Running a Giveaway to Build and Grow Your Email List

blog email marketing getting started Jul 01, 2023

Discover why running a giveaway needs to be part of every subscription box owner's audience building strategy. 

* This post contains affiliate/referral links. I could make a commission at no charge to you if you purchase my recommended products.  Please read my disclosure and privacy policy HERE. 


Audience building should always be on your to-do list. Always. In order to build a successful, sustainable subscription box business, you need to continually get in front of new people. And if you’re still wondering how to start a subscription box, you need to make audience building the first step. 

One of my favorite audience-building strategies for new and established subscription box owners is running a giveaway. 

The last time I ran a giveaway, I got 1500 new people on my email list. 1500 new people to nurture, serve, and eventually sell to. So, is a giveaway worth it? Absolutely! 

Today I’m going to take you through the ins and outs of running a giveaway including rules you need to know and follow and how to choose the perfect prize. 

There is a great lesson inside the Launch Your Box training library that walks members through exactly how to set up a giveaway.



Determine the goal of your giveaway.     

Ask yourself why you want to run a giveaway. What is your goal? What outcome would you like to see? 

There are three main reasons to run a giveaway. Your goal may be one or all of them.


1. Growing your social media following.

If you want your subscription box business to grow, you need to constantly be growing your social media following, bringing new people into your world. 

Where is your ideal customer hanging out online? If your ideal customer is a young mom, chances are she’s on Pinterest and Instagram. A baby boomer or member of Gen X is probably on Facebook. Millennials and Gen Z are all about TikTok.

The platforms where your ideal customer spends their time online are where you want to grow your following. And those are the platforms on which you’ll run your giveaway.

The software I use to run my giveaways - KingSumo - has a tool that connects your giveaway to your social media accounts. So easy!



2. Building an email list and/or text list. 

If you don’t have an email list, a giveaway is a great way to start one! And if you have a list but want to grow it - and you should always want to grow your email list - a giveaway is a great way to do that, too! 

Wondering what to send to your email list once you’ve got them? No worries - listen to this Launch Your Box podcast episode on 5 things subscription box businesses should email their list. Want to grab the email swipe files I mention in the episode? Do that HERE


3. Gauging interest in a potential box. 

If you’re just getting started and are still in the planning phase, a giveaway is a great way to gauge interest in your potential box. 

Create a giveaway where the prize is a box similar to what you’re planning. This will help you decide if you have a viable offer. And if the response is positive, you’ll come away with some valuable social proof, too!


Choose a prize for your giveaway. 

Think about what would make you enter a giveaway. What would it take to get you to give someone your email address? 

The prize has to be juicy enough to get someone to enter. It also needs to be related to your subscription box. Sure, offering a $100 gift card as a prize would get you a ton of entrants, but how many of those people would be your ideal customer? 

Consider offering: 

  • A one-time box.
  • A 3-month subscription.
  • A 6-month subscription.

The meatier the prize is, the more momentum your giveaway will have. More people will enter and more people will share it.

Think about value instead of cost. 

When considering what to offer as a prize, it’s easy to get caught up in how much it will “cost” you. First, realize that what you would charge for a one-time box or a 3-month subscription is not your cost. Your cost is simply whatever you have to pay for the products and the packaging.



Instead, think about the value of what you’ll get from the giveaway. What would you be willing to pay to get 1,000 new followers or 1,000 new names on your email list? People who, once they’re part of your audience, you can engage with, nurture, and sell to over and over again.


Create a timeline for your giveaway. 

The timeline for your giveaway needs to be not too short and not too long. 

I recommend 7-14 days. That is enough time for your giveaway to gain traction but not so much time that it will start to get stale. 

When deciding when to run your giveaway, stay away from times when there is too much noise on the internet - like Black Friday - or when your ideal customer will be busy with other things - like the week of Christmas.



Share, share, share, share, share your giveaway! 

Your goal is to get your giveaway in front of as many members of your target audience as possible. To get the most value out of your giveaway, treat it like a promotion and talk it up.

  • Share your giveaway all over social media. 
  • Send the giveaway to your email list. Why? 
    • They’ll share it with other people. 
    • They may not be following you on social media yet. 


Follow the rules for a giveaway. 

There are rules for running giveaways on social media. It’s important that you are aware of these rules, follow them, and clearly state them in your giveaway. 

  1. The content must be free to enter. It cannot be combined with a purchase. 
  2. The winner must be chosen randomly. 
  3. The winner must be announced publicly. 
  4. You must state clearly (in posts and in your contest rules) that your giveaway has no affiliation with the platform.


Every week inside Launch Your Box, members are setting up and running giveaways. They’re gathering emails and bringing more people into their world. It’s truly one of the best ways to jumpstart your audience-building and an important part of any ongoing subscription box marketing strategy.

Learn from me:

  • Subscription Box Blueprint eBook: This $10 ebook covers logistics from product selection to packaging to shipping. Plus a 90-day launch plan and bonus ‘Instant Scripts’ for your social media.
  • Launch Your Box: My complete training program that walks you step by step through how to start, launch, and grow your subscription box business.
  • Launch Your Box Podcast: I share tons of practical tips and strategies to help you start, launch, and grow your subscription box business. You’ll also hear from industry experts and current Launch Your Box members who are crushing it - get ready to get inspired!
  • One Box at a Time: Inside my book One Box at a Time, I show you the steps you need to follow to start and launch your subscription box. To turn your dream into reality. This book is filled with proven teachings, valuable resources, best practices, and action steps for you to take.


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