How many times have you found yourself browsing a webpage where you keep coming across annoying jargon and acronyms that make no sense to you?

Chances are that if you’re interested in entering or creating online competitions, you’ve come across more than a few new words.

This might not be so if you’ve got a background in marketing, advertising or business, but even the savviest marketer can’t remember what every marketing acronym stands for.

Besides, we’re not here to do a degree in advertising; we’re here to learn how to make great online giveaways, share them with your audience, or just have a bit of fun trying our luck at winning some great prizes.

Here is a list of the most common terms you will come across when looking up giveaways that might throw new users a curveball.


When it comes to online marketing, a giveaway is something that a business usually offers in exchange for something small, but useful for their business growth.

You’ve probably noticed that online businesses are always offering free e-books or free access to a short course in exchange for your email. These offers are their giveaways, and they are willing to make the trade for your email or to get exposure to a broader audience.

Giveaways can be anything from a short course to a car to a holiday in Bali.


A sweepstake is kind of like a contest, except the winner is selected based on nothing but a random draw.

Sweepstakes are like raffles, where lots of people buy tickets, hoping that they will be the lucky winner, except you aren’t allowed to charge people to enter a sweepstake in the US.

Businesses use sweepstakes to attract new people in the hope that by drawing them in with something interesting, they can then go on to convert that lead into a sale down the track.

Lead/ Lead generation/ Lead magnet

A lead is when a business gets an opportunity to connect with someone in a way that could lead to a sale.

For example, a common goal for online giveaways is to get people to share the opportunity with their friends. Of all the people who engage with the giveaway, some will take a further interest in the business. These are what we call leads, and a giveaway is a great way to generate these leads, that’s why we call it “lead generation.”

A lead magnet is just the tool that you use to attract leads. So, we can say that giveaways are a great lead magnet because they are.


In relation to sweepstakes, consideration means to exchange something of value to enter the draw. It is illegal in the US to include consideration in sweepstakes where the prize is drawn randomly because this would place the sweepstake in the same category as a lottery.

For it not to become a lottery, the sweepstake must eliminate one of the three elements that define a lottery.

  • Chance to win a prize
  • Is randomly drawn
  • Has an element of consideration

Usually, consideration is the easiest one to eliminate.


The main difference between a contest and a sweepstake is that a contest’s winner is determined by a set of rules or demonstration of skill. The winner of a sweepstake is selected at random.

No purchase necessary

You might see this come up when you enter a sweepstake. It comes back to what we talked about above. It is illegal to charge people to enter a sweepstake in the US.

A purchase will not affect your chances of winning

Again, you might see this in the rules when you enter a sweepstake. It means that companies cannot let people enter on the condition that they buy their products. They also aren’t allowed to give better odds to existing customers over others.


In a nutshell, a promotion is an attempt to draw attention to something in a positive way.

Any type of marketing is designed to promote a product or service, even if it isn’t directly trying to sell something.

Giveaways, contests and sweepstakes are all ultimately a marketing tactic. The goal may not be to drive sales straight away but draw attention to a company to create awareness.


In marketing terms, awareness is all about potential customers becoming aware that your business exists. Awareness is considered the first stage of the buyer journey and the “top of the marketing funnel”.

Often an online giveaway is designed to create this awareness. The goal isn’t to drive sales from the giveaway but to “fill the top of the funnel” with new leads that might move further along the buyer’s journey towards making a sale.


Whenever money is invested in a business, it is weighed against how much money will ultimately be made from that investment. We call this Return on Investment or ROI.

When a company runs a giveaway, they are investing the money the giveaway costs in the hope that by reaching a new audience, they will ultimately see a higher return on that investment.


Many websites that host giveaways make their money by selling promotion packages to help drive traffic to the giveaway. Sometimes you will have the option to pay per click on your giveaway.

CPC stands for cost per click and refers to what it cost you to get each click. PPC stands for price per click and is used when describing the payment model of “paying per click” for your advertising.


Usually, the goal of running an online competition is to get conversions. A conversion is when a user takes the action you wanted them to take. Conversions can be things like:

  • Signing up to your email newsletter
  • Making a purchase
  • Filling out a form
  • Attending a webinar


CTR stands for click-through rate and refers to the number of people who click on a link to your website, landing page, or social media.

CTR is relevant to giveaways because you will want to maximize the amount of traffic clicking through to your giveaway. CTR is a performance metric, and you will want to track how many clicks you are getting and where they are coming from.


When somebody opts into your deal they are deciding they want to be a part of it. This is ultimately the goal for giveaways as we are trying to offer people something worth handing over an email or social media share for.

The opposite of opting in is getting spammed or being bombarded with pop up ads.

Bookmark this page

The world of marketing acronyms and sales terms can be a confusing one. Giveaways are either about promoting your business or having fun. Either way, it’s easier if you understand the jargon on giveaway sites.

Feel free to bookmark this page so that you can refer back to it if you need to.

We are one of the only websites that allow our audience to manage their giveaway from creation to promotion. Check out some of these great giveaways hosted on our site; you never know what you might win!