How to plan a promotional campaign

Done right, an effective promotional campaign can incentivise customers, build long-term brand loyalty and boost sales. However, with so many brands offering giveaways and competitions, a well-thought-out promotional campaign strategy is essential to stand out from the crowd. 

So, if you’re getting ready to launch a promotional campaign for the first time, you might feel a little unsure of the steps to take. In this guide, we’ll talk you through everything you need to know about planning and executing a promo campaign to ensure you meet (and even exceed) your objectives. 

We’ll cover:

  • What is a promotional campaign?
  • Types of promotional campaigns 
  • Promotional campaign objectives 
  • 7 steps to plan a successful promotional campaign


What is a promotional campaign?

Put simply, a promotional campaign is designed to market a brand, product or service by offering an incentive to customers to make a purchase or complete an action. They’re often used to:

  • increase website traffic
  • boost sales and revenue 
  • create a buzz around a new product
  • help with lead generation
  • improve brand loyalty and awareness. 

A famous example of a promotional campaign is McDonald’s Monopoly. By using several clever mechanisms, such as offering collectable game stickers and a second chance at a prize on their app, McDonald’s has turned eating their fast food into a fun and engaging experience. The prizes ranged from free menu items to discounts for popular brands to £100k in cash.


Types of promotional campaigns

There are various types of promotional campaigns. Not all formats will be appropriate for all brands or objectives. 

Here are a few of the most common types of promotional campaign mechanisms:

  • Prize draws. This is when prize winners are selected at random. For example, an on-pack promotion which offers a chance to win a luxurious holiday through a unique code. 
  • Competitions and contests. Prize winners are picked based on their skill or merit. For example, a competition where contestants have to explain why they deserve to win the prize or take the best photo.  
  • Promo codes and coupons. This is a simple way to engage and incentivise customers by offering discounts, free shipping or a free item. With technology, it’s now simple to create unique, personalised codes for customers which are easy to track.
  • Sales. Offering seasonal or flash sales is an easy way to boost sales and drive traffic over a short period.
  • Loyalty programmes. Creating loyalty programs with multi-level structures is an effective way to incentivise customers and build long-term loyalty. 
  • Brand experiences. An experience or event designed to engage and excite your target audience, such as a pop-up stall offering freebies, an interactive space where people can try your product or a fun, immersive event centred around your brand. 


Promotional campaign objectives 

Boost sales 

One of the main goals of most promotional campaigns is to increase sales and revenue. By offering incentives, you can entice new and existing customers to purchase or complete an action. 

Increase brand awareness

Promotional campaigns, especially those offering unique or significant prizes, can attract media attention and create a buzz around your brand, which helps to amplify your messaging. This can be particularly useful for expanding your target audience or targeting a new audience segment. 

Launch a new product or service

It’s common for a promotional campaign to support launching a new product or service. This helps generate interest in your new offering and incentivises customers to risk purchasing a new product. 

Increase customer loyalty

Planning a promotional campaign centred around your existing customers can increase customer retention, improve loyalty and create brand fans. This might be in the form of a loyalty scheme or brand experience. 


How to create a promotional campaign in 7 steps

The specifics of your promotional campaign will vary depending on your campaign objective and promotional mechanism. For example, there’s a huge difference between a brand experience designed to support the launch of a new product and a loyalty programme designed to promote long-term customer loyalty. However, there are some essential steps you should follow to ensure your promotional campaign runs smoothly.

1.  Set up measurable campaign goals. 

The first step in any marketing campaign should be determining your goals and objectives. What will a successful campaign look like? Are you trying to increase revenue or attract new customers?

You’ll need to identify relevant metrics that you can use to measure the outcome of your marketing efforts, for example, the number of new customers or website visitors in a specific time period or your conversion rate. Ideally, you should set SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-oriented).

2. Identify your target audience 

Once you’ve set your campaign goals, it’s time to identify your target audience. This is especially crucial if your aim is to attract new customers or target a different audience segment. You’ll need to conduct thorough market research to ensure you know exactly who your promotional campaign will be aimed at and how to best engage with them.

3. Choose your communication channels 

You’ll need to choose the most effective communication channels for your target audience and your goal. For example, if your aim is to increase awareness using a prize giveaway, your target audience is 20-30 years old, and you have a relatively small budget, a social media campaign will likely work best to generate engagement and amplify your message.

The number of channels you use will depend on your campaign’s scale and budget restrictions. A large, nationwide promotional campaign with a significant budget will likely involve many different channels and touchpoints, including traditional and digital media, to reach their goals. 

4. Consider working with a specialist agency 

Depending on the scale of your campaign and the results you want to achieve, it might be worth working with a specialist prize promotions agency. From considering the legal aspects and writing terms and conditions to winner selection and prize fulfilment, there’s a lot involved in running a prize draw, competition or promotion. Working with a prize management agency can help streamline the process and help you get the results you want!

5. Choose your promotion and craft your messaging 

You’ll need to decide on your promotional mechanic and message. Your messaging might focus on your product, service, or brand and should neatly encapsulate the essence of your campaign. For example, Amazon Prime Day 2022 Sweepstake’s core message was “Support small and enter for a chance to win big”. This combined the element of supporting small businesses on Amazon (and the associated feel-good factor) with the chance to win significant prizes (up to £ 5,000 Amazon credit). 

6. Define the rules of your promotion 

Including clear rules and terms and conditions is important when running a prize promotion. Your terms and conditions must be comprehensive to ensure you’re covered legally but clear enough for customers to understand. If you’re working with a prize management agency, they’ll handle all the complex terms and conditions to ensure your promotion runs smoothly. 

7. Execute your promotional campaign 

Once your promotional campaign is fully planned, it’s time to launch! Be sure to track your results and make any necessary adjustments to ensure the best possible results. 


Promotions and prize management

At Another Way, we’re big believers in the power of prizes and promotions. If you’re considering running a prize draw, competition or brand experience, we can help…

Our founder, Andrew, has been active in the Promotional Marketing industry for over a decade. He’s worked with the likes of Airbnb and Ocado to create promotional and experiential campaigns that drive real results, boost long-term brand loyalty and forge meaningful relationships. 

We specialise in creating bespoke, ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experiences and prizes to truly connect and incentivise customers. From on-pack promotions to social media competitions, we combine our creativity with our extensive network of global contacts to deliver awe-inspiring prize promotions that resonate with your target audience. 

Check out our campaign inspiration to see what we can achieve, whatever your budget. 

Of course, we don’t just come up with unique prize ideas and remarkable experiences; we also provide complete campaign management to ensure everything goes smoothly. From creating terms and conditions to selecting winners to global prize fulfilment, our expert team will handle every element of your promotional campaign!

We offer:

  • Unique prizes and experiences 
  • Prize promotional mechanics
  • Pan-European and global prize fulfilment 
  • Winner management, selection and entry judging 
  • UK and multi-territory terms and conditions
  • Loyalty reward schemes and consumer incentives 
  • Complete campaign management

If you’re interested in working with us on your next promotional campaign, give us a call at 0778 948 5123 or email us at

Or complete our online form, and a member of our team will be in touch with you as soon as possible