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January 25, 2018 Marie Green 1Comment

If you’ve ever wanted to quickly grow your email list, then you’re reading the right blog post. That’s because you’re about to discover a simple 5-step process for growing your email list with a giveaway.

The best part? This process works even if you’re just starting out. In fact, it’s how I got my first 500 subscribers in just 10 days when I began blogging.

Let’s begin.


Step 1: Identify a major pain point within your audience

Many people who are new to this list building strategy don’t even realize that they need to take this fundamental step before setting up a giveaway. And that’s why a lot of people who try to grow a targeted email list with giveaways end up failing -they are simply missing this crucial step.

Kindles and iPads are nice but are they solving a major pain point for your audience?

So, the first thing you need to do is identify the pain point and then select a prize that resolves it. Someone in the marketing niche may giveaway a valuable course, someone in personal development may give away a coaching package, someone in finance may give away an accounting software tool etc.

Need help uncovering what you audience actually wants?

You’ll find this goes more smoothly by using the steps in this post.

Once you have identified the major pain point of your audience and how to solve it, then you can move on to the next step.


Step 2: Setting up your giveaway

Now that you have identified the prize, the next thing you need to do is set up your giveaway. But before I go over the tools you will need, I want to share something.

When I set up my first giveaway, I made a lot of mistakes. And now that I’ve done more and collaborated with others, I noticed that we have a tendency to make the same mistakes.

I am going to share with you the top 3 mistakes when setting up a giveaway and how to avoid them.

The Top 3 Mistakes

  1. Not thinking from the end goal. As a newbie, I relied solely on social share entries thinking that the entrants would be so excited, go to my blog and sign up for my content. Exclusively using social share entries works great if your end goal is to generate awareness and build brand recognition. However, if you goal is to build and email list, use newsletter signup as a method of entry. Most giveaway platforms have this option and include very transparent verbiage so that the entrant knows they are signing up for your list.


  1. Not allowing your giveaway enough time. When setting up your giveaway there is one thing that you want to keep in mind. Many of us read our emails and notifications over the course of a few days. For maximum reach you want to give your audience time to learn about your giveaway. There is no magic number, but I like to aim for 7-10 days. It’s long enough to allow for entries and short enough so that the giveaway is not forgotten by the time it ends.


  1. Not providing clear instructions. Just like with a landing page or opt-in form, you want to make the process of entering your giveaway as smooth as possible. Be sure to post a description of what you are giving away, the value of the prize, how to enter the giveaway and when the giveaway will end.

Okay, back to getting your giveaway setup. Here’s a great plugin that will help you get your giveaway up and running quickly. While there are a variety of platforms to choose from, I am sharing the one I used due to their easy email integration, features to help your giveaway to go viral and parameters in place to help keep spam entries off your list.

Giveaway Platform

What I like about this platform is that it’s easy to set up, fully responsive and integrates with all major email providers such as Aweber, Mailchimp, Drip, Convertkit etc. The location restriction feature helps with targeting and I like that entries are automatically verified to help keep the list I’m building clean. Viral sharing is built-in and covers the major networks. The widget can be embedded in a blog post, WordPress, webpage or you have the option to have host the giveaway page.

Pricing is currently set at $39 per month of use for the above features. You can learn more by clicking here.

Step 3: Set up your email follow up sequence.

At this stage you’ve identified a key problem your audience is suffering from. You’ve selected a desirable prize that helps them to solve it.

But how do you keep entrants engaged throughout the giveaway? How do you encourage additional entries? How do you warm up your new leads for giveaways staged to launch your new product/service?

The answer to these questions is an automated email sequence. I still remember the first time I decided to set up an automated series. I was literally jumping up and down when I saw that entrants were actually clicking through the links and responding to my emails. Yay!

The good news it that this sequence isn’t complicated. If you have an existing list, in the end you will need two sequences. One for your current list to announce the giveaway and a separate sequence to nurture your new entrants.

My email sequence looked something like this:

For my current list, I scheduled 2 emails to go out. One on launch day to announce the giveaway and a second on the final day of the giveaway to encourage those final entries.

Giveaway Launch Email

Last Chance to Enter Email

I created a second email sequence for the new subscribers who joined my list by entering the giveaway:

Welcome Email

Get to Know Your List Email (sent a few days after welcome email)

The “welcome email” introduces the new subscriber to my list and let’s them know the awesome content they can expect to receive. The “get to know your list” email is great for reaching out to new subscribers and learning how you can best help them.

I also create a:

Winner Confirmation Email

Announcement Email

The “winner confirmation” email is great for confirming the winner, address/email to deliver the prize etc. The “announcement” email goes out once the winner has confirmed and notifies all entrants that the giveaway has ended.

Once you have written your email sequences, pre-load and schedule them. I setup both my email series in Aweber.

If you are short on time, click the button below to grab a swipe file of my giveaway emails.

[thrive_leads id=’270′]


Step 4: Create Your Social Media Graphics

The next thing you need to do is create your social media graphics and load them into your social media scheduling tool of choice. An example of a free scheduler that I have used with success is Hootsuite.

Do not miss this step. If you are a busy entrepreneur or blogger you will not have time to manually post updates throughout the day to promote your giveaway. This is also why we automated your email sequence. We want this giveaway to run as hands-free as possible to ensure your success.

Your social media post should include a graphic of the prize, a call to action for followers to enter the giveaway, a link to your giveaway and relevant hashtags.

Here is an example social media post and graphic:



Canva is an awesome free tool that you can use to create your graphics. They have pre-made graphic templates that are appropriately sized for the major social media networks.

With respect to hashtags, here are a few that I have used with success to help get you started:

  1. #win
  2. #giveaway
  3. #free
  4. #contest
  5. #sweepstakes
  6. #competition
  7. #prize
  8. #winitwednesday
  9. #contestalert
  10. #contestentry

Don’t forget to add hashtags relevant to your brand and niche.

Bonus: For added exposure reach out to friends, influencers in advance to help you promote your giveaway on social media.


Step 5: Launch Your Giveaway.

Here’s what you have accomplished thus far:

  1. Added incredible value by offering a free product/service that genuinely helps your audience.
  2. Setup your giveaway on a platform that’s designed to build your list.
  3. Crafted an email series that encourages giveaway virality, while nurturing your list.
  4. Created awesome graphics to promote your giveaway and pre-loaded them into your scheduler.

Can we take a second to appreciate how incredibly amazing you are?

But we’re not done yet, Rockstar. There’s one more thing to do.


It’s such an exciting feeling to see those entries start coming in but you want to check periodically through the day to ensure your giveaway is running smoothly.

Double check to ensure links are functioning properly and keep the momentum going by manually promoting your giveaway as needed.

Once the giveaway ends, you will need to announce the winner and notify entrants that did not win. I typically reach out to the winner and request that they confirm their information within 3 days. Once the winner is confirmed, the next step is to send an email to your list notifying the entrants that a winner was announced.

Again, if you’re not sure how to do this -grab my swipe files below.

[thrive_leads id=’270′]

You will also want to announce the winner on the giveaway page so that any latecomers know that the giveaway has ended. I like to ask the winner if it’s okay to display their name when I contact them to confirm them as a winner. For giveaways on WordPress, I add (Ended) to the end of the post title so it is clear the giveaway has ended.



And there you have it – a 5 step method for effectively growing a targeted list using a giveaway. Now that you know how to quickly build your email list with this strategy, there’s just one thing left for you to do: take action.

So, get to it and soon you too will have a growing list!


Keep Building,