An Easy Way to Get Extra Oomph for Your Book Launch Sweepstakes

Enter Tessa Afshar's SweepstakesBy Laura Christianson

Several of our author clients and their publishers ask us to create and manage their online book launch campaigns.

While we coordinate our campaigns across the major social networks, blogs and email lists, we use Facebook as the primary conduit for many campaigns.

Why Facebook?

Nearly everyone is on Facebook, for starters. It’s easy to set up low-cost ad campaigns to promote contests on Facebook. And Facebook pages integrate well with many third-party apps, including our app of choice, Woobox.

I have used Woobox’s free apps for years – they allow you to easily integrate your Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube feeds onto your Facebook page. Plus, they offer a free HTML “fangate” app that you can use to publish practically any type of custom content to your Facebook page.

Woobox’s Paid Apps

Since I’ve been so happy with their free apps, I decided to give their paid apps a whirl. They’re quite affordable – only $29/month to run unlimited offers (contests and such) on one Facebook page with up to 20,000 likes. If your campaign goes for a month (or less), you only have to purchase the use of Woobox for a month (they offer several different plans, including a yearly option).

I’ve tried several of their contest apps, but the one I like best is their Sweepstakes app. Our team has used this for several of our author clients, and the results have been fantastic – hundreds of thousands of contest entries, several thousand new likes to the author’s Facebook page, and several thousand new names for their email lists.

Excellent Customer Service Sells

Perhaps the thing I like best about Woobox is their excellent customer service. I am not a programmer, so when I run into “techie” language that makes my head spin, I immediately pick up the phone and call them. If I call during business hours (Pacific time; they’re in Vancouver, WA), they ALWAYS answer the phone. I’ve called them multiple times over the last couple of years, and I’ve never been put on hold.

Their customer service guys are patient and kind and they walk me though every feature of the app I’m using and help me make sure I have it set up correctly. They also refer me to detailed tutorials on their blog and in their Customer Help Portal online.

Plus, they listen to my suggestions! When I tell them that a certain feature on their app doesn’t work the way I want it to, they get their tech team right on it. They roll out new features and improvements on a regular basis. (No, they are not paying me for this glowing review.)

MailChimp and Blog Integration

Two new Woobox features I’m trying for the first time with a campaign we’re running for author Tessa Afshar are MailChimp integration and website/blog integration.

If you have a MailChimp account, you can integrate your mailing list with your Woobox sweepstakes so it imports the names and email addresses of contest entrants into your mailing list.

Here’s an example of how the website/blog integration works:

Once you have your promotion/offer/sweepstakes set up in Woobox, click “Embed” in the Woobox dashboard.

Woobox generates a chunk of embed code, which you copy and paste into the HTML area of your web page or blog post. How easy is that?!

Here’s the really cool thing: If “influencers” or campaign managers are willing to help you spread the word about your book launch contest, THEY can embed your contest on their blog, too!

In the case of Tessa Afshar’s campaign for her novel, In the Field of Grace, we put the sweepstakes on:

  1. Her Facebook page.
  2. Her blog.
  3. The Blogging Bistro blog (see below).
  4. The River North Fiction blog (Tessa’s publisher)
  5. Plus, we provided a link directly to the Woobox app.

That gives prospective contest entrants multiple venues from which to enter – and gives the author multiple places from which to collect those all-important email addresses that Tessa can use for marketing future books.

What do you think?

  • Have you run a sweepstakes to promote your book? If you used an app like Woobox, how did it work for you?
  • Do you have any questions you’d like me to address about running an online book launch campaign?

Tessa’s Sweeps

(Updated July 18, 2014): Since the sweepstakes has concluded, I have removed the embedded app from this post. The sweepstakes was a success in terms of garnering a huge amount of brand name recognition for Tessa. Her contest received nearly 120,000 entries. Her Facebook page received over 2,300 new likes during the campaign. And her MailChimp e-newsletter received over 1,500 new subscribers.

  • Onisha Ellis

    I have to question if the success is due to the app or the quality of the prizes.

  • Onisha Ellis

    I have to question if the success is due to the app or the quality of the prizes.

  • Onisha – We won’t know whether the contest is a “success” until it closes and we gather the final stats, but several thousand entries on Day 1 isn’t bad. I agree with you: quality of the prizes is a huge determining factor in the success of any contest you run online.

  • Onisha – We won’t know whether the contest is a “success” until it closes and we gather the final stats, but several thousand entries on Day 1 isn’t bad. I agree with you: quality of the prizes is a huge determining factor in the success of any contest you run online.