Giveaways are a great marketing tool and, like any other marketing tool, work best when you utilize them regularly and with a strategy. Today’s article is all about exactly how to create your own giveaways marketing calendar.

Scheduling Your Giveaways

We’ve talked before about how often to schedule your giveaways, and how to evaluate that frequency based on your need, so we won’t rehash that here.

Once you’ve decided how often you want to run your giveaways, the first thing to do is pull out a calendar and actually schedule when those giveaways will go live and when they will end.

Most businesses choose a giveaway duration of between one week and one month, but this will depend on the size of your audience and how much promotion you’ll be doing.

You may want to try testing the duration of your giveaways to see whether an exciting, promotion-packed shorter campaign is more successful, or if a longer one that may build momentum does better.

How to Set Up Your Giveaways Marketing Calendar

When you’re setting up your marketing calendar, you’ll want to plot out when you’ll send emails to promote your giveaway to your current subscribers and when you’ll promote the giveaway on social media.

At the very least, you should plan to send an email to your list to announce the giveaway at the very beginning of your giveaway, and then again right before the end. This will cover the people who are immediately excited about the giveaway, and those procrastinators who are motivated by a deadline.

If you’re running your giveaway for a longer period of time—a month, for example—you’ll want to also send intermittent emails to remind your subscribers to take action.

Because it’s harder to gauge when your social followers will actually see your posts, you’ll want to promote your giveaway more frequently. If you frequently post on your social channels, promoting your giveaway once a day (or even more often) may increase your results. Be sure, though, to use a variety of images and messages to catch people’s attentions in different ways.

When you’ve decided when you’ll be sending these emails and posting your social promotions, you’ll want to plot these on your calendar, along with the giveaway itself.

Scheduling Your Follow-Up Marketing Calendar

Everyone who enters your giveaway should be added you’re your email list, but, ideally, you’ll add them to a list that is dedicated to solely these entrants, or that can send them a customized welcome email.

The welcome email should be auto-generated as soon as you add them to the list, so you won’t need to add this to your giveaways marketing calendar—but you may want to add a date to the calendar if you need to change the auto-generated message.

For example, if you add entrants to a dedicated email list, you may create a headline or subheadline that says something like, “You’re Receiving this Email Because You Entered the Gift Basket Giveaway—Welcome!”

If you’re going to customize that line to each giveaway (and you should), it’s a good idea to set up a reminder to change that prize just before you launch your new giveaway. There’s nothing more embarrassing than sending out an email with an error!

From there, any additional autoresponders or an automatic email funnel will run like clockwork and send each entrant the email promotions you designate for them.

Creating a giveaways marketing calendar for a few months, or even the entire year, can take a little bit of time to do, but can help you stay focused and on-schedule, and help you reap the maximum benefits.