6-Step Guide on How to Make Giveaways That Go Viral

The following article is a guest post by Kamila Gornia on how to make giveaways that goes viral. 


As an entrepreneur, you probably already know that list building is a big element of growth online. In order to increase your revenue, you need to expand your reach and the most effective way to do that is by increasing your list size.

When you grow your list, not only do you build an asset, that is an owned channel, but you can also get to build real relationships with your community, build your authority, and get more buyers – systematically. I discuss this in detail across my work but today I wanted to focus on list building specifically – how do you actually GET more of your ideal prospects onto your list?

That are countless ways to grow your list, which can overwhelm many people, and that’s why today I wanted to make your life easier by showcasing one of my favorite ways to list build – by using viral giveaways.

Each time I run a viral giveaway I increase my list by several hundred or thousand of hot leads. And the best part? It often costs me nothing.

“What?! Nothing!? How do you do this, Kamila?”

Great question. Let’s dive in, shall we?

What are Viral Giveaways?

Viral giveaways are basically giveaways or sweepstakes you host that are created with elements that have the potential to go “viral” – that is, get shared by those who participate and increase excitement without you having to push super hard for it to happen.

Sounds like a dream, right? Here’s how you do it:

Step 1. Decide your optimal end-goal for your new leads

So many entrepreneurs miss this step but it’s so important! In order to create a strategy, you need to know your end goal. Because different end-goals have different approaches to get there using giveaways.

Do you ultimately want people to buy more of your products?

Do you want them to hop on a discovery call?

Do you want them to start a trial of your SaaS?

Or do you simply want to cultimate a community and don’t care about sales?

There’s no right or wrong answer here. But it’s important that you are aware of WHAT that end-goal would be. It’s what we will need to keep in mind as we move forward.

Step 2. Determine your ideal target customer

You don’t want just a bunch of rando’s on your list, that’s not gonna do anything for you. In fact, it could hurt your efforts to grow your business in the end! Make sure you are super clear on WHO you want to attract to your giveaway.

This is usually going to be the same as the ideal clients for your offerings.

Are they women? Men? Young or older? Do they have kids? Are they lawyers, entrepreneurs, stay-at-home parents? Fitness geeks, vegans, or unapologetic carnivores?

For example, for me: I work with mostly women but some men, who are entrepreneurs or business owners with online-based businesses who want to grow and expand. They are edgy, passionate, and love what they do.

You don’t have to create a super duper clear user persona for this, but just be aware what are some elements that your ideal clients or customers tend to have in common.

Step 3. Make a list of potential irresistible prize

Once you have your ideal customers’ commonalities laid out, think about what products or services they are already using that can be in some way tied to your business.

It doesn’t have to be a direct tie to you, not even close. It might actually be a better idea if the products you come up with are complementary to yours rather than competitors so you don’t make your life harder for yourself.

For example, since I offer digital marketing consulting and coaching as well as e-Learning products around online marketing, my ideal prizes could be an email marketing software subscription (because I teach list building), or call scheduling software (because I work with plenty of coaches), or landing page creators (because they’re what my ideal clients use or want to use).
From there, you want to find a couple of ideal prizes that you could offer and list them out.

For the value, it has to be compelling for the people to REALLY want it but it also has to be something is related to your ideal client so you don’t attract others.

Price wise, it’s great if the total prize is valued at least at $500, ideally more. No one is going to go through the effort of giving you their email address and sharing with their friends for a $100 product.

Caution: You wouldn’t wanna give away an iPad or a Kindle because EVERYONE wants that. Get more specific. Come up with some popular yet niche specific softwares, products, and more to make this work best.

Pro tip: If your end-goal is your product, you can consider including that in the mix but don’t make it the sole prize unless you’re already a super in-demand company.

Step 4. Reach out to your prospective prize companies

There are two ways you can do your giveaway:

  1. A huge giveaway comprised of several smaller prizes
  2. One focused giveaway with one huge-value prize

Either one works great. But I usually opt for the first option. I find it’s easier to get sponsors of prizes when they are lower in value than finding one company that’s willing to donate $2000 worth of product / subscription, especially without an already strong-standing relationship with you.

Once you have a bunch of prizes listed out, plus you know the type of giveaway you wanna run, it’s time to reach out to these companies and ask them if they’re interested in participating.

A simple email work well here.

Let them know who you are, what your giveaway is all about, and why it’s a great idea for them to work with you on this.

Step 5. Set the giveaway pages up

Once you have your prize confirmed, it’s time to set the giveaway up! Here are some elements for this to make its maximum impact:

  • Have the giveaway live on its own landing page. You can use Leadpages templates or another platform to get this set up easily. Personally, I like to use KingSumo Giveaways.
  • Create a compelling headline that illustrates the value of the prize in a way your prospective participants can understand and get excited about.
  • Make your start and end dates for the giveaway. I like to give mine about 7-10 days.
  • Create your thank you page with viral sharing elements: include a way for participants to earn extra entries if they refer their friends to sign up through their list. THIS is the viral component. Offer 3 entries for each additional friend they refer, making the option of sharing super attractive.
  • Send an email to participants with a confirmation and another reminder to share.

Step 6. Promote your giveaway

Promote your event as you would any other event. I like to start the promotion off without Facebook Ads to see how it performs on its own. Then, 5 days in or so, I determine whether I’d like to use Facebook Ads to help drive some extra sign ups. It certainly doesn’t hurt.


You’ve created your giveaway and now it’s time to see it grow your list like WOAH!

Make sure to assess the performance after the giveaway is over to determine how effective it was and take note on all of your KPI’s – engagement, participation, end-goal completion.

Kamila Gornia

Kamila Gornia is a powerhouse digital marketing strategist for modern entrepreneurs who wanna get seen + get paid online doing what they love so they become leaders in their space and blow up the Internet with their message.