Digital vs. Mailing Alternative Methods of Entry (AMOE): Maximizing Efficiency and Compliance

8 min readDec 6, 2023


In the world of contests and sweepstakes, understanding and implementing an Alternative Method of Entry (AMOE) is crucial. It’s not just about compliance with legal requirements; it’s about choosing the most efficient and participant-friendly method. This article dives into the nuances of digital versus mailing AMOE, shedding light on their benefits and drawbacks.

Understanding Alternative Methods of Entry (AMOE)

AMOE ensures that no purchase is necessary to enter a sweepstakes, aligning with legal requirements that vary by state. It’s a way for participants to enter for free, but how this is implemented can significantly impact both sponsors and participants.

If you want to prioritize purchases, you can:

Set a minimum purchase amount: You can set a minimum purchase amount to ensure that only customers who spend a certain amount of money are eligible to enter the sweepstakes. This will help you prioritize customers who are more likely to make larger purchases.

Offer bonus entries for larger purchases: You can offer bonus entries for customers who make larger purchases. This will incentivize customers to spend more money and increase their chances of winning.

Create a tiered system: You can create a tiered system where customers who spend more get more entries. This will encourage customers to make larger purchases and help you prioritize customers who are more likely to spend more money.

Regardless of the sweepstakes structure, if you are awarding entries as an incentive for sales, you need to include a free method of entry known as the Alternative Methods of Entry (AMOE).

How the AMOE is offered is what we’ll talk about next.

Mailing Alternative Methods of Entry (AMOE): Challenges and Limitations

Data Loss: One of the challenges with mailing AMOE is the potential loss of valuable participant data. When entries are handwritten, there’s often no digital record of the participant’s information. This lack of transcription not only impedes the efficient collection of data but also hinders the ability to analyze participant demographics and preferences. For businesses, this means missing out on insights that could inform future marketing strategies and customer engagement initiatives.

Postal Costs and PO Box Expenses: A significant aspect of postal costs in mailing AMOE is not just borne by the participants but also by the brand conducting the sweepstakes. While the cost of postage can be a barrier for participants, potentially contradicting the “no purchase necessary” ethos, brands themselves incur additional expenses by maintaining a PO Box specifically for the campaign. This is an often overlooked aspect of traditional mailing methods.

The expense of renting a PO Box, which varies based on location and size, adds to the overall budget of the sweepstakes. It’s an investment that yields little direct return, serving primarily as a logistical requirement. This dual financial burden — on both participants for postage and on the brand for PO Box rental — highlights the inefficiency and cost-ineffectiveness of the mailing AMOE method. It underscores the need for more streamlined and affordable solutions, such as digital entry methods, which eliminate the need for physical mail handling and the associated costs.

Labor-Intensive: The manual processing of mail entries is a labor-intensive task. Each entry must be individually handled, numbered, and batched for the drawing process. This method requires significant manpower and administrative effort, leading to increased costs and potential for human error. The manual processing also introduces a delay in entry confirmation, reducing the immediacy and dynamism often associated with digital entries. For businesses focused on efficiency and cost-effectiveness, this process can be seen as outdated and exhausting.

Digital Alternative Methods of Entry (AMOE): Advantages and Efficiency

Switching to a digital format offers many benefits like the ones listed below. Let’s see how Sweeppea’s App helps brands leverage digital alternative methods of entry.

Efficient Data Capture: Sweeppea’s digital platform makes it simple to collect data in sweepstakes and contests. By enabling online entries, the app facilitates immediate data integration and analysis. This helps businesses leverage data to inform their marketing strategies.

Real-Time Tracking: The Sweeppea app offers a dynamic feature for real-time tracking of entries. This allows brands to monitor participation live, providing instant insights into participant engagement. The ability to track participant behavior as it happens is a powerful tool for forecasting and planning future campaigns effectively.

Enhanced Data Collection: Sweeppea’s digital platform allows businesses to collect more comprehensive participant information. This goes beyond basic contact details to include demographic insights, preferences, and user behaviors because you can customize your entry form to collect the data that you’re interested in about your audience.

Simplified Process with Sweeppea’s User-Friendly Interface: Sweeppea’s app makes entering sweepstakes a breeze for participants. The hassle of traditional mailing is replaced by a streamlined, digital entry process. Accessible via various devices, the app’s user-friendly interface enhances accessibility and convenience, broadening participation.

One button turns “ON” the AMOE form and adds it to the sweepstakes.

Detailed Comparison: Digital vs. Mailing Alternative Method of Entry (AMOE)

Cost-Effectiveness: One of the most significant benefits of digital AMOE, as provided by platforms like Sweeppea, is its cost-effectiveness. Unlike the traditional mailing method, which incurs expenses for both the participant (postage costs) and the brand (PO Box rentals and administrative handling), digital entries eliminate these costs. The savings on postage and the elimination of the need for physical space for receiving entries make digital AMOE a financially smarter choice. Additionally, the reduction in manual labor for sorting and processing entries further decreases operational costs, making digital AMOE an economically efficient alternative for businesses.

Compliance and Data Management: Digital entries streamline compliance with sweepstakes laws and regulations. This platform is designed to ensure adherence to legal standards, reducing the risk of non-compliance. Digital AMOE beats mail-in entries in data management. It captures information with precision and stores it securely, allowing the brand the capacity to use the participants entry information for remarketing. With main-in AMOE’s participants, data is lost since it’s handwritten by the entrant.

Enhancing Drawing Efficiency: Mail-in Alternative Methods of Entry (AMOE) necessitate a grace period of 7 days post the sweepstakes end date to accommodate the arrival of mailed entries. Consequently, the winner drawing is delayed until all mail-in AMOE submissions are collected. In contrast, the digital AMOE streamlines the process, enabling the winner drawing to occur promptly after the sweepstakes concludes. Both participants and sponsors want to know who the winner(s) is, making the digital AMOE option a preferred choice for its immediacy.

Bruce Lee Leverages Both Purchase to Enter and Digital Alternative Method of Entry (AMOE) in their Be Water Membership Sweepstakes 2023

Bruce leverages the innovative capabilities of Sweeppea’s digital alternative method of entry to enhance its sweepstakes campaigns.

Snippet of the entry page for the Free Entry Method

This approach not only streamlines the entry process but also offers a comprehensive data collection strategy. By integrating Sweeppea’s digital platform, Bruce effectively captures valuable participant data from both purchased and free entries. This dual-channel data collection is crucial for building a more robust customer profile, enabling the brand to tailor its marketing efforts more effectively. The digital entry page simplifies participation while ensuring compliance and accessibility. For participants to join, they have to:

  1. Click the fine print on the Bruce Lee homepage
  2. Find the free entry method in the Official Rules page
  3. Fill out the form and include the following details to enter for free:
  4. Upload a focused and legible picture of a hand-written #10 business-sized envelope that contains:
  5. Participant’s full name and mailing address.
  6. Enter a four-digit code found on the entry page to the upper right of the envelope (where the mailing stamp would go).

This process simplifies the alternative method of entry and allows the business to collect more participants and their information during the sweepstakes campaign.

Participants take a picture of their hand-written AMOE and upload it to Sweeppea’s digital AMOE form. No mailing stamp required

Implementing Digital AMOE: A Step-by-Step Guide

Incorporating a digital alternative method of entry (AMOE) into your sweepstakes campaign can significantly enhance participant engagement and data collection.

To set up a digital AMOE, ensuring both efficiency and compliance, you will have to:

  1. Create a Universal Digital Entry Form: The first step is to develop a digital entry form that is easy to use and accessible to all potential participants. This form should be designed to collect essential information such as name, address, and contact details, while also being adaptable enough to include additional questions pertinent to your campaign.
  2. Generate a Unique Code with Each Form Load: To ensure fairness and track entries accurately, you’ll have to generate a unique code for each form load. This code serves multiple purposes: it helps in verifying entries, preventing duplicate submissions, and maintaining the integrity of the sweepstakes. The unique code can be prominently displayed on the entry form, and participants can be instructed to include it in their submission, as seen in the Bruce campaign where participants are asked to write the code on a hand-written envelope.
  3. Adhering to Legal and Compliance Guidelines: Compliance with laws and regulations is important when setting up a digital AMOE. This includes adhering to sweepstakes laws, which vary by state, and ensuring that your entry process is fair and transparent. It’s important to clearly state the rules and eligibility criteria of the sweepstakes on both the entry form and the official rules page. The privacy policies should be in place to explain how you’ll handle participant data responsibly and securely.
  4. Integrate it with Your Marketing Strategy: Beyond setup, the digital AMOE should be seamlessly integrated into your overall marketing strategy. This means promoting the sweepstakes across various digital platforms to increase your reach and encourage participation. It also involves using the collected data to gain insights into customer behavior and preferences, which can inform future marketing campaigns and product development.
  5. Analyze and Leverage Collected Data: The data collected through digital AMOE is a goldmine of insights. Regular analysis of this data can help in understanding participant demographics, preferences, and engagement patterns. You can also ingest it into your advertising platforms to improve your paid advertising targeting and add it to your re-marketing channels like email and SMS.


In conclusion, the shift towards digital AMOE is a strategic move for businesses looking to stay ahead in the dynamic world of an ever-changing technology landscape. By adopting this approach, companies can enhance their marketing efforts, lower costs, improve customer engagement, and ensure legal compliance and efficiency.

Need help with sweepstakes or contest management? Call (305) 505–5393 or email us with your questions.