Amazon has released a new tool called Amazon Giveaway which makes it easy for anyone to run an online giveaway, as long as the prize is available through Amazon.com and eligible. The host (person running the giveaway) simply selects a prize and sets parameters for who wins then Amazon handles everything else from notifying the winner to shipping the prize.

In addition to making the process easier Amazon has also included one enticing feature; you can require people to follow your handle on Twitter in order to enter. This aspect is reminiscent of Facebook like-gating, a tool many brands used to reward fans with exclusive content and access to giveaways, which was banned in the Fall of 2014. Some compare it to buying followers.

To the best of my knowledge this is the first follow-gating tool made available on Twitter. Intrigued, I decided to give this a try and setup a giveaway for a book on my reading list to (a) experience the process and (b) see if it had an impact on my follower growth.

Finding an eligible product was the hardest part of the entire process. Amazon claims that any item sold through them which is listed at under $5,000 is eligible, but I found a majority of the books available through them are not. There is not yet a way to search for just Amazon Giveaway eligible items, but searching for those sold by Amazon.com can hep narrow down the results.

After about 30 minutes of searching I finally found one which was eligible, The Self-made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value by John Sviokla and Mitch Cohen.

If an item is eligible there will be a “Setup an Amazon Giveaway” call-to-action at the very bottom of the page under the customer reviews section. This is not an easy area to find. My guess is that if Amazon Giveaways pick up traction this area will be moved higher on the page, to make it easier for users to find and start building sweepstakes.

ProductGiveaway

This leads to the two-page setup process which is very easy to use and intuitive. The first step is to set the type of giveaway you want to run. There are two types of sweepstakes which can be ran:

Lucky Number: Every nth person will win, up to a certain max number of winners.  This option results in a longer campaign and is the recommended setting if one goal is to gain followers.

First-Come, First-Served: The first nth persons will win. This option creates a greater sense of urgency and rewards people who respond first and are more likely to be the devoted, highly engaged fans. One opportunity to increase fan engagement could be to let people know you will be running first-come, first-serve sweepstakes and that users should turn on notifications or make sure they are checking your account frequently in order to increase their chances of winning.

On this page it can also be define if users must be following your handle on twitter in order to be eligible to win.

setup

After confirming the sweepstakes setup and reviewing the cost you can proceed to setup the sweepstakes landing page on the next step. Here you can define:

Giveaway Title: This is the creative headline and serves as the main call-to-action. The title can be between 5 and 50 characters

Welcome Message: This is the a subheading, positioned below the headline next to your image. This can be between 10 and 140 characters and should explain why you are running the sweepstakes and why people should enter to win. If the sweepstakes will be recurring this is a great place to let people know.

Win or Lose Page: Entrants will know right away if they win or lose, so this can be the perfect place to insert a secondary call-to-action to drive entrants to your site, newsletter, or to keep an eye out for the next sweepstakes. This message can be between 10 and 140 characters.

Giveaway Landing Page

 

The final step is to pay for the prizes.  After a short waiting period Amazon will notify you via email when the sweepstakes is live and the URL to share. This information can also be found on the host dashboard at https://www.amazon.com/giveaway/host/dashboard

How did my sweepstakes go?

I gave away 2 copies of a book on my reading list, using the ‘Lucky Number’ option to reward every 15th entrant.  Based on the feedback received I will be running many more sweepstakes for books on my reading list, when they are eligible.

 

To my shock both prizes were claimed less than 10 minutes after I shared the link on Twitter. Because the sweepstakes ran for such a short period of time I did not experience any notable increase in followers.

Next time I will most likely space out the winners more, so the sweepstakes runs longer, and hopefully give away more book. Ideally I would love for this to become a tool to not only grow my twitter followers but to build conversation around the books.

The one downside is that Amazon does not provide any information related to the winners, so I have no clue who won the sweepstakes. It would be awesome to followup with them and see how they like the book.

Will you be running an Amazon giveaway?

Jess Bahr
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Jess Bahr

Senior Client Strategist at SocialFlow
You might think of Jess as a social internet scientist: always experimenting and testing social media theories in the world wide ocean called the internet. Jess is a social media junkie at SocialFlow, co-host and mobile-first evangelist at Internet Pandas podcast, and author.
Jess Bahr
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