3 Easy Ways to Engage Your Audience Around Thanksgiving

Capitalize on the winter holidays to generate revenue and build your database toward the end of the year with Thanksgiving promotions

You should be taking advantage of every major holiday on the calendar to generate revenue and engagement with your audience by running themed contests, ballots, and deals stores.

Here are a few ideas for Thanksgiving promotions you can run throughout the month of November:

Keep reading to get tips for quickly and easily setting up all of these promotions, as well as to see a selection of sample branding for each.


Sweepstakes are a great way to build up your email database and social following. This year, grow your list in preparation for a Cyber Week deals store by running a sweepstakes at the beginning of October. The best theme for this time of year is something that connects to food and family, like a grocery store Thanksgiving dinner giveaway. You could also get creative and give away a dinnerware set or new appliances. How awesome would a new oven to cook the Thanksgiving Turkey to be? Here are a few more sponsor ideas:

  • Local Grocery Store
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Meat Market
  • Specialty Food Stores
  • Furniture Retailers
  • Appliance Stores
  • Movie Theaters


Remember that the bigger the prize, the more entries you’ll receive. Try to keep the value above $100. If you are partnering with a grocery store, they could even use their co-op dollars from a seasonally relevant supplier like Butterball.

For more tips about how to set up and administer a successful sweepstakes contest, check out this article. One thing you always want to be sure to do is include an opt-in to grow your or your advertiser’s email list. Craft it with an offer to encourage even more people to opt in! Examples for a Thanksgiving sweepstakes could include, “Yes, I would like to receive a Thanksgiving coupon book” or “Yes, I would like you to send me a collection of fantastic Thanksgiving Recipes from the sponsor.”

Check out this gallery of branding from past Thanksgiving sweepstakes for even more inspiration:

Thanksgiving Sweepstakes

Thanksgiving Contest

Thanksgiving Giveaway

Thanksgiving Sweeps

2012 Thanksgiving Dinner Giveaway - The Observer Group

Thanksgiving Movie Ticket Giveaway


Bring in additional revenue and generate audience engagement toward the end of the year by running a holiday ballot that includes categories relating to a variety of winter holidays, the first being Thanksgiving. Launch the ballot in early November and run it for a full month, ending in early December. A ballot like this is also a great way to crowdsource content for your winter holiday guide or programming. For a full list of categories and sub-categories to include, take a look at this article. You can see some branding from past Holiday Ballots below:

Thanksgiving Holiday Ballot

Holiday Shopping Ballot


Thanksgiving is a great time of year to run a recipe contest since it’s when people are thinking about cooking. You can call for entries of Thanksgiving recipes in general or you can get more specific, with a contest theme like Thanksgiving Desserts, Side Dishes, Turkey Preparation, Leftovers, and so on.

A recipe contest is a great one to run if you would like to engage a segment of your audience – such as cooks or moms – for a specific advertiser, like a grocery store. This niche opportunity is also a perfect way to crowdsource recipes to include in a special print section or on-air programming.

Since the barrier to entry is a little higher than it is for a sweepstakes, you want the prize to be worth more. Try to keep the prize value over $250 dollars. Other than that, look for the same sorts of prizes you would offer in a sweepstakes – new appliances, gift cards from the sponsor, and the like.

Thanksgiving Recipe Contest

Thanksgiving Promotions


November is a time when many people are taking the time to review what they are thankful for. Create a feel-good essay contest to collect these stories and attract a sponsor who is interested in spreading the feelings of goodwill. You can also feature the stories from the contest in print or on air throughout the month to get even more out of the promotion.

Thanksgiving Contest

Thanksgiving Essay Contest

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