November 22, 2018

how to grow subscribers fast

People always thought that creating a product is hard.

The truth is, we are in an era where it’s much easier to create a new product than to sell it.

Founders often dedicate so many months in creating their dream product and website, but when the time comes to launch it, they have a sloppy marketing plan (often times no plan at all).

Add non-targeted traffic and poor conversion to that and things will start to go downhill before you even know it.

Yes, you can have the best product in the world but without a good marketing strategy, you won’t be able to reach the one who needs it. On the other hand, if you have a mediocre product but know there are people who need it, then a good marketing strategy can reach those people and turn them into your customers.

The basic idea of all marketing funnel is to gain traffic and improve conversion.

Before we dive deeper into how to use giveaway (traffic source) to maximize conversion (sales), let’s first go through the 3 main traffics.

The 3 Main Traffics That Are Responsible For Your Sales

(1) Organic — SEO

SEO is the kind of traffic that you don’t have direct control of. It is also a long term strategy that’s worth every penny spent; of course, only if it’s done right.

However, it takes at least 3–6 months to see significant results and you’re out of time because you want to reach 10,000 visitors for this month alone.

We get it.

(2) Paid Traffic — Facebook Ads, Google Ads

Paid traffic is what you can control. Just turn the ads on and the leads come flowing in.

However, are they targeted leads? Are they converting? At what cost per lead are they converting? Are you willing to spend $1,000 upfront to experiment with different ad sets and split testing? What if you can’t convert any customers even after spending $1,000?

Everyone can run ads, but not everyone has the marketing budget to experiment and discover the one that gives the best ROI.

The uncertainties above are some of the reasons why many haven’t launched their first ad.

(3) Traffic You Own — Email List, Social Media (Facebook Group & Page Followers), forums you’re reputable in.

Now, a lot of information online tells you how to launch your product or website to your existing followers, announce to your email subscribers, get them to upvote in ProductHunt and so on.

Traffic you own is the best source of traffic. You are in full control.

However, what if you are just starting and don’t currently own any of these traffics?

What if you want to build a highly-targeted email list or followers from scratch, but you want to do it fast?

And we are not talking about things like exchanging likes or follows via hashtags like #likes4likes or #followforfollow.

Or paying $0.01 per leads to quickly gain 10,000 “real” Facebook page likes by running ads targeting 3rd world countries which gives you 10,000 of highly irrelevant leads that are 100% useless to your business.

Or worst, buying fake likes or bot followers for the sake of it.

If you have started an online business but have no idea how to grow your audience, then this guide is just what you need.

What is a Giveaway and Types of Giveaway

Giveaway is a blanket term for contests, sweepstakes and lotteries. To simplify:

  • Sweepstakes is a game of luck (winners are randomly chosen).
  • Contest is a game of skill (winners based on merits, e.g most votes).
  • Lottery is a game of luck that has an entry fee.

In this guide, we will focus on utilizing sweepstakes to grow your online business, particularly Facebook Giveaway and Website Giveaway.

Giveaway Framework Full

Facebook Giveaway is hosted solely on Facebook; usually with comments and post sharing as an entry.

Website Giveaway is hosted on a website with email-entry.

Facebook Giveaway

Website Giveaway

Why Giveaway Works Best For New Online Businesses

(1) They are Targeted Leads.

You can customize your prize based on your target market’s interest. For example, you can offer ‘One Year Free Dropbox Business Subscription’ for Startups.

It can be gender-based. You can offer free beauty products if you’re targeting females.

Location-based targeting also works. For example, only USA visitors can participate in the giveaway or your Facebook ads can target just your preferred city.

(2) Easy Re-targeting with Facebook Pixel and Email Campaign

Facebook Pixel is able to re-target visitors who performed an action (visited a specific page, clicked on a button, added to cart but have not yet paid).

It’s a cool feature, but if your business has low online presence, then you’ll have insufficient data and this pretty much makes the feature useless.

With a giveaway campaign you’ll have thousands of visitors flooding your giveaway page. You can segment the leads based on their behavior. For those who have opted in to your giveaway campaign, actively referring leads, navigated to your product page and read several articles of yours, you can place them in warm leads category, and re-targeting with Facebook Ads or email campaigns.

(3) Valid Reasons to Connect With Your Prospects

With traditional email opt-in, they might be interested in just the free gift and nothing else. After downloading the free gift, they can unsubscribe and mark you as spam whenever they feel annoyed with your daily emails.

However, a giveaway campaign usually lasts for 2 weeks or 1 month. And since they are happy to stay updated with the campaign, there is a good chance for them to read most of the emails you send through. This is a good opportunity for you to introduce your brand, understand their pain points, and get them interested in how you can solve their problem. That said, you need to keep the emails relevant and engaging.

(4) Benefits Specific to Facebook Giveaways

Now you can actually hack Facebook viral algorithm. As the participants will keep checking back when your page commented on the giveaway post, Facebook will think that the post is very engaging and will help you to reach more people.

Usually participants who are more keen to win will check out and engage with other posts on your timeline to increase their chances of winning (admins tend to favor names they see more often).

This is the perfect timing to publish sales post to increase likelihood of sales conversion.

You get to message their inboxes directly after they commented on your post. Conversions through Facebook Messenger are getting more popular as most people receive hundreds of emails daily and it’s hard to make them read yours.

(5) Benefits Specific to Website Giveaway

By running a website giveaway, you can promote the same campaign URL across all social platforms your company owns.

It’s good for SEO. Your site will receive more social signals when participants share on their profiles.

Since you will be having a page dedicated to the giveaway campaign on your website, it gives you extra space to customize the pitch for your audience.

And best of all, you will get email subscribers. It’s the traffic you own forever (that is, as long as they do not unsubscribe). With a successful website giveaway campaign, you can grow your email list from 0 to 5,000 overnight. How else can you realistically get targeted leads in your list so quickly?

What if the participants are just interested in the free gift and not likely to convert into a paying customer?

They entered your list for free gifts, but it’s your job to show them how you can solve their pain points in your email series. If they say they have no money, it pretty much means that your product doesn’t seem like it’s worth the money.

For example, if your business sells flowers online, you can launch a giveaway campaign when Valentine’s Day is around the corner. If your participants don’t win the free bouquet, they are likely to purchase it elsewhere too for their other half.

If your flowers are more lovely and affordable, with a good follow up sequence, you can win them over.

What You Can Expect From a Successful Giveaway

Hosting a giveaway is not just about gaining followers, in fact it is the quickest way to convert your leads into paying customers. Below are past case studies on the results they obtained from a single successful giveaway.


  • Contest duration: 12 days
  • Prize Value: $500+
  • Contest results: 63% boost in email subscribers, 130% boost in Facebook fans, 300% increase in Twitter followers and 200 brand new Pinterest followers. All of that activity generated 300% growth in sales revenue for the month of December.


  • Prize value: $560. 8 prizes worth $70 each.
  • Results: 1,500 more Facebook Likes, 400 more Twitter followers, 670 followers on Instagram, doubled the email subscribers to 1,000 and increased Tumblr followers by 123. All of those activities led to a 4x increase in sales for the contest launch date, which was the best sales day ever for BeardBrand!


  • Prize value: $100. 4 prizes worth $25 each
  • Results: 31,000+ visits to Cathy’s giveaway page and more than 15,600 entrants for an outstanding 49% conversion rate. Nearly 5,000 people shared her giveaway on Facebook and her giveaway posts gained more than 4,000 likes and 1,300 comments. JewelScent also gained 570 new Twitter followers, 1,100 Pinterest followers, nearly 500 Instagram followers, and 3,431 email subscribers.


  • Prize value: $1000+. Trip to Hawaii.
  • Results: Generated $8,263 revenue from giveaway. Increased email subscribers by 6,557, Facebook by 1079 followers, Twitter by 593 followers, 1036 Instagram followers and 420 YouTube subscribers.

Key Elements in a Giveaway


What makes you want to run a giveaway? Your objective should be quantifiable and can be tracked accurately as below. Examples of objectives:

  1. Increase Facebook Page Likes by 5,000
  2. Earn 200 backlinks and social shares
  3. Increase email subscribers by 3,000
  4. Increase daily website traffic by +50%
  5. Increase weekly sales by +10%
  6. Increase Sales by 300% during the month of giveaway

We know it’s tempting to want to achieve everything in your first giveaway, but bear in mind that the wider your scope, the harder it is to juggle and achieve your goal. You should define a primary and secondary objective and be laser-focused; take one step at a time.

Primary: Increase Email Subscribers by 5,000
Secondary: Increase Sales by 300% during the month of giveaway

Now that it’s clear, your campaign should seek to increase email subscribers and convert them into paying customers during and after the giveaway campaign.

Target Audience

Without defining your target audience, your giveaway campaign is unlikely to gain traction.

But why exactly is this happening?

It could be that your prize does not appeal to your audience, or you’re probably attracting too many people who would not buy your product, or your audience simply does not spend much time in the platform you are promoting.

Think about it. Who is your target market?

  • My niche is _ _ _ (Finance, Make Money Online, Productivity Tools, Diet, …)
  • My ideal customer is ( Male / Female)
  • My ideal customer is between age range of (13–17) (18–25) (26–31) (32–40) (40–50) (50–60+)
  • My ideal customer lives in _ _ _ (Anywhere or specific location)
  • My ideal customer loves _ _ _ (What’s the common interest they have)
  • My ideal customer spends the most time in _ _ _ (Facebook / Instagram / LinkedIn / Pinterest)
Social Media Demographics by Industry by Spredfast


There are 2 rules you should follow:

  1. The prize should be relevant to your target audience.

Who wouldn’t want free iPads or Amazon Gift Cards? They’re attractive prizes that will surely catch many people’s attention in a very short time.

But that’s the exact reason why you should not be giving any of these as they are likely to attract mass low-quality freebies seekers.

If your leads are not in your target market, it’s impossible to convert them at later stage.

  1. The prize should be simple and straightforward.

Avoid offering prizes like 1 year SEO service or free 2 hour consultation. It’s hard for people to perceive the results they will actually get from the SEO service, making them less likely to participate. And you are not Tony Robbins, so your consultation is virtually worth nothing.

Keep it simple to things people know, or at least have heard of.

Example of Prizes

How much exactly in prize value should you give out?

Of course, it’s widely agreed that the higher the value of the prizes, the more attractive they are. However something at $200-$500 is good for your first campaign. Smaller prizes like books give better results as you can host giveaway campaigns more frequently as well.

This is also a good time to consider what your target audience loves.

If you are targeting entrepreneurs, you can give away a collection of 10 bestseller physical books for startup ($200) shipped to their address.

If you are targeting moms who want to start blogging online, you can give away 5 years worth of website hosting. ($300)

If you are targeting photographers, you can give away unlimited storage for Google Drive for 1 Year (at the cost of $500).

Steps to Launch a Conversion-focused Facebook Giveaway

Step 1 — Setup Facebook Giveaway

  • Create a Facebook Page. Head over to check its username availability. You don’t need 10,000 page likes to host a credible Facebook giveaway campaign; in fact, it’s the other way around. It’ll give a big boost from 0 to 10,000 likes with a single giveaway.
  • Publish 2 posts and back date. Take your time to craft at least 2 posts that you want participants to see when they like your page.
  • Boost one post with minimum budget. You can boost with just $3 as an extra precaution to tell Facebook you are not launching a page solely for a giveaway scam. Better safe than sorry.
  • Setup Manychat. When users comment on your giveaway post, you can automatically send them a personal message to thank them for their entry. Manychat will add them to the subscribers list where you can broadcast a message to all participants in the future.
Manychat Auto Message
Manychat Auto Message
  • Craft your giveaway post. Include these in the message:
  • Title of the giveaway.
  • The grand prize.
  • Steps to participate. Like, Tag, Share.
  • Giveaway period.
  • Coupled with a lengthy T&C to help make it look more legit.
Example of Facebook Giveaway Rules
Example of Facebook Giveaway Rules
  • Prepare a Graphic post
Facebook Image Text Ratings
Facebook Image Text Ratings

Step 2 — Launch Giveaway & Gain Momentum

It’s time to launch your Facebook giveaway!

Head over to Facebook Ads Manager, create a saved audience (this should be your audience of interest) and have around 200k reach. It shouldn’t be too narrow as this is not a sales post, and you’d want Facebook to automatically optimize the audience targeting for you.

Ads Settings

  • Duration: 2 days
  • Budget: Around $25 daily
  • Edit Placement: Only select ‘Facebook Feeds’ and nothing else
  • Optimization for ad delivery: Post Engagement

Why do we have to use Facebook Ads?

Coupling Giveaway campaign with Facebook Ads will give you the best viral results. For example, if $0.50 gets you 1 participant, you will get 1 comment, 1 share, and 1 Page like. Since he tags 5 people in the comment and shares in his Facebook profile, now your campaign will reach more people. The best part is, this is all done organically.

If $10 gets you 20 participants, the viral effect would lead to 100 participants in total, equaling $0.10 per participant.

The paid ads resulted in 1,179 comments and 1,254 shares. However, the total comments are 3.8k and 4,550 shares in total (Paid + Organic). That is closed to 4 times the original amount.

The paid ads resulted in 298 comments and 273 shares. However, the total comments are 2.5k and 2,271 shares in total (Paid + Organic). That is closed to 10 times the original amount.

Earlier we mentioned how to achieve the best ROI with Facebook Ads, and doing giveaways is the easiest way to achieve the viral effect. You don’t have to worry even when you’re on a tight budget, since just $100 can bring in many targeted leads at a fraction of the cost compared to elsewhere.

Note that we’ve set the duration to just 2 days. If your giveaway does not pick up the right momentum within 2 days, then something is wrong and you’ll need to do some fixing. It could be that your prize is not appealing enough to your target audience, so there isn’t really a ‘push’ for them to participate. In that case, you could pick a new and more relevant prize, delete the campaign, and re-post it.

The key here is to get your first 10 participants. When you have 10 shares & comments on your campaign post, the social proof will encourage more people to participate.

Step 3 — Establish Relationship With Participants

Hosting a giveaway campaign is not just about getting more Page Likes. There’s definitely more to it than that.

In fact, what keeps your business afloat is revenue. Our ultimate goal is to convert the leads into paying customers, and building a relationship with your prospect is essential.

Comment on each and every entry, engage with them and their friends. Humor and GIF works great for this purpose; it gives people the impression that you are not a bot. What does this do? It helps:

  • To boost the engagement of your giveaway post so more people will see it on their newsfeed.
  • To establish a relationship with your prospects.

But most people stop here.

When they comment on your post, Facebook gives you the ability to send a message to their inboxes directly. This is the perfect chance for you to educate your prospects. They are more willing to have a conversation with you now compared to weeks later.

You can do a survey on the problems your targeted audience is trying to solve.

You can introduce your business.

You can keep them excited and encourage more friends to participate.

The possibilities are endless, so take maximum advantage of them and NEVER be lazy.

Step 4 — Announce the Winners

This is the tough part in a social media giveaway. You can have thousands of participants in your giveaway, but if you do not manage the announcement with a contingency plan, some of your participants are going to be resentful and that could be bad for you in the long run.

If this lucky draw has 5 winners,

  • 2x who engaged with your page the most. People who did not win would want to have a peek at those winners to see if they are real. If the winners indeed put more effort than them, then they will just accept it.
  • 3x completely random winners. These are the really lucky ones.

When you announce winners on your page, remember to monitor your comments. Hide those resentful ones immediately (if they appear). Remember that these comments should be hidden, not deleted. When you hide a comment, they themselves and immediate friends can still see the comment, but not anyone else.

Step 5 — Convert Leads

This is what makes you money. But how do you convert leads who did not win into paying customers?

If you have built a relationship with them on Step 3, either by commenting or private messaging, now they at least know WHO you are (and that’s great!). So, craft a pitch that includes these 4 things:

  1. Oh no! You didn’t win.
  2. Because you participated, here’s a free gift for you.
  3. Then offer a limited time discount (50% discount on…)
  4. 3 days later, broadcast a “last chance” urgency pitch.

What we did not mention earlier is you need to prepare a free gift for everybody. Yes, you read that right.

Free Ebooks download or donating $100 (total for everyone) on their behalf to a specific charity organization as a goodwill works.

But why everybody?

For those who didn’t win, they will be less disappointed and more likely to listen to your sales pitch. Imagine if someone wants to sell you something when you don’t win anything. You’ll definitely be quick to say ‘no’ or just stop paying attention them altogether.

The worst thing to do is to ignore them after the campaign and you would have to spend money to engage with them again later (that is, if they decide that they’re still interested in your product). Don’t worry, even if they do not convert immediately, now you have access to their messaging inbox and you can broadcast messages via Manychat in the future.

Steps to Launch a Conversion-focused Website Giveaway

Step 1 — Setup Website Giveaway

  • Host your giveaway.

You can choose from Kingsumo, Rafflecopter, Upviral, Woobox and Wishpond.

  • Bonus Entry.

When people participate in a giveaway, they do not have the incentive to tell anyone else because when more people join, the less chance they have to win.

It’s only natural for anybody to want higher chances of winning for themselves (especially if the prize is very attractive).

With a bonus entry, you award more ‘entry points’ when they perform more actions such as:

  1. Facebook Page Like / Share
  2. Instagram Follow
  3. Twitter Follow / Retweet
  4. Youtube Subscribe / Watch a Video
  5. Pinterest Follow / Repin
  6. Email share link

The downside: You can’t actually track whether they’ve liked your Facebook Page; once they’ve clicked on the link, they’ll be awarded bonus entry points immediately. To prevent abusers, you can leave a T&C line stating fake entries will be eliminated.

However, with email-entry giveaways you can automate your email series and include more info on your email (as compared to short manual messages via Facebook giveaways). Here are the vital emails to prepare beforehand:

  1. Email that users receive immediately when they joined the giveaway.
  2. Double opt-in to confirm entry. It’s important to use Double Opt-in so you can filter half of the fake emails.
  3. If they have not double opted in after 1 day, ask them to do so again.
  4. Once double opt-in is done, send an email to confirm their entry. Introduce your brand and what you do. Give them details on how to gain more points via bonus entry.

Step 2 — Launch Giveaway & Gain Momentum

If your giveaway is running for 14 days, then you will have approximately 14 emails to establish relationship with your participants.

Remember that they participated in the campaign, so they will stay updated with your emails and you definitely should take this opportunity. Your emails should be a combination of:

  1. Incentivized Sharing

The key here is not just by having them like or follow your page (that will be a bonus) since it can hardly go viral just like that. It’s important to emphasize on referrals. Because if they actively ask their friends to sign up for the giveaway through their links, the word of mouth will be quicker. If each participant gets another 5 to sign up, just a mere 100 starting participants will get you 100 + 500 (2nd level) + 1500 (3rd level) = Giving you a total of 2100 participants.

But how do you encourage that?

The key lies in Incentivized Sharing — Make everyone a winner with a guaranteed prize.

Kingsumo Little Secrets Case Study
  1. Giveaway Campaign Milestone

To celebrate our first 1,000 entries, we would like to give away [your additional free gift] for free. Head over this link to download it.

  1. Educational email to address their pain points

The open rates will be reallyhigh by now since you have a guaranteed prize for them and a campaign milestone free gift earlier to keep them interested and attentive.

They are now looking forward to your upcoming emails, so craft your educational series to nurture your leads. You do not have to sell at this stage.

Step 3 — Establish Relationship

To lead to conversion eventually (macro-commitment), we need users to perform a series of micro-commitments.

First, they have to fill in their emails to enter.

Then, we ask them to refer their friends via link sharing.

Finally, ask them to reply to get the free gift.

Once they replied to get your free gift, keep on engaging them in the next few emails to retain their attention. Always keep your ending an open-loop question that would prompt them to reply again and again. It helps you to establish a relationship with your audience and give you a higher chance to convert them when you send a sales email later.

Step 4 — Announce Winners

This is your last push.

3 days before the giveaway ends:

  1. For entrants who have not confirmed their entry, send an email and ask them to confirm again.
  2. For entrants who have confirmed their entry, ask them for last push.

For website giveaway, you won’t have the similar hassle as what social media giveaway has. You can even announce your winners privately (no resentful comments to deal with). The next important task is to nurture those who didn’t win and to convert them.

Step 5 — Convert Leads

This follows the same format as the Facebook Giveaway campaign, except in emails you can have a longer version.

  1. Oh no! You didn’t win.
  2. Because you participated, here’s a free gift for you.
  3. A limited time offer (50% discount on…)
  4. 3 days later, add a final “last chance” urgency pitch.
Kingsumo Little Secrets Case Study

Don’t be afraid to sell. If you have done Step 3 (Build Relationship) correctly, they should be super warm leads. If you’ve gathered enough data on their pain points on Step 3, address them now. And think in the direction of how you may help them.

Pro tip > Out of the many emails you sent earlier, if there are users who did not click on any links (except double opt-in), they are most likely using temporary emails or own multiple emails, which makes it easy for them to miss what you sent. You can segment only those who clicked into a new list, and those are your finalized warm leads. You can save up 40% of your autoresponder space with just this tip.

Once you’ve finalized your actual leads, you can import them to Facebook Custom Audience and do re-targeting.

Facebook Ad Re-targeting

Reach out to your audience more, be everywhere they are! If they spend most of their time on Facebook, you can re-target those who confirmed entry using Facebook Pixel you installed earlier .

Depending on the nature of your product/service, if you have videos targeting prospects, you can go an extra mile by displaying an educational video about your product to all confirmed entries. Then have another sales video for people who have watched 75% of the 1st video.

Final Takaway

You can run a monthly or quarterly giveaway or first do a warm up giveaway to understand the inside-out, then another SUPER big giveaway to hype things up. If you don’t want the same people participating in your monthly giveaways, you can exclude them in your ads targeting option.

There are endless possibilities on what you can achieve with a successful giveaway. And if you are just starting and have no email list, no Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest page with 100k followers, then it’s time you do a giveaway. A mere $200 would reward you 2k leads in return, at $0.10 cents per lead.

If you’re running a Facebook Ads or Google Adwords, that’s at least $0.50-$1.00 per click (not lead). And since you still have to go through all the nurturing series to convert them, why not do them in a giveaway? After all, you’ll get the chance speed up the process and move on to your next objectives faster.

When you are just starting out, no one cares about how good your product or service is simply because they don’t know you. That’s basically the whole reason for it.

A giveaway is the perfect chance for you to increase awareness of your brand, and a good followup series goes a long way for you to nurture and convert them without hassle.

About the author 

Reeve Yew

Reeve is the CEO and a Member of Forbes Business Council.

He has spoken on stages, both online and offline, alongside world class entrepreneurs and marketers like Gary Vaynerchuk, Brian Tracy, Kevin “Shark Tank” Harrington and Mark “Godfather of Internet Marketing” Joyner.

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    1. I’ve personally used Kingsumo and nothing else (I have the lifetime unlimited plan). But all the mentioned tools (woobox, gleam, upviral, wishpond) will work for your case. Good luck and all the best!

  1. Like the informative guide. I’ve my blog running for 6 months but getting very little traffic to my blog posts. I’m very keen to 10x my traffic and I hope giveaway works me.

    1. Yes, I agree going from nothing to something is the toughest milestone. Let me know how giveaway works for you, good luck!

    1. Unfortunately yes, this growth hack is against Facebook policy, although I have never heard about anyone getting their page taken down for running a giveaway.

      Another workaround is you can run a website giveaway that award points for participants who signed up using their unique referral link.

      Incentivize to share on FB is against their policy; However, sharing a unique referral link on Facebook that incentivizes the user only when other participants signed up through his link, is NOT against FB policy.

  2. It depends on your giveaway model. If you limit it to just US participants, then surely it’s cheaper to ship within US than worldwide. You can giveaway software subscription or online books and courses for a worldwide giveaway.

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