Wildfire: Try a Viral Marketing Campaign for Free


logoIf you’re trying to promote a prize giveaway or other type of contest through social media, you should check out Wildfire Promotion Builder. Wildfire has helped create and manage online promotional campaigns for some very well-known organizations such as Pepsi, Facebook, Red Bull and Zappos. The promotions you can run using the app can be anything from simple coupon giveaways to elaborate month-long contests.

All of these types of campaigns come with a price tag, but for a limited time (until August 15, 2009) the fees for the Basic plan, which usually costs $5 per campaign along with a 99-cent-per-day charge, are being waived. Obviously, the Basic plan doesn’t offer many bells and whistles, but it does allow unlimited entries for contests, sweepstakes and giveaways and distribution through all of the available channels, including Facebook, MySpace, Ning and Bebo, with more to come.

Launching a Prize Giveaway on Facebook

In order to see just how easy it was to create and launch a campaign with Wildfire, I decided to give it a whirl for a special “back to school” giveaway for a new children’s book called “I’m Your Bus.” So, I selected the “Sweepstakes” type of promotion, which I will publish on Facebook for this example. There are six steps to creating the campaign:

1. Campaign Details

It all starts by entering the name and type of campaign you want to launch.
wildfire app1

2. Timeline

This is where you specify when your campaign will start and end, and when it will be taken offline.

3. Entry Form

You can customize your campaign by dragging and dropping the components you want on the form that contestants will fill out. This includes the special button that allows entrants to become a Fan of your firm’s Facebook page. Wildfire offers up plenty of helpful instructions, including pointers on how to set up a fan page on Facebook for your organization, which takes no time at all.

entry form

4. Banners

You can choose different types of banners for your campaign from templates, or create your own custom banner, as I’ve done here.


5. Rules

You next add the rules of the contest or promotion (and any legal disclaimers). You can merely point to existing web pages with this information, or you can enter it at this stage.

6. Publish

Finally comes the fun part, when you get to publish and share the promotion you just created. You can choose from different social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, Ning and Bebo, but in this example I’ve selected Facebook. Once again, Wildfire provides useful instructions on how to install the Wildfire Promotions Facebook app on your Facebook fan page, so you can connect your promotions with your account.


Wildfire then presents you with a preview of what this campaign will look like on Facebook:

You can create and manage many different types of campaigns, and go back to edit them at any time. Wildfire has a dashboard that displays all of your promotions from the past, the present and those queued up and ready to go in the near future. You can also check on all entries,  notify winners and more.

Final Thoughts

Large-scale viral marketing campaigns are not cheap, which is why only the big boys like Pepsi seem to currently take advantage of them. I think it’s great that services like Wildfire are starting to offer affordable options for smaller organizations so they can also enjoy the benefits of social marketing. The current special offer for free access to the basic plan is an excellent way for folks to get their feet wet with this type of marketing. If things go well, you can always step up to the premium plans, which include many more features and options, such as no ads, customized designs of forms, white labeling, advanced metrics and more.

Have you tried running a campaign with Wildfire?


Zack Schneider

I am looking into it right now. I currently have a call scheduled with them. I will write back with out campaign outcomes as soon as I finish. If you have questions in the meantime don’t hesitate to ask.


Bookmarked. This is definitely something I would consider implementing for a web campaign. Thanks for the review.

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