Giveaway Ideas for Businesses

Gladly Team

Read Time

6 minute read

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The secret weapon of e-commerce marketing: the promotional giveaway! This strategy, encouraging customer engagement with your business on a whole other level, not only entertains your current customers, but is also a fantastic way to reach new audiences, uncover hidden market potentials, and ultimately grow your business.

And the best part is, there are so many ways to make it happen. Whether you’re a small-time artisan running your store exclusively through instagram, or a 10,000-packages-a-month subscription merchant, giveaways can work wonders for anyone, from anywhere. In this article, you’ll find a mix of novel and tried-and-true methods for holding successful promotional actions which are sure to grab your audience’s attention.

Seven Giveaway Ideas for Ecommerce Businesses


Easy peasy, and old as the hills. Everyone loves a discount, and everyone and their mother knows how to use them. Coupons are great for your business too because they’re so versatile — you can post them on Instagram, toss a few on your Facebook page, attach them to routine emails and purchase confirmation messages, or even stick a few physical copies in your product boxes. And you choose whatever amount you like: whether it’s 15% off, 25% off, or a voucher for free shipping, your customers will always love to see it.


This model of promotional giveaway is fun because even casual or one-time shoppers can be entered if the time is right. Sweepstakes usually work by encouraging customers to sign up, take action, or otherwise participate in some way for a unique chance to win a special prize — whether that’s a limited edition product, personalized item, giftcard, or other promotional objective. Ask your audience to enter by giving you their email address, reposting your promotion on facebook, or automatically enter their name if they make a purchase of any amount from your store.

Instagram Giveaways

Popular among the the DIY and maker economy craftspeople of Etsy, Insta-only businesses, and other social media savvy entrepreneurs, promotional events held through this popular photo share site are a great way to engage loyal consumers already in your network, as well as entice new audience members to participate. Most IG merchants request that followers like or share a certain photo displaying the prizes of their giveaway, and then ask that they additionally tag a couple friends that they think might love your products. It’s a fun way to grow your consumer base, reward passionate customers, and reach into new markets filled with interested visitors.

Photo/shop Contests

This is another fabulous idea for doing e-commerce marketing through social media. Traditional creative-entry contests are usually text based, but everyone has a camera in their back pocket these days, so photography challenges are accessible as well as entertaining. (Include creative photo editing in the parameters if you want to make it really interesting.)  Put up a prize and pick a theme for your customers to follow, then tell them to get snapping! You might ask them to recreate a famous art piece, mandating that they include one of your products in the image. Or you could have your audience create a visual meme with your items as the central figures. Whatever you like! Reward your favorite entries with either an object prize, or by featuring their creation on your social media pages.

Free Swag

Your most loyal customers won’t hesitate to rep your label, so make it easy for them by offering free branded products as a bonus to their most recent purchase. Think basic conference swag bags: t-shirts, mugs, water bottles, tote bags; or go bigger if you can! And get creative about where and why you give out these particular promotional items. Set a limited time where every purchase over $50 comes with a free branded snapback; celebrate customer’s achieving a lifetime value of $1000 with an overflowing gift basket; offer every 11th visitor who contacts your customer service line a personalized mug; etc., etc.

Limited Editions

Who doesn’t love knowing they’re about to be the lucky owner of one of only 50 of some cool thing? Empires are built on limited-run products with whole businesses generating a staggering ROI from interest alone (see “hype beast” skate and apparel company Supreme, if you don’t believe us.) It doesn’t have to be anything special: the aforementioned company once sold a limited run of branded bricks, some of which resold for literal thousands of dollars. We’re not saying don’t do that, just that you don’t have to. Try flashing a restricted run of a special take on one of your classic products — a new color, unique fragrance, special fabric, whatever is right for you.

Free With Purchase

Including a bonus product (different from your branded promotional items) doubles as a market testing method, as well as a way to provide your customers with a little treat. If there’s a new product awaiting release and you want to see in real time how audiences will respond, why not include a sample with your customer’s next package? Or, have a selection of free items which consumers can choose from on the checkout page. This doesn’t need to be research motivated, however: boot designer Fluevog likes to fill their customer’s shoes with candy, and LA-based clothing company Big Bud Press slips an envelope of fun and colorful stickers under their customer’s order. Get creative with how you reward your audience.

Last Thoughts: Giveaway Ideas for Businesses

Think about what you’re trying to achieve with your promotional giveaways: is it better sales? Increased brand awareness? The joy of knowing you made your audience smile? Set your goals first to find a giveaway strategy which works the best for you; then reference this article for next steps!