Confused about the different options for online sweepstakes and contests platforms?

Wondering if a DIY app or a custom-built microsite platform is best for your online sweepstakes and promotions campaign?

This article will tell you the differences between DIY app platforms and outsourcing a custom- built microsite for online sweepstakes.

After reading this article, you will understand the differences between the two types of online platforms, based on their features and benefits, and which one is best for your sweepstakes or contest.

1. What is a do-it-yourself (DIY) sweepstakes app platform?

DIY app platforms are designed for easy data capture to help marketers capture leads and email addresses.

These DIY apps make it easy for you to quickly launch a sweepstakes or giveaway.

They’re designed for easy data capture.

They typically offer different giveaway templates to choose from; that means you’re responsible for building and launching the sweepstakes yourself.


  • Drag and drop templates
  • View standard analytics and stats online (number of entries and visits)
  • Pricing is based on the number of entries received (or annual plans)
  • Some apps offer other features such as sending emails and special offers


  • Saves time
  • Track basic data points, like number of entries, visits
  • Low cost if you have a small audience
  • If you plan on running multiple sweepstakes, the annual plan is cost efficient
  • Get your sweepstakes up and running very quickly
  • Easy to use; almost anyone with basic design software skills can use them
  • Provides ways to nurture leads, such as automated emails and offers

Who benefits the most from using DIY apps?

  • Small businesses
  • Limited budgets
  • Limited audiences
  • Larger companies looking to run multiple, basic promotions throughout the year
  • Campaigns where branded design is not a priority

2. What is a custom-built sweepstakes microsite?

A custom-built microsite is designed for deeper data capture and increased brand engagement.

If you have more needs than what a DIY app can offer, you can outsource your campaign to a company who specializes in building custom sweepstakes or contest microsites.

Many sweepstakes administrators combine proprietary, back-end code with your custom branded design.


  • Pixel-perfect design
  • Unlimited design and functionality options
  • Pricing is not based on the number of entries (but scope of work)
  • Branded gaming options
  • Deep stats reporting and analytics
  • Cyber security protection and insurance
  • Enhanced, real time data transfer technology


  • Not limited by templates
  • If your campaign goes viral, you won’t have to worry about cost overruns
  • Deeper brand engagement than DIY apps
  • Built to your exact specifications
  • Not limited by templates or app limitations
  • Track promotional marketing effectiveness and different types of interactions, such as email blasts, social posts, call-to-action clicks, bonus entries, and social shares
  • Feel confident your data is secure
  • Automatic integration with your CRM (you don’t have to manually export data files)
  • Professional developers builds your microsite (leaving you free to market the campaign)

Who benefits the most from using custom micro sites?

  • Medium to large businesses
  • Campaigns where branding and design are critical
  • Extra customization (looking for more than what DIY offers)
  • Companies that want to reach a large audience (thousands to millions of entries)
  • Where data security compliance is necessary


There are two different options for online sweepstakes and contests platforms:

  1. DIY apps
  2. Custom-built microsite platforms

Understanding the differences between the two types of online platforms—based on their features and benefits—will put you in a better position to choose which approach is best for your campaign and company.

Not sure which approach is best for your sweepstakes?

No matter what your campaign needs are, US Sweepstakes offers two solutions to create a successful sweepstakes campaign:

  1. PromoBasic: PromoBasic has all the benefits of the DIY app—but we build it for you. Plus, because we’re a sweepstakes administrator, we’ll make sure your sweepstakes is legally compliant, as well.
  2. PromoCustom: PromoCustom is our proprietary, custom-built platform that allows us to build a microsite for you that goes beyond the capabilities of the DIY option, including: extra data security, deeper brand engagement, unlimited functionality options, and much more.

Schedule your free sweepstakes (or contest) consultation 

This assessment is perfect for savvy marketing leaders, digital marketers, agency executives, and corporate attorneys.

Here’s some insight on what you’ll walk away with:

  • A free 30-minute consultation on your sweepstakes (or contest) idea
  • Determine whether a DIY app or custom-built microsite approach is best for your campaign
  • Recommendations and a plan for how to best execute your idea
  • Awareness about which of our services are right for your idea (based on our capabilities and services)
  • Help with legal administration, digital development, hosting, and prize fulfillment
  • A timeline that will get your promotion launched as quickly as possible

How do you access your consultation?

Contact us to schedule a time for your free consultation.

What happens after you submit the form?

Just fill out the form so we know a little bit about you and your idea. Then, one of our experts will email you to schedule a time for your free, no-obligation consultation.

After your consultation, US Sweepstakes & Fulfillment Company will email you a proposal, a sweepstakes plan and a scope of work that your manager and legal team will feel confident in implementing.