How We Grew Our Email List From 500 to 500,000 in Less Than a Year

Here’s the magic word, giveaways.

Less than one year ago I sat at my desk wondering how how I could grow my small travel company with little or no marketing budget. My company was new, my team was small, and I was was organically funding our operations.

One day a member of our team suggested that we start doing giveaways, which I thought was a brilliant idea — and one that felt very feasible at the time. Ultimately it was this idea that started our company on a journey of nonstop growth.

A successful giveaway is completely dependent on two things, 1) your reach as a company, and 2) how engaged your audience is. When we started our reach was practically nothing, with a list size of less than 500 subscribers. This posed a problem as we were not large enough to host our own giveaway and our list was too small for any brands to want to work with us.

As a travel company, we were in a unique situation — as we had one thing that all brands look for, a prize that gets consumers excited. Travel. We used this prize to attract other brands to our campaigns. Our first giveaway was a trip to Thailand, and we were able to recruit 6 brands, reach over 1 million people, and receive over 50,000 new emails.

Great Prize + Large Reach + High Engagement = Successful Giveaway

After our first giveaway we discovered that brands were willing to pay to be a part of a successful sweepstakes — contributing dollars towards the prize, and allowing our sweepstakes to be a sustainable part of our growth strategy.

Since that first giveaway we have hosted or been involved in over 50 giveaways, and have watched our email list grow to over 500,000 subscribers in 12 months. Our social channels have also seen 1000x growth since the start of the year.

Sweepstakes are one of the most cost effective ways to grow your email list, and a strategy that will help any small business grow. For those of you starting in the sweepstakes world, here are our top three tips for success.

  1. Have something valuable to contribute to the prize
  2. Be selective of your partners
  3. Use creative ways to engage your audience

If you are not already using giveaways as a strategy to grow your subscriber base, now is your time to do so!