Write Prize-Winning Copy with our Contesting Checklist

Write Prize-Winning Copy with our Contesting Checklist

Contests are a huge part of successful promotions and an essential tool for growing your database. That’s why it’s important to write copy for your sweepstakes or giveaway that is enticing yet concise. Before pushing that publish button on your next promotion, take a look at the checklist below to ensure your copy is in top shape.


1. Write Attention-Grabbing Titles
Stand out from the competition with an eye-catching title. Try something that will entice your audience to click on the contest page by giving them a clear idea of what they can expect. For example, “Malibu Giveaway” or “Malibu Contest” are rather plain and unclear. “Win a Malibu Experience!” is a more exciting title. “Win a Trip for 2 to Malibu!” is equally compelling while more clearly stating what you are offering the winner of your promotion.

2. Clearly State Your Prizes
Just as your contest title should give a clear idea of the prize you’re offering, the copy in the prize description should be equally concise. Does the total value of the trip giveaway include transportation and lodging? Are you giving away one VIP concert pass to your winner, or will they also receive an extra pass for a guest? Providing all of this information on the contest page will ensure your audience knows exactly what they’re entering to win and will help prevent confusion during the fulfillment process.

3. Tell a Story
While it’s important to clearly state your promotion terms, it can help to use storytelling elements to illustrate the value of the prize. If you’re giving away a trip, help your members visualize themselves at the destination by painting a picture for them. List a few exciting activities your audience can do while on the trip, or describe the scenery they’ll experience. For instance, a contest for a trip to Malibu could include these lines: “Dig your toes in the warm sand of Zuma Beach.” or “Walk hand-in-hand along the shore at sunset on a romantic Malibu getaway for two!”

4. Use A Clear Call-to-Action
Always include call-to-action language on your contest page. The prize description may entice your audience to keep reading, but ending your copy with a line such as “Enter to win now!” creates a sense of urgency, further motivating the member to take action right away so they don’t miss out on the opportunity to win.

5. Consult With Legal
When giving away tickets to a big event or to a popular destination, you’ll want to use copy that gets your audience excited about the prize. However, not all trademarked brands and locations allow their names to be used without obtaining permission. It’s always wise to send your drafted contest copy to your legal team for a quick review to ensure that you’re complying with copyright laws to avoid any potential issues.

6. Consider Writing In Second-Person
Writing your promotion copy in the second person narrative is an easy way to further engage members in the promotion. Most marketing copy uses second-person perspective to help their message feel more personalized for their potential customers. Using pronouns like you and your instead of he, she, or they allows your audience to better connect to the promotion and your message.

7. Proofread!
Once you’ve taken the steps above and have clear, exciting copy for your contest, be sure to proofread it. Try having a co-worker review it, as having a fresh pair of eyes reading through your work may uncover typos or grammatical errors that you may have overlooked. Error-free copy ensures that you are putting your best foot forward when engaging with your audience and potential new customers.


If you are looking for more ideas or want new tips for promoting your content, reach out to our Syndicated Content Team, and be sure to stay tuned for more posts on how to optimize your digital strategy.


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