Dwell is one of America’s most popular modern design magazines and has ignited the conversation about how good design affects our lives. Since 2000, Dwell has transformed from a media company into a cultural movement where old ideas are challenged and thought leaders design new form.

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There to support Dwell’s growth and thought leadership is social media. Over the years, Dwell has built a considerable social media presence. On Twitter the brand has over 594,000 followers and counting; over 403,000 Facebook Page likes. But you don’t build a community that strong and engaged without thinking of new ways to grow them.

Seeing that nothing encourages growth—and lead generation—quite like a giveaway of fantastic products, Dwell’s Client Services team, lead by Jessie Philipp, launched a sweepstakes on social media.

What they did: The sweepstakes

If you haven’t heard of the annual Dwell Holiday Giveaway, you’re in for a surprise. Every winter holiday season, Dwell works with their industry advertisers to give away fabulous high-value prizes in a sweepstakes. The 2014 Dwell Holiday Giveaway, which took place from November 17th until December 22nd 2014, was the first time Philipp used Hootsuite Campaigns for the social sweepstakes.

This time, they offered 22 iconic prizes that appealed to anyone with an eye for great design. Throughout the 35-day campaign, the daily prizes ranged from $1000 gift cards to lounge chairs and showerheads.

Sponsors chose which prizes they’d donate based on many factors. For example, Herman Miller has been donating their signature Eames chair as part of the Dwell Holiday Giveaway for five years. Smaller companies took the opportunity to highlight new or special edition products. Many of these items were worth more than $1,000 so the stakes of this sweepstakes were high.

Prize dates were also decided by the sponsors. The four biggest prizes were strategically timed for the first and last days of the campaign and two in the thick of it. Launch day was an exciting one with the full list of prizes announced—and if entrants didn’t win one day, they could enter the next.

How they did it: How to launch a successful social sweepstakes

Hootsuite Campaigns is equipped with more than 15 campaign types, including sweepstakes. The great thing about sweepstakes is the clear value proposition. In exchange for contact information, contest entrants get a chance to win a prize. For businesses, it’s one of the easiest ways to generate business leads.

Of Hootsuite Campaigns’ three host options, Philipp decided to embed the sweepstakes into a landing page on Dwell’s website. This gave them a ‘home court advantage,’ so all contest entrants repeatedly visited Dwell.com, driving traffic beyond the campaign page.

To promote the landing page—and sweepstakes—Philipp had Tweets going out every day. While other businesses often split marketing support between several social profiles, Dwell’s audience at the time was twice as large on Twitter. They also had a greater history of shareability on Twitter, so they used that to their advantage to build campaign awareness.

Making the campaign a series of daily sweepstakes was a smart decision that led to some great results.

Two other factors in Dwell’s success were:

  • Sense of urgency: Prizes expired each day, so no one could afford to hesitate and risk missing out
  • Enticing Prizes: Choose prizes that matched the interests of target demographics

Philipp used Hootsuite Campaigns live data to understand landing page and social performance and tweak messaging in real time. She could look for demographic trends, refine by geography, and understand the customer experience.

The results

The campaign landing page accumulated 112,510 views. Those visitors entered over 97,000 times across the 35 days of the sweepstakes.

Hootsuite Campaigns tracked entrants for each individual daily sweepstakes; with this data, not only could Dwell track which countries produced the most entrants, but which prizes motivated their customers the most. Dwell used this data to help steer future editorial content for the site. They also shared the leads for each company’s sweepstakes with their sponsors. Every sweepstakes was an opportunity for Dwell’s sponsors to tweet out, giving them ownership and broadening the reach of the campaign.

The most popular of the daily campaigns were those either with the most famous prizes or the last opportunities to get in on the sweepstakes. With over 9,500 entrants, the very last draw for a prize got the most entries. A $400 gift card to the Dwell store is a great prize, but the second-most entered campaign was arguably the biggest-ticket item: December 12th’s Eames lounge chair. In third place was the penultimate campaign for a St. Regis mattress.

Dwell.com knew what it wanted, and the best way to get it. The campaign showed off the best products their sponsors had to offer; the volume and the quality of donated prizes made Dwell and each individual sponsor look generous and invested in the happiness of their fans.

The Dwell Holiday Giveaway proved what Hootsuite Campaigns already knew: when it comes to lead generation, there’s nothing more effective than a sweepstakes.

The following year, Dwell rebranded the campaign as Dwell’s Merry Modern Giveaway and added more cross promotional elements to support its success. They nearly tripled the amount of revenue generated from participating advertisers over the previous year.

We are excited to continue using Hootsuite Campaigns as our platform of choice.


Jessie Philipp
Program Manager, Client ServicesDwell Media