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Submittable powers you with tools to launch, manage, measure, and grow your social impact programs, locally and globally. From employee giving, volunteering, and corporate social responsibility programs to grants, awards and schol...Read more about Submittable

Award Force

Award Force is award-winning software for leading awards organisers to manage awards entry and judging online. Designed for performance and function, its fast, secure and a great experience for entrants, judges and contest manag...Read more about Award Force


OpenWater is a cloud-based solution that helps users manage the entire lifecycle of grant programs from registration to submission of various types of grants by reaching out to potential grantees. Key features include outcomes mea...Read more about OpenWater


ShortStack is a cloud-based interactive marketing solution that specializes in contest marketing. ShortStack is used by marketers around the world to create sweepstakes, contests, landing pages, special offers and custom sign-up f...Read more about ShortStack


🚀 Upgrade Your Contest Management Software with Zealous: Save Time, Save Money & Boost Entries! As your effortless contest management platform, Zealous manage submissions and boost entry volume, all wh...Read more about Zealous

RQ Awards

RQ Awards is an All-in-One Application and Review Software used by associations, non-profits, foundations, government organizations, foundations and educational institutions around the world to simplify and manage their unique for...Read more about RQ Awards

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Socialshaker is a solution that's solid and accessible to all without technical knowledge, allowing brands to create and distribute interactive marketing contests for their targets: customers, prospects, employees. Integrated wit...Read more about Socialshaker

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VYPER is a customer loyalty management solution that helps businesses conduct contests, set up reward programs and manage giveaways on a centralized platform. It allows team members to use the pre-designed templates to create and ...Read more about VYPER

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SkipsoLabs is a cloud-based innovation and idea management solution designed to help public and private sector organizations. Key features include idea submission, project pipeline, relationship and database management, candidate ...Read more about Skipso


QZZR is a cloud-based quizzing solution that allows users to create custom and self-branded quizzes and helps them drive traffic on social media platforms, present targeted offers and generate qualified leads. Primary features inc...Read more about QZZR


Spinify is a cloud-based employee recognition platform that helps businesses of all sizes engage motivate and reward sales teams using gamification techniques. Designed for real estate, call center and recruitment organizations, t...Read more about Spinify

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SalesScreen is a cloud-based sales performance management solution that helps businesses of all sizes improve employee focus, motivation and productivity. The platform comes with a recognition module, which enables managers to rew...Read more about SalesScreen

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Untap Compete

Untap is a contest management platform that enables organizations to tap into the power of open innovation. An all-in-one platform with best-in-class support that helps you plan, launch, manage, promote & assess online contests. O...Read more about Untap Compete

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VUFORA is an event management solution that helps businesses manage events and contests. The platform enables organizations to organize conferences, workshops, meetings, competitions and award events. Features of VUFORA inclu...Read more about Vufora

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Evalato helps you run effective awards programs and grow your community. It’s the go-to solution for award managers, grant makers and any professional who organizes awards, competitions, and other programs. With Evalato you: - Co...Read more about Evalato

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Reviewr is a cloud-based scholarship management solution, which helps businesses, associations and educational institutions review and collect submissions for grants, awards, contests and fellowships. The platform supports media ...Read more about Reviewr


SweepWidget is a lead generation and contest management solution that helps businesses run giveaways, distribute rewards, collect email addresses, monitor entries, and more on a centralized platform. It allows staff members to uti...Read more about SweepWidget

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Qualifio is a cloud-based solution that enables businesses to gather data from prospects and clients, grow their communities, and interact with the target audience via personalized campaigns. The platform offers a variety of custo...Read more about Qualifio

Learn More is an online form and submission management solution that is designed for corporations, educational institutes, government agencies, TV productions and engineering businesses. It lets staff members track applications, a...Read more about

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Easypromos is a user-friendly platform that allows companies and marketing professionals to create interactive marketing campaigns. It offers various promotion apps for games, quizzes, social media giveaways, photo- and video cont...Read more about Easypromos

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Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

In today’s increasingly digital world, customers find and connect with companies through online search, websites, and social media. Lead generation, social engagement, and brand loyalty are important components of an organization’s marketing strategy. Interactive marketing, such as contests and giveaways, help businesses grow their customer base and increase brand awareness. Contest software makes it easy to create, personalize, and manage contests on company websites and in social media channels.

This guide will explain how contest software helps business owners, marketers, and sales professionals increase engagement, followers, and brand loyalty.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What is contest software?

Contest software makes it easy to run sweepstakes, giveaways, and other contests on company websites and social media channels, such as Instagram and Facebook. Online contests help organizations raise their brand awareness, increase website traffic, expand their social media following, and improve lead generation conversions. Marketing professionals use contest software to streamline contest creation and management, reduce time spent on manual administrative tasks, and deploy effective contests without the need for designers or developers.

Common features of contest software

While features vary from product to product, most contest software offers some or all of the following functionality:

Lead generation

Create conversion-focused lead capture pages to collect qualified leads, segment audiences, and increase prospect conversion rates.

Customizable branding

Add company logos, colors, assets, and more to personalize contest templates. Integrating brand identity ensures uniformity across all channels to drive awareness and engagement.

Contest templates

Get started with pre-designed layouts and themes that can be customized to match your brand without the need for technical skills or coding.

Voting management

Design single or multi-round voting processes to select a contest winner.

Fraud detection

Monitor and moderate entries to ensure they meet specific criteria and are legitimate entries. Proactive fraud monitoring keeps your contest fair by searching for suspicious entries to prevent cheating.


Create quick polls to allow audience voting and participation. Polls are a great way to boost engagement and collect audience data.


Identify patterns in assembled data to learn how users interact with contest campaigns. Use collected data to optimize current and future campaigns.

What type of buyer are you?

Selecting the right contest software for your business starts by understanding what type of buyer you are. Most buyers fall into one of the following categories:

Startups: Contest software helps new businesses raise funds and build relationships with target audiences. Look for features that give you control over branding with customizable content and analytics to track the effectiveness of your campaigns. Sweepstakes, vote contests, and photo contests are low-cost ways to raise brand awareness, promote user-generated content, and convert business prospects into leads.

Small businesses: Small organizations with limited resources should look for contest software that offers numerous features on the most basic plans. Pre-designed templates make it easy to launch a campaign, and customizable branding options ensure that potential customers connect with your business identity.

Marketing agencies: Agencies use sweepstakes, giveaways, and other contest campaigns to create effective marketing strategies for their brands and clients. Look for contest software that offers full customization of all campaign aspects. Comprehensive analytics help agencies identify where traffic comes from and what campaigns generate the most engagement.

Benefits and potential issues

Contest software is designed to offer the following key benefits for businesses:

  • Build brand awareness: An effective online contest can drive site traffic and customer engagement. Asking for a like or follow on social media as part of a giveaway entry increases the number of people who might see the content. When a contest attracts new and relevant audiences, it becomes a promotional tool that drives repeat website visits and converts prospects into leads.

  • Get to know your customers: Online contests are great for learning about your customer base. When there's a chance to win a prize, people are more inclined to share information and answer questions. In addition to contact information, ask questions about interests and habits. The information gathered from contests can be used to enhance product or service offerings, as well as improve marketing and outreach strategies.

  • Boost audience engagement: In addition to collecting important customer information, running a contest can help increase a company's amount of followers, likes, and engagement on social media platforms. Promoting user-generated content for contests raises customer involvement, strengthens brand awareness, and facilitates interaction between brands and customers.

Market trend to understand

Smartphones and tablets are the primary source of all U.S. online traffic. While desktops are still in use and shouldn't be discounted, social media channels are primarily accessed on mobile devices. For instance, even though Facebook has a desktop version, organizations should create content that is optimized for mobile use. Responsive design ensures that pages and content adjust to fit on any device. This keeps the user from having to scroll and zoom to get the content they're looking for. Social platforms are designed to amplify content that drives user interest and activity, so it is critically important that contest software includes mobile-responsive design features.