I'm working in online advertising since 1998 and finally decided to start my own blog.

Sweeps Offers – WTF Is That? Do They Work?

Sweeps offers have taken the affiliate side of internet by a storm, but what the hell are these offers about in the first place? Are they working at all, or is it just another BS that people rave about without any reason? And how ethical it is to promote these, is it a scam or not?

First of all, let’s set the terms straight, Sweeps stand for Sweepstakes, it’s just an abbreviation. So the principle is about offering the visitors a chance to get (win) some reward. The most popular prices are Apple products, so the new iPhones or iPads. Second place goes to shopping vouchers in the big malls like Tesco for exmaple. Check out the following screenshot, I’m sure you have already seen this advertisement before :
sweep1
Once the visitors answer a few questions, and enter their email address into a box, they are automatically entered into a random draw. The winner is then sent the price. Obviously, by going through the process, the visitors agree to receive advertisements to their email address, that’s how the owners of these offers earn their $.

I have seen a lot of people complaining about these offers, they felt like they were the victim of a scam … so how ethical are these offers actually? Now let’s be very clear here, not many people will actually win anything here. Every offer has certain running time (let’s say 3 months) and there is a limited amount of prices. With 1000s of people registering for these sweeps, obviously there will be a lot of disappointed people left, once the draw is over.

But that’s how any lottery works, even state regulated lottery where guys have to pay to enter the draw, has very small amount of winners. The rest are just feeding the machine. So these sweeps do not seem worse to me in any way. The only problem is, some of these offers might be run by scammers, but that’s something we cannot really control. So as always, it’s not about the system, it’s about the people who run it.

Who should promote these offers?

Sweeps are usually simple email collection offers, with lower payouts per registration. This means they are quite easy to convert, which makes them a good choice for any aspiring affiliate marketer. Especially for those who want to start with paid traffic. There is a lot of newbies joining STM Forum all the time and sweeps is one of the most chosen vertical.

Do sweeps still work as good as a year or two ago?

The wast popularity of this vertical means they are still working very well, but that also draws a lot of competition which makes them harder and harder to run. The gold rush is not over yet thou, I know several affiliates who are making $XXX daily profits with these offers, it just takes more testing than a year or two ago.

Thanks for reading.


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4 comments

  1. Thanks for this article. As someone just starting running campaigns I also chose to start with sweepstakes as my ‘training ground’. Do you think I should first test the offers without landing pages instead of setting up every campaign properly so every offer has at least 3 landing pages. Setting up every campaign properly takes a lot of time, so I’m wondering if sweepstakes game is more of a quality or quantity game. Thanks.

    1. Sweeps are not going to work without a landing page, and the more they are promoted, the more aggressive the LPs have to be. So testing offers without landers equals to throwing money out of the window.

      The best approach is to find a working LP first and then mass test offers. Using your own words, sweeps are more about quantity than quality. So mass testing all the way 🙂 But please, not without a lander, that you know can perform well.

  2. Do you have an experience of running sweeps on FB?
    I’ve seen some guys are running sweeps SOI without LP.
    Maybe it is possible because, because the ad creative has picture + text description, so user is warmed up for the offer and ready to put his email.
    What is your experience?

    1. Facebook is a world on it’s own 🙂 Send that traffic to an aggressive LP and anything will convert. The problem – FB doesn’t allow such LPs, so you have to cloak them.

      Since I do not cloak, never, I don’t have much experience with this.

      I’ve seen people promoting sweeps, especially shopping vouchers, pretty heavily on FB. The tactic was to create a FB page for a particular voucher giveaway, and than to boost posts from that page. Not sure how well it still works thou. Give it a try if you want to.

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