Implementing Text to Win in Your SMS Marketing Campaign

Text to Win
Table of Contents

What Is a Text to Win Contest?

Texting Contests

Texting Contest Examples

Who doesn’t like to take part in contests? We’re easily drawn to them. And what is better than entering a contest with just a text message? Text to win contests make a great text marketing opportunity for businesses, which helps them attract new customers and increase engagement with existing ones.

While this is not a new practice, text to win sweepstakes are a modern take on the concept. It helps grow your marketing campaign’s subscriber list as well as maintain existing clients.

What Is a Text to Win Contest?

Text message sweepstakes allow you to use your mobile phone to text a designated keyword to a specific short code to enter a contest. No hassle, no complicated enrollment, and no going to a physical location. All you need is a phone.

The contest gives you a specific keyword, which you can find in the promotional material. Let’s assume the keyword is “CONTEST.” Then, you have to send the text message to a designated short code, which acts as the recipient's phone number. You’ll also find it in the promotional material.

Now, you send the text that says “CONTEST” to the short code to earn a sweepstake and enter the contest. Then, when the contest is over, you will know whether or not you won through a text or an announcement.

Texting Contests

Texting contests are a win-win situation—people love to win prizes, and businesses love to attract new customers. The return on investment for text to win contests is significantly high. The amount of money you are going to spend on the prize pales in comparison to the number of new customers you will attract.

In any case, business growth and customer engagement are not the only reasons why you should run this text marketing campaign. You can also implement these contests because:

  • They’re easy to set up
  • They don’t require much effort from your customers
  • They raise brand awareness
  • They’re a good way to gather customer information

Texting Contest Examples

Considering how prevalent SMS marketing is, it comes as no surprise that major brands use this channel to its fullest capabilities. Here are a few texting contest examples from big brands.


The famous razor company put up a text to win sweepstakes that targeted football fans in the United States. Their razor packages promoted an SMS short code that they had to use to participate in a quiz. Winners received football-related souvenirs, and the top prize was a trip to Spain with tickets to a football match.


Nivea had just released a new spray for men called “Aqua Cool.” They decided to promote the product through a text to win campaign aimed at the movie-going audience. By distributing free product samples in over 100 cinemas, people learned of this contest. Soon enough, they started participating by sending the keyword “AQUACOOL” to a short code for a chance to win a seven-day skiing trip.


Sony created a campaign that urged people to text the codes they found on Sony CD packs for a chance to win various prizes. As a result, the campaign had a 10% redemption rate and significantly enhanced customer engagement.

Seven Spring Mountain Resort

Seven Spring Mountain Resort partnered with the WUSA 9 TV channel to launch a text to win campaign. They told customers through TV ads to text “SKITRIP” for a chance to win a trip to the ski resort. Hundreds of participants entered the contest, and as a result, the resort acquired new customers as well as new leads and prospects.


McDonald’s had an “Incredible” text to win sweepstakes when Incredibles 2 was about to premiere. Customers who bought soft drinks at any McDonald’s chain restaurant received a code that they could text for a prize. The campaign proved to be a major success.