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Write Prize-Winning Copy with our Contest Copy Checklist!

Contest Copy Checklist

Contests are a huge part of successful promotions and an essential tool for growing your database. That’s why it’s important to write copy for your sweepstakes or giveaway that is enticing yet concise. Before pushing that publish button on your next promotion, take a look at the checklist below to ensure your copy is in top shape!


Give your promotion an attention-grabbing title.

checkStand out from the competition with an eye-catching title. Try something that will entice your audience to click on the contest page by giving them a clear idea of what they can expect. For example, “Malibu Giveaway” or “Malibu Contest” are rather plain and unclear. “Win a Malibu Experience!” is a more exciting title. “Win a Trip for 2 to Malibu!” is equally compelling while more clearly stating what you are offering the winner of your promotion.

Clearly state your prize. 

checkJust as your contest title should give a clear idea of the prize you’re offering, the copy in the prize description should be equally concise. Does the total value of the trip giveaway include transportation and lodging? Are you giving away one VIP concert pass to your winner, or will they also receive an extra pass for a guest? Providing all of this information on the contest page will ensure your audience knows exactly what they’re entering to win and will help prevent confusion during the fulfillment process.


Tell a story with your copy.

checkWhile it’s important to clearly state your promotion terms, it can help to use storytelling elements to illustrate the value of the prize. If you’re giving away a trip, help your members visualize themselves at the destination by painting a picture for them. List a few exciting activities your audience can do while on the trip, or describe the scenery they’ll experience. For instance, a contest for a trip to Malibu could include these lines:  “Dig your toes in the warm sand of Zuma Beach.” or  “Walk hand-in-hand along the shore at sunset on a romantic Malibu getaway for two!”


Use a clear call-to-action.

checkThis may go without saying, but it’s imperative to include call-to-action language on your contest page. The prize description may entice your audience to keep reading, but ending your copy with a line such as “Enter to win now!” creates a sense of urgency, further motivating the member to take action right away so they don’t miss out on the opportunity to win.


Consult your legal team when using trademarked brands, events, or destinations.

checkWhen giving away tickets to a big event or to a popular destination, you’ll want to use copy that gets your audience excited about the prize. However, not all trademarked brands and locations allow their names to be used without obtaining permission. It’s always wise to send your drafted contest copy to your legal team for a quick review to ensure that you’re complying with copyright laws to avoid any potential issues.


Consider writing your copy in second-person.

checkWriting your promotion copy in the second person narrative is an easy way to further engage members in the promotion. Most marketing copy uses second-person perspective to help their message feel more personalized for their potential customers. Using pronouns like you and your instead of he, she, or they allows your audience to better connect to the promotion and your message.


Proofread your copy!

checkOnce you’ve taken the steps above and have clear, exciting copy for your contest, be sure to proofread it. Try having a co-worker review it, as having a fresh pair of eyes reading through your work may uncover typos or grammatical errors that you may have overlooked. Error-free copy ensures that you are putting your best foot forward when engaging with your audience and potential new customers.



If you’ve completed each item on the checklist above, your contest copy should be in great shape for your campaign launch! Use these tips each time you craft a new promotion to ensure your sponsor and audience are receiving your best quality work. Download a copy of this checklist here to keep at your desk!

Looking for more easy promotion ideas for an upcoming event or holiday? Want tips for promoting your content on social media? Contact the Syndicated Content Team and tell us what you’d like to read about in future engagement blog posts!