Once you create your first contest or giveaway with VYPER, it’s not going to be a set it and forget it strategy (no successful strategy is). Yes, a contest or giveaway will collect a ton of leads and followers but you will also want to think about how are you engaging with these people.

contest winner email

FREE DOWNLOAD: Get all Our Contest & Giveaway Marketing Guides, Checklists, and tutorials that have helped 100’s of brands collect 15k+ emails in under 21 days!

How are you converting these people and increasing engagement between them and your brand? It’s important to leverage email to do this, the most impactful emails are the contest winner email and the post contest follow up emails.

Brands are making the mistake of trying to get visitors or leads to purchase on their first encounter or touch point. This is like asking a Tuesday night Tinder date to marry you!

To start winning and scaling your business, you have to do a little bit of creative positioning. This article is going to share all the best emails to send your entrants and leads.

Email types

  • Engagement Emails
  • Contest Winner Email
  • Contest Email Follow Ups

This sequence activates your current & new audience to enter & share your contest as well as convert.

Engagement Emails

As soon as you launch your email you should have a few emails already lined up to share with your audience. 

Some of the most effective ones we see VYPER users implementing getting results with are.

Email #1: Initial awareness of contest

TIP: Sent to the entire list usually right after the contest launches.

The first email is simple. Blast your entire list that you’re offering a new contest. Hype it up. Tell people about the opt-in bribe.

Email #2: Triple your chances of winning our contest

TIP: Sent to the entire list 5-6 days after the contest launches.

Potential subject lines:

  • Triple your chances of winning our contest
  • Here’s a secret “tip” to winning our contest

This email activates the social sharing aspect of your contest. If you’re going to get people sharing, make sure they know that they can share the contest to get extra entries.

Email #3: Opt-in bribe for sharing on Twitter or Facebook

TIP: If you’re using an opt-in bribe, let your contestants know that in order to unlock it, they must share your contest.

One of the cool features of VYPER is our built-in opt-in bribes. This allows you to offer a cool prize to ALL your contestants, not just the ones that win. You can also take it a step further, by incentivizing your contestants to share your contest in order to get the bribe (this functionality is built into VYPER).

The purpose of this email is to remind your audience that this option is there, and that they must share your contest in order to unlock the opt-in bribe.

Bryan Harris of VideoFruit employed a similar method for his contest. You can download his full email here, but the gist of it is below.

contest winner email example

Email #4: You still have a good chance of winning.

TIP: Sent to the entire list about 9-12 days after contest launches.

Potential subject lines:

  • You have a great chance to win our contest
  • We didn’t get as many entries as we would’ve liked, this means you have a great chance

Email #5: The contest ends in 24 (or 12) hours!

This one’s pretty straightforward. Just let your contestants know that the contest ends in less than 24 hours to create urgency. In the email you might want to encourage users to share for more entries again.

TIP: Include it in the PS. link in your broadcast emails.

The Hustle does this really well with their contests. Here’s an example below.

contest winner email examples

FREE: Contest & Giveaway Viral Growth Guide

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ — Download all the guides, checklists, and outlines we use to build and market viral contests. See our case studies for examples of brands using these to collecting 50k emails and social followers in 3 weeks.

Contest Winner Email

Once your contest is over, you are going to want to make sure you follow up with everyone who participated.

To date, the highest converting and best open rates have been on an email that includes a few things.

A good giveaway email subject line

It has to be intriguing and keep people wondering if they have won or not. You want to require them to open the email to find out.

Keep in mind that your subject line is the most important part of your email. No matter how good the email content is, it won’t matter if no one opens the email.

Here are a few examples to use to get people to open your emails:

Best giveaway email subject lines

  • This is your chance to win XXXXX
  • We have never given away a prize like this before
  • This is our biggest giveaway yet
  • The giveaway that will change the way you XXXX
  • The ultimate XXXXX giveaway
  • A new XXXX would look good on you
  • Looks like you need a new XXX
  • We messed up, so it’s giveaway time
  • Overstocked items are up for grabs, claim now

Best giveaway winner email subject lines

  • Winner of the XXXXXXX giveaway
  • Are you the lucky winner?
  • Congratulations are in order
  • The XXXX giveaway just ended, winners announced
  • You just won the runner up prize in our giveaway
  • Congratulations
  • Where should we send your prize?

Use some of these subject lines to get people opening your emails. Once you have them opening your emails, there are a few other things you will want to add.

Use emojis

Use them in the description of the email, not in the title. An emoji in the subject line looks like spam, an emoji in the description of the subject line stands out as the inbox is a very boring place full of text, a little color grabs the attention of readers.

Get personal

If you have collected the person’s name, make sure you are using it in the email. Also, check out the example below where we use their name to make it look like they won the runner up prize.

A good way to use this is to claim that they are the runner up. The runner up prize can be a range of things that make someone purchase on the spot.

For example:

  • Runner up prize = $100 gift card when you spend $20 (expires in 24 hours)
  • Runner up prize = Buy 1 get 1 free (expires in 24 hours)
  • Runner up prize = The XXXX pack for $20 instead of $100 (only while stock lasts) or (first 50 people only)

This makes them feel like they are getting a huge amount of value and it also gets them to make their first purchase in your store which is always the hardest one.

Not only that but you are adding scarcity for them to make the purchase quickly.

Set expectations

Don’t spam people, tell them in the announcement email what to expect, are you going to be sending them tips, free content etc. How can you add value and get people into the habit of opening your emails?

Give them the option to unsubscribe

This is a controversial topic, some people try and hide the opt-out and some people put it front and center so that the they do not waste their time on people who are not interested.

Make sure you have an obvious opt-out (unsubscribe) in your contest winner email, this will keep your lead quality high. That means you will have better open and click-through rates which means your deliverability will remain intact.

If you want to skip the hard part of coming up with your own, use this giveaway email template to announce your winner.

TIP: The 1st email is important. We had an open rate over 60% and a CTR of 30% plus for the VYPER’s Ultimate SaaS Giveaway Bundle. Use that attention to your advantage.

contest / giveaway thank you email

Make sure to spend some time planning these emails out, it will be the make or break for a successful campaign.

Leads are no good unless you are able to convert them, the highest converting email you send should be the contest winner email because people are going to open, they are excited and if they don’t win the grand prize you can still give them a runner up prize to add a reason to purchase.

The next section will go into the long term strategy of email drips.

Contest Email Follow-Ups

Once your contest or giveaway is over you are going to want to try and engage with these people. 

If they did not convert during the contest or from the contest winner email, you are going to have to nurture these leads a little longer.

Below is a list of all the types of emails you could send to your leads segment. This segment of your email list are people who have engaged but never purchased.

As soon as someone purchases you want to move those people into a purchasers email segment.

For now, we will just go over the lead emails, join our Facebook group to get other ideas for emails to send to your customers.

  • Positive customer stories & use cases.
  • Free PDF’s or content (Offer something of value).
  • Free plus shipping offer.
  • Testimonials, publicity & social validation.
  • Buy 1 get 1 free.
  • Discount on refillable products.
  • $ or % discount (limited time).
  • Announce your brand’s referral program and give them a bonus for signing up.
  • Trust builder with screenshots of awesome social posts.
  • Content (tips, funny, curated content they will like).
  • Offers (sales, product announcement, bundle sells, open the box, pre-orders).
  • Your top blog posts.
  • Link roundups from the experts in your niche.
  • Fun facts, stats, and knowledge about your niche.
  • Answer FAQ’s from your customers and leads.
  • Debunk risk or objections.

Q&A for Contest Email & Follow-ups

What type of emails must I send out when hosting a contest?

Engagement emails and a contest winner announcement email.

What are engagement emails?

Engagement emails are used to bring awareness to recipients while promoting them to take action upon reading the email.

You can use an engagement email to notify people about your contest and the prize, and also remind them when the contest ends. You can also use this opportunity to boost website traffic by directing readers to your website.

How many engagement emails should I send out?

You can send out as many engagement emails as you want during your contest. However, it is best to keep things to a minimum without being too spammy.

Try to send out an engagement email at least once a week during your contest.

What do I include in the contest winner email?

You can announce the winner of your contest along with a picture of the winning entry. However, you should always contact them first and get permission from them to use their name.

Its also recommended that you supply all participants with a gift as a good gesture for taking part. This can be a discount from your store or free shipping on their next purchase.

You want to compensate those people who took the time to take part in your campaign. They will be disappointed in not winning, so a consolation prize will go a long way in maintaining your brand with all contestants.

What is the purpose of contest follow-ups?

Once your contest is over and you have collected a whole new list of email subscribers, you will then have to nurture your new email leads with follow-up emails.

Follow-up emails are crucial in determining your high-quality leads and can also be an efficient way of boosting your website traffic through email marketing.

So now you have all the giveaway email templates you need to not only announce your giveaway but also how to convert people with an awesome contest winner email.

Let us know in the comments if you have a specific giveaway you want help crafting a winner announcement email with,

Ready to start a contest? We hope you’ll choose VYPER contests! =)


Content marketer at VYPER.io. Over 5 years in email marketing. Built 50k+ email lists. Digital marketing consultant for 7-9 figure businesses.

Pin It on Pinterest