Since 2015, Amazon.com has offered the Amazon Giveaway platform, a quick and easy way to use a prize giveaway to advertise books, events, and products sold through the online giant.
It’s a powerful tool for companies and individuals who want to take advantage of the benefits of running sweepstakes, but who don’t have the resources for a dedicated promotions department.
If you are an author, a small business owner, an Amazon FBA seller, or anyone else trying to expand their audience, this guide to using the Amazon Giveaway platform will help you meet your business needs.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Amazon Giveaways
Amazon Giveaway has many benefits including:
- It’s easy to use, letting you set up sweepstakes in minutes.
- It’s free and you don’t have to buy the prize in advance, so individuals and small businesses can use it successfully.
- People can use any device to enter: computer, tablet, cell phone, etc.
- You can choose among several different options for choosing winners.
- Amazon ships the prizes for you, minimizing delays and costs.
- You can require entrants to perform tasks like watching YouTube videos, helping you fulfill marketing goals.
- You can encourage entrants to share your giveaway link, giving your giveaway viral potential.
- Amazon provides marketing for you, helping you to reach your audience for free.
Amazon giveaways have a few disadvantages over running giveaways on your own, however. You can only offer freebies or instant-win giveaways, not drawings where you select the winner from all eligible entries.
Plus, you might not be able to achieve specific marketing goals with an Amazon giveaway. For example, you can’t require that people sign up for a newsletter to enter or drive people directly to your company’s website.
Because you are limited in how you can make your giveaway appear to your entrants and in the prizes you can offer, branding goals might be difficult to achieve.
Amazon.com limits entries only to people who reside in the United States. If you are trying to reach a broader audience, this could feel restrictive.
How Amazon Giveaways Work
One of the biggest advantages of using the Amazon Giveaway platform is how very simple they are. Your layout is already set up, the rules are pre-written, you only have a few choices to make. Here’s how to navigate your way through creating a giveaway through Amazon.
Picking Your Prize
You can offer a giveaway for nearly any item that Amazon sells and ships. From their guidelines, you can choose among physical items shipped from and sold by Amazon.com or Fulfilled by Amazon, and Kindle eBooks.
If you are a seller, you could choose to give away one of your products. Otherwise, pick an item that fits your budget and appeals to your target audience.
Amazon Sellers can start their giveaway process from their Professional selling account. Everyone else should navigate to the product you are giving away and click on the “Set up a giveaway” button toward the bottom of the page. Most items for sale on Amazon can be used for giveaways.
Setting Up Your Amazon Giveaway
Once you’ve picked your prize, you have a few important decisions to make. One of them is how you want your prizes to be awarded. Amazon gives you two basic options:
- You can award a prize for every XX person who enters, where XX is a number you choose. So, you could award a prize to every 50th person who enters, or to every 900th. You will be given three available options to choose from; these options vary depending on the prize you award.
- You can award a prize to the first YY people who enter, where YY is a number you choose. For example, the first 50 people who enter will receive a free e-book.
Which of these two options you choose depends on your goals for your giveaway. For example, if you are an author who is hoping to get more reviews of your book, the second option can get you a bunch of new readers quickly.
You might also want to offer the second option if you can give away something that leads to sales, newsletter signups, or other valuable actions for your business.
In most other cases, the first option is more attractive. The giveaway will run longer and it will build more excitement about your brand.
When you are choosing the odds of winning, it’s important not to overestimate the number of people who are entering your giveaway. If you give away one prize every 900 entries, but you only get 200 people entering, you won’t fulfill your giveaway’s full potential.
Next, you can pick certain actions that your entrants will have to take before they can enter. Amazon offers three options:
- Watch a YouTube video
- Watch a video of 15 seconds or less posted on Amazon Video Shorts
- Follow an author
If any of these options would help you meet your giveaway goals, go ahead and select them. For example, creating a short ad about your company and posting it on YouTube is a great way to gain exposure.
Amazon Pro Sellers have the option of offering non-winners a discount off of a purchase. This is a powerful tool to encourage people who were interested in receiving the products to go ahead and buy it.
Finally, you’ll want to choose whether your giveaway will be public or private. In most circumstances, you’ll want it to be public so that you can reach new customers. When you make your giveaway public, Amazon will market it for you to help you get more entrants. Their giveaway FAQs include additional legal advice, should you decide to do additional marketing on your own.
Finalizing Your Giveaway
Once you press “Next” you will be taken to a screen where you can review how your giveaway will look to entrants at each step (entering, winning, and losing). If everything looks fine, continue to the next step to enter payment information.
You will not need to pay anything extra for the giveaway, but you will pay for the prize and for shipping. You will need to re-enter your credit card information to verify that you are authorized to make the purchase.
Tracking Your Giveaway Results
Once your Amazon Giveaway is live, you will be able to see how many people have entered and how many prizes have been awarded. The giveaway will end either at the end date or when all prizes have been awarded, whichever comes first.
If you are an author who is using a giveaway to boost sales, you should visit Author Central before the giveaway starts and at the end of the giveaway, to track the results on your ranking. If you are an Amazon Seller, it’s a similarly good idea to see how your promoted products are performing before and after the giveaway. An Amazon Sales Tracker might help you with this.
It’s important to be able to track how your giveaway performed so that you can decide how to tweak future giveaways to improve your success.