Everybody loves giveaways! But are they a good idea? We all know they can be overused and abused, but how can they be valid? There are several approaches to giveaways on Twitch. Let me briefly outline the HOW, and then let me talk a bit about the WHY.
Type 1 – The Door Prize
Pretty simple, you put the word “giveaway” in the first three words of the stream title, it draws people in. Everyone loves free games. You do the drawing either at a random spot, or when you need to spice up the chat. Often, viewers expect the giveaway to be the same game you’re playing, even if this is not usually financially possible.
Type 2 – The Loyalty Reward Program
This is the type of giveaway that rewards time spent in the channel with currency that loyal viewers can spend on ticket chances or straight out trading the tokens for games. Often you’ll see channels that reward subscribers at a higher rate that the common viewer.
Type 3 – The Payoff for Meeting Goals Together
This is a type of reward that the channel does to celebrate an event or build hype. Events can be things like…meeting the sub goals, follow goals, or with something epic that happens in-game. Hype breeds more hype, so you can learn to use giveaways as a tool for really engaging your chatroom into excitement for the goals that WE all reached together, and wouldn’t have done without the help of the chat.
Where you get the goods:
So one of my best tricks is buying HumbleBundle bundles for as cheap as a buck, storing those away, and then pulling from them once the HumbleBundle is over. It’s cheap, effective, and the games are high-quality. You’ll get your money back in how it progress the stream, trust me.
Another great option is… in-game giveaways, games, or even hardware that come from referral programs or sponsorship with companies. (You are working to get connections with game companies, right? You should be. This is a side-benefit)
The last place is a place you may not expect, and has been the source of the most games for myself personally, but your mileage may vary. People will just DONATE game codes to you, if you let it be known that the donations of spare codes benefit the stream and make sure to praise them both for the initial donation and again when you give it away to the chat. People often are sitting on oodles of spare Steam sale titles or leftover bundle keys. Once you build your community up, it just feels like sharing games with family, because that’s what you are.
Tools for running giveaways
So, most of the bots have SOME sort of raffle or giveaway system built into them. Moobot and Nightbot have a basic version of this, although Nightbot’s tools are rather inferior and Moobot plays favorites for reasons unknown.
But let’s upgrade your giveaway game. Here are the tools I recommend:
I like stream currency. You get more long-term viewers and less giveaway tourists. Stream currency is found in DeepBot, Xanbot, Manabot, and a few other smaller bots. The instructions vary, but typically the points count as entries into a raffle-style giveaway, and you can set max bets
For big items, use gleam.io and require quite a bit of interaction from your followers, to make sure they’re following all your social channels and make these giveaways last a couple of weeks or so.
The WHY of giveaways
Giveaways are to build hype, reward the loyal, and act as one of your tools for bringing in foot traffic.
Here’s my advice… The door prize only works so far. It has a place, but it’s not that powerful. It can bring in foot traffic, but these gawkers are usually just there for the giveaway. You’ll hear constant “when is the giveaway” questions for the entire stream, which can get tiresome. And often, people will unfollow after not winning a giveaway. But there’s a certain small conversion rate of people that stay for the stream after initially only showing up for the game.
So if you do the Door Prize option, do it to clear chat, when you need a break, when things are slow… And advertise the giveaways as random, so that they’ll hopefully stick around.
I find loyalty giveaways a lot more powerful, long-term. Time these viewers spend in your channel talking and just watching, that’s valuable and so this is you rewarding them. For partners, you CAN reward subs over your regular viewers, and it might drive higher subscriptions, but I think this risks offending those who can’t afford to subscribe, so it’s a double-edged sword.
I love fostering an atmosphere of giving. When you get your audience hyped, everything goes smoother. There are more donations, more hype, and even though the games you’re giving away may be smaller, you can make a big deal over them, do a drumroll, have everyone in the chat congratulate the winners, and keep a real good-vibes going with giveaways. They can be so powerful, especially if you have a mod running them for you that understands how, has access to your giveaway spreadsheet, and is able to communicate privately with you somehow on when to start things.
Check your local/state laws. If you hold raffles that have a barrier of entry, like being required to be a paid subscriber to be entered, these raffles can cross into the grey territory of LOTTERY, which has a lot of regulations and taxes associated, potentially. Also doing expensive giveaways to users outside your home country can have issues. I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice, but YOU need to look up your own laws.