Jack Paxton
Author: Jack Paxton  |  

Jack Paxton is the co-founder of VYPER, a marketing tool that helps brands build viral giveaways, referral and reward programs.

Read more posts by this author.

Giveaways have always been popular with big brands and marketers. Giveaways are massive campaigns that allow brands to acquire new customers and boost sales. Now, brands are using Instagram giveaways to successfully grow their social media following, website traffic, and email lists.

If you are a brand that uses email and social media to promote yourself, then an Instagram giveaway can be highly beneficial. Read on to find out how you can successfully host an Instagram giveaway while generating tons of new email leads in the process.

Why Your Brand MUST Be Using Instagram?

Instagram has become one of the most popular social networks in the world with more than a billion users. Brands use Instagram as a platform to create brand awareness and a desire for their products.

Instagram is also a great place to develop a community of customers and leads that have a similar interest in your brand and its products. Businesses achieve this by being active on the platform, with the goal of building an Instagram profile page that has tons of followers.

Having more followers on Instagram means creating more exposure to your brand and products. It can take even popular brands years to develop a large following on Instagram, especially if you are trying to build a targeted audience on Instagram.

However, marketers have found a method of boosting their Instagram followers dramatically within a short space of time. That method is Instagram giveaways.

What Are Instagram Giveaways?

When a brand hosts a giveaway, they put up a desirable prize that users can potentially win after entering the giveaway. After people have entered the giveaway, the brand picks a winner at random and delivers the prize.

Giveaways are viral because people love the excitement of being a potential winner. Because of this, people continue to share giveaways with people that they think might be interested in the prize. All this sharing and engagement can make a social media post go viral, which is why brand host giveaways on Instagram.

A giveaway post on Instagram that gains many likes, comments, and shares will become a popular post on the platform. Because of all the shares, the post will eventually reach a wider audience that is outside your current list of followers. This is a marketers dream!

Now while Instagram giveaways are great, it’s a complex project. There is tons of data to collect and keep track of. Because of this, it is recommended that you consider using a giveaway management service or an agile task manager to stay organised during your giveaway.

Then How Do I Grow My Email List with an Instagram Giveaway?

The most common goal for most brands that host an Instagram giveaway is to gain more followers. If you request users to follow you (“follow us on Instagram and you could win big!”) to enter the giveaway, then all participants will become followers.

This is an excellent strategy for boosting your Instagram followers in a short space of time which is the duration of the giveaway. If you host your giveaway over two weeks, you can then start a new social media campaign once the giveaway is over and market your brand to your new followers.

Waiakea, an alkaline water company from Hawaii, managed to successfully generate over 62k new email leads from a single Instagram giveaway.

If your main objective is to boost your email list, then you could request users to submit their email address to gain entry into the giveaway. This way, you will end up with email addresses of all the users that participated in your contest.

You can then begin your next email marketing campaign aimed at your new email leads.

Tips for Hosting an Instagram Giveaway

There is no standard method of hosting an Instagram giveaway. You can tailor your giveaway to suit your needs, as long as you follow Instagram’s promotion guidelines. However, you should consider the following if you wish to get the most out of your contest:

  • Choosing a goal for your giveaway
  • How a winner will be chosen
  • Selecting a relevant prize
  • Promoting your giveaway

Choosing a Goal for Your Giveaway

Giveaways can serve multiple purposes. Some of which include:

  • Creating brand awareness
  • Increasing social media followers
  • Boosting email lists
  • Generating traffic to your website

If you are looking to build your email only, then you can request that users supply their email address as the method of entry for your giveaway. However, it doesn’t have to end there, you can also request users to refer their friends or family to enter. This way, you will be able to maximize your goal of collecting new email leads.

The best way to get users to refer to more entries is to make use of ‘bonus actions’. With bonus actions, you can offer entrants an ‘incentive’ in return for completing a task that was set out by you. Here are some popular bonus actions that you can use:

  • Follow us on social media (or like/comment on this post)
  • Visit our website
  • Tag friends in posts
  • Watch YouTube Videos
  • Share blog posts
  • Leave reviews
  • Download our app, etc
Source: VYPER

When a user completes a bonus action, you can reward them with another entry towards your giveaway. This will increase their chances of winning. The more bonus actions they complete, the more entries they get in, and the more your brand benefits from the giveaway.

Bonus actions are ideal for brands looking to achieve multiple goals with a single giveaway.

How a Winner Will Be Chosen

Clear state in your rules of how a winner will be chosen for your giveaway. Also, remember to include the date the winner will be chosen and announced. If you are going to announce the winner on Instagram, they also state that in the contest rules.

You can use contest management services such as VYPER to help you collect emails, create bonus actions, and more. You can also start collecting emails using SendX. Such services also allow you to randomly pick a winner. It’s crucial that you pick a winner fairly to avoid any controversies that could potentially hurt your brand.

Source: VYPER

If you do implement bonus actions in your giveaway, then you could give away the prize to the user that completed the most bonus actions. This is called a ‘leaderboard contest’. Users can earn points instead of entries for the bonus actions they complete. The user with the most points receives the prize.

Selecting a Relevant Prize

It makes sense to select a popular product that will appeal to the masses as your prize. One of the most popular giveaway prizes is a new iPhone. However, the issue with this is that your giveaway will attract tons of poor quality leads that are not interested in your product.

It’s best to choose a product that your target audience finds desirable. For instance, if your target audience is backpackers, then you could use camping and adventure gear as the prize.

Source: Backpacker

People who are not interested in backpacking gear will most likely not enter your giveaway. You might end up with fewer leads than you would have gotten if you gave away an iPhone. However, you will have less poor quality leads to go through once the giveaway is over.

If you want your giveaway to produce user-generated content (UGC), then you could do what Backpacker Magazine did by requesting users to submit a photo to enter your giveaway.

If you are a SaaS company with a core B2B audience, then it is recommended that you use your own software or service as the price (eg. winner receives 6-months free access to our software). Bundling complimentary software along with yours is an excellent idea for a giveaway prize.

Promoting Your Giveaway

You can use the your company’s same existing marketing channels to promote your giveaway. Seeing that this is an Instagram giveaway, then you should start promotion on this platform with the hope of reaching as many users possible. Get users to tag other users on your giveaway post or ask them to like and comment on the post.

Source: Instagram

To help grab your audience’s attention, make sure that your social media graphic has an eye-catching design.  

Other recommended channels to promote your giveaway are:

Sending out Emails During an Instagram Giveaway

If you are collecting emails from your Instagram giveaway, you will want to instantly engage your new email leads. What better way to do so by sending out emails that are focused on the actual giveaway.

If new email subscribers receive an email related to the giveaway they just entered, they will most likely open up that mail. This is why giveaway emails have good open rates, which makes it a great opportunity for you to effectively promote your brand and products.

The giveaway emails that you should send out are:

  • Announcement email - An email sent before the giveaway to your current email subscribers informing them about the upcoming giveaway
  • Engagement email - An email sent during the contest to your current and new email subscribers letting them know when the giveaway ends (only 10 days left to enter!)
  • Congratulations email - An email sent out to everyone announcing and congratulating the winner of your giveaway

You can use this opportunity to include a link to your website in all of the above emails to direct traffic to your website. If your product is the prize, then you can direct recipients to the product page so they can learn more about the product and your brand.


Instagram is a visually demanding social network with over a billion users. It’s an ideal platform to host a giveaway. If you request users to submit their email addresses to enter your giveaway, then you will be able to successfully generate new email leads from active Instagram users.

You don’t have to limit your giveaway goal to just collecting emails. You can also get users to follow you, visit your website, and even download your app.

Have you ever hosted an Instagram giveaway? Share with us your experience with hosting a giveaway in the comments below.