We all know that the most successful social media contests are ones that offer $25,000 round-the-world vacations for the whole family.

The thing is, that’s not possible for most businesses.

This article will give you 160 contest prize ideas, all of which are valued at under $500.

We’ve structured these contest ideas based on 10 common industries. Simply click on your business type within the table of contents below to find contest prize ideas related specifically to you.

Table of Contents:

  • Women’s Fashion
  • General Ecommerce
  • Men’s Fashion
  • Fitness
  • Photography
  • B2B
  • Hospitality/Spa
  • Restaurant
  • Auto
  • Dental/Cosmetic Medical
  • Real Estate
  • Bloggers
  • Infants and Kids
  • Seasonal
  • Contest Prize Ideas for the Women’s Fashion Industry

    Online contests are a perfect marketing strategy for any business within the women’s fashion industry.

    Remember when targeting people with an online contest within the women’s fashion industry that often your target market will be the partners or family of your official target market. This is especially true for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Christmas.

    Contest Prize Ideas:

    1. Mother’s Day outfit giveaway
    2. “You deserve it!” wardrobe-changing giftcard
    3. 50% off any purchase (sales make great contests too!)
    4. “Night-on-the-town” outfit giftcard
    5. Partner with a hair/makeup/spa in your area and give away a makeover
    6. New Years fitness product giveaway
    7. “Sleepy Sunday” comfortable clothing giveaway
    8. Partner with a yoga studio and give away yoga gear and 10 free classes
    9. “Girls trip” – getaway for 4 with product prize package
    10. Summer beach day outfit giveaway (with sunscreen, umbrella and beach mat)

    Women’s Fashion Contest Examples from Wishpond:

    Contest Prize Ideas for the Ecommerce Industry

    Online shoppers are the #1 target market for online contests. They’re tech-savvy, heavy social-media users who are comfortable with sharing your contest with friends.

    As a result, my #1 recommendation for an eCommerce contest is a bonus entry campaign, in which your winner is decided randomly, but entrants can gain additional entries in return for sharing the contest with their friends.
    Check out the thumbnails below to see real-world examples of eCommerce bonus entry contests.

    Contest Prize Ideas:

    1. Your winter line before the holidays
    2. Something patriotic around Independence Day
    3. Your summer line in late Spring
    4. A “his and hers” package for Valentine’s Day (or “Just for Him/Her” for Father’s/Mother’s Day)
    5. A package of your products (to maximize the appeal)
    6. Black Friday or Cyber Monday product giveaway
    7. Summer beach day prize package
    8. Partner with a brand with a similar target market give away both your products (Cross-promote to your existing contacts to trade)
    9. Free shipping for a year
    10. Credit for every friend referred

    General Ecommerce Contest Examples from Wishpond:

    Ready to start your ecommerce contest?

    Wishpond can help. Our contest templates and easy-to-use builder make creating a successful contest super easy. Click here to learn more.

    Contest Prize Ideas for the Men’s Fashion Industry

    If you’re marketing within the men’s fashion industry, remember that your target market is often the partners of men – not men themselves.

    With this in mind, focus on visual contests (and visual social media platforms to share). Studies show that women are more active on visual social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc) than men. As a result, consider photo contests, hashtag contests, referral contests, etc, for your next Valentine’s Day or Father’s Day contest.

    Contest Prize Ideas:

    1. Father’s Day product giveaway
    2. Night out to a concert alongside your product
    3. Football jersey alongside your product giveaway
    4. BBQ/summer party outfit
    5. Accessories (watch, hat, belt, wallet, etc) to finish an outfit
    6. Product package: main item + accessories
    7. Groomsman package (3 or 4 groomsman gifts)
    8. Partner with a barbershop in your area and give a “manly makeover”
    9. “Guys trip” getaway with product prize package
    10. “Lazy Sunday” product prize package

    Men’s Fashion Contest Examples from Wishpond:

    Ready to start your men’s fashion contest?

    Wishpond can help. Our contest templates and easy-to-use builder make creating a successful contest super easy. Click here to learn more.

    Contest Prize Ideas for the Fitness Industry

    We run more contests for the fitness industry than any other industry (except, perhaps, eCommerce). The industry just lends itself to contests: it’s a visual industry with the possibility of easy and clearly valuable prizes.

    Plus, the value of a lead is high and follow-up campaigns are often successful.

    And, better yet, whenever you give away a free month’s subscription, you quickly make your money back when people continue with your gym (as opposed to the single-purchase structure of many other business types).

    I can’t recommend contests enough for the fitness industry.

    Contest prize ideas:

    1. 6 months free membership
    2. Free personal training
    3. Free yoga classes with free mat
    4. “Spin with the girls!” – Give away a spin class for 4
    5. $50 gift card to the products you sell at your fitness center
    6. Free kid’s martial arts classes
    7. Free workout plan
    8. Free healthy eating plan
    9. Free 12-month family workout package
    10. Free membership – Only give a complete free membership if you’re running a bonus entry/referral contest as you’ll need to get a lot of prospective members to make your prize worth it.

    Fitness Contest Examples from Wishpond:

    Ready to start your fitness contest?

    Wishpond can help. Our contest templates and easy-to-use builder make creating a successful contest super easy. Click here to learn more.

    Contest Prize Ideas for Photography

    Photographers have, for a long time, relied on word-of-mouth and references to find success.

    Online contests, though, can be the equivalent of word-of-mouth x 100.

    A bonus entry contest, where you give entrants additional chances to win when they share and refer their network, is a fantastic way for your business to get dozens of new prospective customers.

    Think about it, if you’re targeting people for an engagement shoot, the majority of their friends will be around the same age – perfect for a follow-up email that prompts their own shoot down the line.

    Contest prize ideas:

    1. A wedding package (use a referral contest for this to be sure you get the details of your winner’s soon-to-be-married friends!)
    2. A family photo shoot built around seasonality
    3. Free photo editing with a paid shoot
    4. A sexy/boudoir shoot around Valentine’s Day
    5. A photoshoot for Friend’s Day (with costumes)
    6. Free framing of photos from a paid photo shoot
    7. Free engagement shoot with every wedding package
    8. Pregnancy/new baby photo shoot
    9. “Girls weekend” with professional photo shoot (partner with a hotel)
    10. Partner with a hairdresser or makeup artist to give away a photo shoot

    Photography Contest Examples from Wishpond:

    contest prize ideas
    contest prize ideas

    Ready to start your photography contest?

    Wishpond can help. Our contest templates and easy-to-use builder make creating a successful contest super easy. Click here to learn more.

    Contest Prize Ideas for B2B

    1. 3-months free software subscription
    2. Partner with another platform/business to give away a year subscription to both (check out our walkthrough of how we’ve used partnerships)
    3. Sports team sponsorship
    4. A feature in your industry report/case study
    5. Gift basket (great for internal contests)
    6. Black Friday discount plan
    7. New Year product giveaway
    8. Free delivery for a year (if you’re a supplier)
    9. Credit for every business referred
    10. Sponsored corporate retreat

    Contest Prize Ideas for the Hospitality/Spa Industry

    The hospitality and spa industry has the greatest possibility of their contests going viral, as their prizes are (compared to every other industry in this article) the most valuable.

    This is especially true if your hotel or spa teams up with a restaurant or other business to give away a complete weekend experience

    My recommendation for the hospitality and spa industry is a straight sweepstakes (rather than one of the more complicated contest types). But remember to get your entrant’s contact information. Because your prizes are worth so much, you’ll need to convert as many of your entrants as possible to find a positive return on investment.

    Top Tip: We had a very successful client use a bonus entry contest to drive reviews. To learn how it was done, book a time to chat with one of our representatives and ask them about it.

    Contest prize ideas:

    1. 2-Night Stay (hotel)
    2. Partner with a restaurant and give a romantic weekend package (hotel)
    3. Partner with a spa and give a relaxing weekend package (hotel)
    4. Partner with a theme park and give a family weekend package (hotel)
    5. Free upgrade to your most expensive room (hotel)
    6. Free couple’s massage for Valentine’s Day (spa)
    7. “She deserves it” Mother’s day spa day giveaway
    8. “Girls Weekend” spa day with hotel stay and dinner
    9. Single deep tissue/Swedish massage (give away one per day for a week to increase the perceived chance of winning)
    10. Sports therapy session

    Hospitality/Spa Contest Examples from Wishpond:

    Ready to start your hospitality or spa contest?

    Wishpond can help. Our contest templates and easy-to-use builder make creating a successful contest super easy. Click here to learn more.

    Contest Prize Ideas for the Restaurant Industry

    Contests can be a powerful way to drive people to your restaurant – particularly if you’re a newer restaurant wanting to generate a bit of buzz.

    Restaurants are also a great partner for hotels, spas and theme parks in your area. If you’re struggling for ideas beyond “win a free meal,” reach out to a hotel nearby and pitch the idea of a “weekend getaway” package where they give away a two-night stay and you provide a romantic dinner. This will increase the value of your prize considerably and (therefore) the popularity of your contest.

    Contest prize ideas:

    1. Romantic dinner for two (“Get away from the kids”)
    2. Dinner for 4 – Name our newest dessert
    3. Dinner for 4 – Submit your child’s menu design
    4. “Dinner and a Movie” with tickets
    5. “Just Desserts” 6 vouchers for summer desserts
    6. Partner with a hotel and give away a romantic weekend trip
    7. A Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings
    8. A Superbowl party pack
    9. A $20 gift card
    10. Free dessert & bottle of wine with dinner

    Restaurant Contest Examples from Wishpond:

    Ready to start your restaurant’s contest?

    Wishpond can help. Our contest templates and easy-to-use builder make creating a successful contest super easy. Click here to learn more.

    Want to run an online giveaway but don’ have the time or expertise to do it yourself? Access your own dedicated marketing experts to create and run campaigns for you. Book a demo to find out more.

    Contest Prize Ideas for the Auto industry

    You might be surprised to hear that contests can work really well for the auto industry. But there’s a single reason: Once you get a customer in, they’ll keep coming back. Sometimes for years.

    As a result, giving away something for free often results in a positive return on your investment within two visits.

    And you always have the possibility of an upsell.

    Contest prize ideas:

    1. Vehicle winterizing
    2. 1 year free car care
    3. Oil changes
    4. Complete vehicle detailing
    5. Summer vehicle checkup (before roadtrip season)
    6. Vehicle rental
    7. Windshield repair
    8. “Scrapes and Bumps” removal
    9. Free tire rotation/change
    10. New set of tires

    Auto Industry Contest Examples from Wishpond:

    Contest Prize Ideas for the Dental/Cosmetic Medical Industry

    One of the best things about online contests for the dental and cosmetic medical industry is that your services are high-value, and you have a high loyalty/return rate for your customers.

    All you need to do is find a simple contest prize and you become your winner’s (and all your entrants, if you give a 50% discount to entrants in a follow-up email) go-to service provider.

    Contest prize ideas:

    1. Free consultation
    2. Valentine’s Day
    3. Pre-wedding treatment
    4. Back-to-school dental care
    5. “Golden Years” cosmetic treatment
    6. Teeth whitening
    7. 50% off treatment of your choice (up to a certain $ value)
    8. Cash toward any treatment
    9. A new smile
    10. $500 towards botox
    11. Tooth implants

    Dental/Cosmetic Medical Contest Examples from Wishpond:

    Contest Prize Ideas for the Real Estate Industry

    What’s great about online contests for the Real Estate industry is that people love to spruce up their homes and make them their own. This means that home decor prizes are a sure bet to get people excited about your online contest.

    Contest prize ideas:

    102. Kitchen appliances from top brands

    103. Home cleaning for a year

    104. A complete home makeover

    105. A professional organizing service

    106. Entertainment packages featuring TVs & stereos

    107. “Man Cave” makeover

    Contest Prize Ideas for Bloggers

    As a blogger, running a contest is a great way to build your email list and generate traffic to your content. But to get the most out of your contest, you need to choose the right prize. In this case, prizes based on your offerings are a sure bet.

    Contest prize ideas:

    108. Coaching sessions with you

    109. Your digital products like ebooks, templates, and PDFs

    110. Access to your courses

    111. Access to your webinars

    112. 1-year Free Membership to your gated content

    Pet Care Prize Ideas

    People love their pets. They’re basically like family, This means that if you’re in the pet care industry and run a contest, you’ll not only gain a lot of attention but also increase your sales.

    The best prizes for the pet care industry are ones owners can use to spoil their pets. If your prize is something for both the owners and the pets, even better!

    Contest prize ideas:

    113. New pet starter kit

    114. Training classes

    115. Pet products

    116. Grooming sessions

    117. Pet food for a year

    Prize Ideas for Infants and Kids

    If your target audience is families with kids, then offering prizes that make life at home a little easier is a good idea. And since having kids is expensive, running contests that reduce these expenses are extremely popular among parents.

    If you’re looking to generate more leads in this demographic, you can’t go wrong with the following giveaway prize ideas:

    Contest prize ideas:

    118. Diapers for a year

    119. New baby starter kit

    120. Baby proofing kit

    121. Back-to-school collection

    122. Toy shopping spree

    123. Family-friendly vacation

    Seasonal Prize Ideas

    Running giveaways in line with holidays and seasons is a great way to take the excitement around them and leverage it for your campaigns. Choosing your giveaway prizes is pretty easy since most holidays and seasons already have set themes you can use to guide your prize ideas.

    Seasonal Prize Ideas:

    Build excitement for your campaigns by aligning them to the changing seasons. Check out the following prize ideas:

    124. Spring Wardrobe Update

    125. Summer Vacation

    126. Family activities

    127. Summer supplies

    128. Back-to-School supplies

    129. Tailgating gear

    130. Certificate for a Leaf Raking Service

    130. Cold weather care package

    131. Winter gear

    132. Ski and snow trips

    133. Christmas Shopping Spree

    134. Christmas Decorations & Supplies

    Valentine’s Day Prize Ideas:

    A popular holiday with couples, the best prizes for Valentine’s day involve spoiling the winners. Here are some great prize ideas:

    135. Dinner For Two

    136. Flower Bouquet

    137. Treat and Chocolate Basket

    138. Selection of Jewelry

    139. Spa Day Certificate

    Easter Prize Ideas:

    Easter time sees families come together and your prizes should encourage this even more. Try out these prize ideas:

    140. Basket of Easter Chocolates

    141. Tickets to an Easter Egg Hunt

    142. Easter Arts And Toys Basket for Kids

    4th ofJuly Prize Ideas:

    Tap into fun around this patriotic holiday and offer prizes that lean into this spirit. Some prize ideas include:

    143. Top of the line barbeque

    144. Patriotic outfits and merchandise

    145. Grilling supplies package

    146. Beach day package

    Halloween Prize Ideas:

    Rewarding winners of your Halloween contest with amazing treats is the perfect way to ensure an engaging campaign. Check out these prize ideas:

    147. Basket of Halloween Candy

    148. Tickets to a Halloween Party

    149. Collection of scary movies

    Thanksgiving Prize Ideas:

    A great Thanksgiving prize takes the stress out this fall holiday and is a great way to say thank you to your customers. Here are some prize ideas:

    150. Fully-Catered Turkey Dinner

    151. Thanksgiving Decor

    152. Kitchen equipment

    153. Free shopping spree at a Grocery store

    Christmas Prize Ideas:

    Christmas is the most popular time for giveaways. Running your contest during this season will ensure you’ll have plenty of excited entrants looking to win your prizes. Here are some ideas:

    154. Christmas Tree and Ornaments

    155. Gift Certificate to a mall

    156. Christmas light installation

    157. Tickets to holiday events

    New Year’s Eve Prize Ideas:

    New Year’s Eve is great holiday because everyone is in the mood to party and looking to start things fresh. This makes contests that encourage this popular. Some great prizes include:

    158. Tickets to a New Year’s Eve Party

    159. “New Year, New You” make-over package

    160. Champagne Gift Basket


    There you have it, 160 contest prize ideas to try out for your next contest.

    Out of these 160 ideas, I hope there’s something to give your contest a spark.

    Ready to get started? Wishpond’s contest tools make it easy to create bonus entry contests, sweepstakes, photo contests, vote contests, Instagram hashtag contests & more.

    Related Reading:

    Did you know?

    All of the examples in this article were created using Wishpond’s easy-to-use contest builder. Get started building your own campaign with our 14-day free trial.


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