Before you join a giveaway and start acquiring emails and growing your audience, you’ll want to make sure your giveaway has the correct legal language and that you’ve properly set up your giveaway to follow any applicable laws. While no one likes with nitty gritty legal terms, it's extremely important to make sure your brand is protected from any legal actions.
We’ve put together the below checklist to make sure you’re aware of everything you need to do before your giveaway starts.
We aren’t lawyers, so this is not legal advice and this checklist is not a full list of every legal issue that might arise during a giveaway. Always consult a sweepstakes lawyer with any questions specific to your organization or giveaway.
Are Giveaways Legal?
Giveaway campaigns are a very popular marketing tool, and when run properly and adhere to state and federal regulations, are fully legal. Every entrant into a giveaway opts-in to a set of Official Rules which should state that they are agreeing to have their email shared amongst the sponsors of the giveaway as a condition of entering to win.
You should always clearly state the terms of the giveaway in your Official Rules and make sure you are familiar with the language. Rules generally contain the fact that there is no purchase necessary to win; the starting and closing dates of the contest; details of entry procedures; winner selection and notification procedures; a list of prize(s); privacy considerations for information gathered and eligibility requirements.
If you have further questions about your brand's specific needs, consult your legal counsel.
Every giveaway is legally required to have rules that meet the requirements of any applicable laws and are viewable by every entrant. Our Official Rules Generator auto-populates a template for you and is a great way to create your own if you don’t have any handy.
Note that if you choose to use DojoMojo's drafted terms, Innovation Brands Corp and DojoMojo can't be held liable for any issues or disputes that may arise as a result.
Giveaway Registration and Bonding
New York and Florida require that any giveaway with a prize value over $5,000 must be bonded and registered in those states. Check with state authorities if you have questions about how to properly register and bond your giveaway. If you’d prefer to skip those steps, you can always add langauge that entrants from those states are not eligible to win.
Rhode Island requires entities to register with them if the prize in their giveaway exceeds $500. You can register with the state or void those entries as well.
Sweepstakes Eligibility Requirements
Your official rules should clearly state who is eligible.
For example, if your prize includes alcohol, you’ll want to certify that only people age 21 and older can enter to win. Failure to set eligibility requirements could lead to legal issues after the campaign is over.
Advertising Your Giveaway
Each state has different rules regarding sweepstakes advertising, so make sure you have the correct information depending on how and where you are going to promote your giveaway. The main point is that you cannot in any way misrepresent what your sweepstakes offers as a prize.
Social Media Policies
Be aware of any applicable social media rules that may apply while you promote your giveaway. Check each platform’s policies to make sure you are in accordance with them.
Once you’ve stopped accepting entries on a campaign, there are a few items to wrap-up before you can officially close the book on your successful giveaway. One of the biggest to-dos is selecting a winner and then sending the prize to the winner. After you’ve selected a winner, you’ll need to make sure you send them whatever prize was promised in the giveaway. It is really important that you complete this properly, in order to protect your brand from any legal issues.
Having your giveaway winner return a signed and notarized affidavit can protect your brand from fraud and other damaging legal issues. It is considered legal best practice to have the winner sign the two legal documents below before actually receiving the prize. You must always make sure that the winner also submits a copy of a legal U.S ID, like a driver’s license or passport.
Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability Release
You should always send your giveaway winner both an Affidavit of Eligibility and a Liability Release form to protect your brand from any legal issues after the giveaway has ended.
See more information here.
Avoid High Spam Rates
If you spam someone with marketing emails, you are likely to have a high unsubscribe rate and ultimately get much less out of the emails you've acquired than if you are thoughtful and tactical in your approach to onboarding your new audience into your email list. Learn more about how to avoid this issue.
We publish whitepapers on best practices for building your email list, driving higher open and click through rates and the like to help ensure you maximize the value of every email acquired.
Ensure your ESP is set up with one list and multiple segments. Send your Welcome Drip to new DojoMojo subscribers, then automatically add them to your general segment and begin sending them marketing emails. This will lower your spam and unsubscribe rates.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.