*Psst* Did you hear the news? Yesterday, Amazon released a product that will allow you to run a giveaway for a product that can already be purchased on Amazon (check out the press release here). It’s a big move watching an internet giant stepping into the giveaway space; their solution to running a giveaway on Amazon is a unique proposition that brands and bloggers might throw into their marketing mix.
Now that the platform has been live for a day, we’ve done some preliminary research for you & breakdown the new Amazon Giveaway platform: how it works for admins and entrants, where it works well, where you might find some disadvantages, and several examples.
Amazon Giveaway: What Is It?
According to the press release, “Customers, marketers, bloggers, artists and more can now use Amazon Giveaway to host a giveaway, creating buzz, rewarding their audiences and attracting new followers” with “a new self-service tool designed to modernize the time-tested radio giveaway”.
With Amazon Giveaway, you can run two kinds of promotions:
The first kind is a giveaway setup that awards entrants on a first-come, first-serve basis. Suppose you’re the Director of Marketing @ Snuggie and you wanted to run a flash giveaway where you’d tell your entrants “Hey everyone! The first 50 people to join this giveaway will receive a free Snuggie!”, Amazon’s new giveaway platform will allow you to do that. It’s a kind of promotion that expresses urgency. The giveaway only ends when all prizes are claimed.
These kind of giveaways aren’t terribly popular, but they’re a lot of fun to administer and participate in. Rafflecopter did a similar kind of giveaway on our Facebook page last October:
The second kind of promotion will allow you to run a giveaway where an entrant is awarded based on luck. As the Snuggie Director of Marketing, if you were to give away 50 Snuggies, but wanted to spread it out over time, this is how you’d do it. You could message your giveaway like: “For every 500 entries this giveaway receives, I want to give away one Snuggie”. Which basically means as an admin, you’d run a giveaway that’s set up to receive 25,000 entries (500 entries x 50 Snuggies) over a period of time that’s determined by how quickly you acquire those entries.
From an entrant’s perspective, it feels like a scratch-off lottery ticket. It’s a game of luck, unlike the first kind of giveaway described above, which is a game of being in the right place at the right time.
How Does Amazon Giveaway Work For Admins?
If you’re a blogger or brand looking to run a giveaway with Amazon Giveaway, there are a few things to take into consideration besides the two types of giveaways you can run:
You’ll need an Amazon.com account with a valid credit card. Probably not a big deal, because I’d challenge you to find someone that doesn’t have an Amazon account ;)
The prize you want to give away must be a product sold on Amazon. The prize that you give away won’t only have to be sold on Amazon, it has to be a specific prize that’s on a list of eligible products. According to Amazon, there are over a million products that are eligible for using in a giveaway.
The total number of prizes you can give away is 50, or a total ARV of $5,000. When you run an Amazon giveaway, you can give away up to 50 prizes for 50 winners in one giveaway, assuming that the sum of the prizes doesn’t total more than $5,000 before tax and shipping. Additionally, you cannot give away digital items like songs, movies, gift cards, etc.
Entrants eligibility is US only, 18+. Though it might be changed later down the road, you must be a resident of the US and must be at least 18 years old to participate in any Amazon Giveaway. Additionally, due to local laws, if the value of all prizes exceeds $500, Rhode Island residents can’t participate.
Higher value prizes require additional verification. If you run a giveaway with a prize that’s greater than $500, winners chosen will have to give Amazon their social security number for tax purposes before getting their prize.
All giveaway prizes are shipped by Amazon. As the giveaway admin, you’ll be required to pay the lowest shipping cost available based on the winners’ shipping address. However, there are some items you can give away that are eligible for free shipping. This can be a perk or a disadvantage depending on how much control you’d like over the prize fulfillment process.
You can’t edit the giveaway after it starts. Just make sure the giveaway you’ve setup is what you want before you start promoting it. Once you’ve bought the prizes and pushed the giveaway live and promoted the URL, there’s no turning back.
It’s free of charge. That’s probably not something to necessarily take into consideration, but the ability to use the Amazon Giveaway product is free of charge.
How Does Amazon Giveaway Work For Entrants?
If you’re entering a giveaway that is giving away prizes on a first-come, first-serve basis, you’ll either win a prize or you won’t. If a giveaway admin is giving away a prize to the first 25 customers that enter, it will be pretty clear if you’ve won or not. As an entrant, it will really matter being at the right place at the right time.
If you’re entering a giveaway that is giving away a certain number of prizes based on the number of entries it receives, it’ll be similar to a scratch-off ticket. There will be a 1 in x chance of winning, x being a variable set by the admin when constructing the giveaway.
Most, if not all, Amazon Giveaways will ask you to enter by following the giveaway admin on Twitter. As the only social network that is currently integrated with Amazon Giveaways, Amazon will ask permission to access your Twitter account so that it can help process your entry.
Three Examples of Live Amazon Giveaways
While the platform is only 24 hours old, several giveaway admins are already testing running a promotion with Amazon Giveaway. If you want to enter giveaways and see examples of how this works that are up to date, our best suggestion would be to search Twitter for the hashtag #AmazonGiveaway.
As of writing this post on 2/11, below are three examples of Amazon Giveaways that are currently running for you to test enter. Click on the links below and enter for a chance to win a…
- Kyasi New York Laser 3 in 1 Standard Writing Pen via @KyasiMarketing
- PNY T2200 PowerPack – Universal Portable Rechargeable Battery Charger via @macsrcs
- Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer via @CouponsFreebie
Amazon Giveaway & Its Advantages
Though it’s a pretty rigid system of setting up and running giveaways, from what we can tell in the first 24 hours of being live, there are some advantages of running a giveaway through Amazon Giveaway.
Amazon will take care of all your terms & conditions. This is especially helpful if you’re a company giving away a product that’s expensive. There are tax implications if you run a giveaway for products whose ARVs are greater than $500. From the looks of it, it appears that Amazon will be the party in charge of your terms & conditions.
Amazon will take care of your prize fulfillment. Depending on how often you run giveaways, how difficult it might be to ship a prize, and how much control you’d like over the fulfillment process, having Amazon take care of shipping your prize could be especially beneficial if you’re running giveaways often and have trouble shipping out the prize due to time constraints.
Each Amazon Giveaway is simple and predictable. Though this will probably change as new product features are released and additional integrations are allowed, each Amazon Giveaway that we’ve come across is simple: follow the admin on Twitter, give Amazon authorization to connect their app to your Twitter account, potentially confirm you’ve got a US address, and you’re entered.
Amazon Giveaway & Where It’s Lacking
There are some areas of running a giveaway through Amazon Giveaway that also might put a bad taste in your mouth. Granted it’s a new platform, here are several areas where giveaway admins might be dissuaded:
Limited items to give away. At the current moment, it’s difficult to figure out what products you’re allowed to use to run a giveaway. The only way to tell if an item is eligible for an Amazon Giveaway would be to go to the product page, scroll down below the reviews of the item, and find an ‘Amazon Giveaway’ box. You’d have to think this is a feature that will be iterated upon.
You can’t give away custom prizes. As a giveaway admin, you’re only allowed to give away one prize and one prize only. For example, there isn’t any way to create a ‘Grand Prize’ and where a main winner would get one prize and have ‘5 Runner-up Prizes’ of a secondary prize. With an Amazon Giveaway, you’d have to give away one item only, with the only variable you can control is the quantity you’d like to give away of that item.
You won’t be able to customize and ship your prize. When we run a giveaway for our company Rafflecopter, we like love to ship the prizes. When we ran our Field Manual giveaway, we bought all giveaway items ahead of time and shipped the items won by the winners in their own box. Customizing the package that the prize is shipped in is a lot of fun — you’re delivering happiness :) As an admin, we get a lot of joy from that. We’ll put stickers on the package, include a personal note, and a fun insert in each package mailed.
There aren’t any customization options. Right now, you don’t have a lot of options surrounding customizing your giveaway. You won’t be able to design your giveaway widget & give your giveaway its own personality. You can only integrate with your Twitter account. This will probably change over time, but right now Amazon Giveaways are very cookie-cutter. Finally, all giveaways will last one week or when prizes run out, whichever comes first.
You can’t embed into your own site. As a blogger or brand, a huge advantage of running a giveaway is helping drive traffic to your site. You might run a giveaway to promote a product, work with a brand, help drive visibility for a new product launch, etc. Running an Amazon Giveaway will only allow you to send traffic to a site hosted by Amazon.
Amazon Giveaways: Final Thoughts
As a small business owner, the very first thought that comes to mind when a big player like Amazon moves in next door and might be competing with you is ‘oh crap’. You’ll wonder how that will affect your business considering the amount of resources a big player like Amazon has. After some time was spent figuring out what Amazon’s trying to accomplish with this new release, we’ve realized having Amazon in this space helps validate what we’re working on at Rafflecopter and proves the ‘giveaway market’ in more ways than one.
The press release that Amazon made publish reads: “The idea of running giveaway promotions is easy. They are a really effective way to attract attention and build engagement, but giveaways often come with hidden costs and complexities which makes the reality of running one hard,” said Steve Shure, Vice President Consumer Marketing. “Amazon Giveaway is the first self-service tool that takes care of all the hard work of a giveaway, from setting up all of the rules to shipping prizes directly to winners.”
In regards to being the first self-service tool that ‘takes care of the hard work of running a giveaway’, it’s tough for us not to be all like since we’ve been around for four years, but what Amazon says regarding a giveaway promotion as an easy way and effective way to attract attention and build engagement rings true. The idea of giveaways and sweepstakes online isn’t a passing fad – it’s something that’s here to stay.
We see this as a tool that’s an experiment Amazon will use to drive additional Amazon.com sign-ups, exposure to their product, and a push to get marketers and brands more engaged in solutions that Amazon builds specifically for businesses. It’s definitely interesting and worth keeping an eye on.
What you do think about the Amazon Giveaway platform? Let us know in the comments below!