There are a couple of ways you can choose to run a giveaway:
1. Purchase products yourself and offer them as prizes. This is often what newer bloggers do if they don’t have the right ‘connections’ yet ;). This is the simplest way to do things because the only person involved in the giveaway is you.
2. Approach other brands (particularly indie brands) to donate prizes. This may be just one brand or a number of brands. Instead of just sending a quick email saying “heythereyouwannagivemefreestuff?”, why not approach the seller with the intention of buying a couple of products from them? After you organise the transaction, ask if they would consider putting in a couple of extras for your giveaway. This saves them footing postage costs (and believe me, they do add up).
Either way, there are a few things to consider when running a giveaway:
Firstly, if you have been lucky enough to collect prize donations from other brands, make sure you let the contributors know when the giveaway is going to go live and how long it is going to run for. Is it going to be a randomly drawn giveaway or is there some element of skill to it, such as a nail art competition? Are you offering the prize for entrants in your country only or are you willing to send internationally? Whatever you decide and tell your contributors, please don’t change your mind. If you do, keep them in the loop every step of the way! This is necessary because if the giveaway is run smoothly, you have a much better chance of scoring prize donations in the future.
Next, make sure you credit your lovely contributors. I’m not saying you have to hire skywriters to proclaim your gratitude to the nail polish world, but a simple note on the giveaway page saying “Thanks to Anna from Awesome Nail Polish Inc. for donating these polishes” will do.
Once you draw your winner, announce it to the world! It sucks to be left wondering if the winner has been drawn or the giveaway has fizzled out to nothing.
When the giveaway has finished and you have drawn your lucky winner and received their postal details, post the prize as soon as possible!!! This gets it done and out of the way. If there is going to be any delay, communication is the key. Let your winner know there may be a slight delay. They will understand! What they will not understand is being left for months wondering what the hell is going on. You will also risk severely pissing off brands if you hang onto their donations and make them wonder if it was simply a way for you to get free product. And you can be guaranteed they will never donate anything to you again.
When you do send the prize, make sure you cover yourself by electing to have the signature on delivery option and take the parcel into the post office to ensure there is tracking on the parcel. You should also make sure you have a disclaimer on the giveaway post saying that once the parcel leaves your hands, you are not responsible for it. If something goes wrong and the parcel gets lost, make sure the winner has the tracking number and can then hound the postal service incessantly (because we have all been there).
So there you have it, a few simple rules to abide by and your giveaway should be as good as gold! Enjoy!
Emma is a twenty something living in outback South Australia. She works in the media industry and as a Remedial Massage Therapist. She is also the brains behind Love Thy Polish and blogs over at Nails in the Desert.