ShortStack offers templates that make it easy to create beautiful Campaigns you can use to engage with people and collect leads. In this Quick Start Guide we’ll take you through the 12 steps it takes to set up a basic vote-to-enter sweepstakes Campaign.
A sweepstakes refers to a giveaway in which winners are chosen at random. (By the way, a contest is another kind of giveaway but it requires entrants to submit something – a photo, video, essay, etc. – and a winner is chosen by a judge or by votes. Click here to learn how to build a photo vote contest in 12 easy steps.)
It should take you about 20 minutes to build your first sweepstakes Campaign. When you’re ready to build Campaigns with more advanced features, we’ve got the resources to help listed on the last page of this document.
Ready? Let’s get started!
Building the Campaign
Log in to your ShortStack account and select "Campaigns" from the menu at the top of the page. Click the orange "New" button. When asked "How would you like to start?", click the "Start with Template" button.
Choose the "Vote to Enter Sweepstakes" template and then click the blue "Use this Template" button.
Choose a theme. In the upper left corner of the Campaign Builder, select a theme by clicking on the gray paintbrush icon. Click "Save" when you’ve found the theme you like.
Replace the header image. You’ll see a "Header Image" widget at the top of the Campaign. Hover over the image in the Preview panel. Click the pencil icon in the top left corner to edit this widget. Click the "Select Image" button. An "Image Selector" window appears. From here, add your header image or build your own graphic with Canva (more on this below). We suggest you feature a picture of your prize!
To jazz up your header image with some pretty graphics, use ShortStack’s Canva integration. Within the Image Widget’s Image Selector, click on the blue "Design a graphic" button.
You will be taken to a Canva interface within ShortStack where you can design your header image. Click "Publish" in the upper right-hand corner when you’re done designing.
Once you’re done uploading your header image or designing it in Canva, within the Image Selector, select your image. Click "Select" when you’re done. You are now within the "Setup" tab of the Image Widget. Click "Save & Exit" to view your new header image.
Add a Background Image. To add a background image to your Campaign, go to "Campaign Settings" by clicking on the gray gear icon.
Shortcut: Click the "Background Image" link on the left side of your ruler.
Next, click on the "Desktop" tab. Within the tab, click on "Select Background Image" to add a background image. Click "Select" and then "Save" when you’re done.
Important Note: Make sure the image you choose is at least 1024x768 pixels, otherwise the image will be too small to be featured in the background.
Edit your Campaign’s text by clicking the section you want to edit. When you hover over each text section, it will highlight itself in the Campaign, as well as in the left-hand column. Once highlighted, click on the gray pencil icon that appears in the left-hand corner. Edit your text and click "Save & Exit."
Add entries for your visitors to vote on. First find the Preview Controls Panel on the right side of your window. Click both the "Test Mode" and "Live Entry Mode" icons to the "On" position. Click the "Entry Restrictions" icon to the "Off" position.
When "Live Entry On" is on, you are able to add entries to your Campaign using the form at the bottom of the Campaign.
Note: You may need to refresh your Campaign to see each new entry you create.
To edit or delete one of the entries you created, click on the "View Entries" icon within the Edit Widgets Panel. In ShortStack’s Forms/Entries manager, you can view, edit and/or delete the voting entries you have created. Click on "Builder" to go back to customizing your Campaign.
To edit your entry form – the form your Campaign entrants will see after they vote – click on the gray pencil icon next to the form name in the Form Widget labeled "ENTER HERE." In the Form Designer, edit your form to include the information fields you want to collect from your Campaign users.
Note: It’s a best practice to only ask for a few key pieces of information, like name and email address, because the more fields you require, the higher your Campaign’s abandon rate will be.
To reward your Campaign users for sharing their information with you, use ShortStack’s Points Per Field Feature to assign a point value to each field of your form. Hover over a field in the form preview and click the pencil icon to edit the field. Find the "Extra Points" section and then enter a number in the "Extra Point Value" field. When you’re happy with your form, click "Save Form" to be directed back to the Campaign Builder.
To edit your sweepstakes rules, click on the gray pencil icon of the Rich Text Widget labeled "Promotion Rules." Within the Rich Text Widget’s "Setup" tab, edit your sweepstake’s rules. If you need some help writing your rules, read our blog post, Best Practices for Writing Facebook Contest Rules: 10 Tips. When you’re done editing your sweepstakes rules, click "Save & Exit."
To customize the message your users see when they click on one of your Campaign’s social media icons, click the Share Widget’s pencil icon located in the Edit Widgets Panel. A pop-up box will appear. In the "Platforms" tab, select the social icons you want to be displayed on your Campaign.
Next, in the "Setup" tab, fill in the "Default Title" and "Default Description" entry fields, and upload a default image.
The template is already set up with the Share Widget connected to both your Pop-up entry form and Voting Widget. To edit these settings, open either widget’s dialog. The sharing setup for the Form Widget is in the main "Setup" Tab. In the Voting Widget, you’ll need to click the "Sharing" tab.
The final step before you publish your Campaign is to go through and use it as a user would. Vote and enter information in your pop-up forms, test all your Campaign links, etc.
To test your Campaign as a user, find the Preview Controls Panel on the right side of your window. Click the "Test Mode" icon to the "On" position. Be sure to click the "Live Entry Mode" icon to the "Off" position before you enter a test submission. A test submission will not display a live entry on your published Campaign. Turn your "Entry Restrictions" off to test multiple entries.
To prepare to publish your Campaign, start by deleting the "Instructions" widget. Click to highlight the widget, then in the top right corner click on the gray trashcan icon. Now that you’ve deleted the instructions, you’re ready to publish your Campaign.
Yippee, you’re done! It’s time to publish your Campaign! Click on the big orange "Publish Campaign" button in the middle above your ruler. Make sure to copy the Campaign URL to promote your Campaign.
If you would like to publish to Facebook or further customize, you may do so by clicking the options below your link.