Mobile Messaging Made Easy

Text marketing’s 98% engagement rate means your messages will be read and responded to — fast. No other channel comes close.


Business Text Competitions: Running a Text Promotion the Right Way

Learn how to implement a successful text-to-win contest for your business.

Illustration of a smartphone with a simple text bubble message popping out of it
May 22, 2024
Chloe Mulliner
Share: Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Email
Reading time about 8 min

If you want to drum up interest in your business, it might be time to start experimenting with text-to-win sweepstakes. These text competitions boost engagement and get your customers talking about your brand.

Our text message competition guide below provides all the ins and outs of creating a text-to-win contest for your business.

Business Text Competitions: Running a Text Promotion the Right Way

Text-to-win contests provide an excellent strategy for getting your customers engaged with your brand, so follow along to find out how to implement a successful sweepstakes and what mistakes to avoid.


Understanding Business Text Competitions

What is a business text competition? A business text competition is a marketing strategy that encourages your customers to enter a contest via text messages. Usually, a business will give its customers a keyword to text to a short code, automatically entering them into a contest to win a prize.

For instance, if you oversee a shoe brand, you might run a text-to-win contest where your customers can enter to win a free pair of your newest sneakers. Customers would send your keyword FREEKICKS to your short code, 858585, to qualify. Then, once enough people enter to win, you would randomly select the winner and gift them their free shoes.

Another example is a text promotion offering special discounts on your products or services to encourage customers to purchase from your business. If you own a salon, you might promote a business text competition that grants one winner 50% off your spa services when customers text SPADAY to 858585. With this option, the winner earns perks while your company still receives business.

Benefits of Running a Business Text Competition

What are the benefits of running a text competition? The top benefits of running a business text competition are that they can help boost customer engagement, enhance brand awareness, and increase sales.

For starters, text contests get your customers to interact with your brand. Motivated by the chance of winning a coveted prize, they’ll likely text your short code, opening up the communication channel between them and your brand. And to text your business, they must opt-in to your marketing program, agreeing to receive your marketing material. In turn, they’ll receive all your other updates, announcements, and invites, which may encourage them to check out a sale, use a promo code, attend your events, and more.

If your giveaway entices customers, they’re more likely to recognize and remember your brand. Moreover, they may even share your text-to-win sweepstakes with their friends and relatives, spreading the word about your business. Of course, if they win, this will only help further solidify their awareness of your brand and see it in a positive light.

Text message marketing contests like these can also help increase sales. For example, if your text promotion includes special discounts, your customers will purchase from your business. But free products and services can help boost sales, too, because they incentivize your customers to try out your offerings, get hooked, and then purchase them on their own. Furthermore, your giveaway might get your customers excited about your brand, making them more interested in supporting your business in the first place.

Steps Involved in Running a Business Text Competition

When it comes to mobile marketing contests, it’s essential to understand the ins and outs of operating one so that you get positive results. So, what are the steps involved in running a business text competition? Some steps in running a business text competition include choosing a prize, creating a short code, drafting your message, sending the message, and selecting a winner.

Choose a Prize

The first step in running a text-to-win contest involves selecting a prize. Think about your business goals and see if you can choose a prize that would align with those goals. If you want more foot traffic in your store, offer a special discount for in-store services. Or, if you want to promote your new product line, your latest product could be your giveaway.

Remember, it needs to be a prize to pique your customers’ interest and make them eager to enter your contest. If it’s not enticing enough, your customers won’t be bothered to enter.

Create a Keyword and Short Code

Once you’ve selected your prize, it’s time to create a keyword and short code, which allows your customers to enter your text contest. It helps to create a memorable keyword or indicative of your contest.

For instance, if your bicycle shop is giving away a free road bike as the prize, then your contest keyword might be FREEBIKE. As for your short code, you can generate a unique one through your SMS marketing platform or use the one already associated with your text marketing program.

Write a Message

Now, it’s time to craft your message. This is where you’ll announce your contest and provide details on how your customers can enter to win.

There are two messages you should consider sending. The first will be the enter-to-win text message you can send to those already subscribed to your text program. The other will be the message you promote that will encourage your customers to text your shortcode and opt-in to your SMS marketing program.

Those who are already subscribed to your text program have previously agreed to receive your marketing material via text, so in this case, your message to them will include details about your text contests and the opportunity to enter the contest by replying to your message. Let’s say your sunglasses shop is giving away a free pair of sunglasses; therefore, your text might look like this “(So Shady) We’re giving away a FREE pair of polarized SUNZ sunglasses to one lucky winner! Reply FREESHADES to enter for a chance to win!”

Sample Text Message

Now, you’ll also want to reach customers who aren’t signed up to receive your SMS messages yet, so you must include your short code in the announcements you post on your social media channels and in your emails and in-person marketing signs. A sample message might say, “(So Shady) We’re hosting a text-to-win contest! Text FREESHADES to 858585 to win a free pair of our polarized SUNZ sunglasses!”

Send or Schedule the Message

Once you’ve crafted your messages, text them to those on your contact list who have agreed to join your text marketing program. It’s crucial to comply with marketing regulations so that you don’t wind up sending unsolicited texts.

As mentioned above, you’ll also want to promote your contest in other ways, such as posting about it on social media and including information in your newsletters. The more customers you can reach, the more people will likely enter your text contest. And the more people who enter your contest, the better your chances are of increasing customer engagement, brand awareness, and sales.

Choose a Winner

After your customers have entered your sweepstakes, you can select a winner! How you decide the winner is up to you—you can randomly draw names from a hat, use a program to automatically pick a winner, or find another way that you deem fair to your customers.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Running a Business Text Competition

With a better understanding of operating a successful contest, you’re probably wondering what common mistakes to avoid when running a business text competition. Some common mistakes to avoid include not choosing a valuable prize, not creating a clear message, not sending your message to enough people, and not tracking results.

Not Choosing a Valuable Prize

You want your text competition to excite your customers to enter, which means setting a prize that your customers will consider valuable. You want it appealing enough for your customers to be excited about winning it. For example, a free 90-minute massage at your salon will get more attention than a 5% discount code on your services.

Not Creating a Clear and Concise Message

If your message is too long, confusing, or misleading, your customers probably won’t take the time to engage with it—let alone enter your contest. Therefore, you need to focus on making your message clear and concise. What is it that you’re doing? And how can your customers get involved? Your customers should be able to quickly scan your message and understand the gist of it.

Not Sending Out the Message to Enough People

A contest with only three participants isn’t much of a competition. You want to send your message to all your subscribers, encourage them to share it with your friends, and get new customers to enter so that everyone is talking about your fantastic text competition—the more, the merrier!

Remember that your text-to-win contest can encourage customer engagement, brand awareness, and more purchases for all those involved—not just the lucky winner.

Not Tracking the Results

As with any text marketing campaign, you need to track your metrics. After all, if you don’t track and monitor your results, then you’ll have no way of determining the success of your SMS marketing campaign.

Tracking your results helps determine how many people are opening your messages, engaging with them, and entering your contest. It can also help you see where your strategy might have holes. For instance, if you’ve sent a text to 3,000 customers but only three have entered, you may need to experiment with your messaging to see where you’re dropping the ball.

Start a Text Competition Using SMS Marketing Today

Want to promote a text message competition of your own? Sign up for our free 14-day trial to get started today!

Share: Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Email

See other resources related to: