Internet Marketing – The Law Governing Interactive Giveaways

by Guest

Incentive based internet marketing is a typical strategy used by many internet marketers to develop consumer interest in their product line. It’s huge industry. Marketers strive to build direct, personal connections with their target audience. They want their audience to be receptive to learning about what they can offer. They want their audience to be ‘engaged’ with their brand and with the marketer as well.

In exchange for the opportunity to win a prize, compete in a contest, amass points in a rewards program, marketers develop their ability to acquire valid, relevant information about their audience. The process allows marketers to hone their niche with precision. It is the way valuable lists are built.

This article is a general summary of promotion law, the do’s and don’ts. While specific laws vary state to state, being aware of the general legal parameters is a good place to start for any internet marketer. Confirming the information in your particular state of operation is advised once you know the basic premises.

The Law of Lotteries. The working definition of lottery refers to a promotion in which prizes are awarded to individuals who are required to pay something, known as ‘consideration’ in legalese, for the chance to win.

A lottery incorporates 3 specific criteria: a prize, random selection or chance and consideration.

Consideration means that the consumer gives something with discernible value for the opportunity to participate. It can be an entry fee, purchase of a product or even the disclosure of personal information.

A legal promotion requires that one of these three elements must be absent or eliminated from the process. For example, a ‘sweepstakes,’ usually means a lottery which has no requirement of consideration. A consumer completes an entry form and winners are determined by random drawings. No purchase of anything is required to participate.

If the main way to enter a contest does require a purchase, the sponsor is required to offer an alternate method of entry (AMOE), For example, if you are required to first purchase a product, visit a website to register, the promoter must offer an alternate way to participate. This can be accomplished through a separate online entry form, an online code request or by inviting consumers to mail in a postcard with their entry information.

NO SPAM. Internet marketers are encouraged not to spam as it is counter-productive to marketing from the purely psychological perspective. You want to always deliver quality content, not constantly sell.

When you market without consent, your efforts are destructive to your goals. The Controlling the Assault of non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM) regulates this type of offense. Therefore, it is not only counter-productive to good marketing, it is against the law.

The law governing interactive giveaways for internet marketers is still in its infancy. It will definitely be going through an evolutionary process just as the internet and it various applications will. Hopefully the law will be able to keep up.

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