How to launch contests, giveaways, and competitions with SMS keywords

How to launch contests, giveaways, and competitions with SMS keywords

With almost every person in the world wielding a mobile phone, launching a contest, giveaway, or competition is simple and effective with SMS. It can be an easy way to generate some buzz and add new contacts to your mobile phone number list.

4 Logistical benefits of SMS competitions

Many of our customers do this because it comes with many logistical benefits including:

1. Easy entries

To enter, people only need to text your dedicated virtual mobile number with your SMS keyword. Like the example above, they can text in “COFFEE”. You can immediately add their mobile number to a list and then collect more contact details via text or on a mobile landing page.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Quick set-up

It just takes a few minutes to set your campaign up. Just pick a keyword that relates to your brand. If you want to launch the best possible competition, invest in a dedicated virtual mobile number.

SMS Keyword Concepts

1) Vote Tallies

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 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 someone 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) Trivia Games

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 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 a keyword-based trivia 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:

If you wanted to limit the entries, you can 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 is to ask them to text in their email. Learn how to do simple name and email opt-ins with this Zapier SMS tutorial.

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.

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