Launch contests, giveaways, and competitions with SMS keywords

Launch contests, giveaways, and competitions with SMS keywords

Launching a contest, giveaway, or competition is simple with SMS. Businesses love this, because it solves many logistical issues including:

  • Easy entries - All people need to do is to SMS your keyword to a dedicated number. From here you can set up an auto-response to collect more information via text or on a special landing page.
  • Prevent multiple entries – If you want to limit the entries to one per person, you can create an auto-responder which pops up when someone tries to text the same keyword twice.
  • Fraud prevention - Since all entries must be made on a valid phone number, the sheer volume of fraudulent entries will automatically be lowered. You will be able to see how many times each number tries to enter via your keyword, and can disqualify people with spam-like activity.
  • Quick set-up - It just takes a few minutes to set your campaign up. Just pick a keyword that relates to your brand, and if you want to launch the best possible competition - invest in an easy to remember gold number or special shortcode.

SMS Keyword Concepts

1) Tally Votes

There’s a reason the largest competitions in the world use SMS as their tool of choice to collect votes. You may have seen SMS used for voting on the Voice, X Factor, Dancing with the Stars, and the NBA All-Star Game. Texting makes it easy for viewers to vote, and allows you to accurately collect data in real-time.

Sample Scenario:

Give each contestant their own keyword, such as “J10” in the example above. When a user submits their vote, you should try to add something more personal in your auto-responder to give insight into who they are voting for.

Once the votes start coming in, you will see the grand tally build up inside your dashboard for each contestant. The results are tracked in real-time, so a clear winner can be crowned.

2) Design a Game

You can create multiple keywords with corresponding auto-responders to go along with a default auto-responders, which only display when your participant texts an incorrect keyword. From here you can potentially design an interactive adventure, and lead your participants towards a more immersive experience.

Sample Scenario:

While exhibiting at the Festival of Ideas at Retail Live, we designed an SMS keyword based trivia game. Scroll through the images above to see how we set up this game. If participants texted in the wrong answer, they would get an auto-response saying:

If they got the right answer then they would receive this SMS:

For the example above participants were allowed to enter more than once, however if you wanted to limit the entries you could also set an auto-responder to say:

3) Basic Entries

Text messaging in its most basic form is still incredibly effective. Place an entry link inside your auto-responder to prompt your participants to fill in additional information in order to complete their registration.

Sample Scenario

In the example above, you can prompt your participant to enter more information on a landing page.

Another option would be to make it quick and easy, and ask them to text in their email. Learn how to do simple name and email op-ins with this quick tutorial.

Important Note

If you are sending people off to a landing page to fill in more details, make sure your page design is on point. Check out our article: Your guide to designing conversion optimised landing pages for tips on how to improve your page.