to gamifying your giveaway – get creative and have fun with it!

14. Happy Hour Box

Who doesn’t love a good happy hour? Make it even happier by giving away a box of fun things to help people relax after a long day. It can include a couple of bottles of wine, some gourmet cheeses, and maybe even a gift certificate to a local spa.

Your company logo will be prominently displayed on the box, and your customers will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

15. Surprise Coupon

If you want to really make a small business day, include a "surprise" coupon in your giveaway basket. This could be for a future purchase, a percentage off their next purchase or even a buy one get one free coupon.

Seeing as how small businesses are always looking for ways to increase revenue, a little surprise like this will definitely be appreciated!

Discount coupon as a gift

16. Service Add-ons

Service add-ons show your customers that you care about their experience with your business and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure their satisfaction. By providing supplementary services, you can differentiate your business from the competition and attract new customers.

Some examples of supplementary services that small businesses can offer include:

  • Free consultations

  • Free trials

  • Discounts for referrals

  • Specialized services

17. Product Launch Giveaway

A product launch is an excellent time to host a giveaway. Customers are already interested in your product and a giveaway can help generate even more excitement. To make your product launch giveaway successful, consider the following tips:

  1. Offer a free sample of the product with purchase.

  2. Give away a limited-edition version of the product.

  3. Give away a branded item like a tote bag or t-shirt.

  4. Offer free shipping on all orders placed during the launch period.

  5. Include a free gift with every purchase over a certain amount.

  6. Offer discounts on future purchases for those who participate in the launch giveaway.

  7. Send out thank you cards or emails to everyone who participates in the launch giveaway.

7 Important Things To Consider When Running A Giveaway

  1. Know your goals.

  2. Set the rules of your giveaway.

  3. Choose the right prize.

  4. Figure out how to promote your giveaway.

  5. Keep it legal.

  6. Run the giveaway fairly.

  7. Plan for success (and failure).

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Running A Giveaway

Entering a giveaway is easy - all you have to do is like a page, share a post, and tag a friend. But what goes into making sure a giveaway is successful?

There's more to it than just putting up a prize and waiting for people to enter. In order to make sure your giveaway reaches its full potential, there are a few things you should avoid doing.

  1. Not having a clear purpose or goal for your giveaway.

  2. Not promoting your giveaway enough.

  3. Making your entry requirements too complicated or difficult.

  4. Not having an engaging prize that will attract people to enter.

  5. Not following up with your winners after the giveaway is over.

Avoid these mistakes and you'll be on your way to running a successful giveaway!

Giveaways are a great way for small businesses to promote their products/services and we can help you market them effectively. Get in touch.


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