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Sweepstakes Publicity

Advertisers get tens of thousands of impressions for free with our Sweepstakes Listings. Here is how it works. You donate a $50 or $100 gift certificate, redeemable in your merchant area. Normally this costs you in "real money" between $25 and $50. In return, you are publicized on our main site, on a topical site, and in the main and topical site newsletters.

$50 vs $100
The $100 gift certificates are all shown on the main page and thank-you page of the sweepstakes area, getting them far more publicity. Also, people are much more likely to enter and visit websites for a $100 gift certificate. In the end, your budget will determine which of the two amounts you choose to go with.

We only run one sweepstakes per topical site, in order to give that sweepstakes the maximum amount of exposure without any competition. If for example you are a maker of dog brushes, and there is not already a sweepstakes on the dogs site, you would be the sole sweepstakes in our dogs area. You would be marketed 100% to an audience of dog lovers. Your site information would go out in the dog newsletter, be mentioned in the dog forum, be talked about in the dog chat. You aren't just being marketed to random "visitors of BellaOnline". You are being actively promoted in the "Dog Lovers Areas" to an audience of dog lovers.

The Sweepstakes Cycle
Our sweepstakes run in 2 month sets, and then renew at the end of each two months. You can cancel at the end of any 2 month run. For legal reasons we can't stop a sweepstakes mid-run. We collect all of the names, and we never spam or use those names for any other purpose. Names are never divulged, sold, or in any way displayed. Their sole purpose is to find a winner - then we delete them. People who enter trust us with their information, meaning that they truly care about the product in question. Our entries are not robotic form fillers - they are real visitors to our sites who love our content and trust who we recommend. They therefore trust that our linking to you is a good thing - and visit your site.

At the end of each run, we take a few months to gather up the names, process them and draw a random winner. This gives us time to deal with the hand-mailed postcards that we are swamped with. When we are ready, we mail out a winners' newsletter to all sweepstakes members. The winners check in with us, and we pass their information along to you. You then give that winner the gift certificate, and on we go.

The key thing to remember is the sweepstakes keep going - it's not just for "2 months". That's because after the first 2 months, the pages are just starting to get into search engines. The traffic snowballs higher and higher then longer we run it for. The more established your sweepstakes becomes, the higher influx of traffic you get to your site. Still, if you decide at some point you want to cancel it, just let us know and we'll end it after that current 2 month run.

Gift Certificate vs Physical Prize
Some vendors ask about giving away a gift basket vs a gift certificate. Here is why we prefer gift certificates. First, the aim of any sweepstakes is to get people to actually visit your website, look around, and perhaps buy something. If you advertise a gift certificate, the user has great incentive to go see what they could get with that certificate. They are curious what they could have for their prize set. With a gift basket, there is no incentive to go look at your site. Second, with a gift basket, the only things the user could possibly get are that one basket. If the visitors don't like what's in that basket, they ignore that page. With a gift certificate, you appeal to every possible user that likes even just one item from your site. It might easily be that the user hates the things in the basket but really likes something else on your site.

Finally, from a legal point of view, we had to go through a lot of work to get every of the 50 states plus the UK to approve our sweepstakes. Each gaming commission has different rules about how exactly you have to list, describe and show images of the prize so that the user is 100% sure of what they are getting. The gaming commissions want to be 100% sure that there is no fraud of any kind and that the user knows exactly what the prize entails. With a gift certificate, that is easy - it is a dollar amount, they can buy anything on your site. Your site already has full legal details on every single item. With a basket, we now have to be sure that we photograph it in detail, describe it in detail, show the exact dollar value, etc. It brings another layer of complexity.

That all being said, we do give away individual items (books, CDs, etc) in our forums as more casual giveaways. If that is the sort of thing you're interested in, we do have the ability to do that.

Getting Started
If you are interested in participating in our sweepstakes program, please Contact our Advertising Department. All we need to get started is four images of your most popular products, to put on the entry page, plus one main image to put on the main sweepstakes page. The images should be around 150 x 150 pixels in size.

Sweepstakes Terminology - Sweepstakes, Contest, Lottery

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