What if I said there was one single element that could make or break your sweepstakes? That could mean the difference between dozens of entries…and thousands? One thing will make people pass your sweeps by—or make it irresistible?

That one thing is your headline. It’s the first thing that potential entrants look at, whether it’s on your entry form or on the Promosimple Giveaways Directory. And if it doesn’t hook them immediately, they’ll leave and never return. (Goodbye subscribers and leads.)

But luckily, it’s very easy to turn your sweepstakes headline from a loser into a winner. Here are five tips to help make sure your giveaway is a golden ticket to success!

1. Tell them why they should enter!

The prize that you’re giving away must be in your headline. An important concept in copywriting is that of the “benefit to consumer”—essentially, “what’s in it for them?” A headline without a prize, something like “Enter Now to Win”, is missing that benefit completely. It doesn’t get an entrant excited; it just makes them wonder, “Why should I?” Let them know what they’ll get out of winning. Put your prize in your headline, like, “Win an iPad Mini!”

2. Be specific.

Once you’ve got your prize in your headline, see if there’s more specificity you can add to make the prize even more enticing and even more unique. For example, if your prize is a surround-sound TV and stereo system, what brand is it? If it’s a compelling brand, use it! How many pieces does it have? Are there other details that make it compelling? Suddenly “Surround-Sound TV and Stereo System” becomes a “25-Piece Sony HD Surround-Sound TV and Stereo System.” Which one would you enter to win? Just be sure that when you add details, you only add compelling details. If they won’t interest an entrant, they’re just wasting space.

3. Lose any unnecessary words.

Another important concept in copywriting is using words carefully and sparingly. While you want to include any important and compelling words like we discussed above, you also want to try to shorten your headline by eliminating any unnecessary words. For example, in the headline “Enter to Win a New Jar of Smuckers Jam” you don’t really need the words “Enter to.” After all, the headline is on an entry form, so it’s pretty clear what they need to do in order to have a chance to win. Also, you don’t need the word “new.” Unless your prize is a car or something that might conceivably be used, you don’t need to specify this in your headline. And if you’re really concerned that they understand that it’s new, remember that you have your description copy to use. Look at your headline with fresh eyes and be ruthless about losing unnecessary words!

4. Consider using a dollar value.

If your prize is something with a value that isn’t immediately clear, consider adding a dollar value to your headline. For example, if you’re giving away a course on how to master Google Adwords you could write, “Win a Google Adwords Mastery Course Worth $400!” Not only does the dollar value give the prize some context and magnitude, but it also makes it seem more exciting. Wouldn’t you like to win something worth $400?

5. Make it easy to understand.

While you’re being specific, don’t make people have to puzzle through your headline. For example, it’s not completely clear right away what “Win an Internet-to-TV Device for Digital Streaming of Entertainment and Music” is. Instead, how about: “Win a Roku—Stream the Internet Right to Your TV!” The first is correct, but it makes your entrant have to think—and most won’t think; they’ll just pass you by. Make it exciting and easy for them to get interested in entering!

Bonus! Hook them and snare them.

Now that you’ve got your headline techniques down to hook them in, don’t forget that you have another resource to help entice people to enter your sweepstakes. Below the headline and picture sections on your entry form, you have room for a description of your prize. And, not only can you make this show up on your entry form, but you can also make it appear on your Promosimple Giveaways Directory listing. The description is another opportunity to add even more exciting (but easy to understand!) details to entice people to enter your sweepstakes. If you have more details to offer, don’t hide them: Use this section and help make your giveaway standout from the others get as many people to enter as you can!