How to Create Your Own Viral Giveaway with KingSumo

To run a contest with the KingSumo Giveaways plugin, here’s what you need:

  • A website or blog that runs on WordPress
  • The ability to install WordPress plugins ( sites won’t work)
  • The ability to send emails from your website.

Installing the KingSumo plugin

KingSumo Giveaways is a premium WordPress plugin, and it installs just like install other plugins.

Once you’ve purchased and downloaded the plugin, log in to your WordPress site and click Plugins | Add New.

Click the Upload tab, then Choose File. Once you’ve selected the .zip file, click Install Now, and you’re ready to set the plugin up.

Configuring the plugin

Before you can run your first contest, you have to do a little setup in the KingSumo Giveaways settings page, located under Settings | KingSumo Giveaways in the WordPress sidebar.

Entering the license key and social media info

The General tab included fields for your license key, Facebook page and Twitter handle. These are important–they’re included when people share the contest. Make sure to fill all of them out, because you’ll pick up a ton of Twitter followers and Facebook likes if your contest does well.


Customizing the emails

The Emails tab is where you customize the emails that go out to people who entered your contest, including the email addresses used in the From and Reply-To fields, as well as the subject line and body for the entry email (sent to every person who enters) and the winner email (sent after the contest ended).


The email templates support short codes that will customize the email with the name of the giveaway and other contest-specific info, so the same template can be used for multiple contests.

It’s a good idea to tweak the subject line and body of the default entry email to encourage more people to share the contest–more on that in a bit.

Adding a physical address

Under the Settings tab, you’ll need to enter an address for display on the contest page. It’s best to use a P.O. box if you have one so that you don’t have to broadcast your home address.


Connecting the plugin to an email provider (optional)

The Services tab offers the option to connect the plugin directly to your email provider, so everyone who enters the contest would be automatically added to your mailing list. (Aweber and MailChimp are supported at the moment, and I hear that the KingSumo team plans to support other major players in the future.)


There’s a risk when you connect your email provider directly like this.

If your contest does really well, you can quickly rack up a bill of hundreds of dollars to your email provider.

And second, sometimes people try to cheat and submit a bunch of fraudulent email addresses to game the system. If this happens to you, you might find your email provider has shut down your account.

If you don’t choose to connect the plugin to your email provider, you can easily download the entries as a .csv file and import them by hand.

Adding tracking scripts

Under the Advanced tab, there’s a spot to paste extra code that will be included in the footer of the contest pages. This is where you’d want to put your Google Analytics tracking code:


Setting up the contest

With the setup out of the way, it’s time to create your actual contest.

To get started, click KingSumo Giveaways | Add New in the WordPress sidebar.

The fields on the Add New Giveaway page set the rules for the contest and customize the appearance of the giveaway page.


The contest rules options include the contest start and end date, when the prize is awarded, the number of entries a contestant receives when they refer a friend, the prize name, value and image, and the number of winners.

It also includes a “question” that contestants have to answer. This is designed to reduce the number of spam submissions, like a captcha, so make the answer really obvious.

The title, description and images fields control how the contest’s appearance.

The title text is included when people share the page on social media. Keep the title short and clear, and made sure to include the word “giveaway” so that all those tweets will attract attention.

The description field is your chance to “sell” the giveaway a little. Be sure to mention that contestants are giving you permission to add them to your email list, just in case they don’t read the full rules before entering. (Everyone reads the rules, right?)

The plugin also has slots for a background image and several secondary images.

That’s it! Just hit Publish and your contest is live!


Ready to try a contest of your own?

I can’t promise you’ll see anything like the success I saw with my contest, but if you’d like to try one of your own, I can help.

Noah Kagan and the team at KingSumo gave me a discount that I could share that’s good for a 50% discount on the KingSumo Giveaways plugin (and yes, I do get a commission if you use it).

But what kind of email marketer would I be if I didn’t ask for the opt-in?

To claim your code, click here and enter your email address. I’ll send it right over to you.

P.S. If you’re interested in running a contest like this, don’t hesitate. Like many good tactics, this approach to getting viral traffic for a giveaway will get less effective over time as more and more people catch on. Get your 50% KingSumo Giveaways discount today and start your own contest before it’s too late!

Kyo - January 9, 2015

Hi Josh,

First off, thank you for writing these posts on the KingSumo Giveaway plugin. I’m running my first giveaway using the plugin and they’ve been super helpful.

You said that people will try to submit fraudulent emails and I’m pretty sure this is happening to me. There are a few people in my giveaway who already have WAY too many entries (so many in such a short amount of time, there’s no way all the entries that they earned are legitimate).

What do you recommend doing?

Does the plugin have some way to scrub for these false entries?

Thank you,

    Josh - January 9, 2015

    Hey Kyo!

    Couple of suggestions… When you do the drawing, you can choose to delete the selected “winner.” So if someone is trying to rig the game, you can disqualify them.

    I ended up doing some manual cleanup on my list before I imported it to MailChimp. I just looked for patterns of fake emails–luckily the cheaters weren’t too bright, so it was easy to eliminate a ton of fake addresses. It’s worth looking at your list afterward to see if you can do the same.

    Good luck!

      Nick Miller - January 16, 2016

      What kind of patterns do you look for? Anything new?

        Josh Earl - January 17, 2016

        Hey Nick, good question… Since I first wrote this, the Giveaways developers have added an option to put a Capcha on your contest to block most spam entries. Other than that, it’s pretty tough to prevent fake entries… The guy who submitted 100K entries did it with “valid” variations of a gmail address, where he put various combinations of periods between the letters:, my…email…, etc.
        I was able to use Sublime Text (heh) to find/replace all the extra periods, then just select/delete the 100K duplicate addresses. It was a pain.

        Josh Earl
        *Email Copywriter*

        Skype: josh_earl

 - March 20, 2016

          +1,000 for this!

          I’ve been looking high and low for a way to disqualify these kinds of bogus entries. I submitted a suggestion to King Sumo last week and hope they do something about this.

          I don’t mind these bogus entries from entering because we can’t stop them but what I do mind is that when it comes time to pick winner and we see it’s a bogus entry, we should be able to delete their entry completely from the giveaway when we select the “remove” option.

          That’s all I’m asking for.

          I removed a few entries and redrew only to get them again because they rigged the giveaway that well, lol.

          I just want the option to remove them completely to keep them from winning and saving me some time.

Gen - August 20, 2015

Well, you said to let you know if we have questions, I have one on prize selection.

So I design & develop WordPress sites for small businesses. My target clients are small businesses who either have a website causing them pain or no website. My first thought was offer a free theme or plugin, but I think that would get far too many entries for people who would never be clients, and probably not be of interest to clients who wouldn’t know what to do with a theme.

Any other ideas for giveaways when most of your ideal clients don’t really want ANOTHER tool?


    Josh Earl - August 26, 2015

    Hey Gen, this is a great question… Small business owners are 1.) short on time and 2.) short on cash.

    What can you offer that instantly helps them with one of those problems, while also having some tie-in to building websites? One thing that jumps to mind is “free website hosting for life.”

    Also, what are some of the most common problems your clients have specifically with their sites? Can you give away some kind of done-for-you tool or service (from a well-known vendor) that addresses one of those pain points?

      Gen - September 7, 2015

      Thanks Josh,

      Your point on “done for you” or “no work needed” is a really good one. I think instead of just offering a plugin license, it should be install & setup for something like OptinMonster (very well known tool to grow email lists).

      Or I could go really crazy and give away a whole WP website with #1 page builder out there Visual Composer with year of hosting (I’d need to put some rather specific limits on what they get).

        Josh Earl - September 8, 2015

        Great! Glad that was helpful. 🙂

        One thing to keep in mind is that it’s less about the price tag of the giveaway item than how badly they want it.

        Good luck!

Email Marketing In-Depth with Josh Earl - October 27, 2015

[…] How to Create Your Own Viral Giveaway with KingSumo […]

Devesh Tiwari - December 5, 2015

Can we add additional fields beside email address? I want to add some more extra field. how is it possible?

Nick Miller - January 16, 2016

Hey Josh,

Does Giveaways not have a way of tracking fraudulent signups?

Social Share - July 7, 2017

Just bought one using your affiliate code.

Comments are closed