The complete Gleam review of 2023
Gleam.io has been the leading giveaway marketing platform for more than a decade. It is no accident that for than 40,000 websites host more than 3,7 Million links to Gleam across the web, according to Ahre’fs web crawler:
In this 2023 Gleam review, we will examine whether Gleam.io remains a good option for running your giveaways, sweepstakes, contests, or any other online promotion, compared to other similar marketing platforms.
We will explore several Gleam case studies, the user interface and ease of use, features and functionality, pricing and value for money, customer support and reliability, security and privacy, and finally, wrap up our review score.
Gleam Case Studies and Results
GiveawayListing’s authors have used Gleam for several years and across numerous campaigns. Typically each giveaway that we run brings impressive results, as shown below.
The $200 monthly giveaway of the previous month brought 2,985 unique users that delivered 18,718 brand actions (such as visiting or following our social media channels, reading our content, and sharing their feedback on how to improve our website). Each brand action is valuable because it delivers long-term value and metrics that help us improve our service.
When we created giveaways with bigger cash prizes, such as the $1000 Amazon Gift card giveaway, the results had been even more impressive.
Our New Year’s Giveaway brought 8,393 entrants that delivered a staggering 25,715 brand actions. Those actions helped our partners create a very significant social media following and engagement that has mostly remained high even many months and years after the giveaways ended.
In addition to a very large, engaged social media following and very detailed user feedback, Gleam helped us create a large email list of more than 10,000 subscribers of giveaway entrants that accepted our double opt-in request for marketing material.
Email marketing has been one of our main marketing tools, and Gleam giveaways had been helpful in growing our email list faster than any other lead magnet service or tool.
Not only is Gleam great for building up an email list, but it is also extremely well-positioned to deliver above-industry conversion rates when it comes to form sign-ups, directing traffic to specific websites, getting product reviews, and many more.
In the dashboard below, you can see how our latest campaign had a 24.52% conversion rate, which has been consistent with previous campaigns.
Gleam User Interface and Ease of Use
A major factor of success for Gleam is its very intuitive, easy-to-use interface, both for the front end (what the giveaway participant sees on the website) and the back end (what the organizer sees when setting up the giveaway).
The typical gleam widget that users can use to enter a giveaway looks like the one below:
In the widget, the entrant can easily see how many entries they have unlocked, the total entries of the giveaway up to this point (unless if it’s hidden by the organizer), and how many days are left before the giveaway ends.
The entrant will also see the available options to enter, which often include email sign-up or log-in with Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, among other social media platforms.
Once the entrant signs up, they will unlock the available actions that grant entries to the giveaway, like the one below:
Each action will reward a number of entries that are defined by the organizer. Usually, entries that require higher effort (and thus higher brand value) will be assigned a higher number of daily entries.
In the example above, visiting or following any of the GiveawayListing’s social media accounts rewards 1 entry point. However, providing feedback for the website rewards with 2 entries, referring friends rewards 5 entries, and entering the secret website codes hidden within the website delivers up to 7 entries per week.
Gleam makes the user interface of the giveaway widget very easy to understand and interact with for the entrant. The entry system and the different required actions tied to each entry are very intuitively displayed and are mobile responsive to look great on every device.
Once a giveaway ends, the widget will display the total number of entries and the winning entry as shown below:
The organizer’s backend is also very intuitive, as you can see on the screen below. The competitions section is split into the following tabs: preview, code/install, promote, entries/actions, secret codes, reporting, and winners.
Each section will give you a variety of options to customize the giveaway according to your brand needs. If you need any help on how to set- up your Gleam campaign, make sure to read our Gleam campaign guide.
Gleam Features and Functionality
Gleam has a very rich interface to help you organize any giveaway according to your brand needs. Its powerful suite of marketing features may look a bit overwhelming for beginners, but gladly there ready-to-use templates that help users set up their marketing campaigns within minutes.
Gleam templates cover a wide range of promotion use-cases and can be applied instantly. Those templates help you focus on the most relevant goals for your campaign, without losing focus and over-complicating entry requirements for all sorts of online promotions.
There are more than 100 templates to choose from among the 4 Gleam Apps Categories: Competitions, Rewards, Captures, and Galleries.
Competitions templates include options such as Instant Entry, Grow Your Email list, Refer-a-Friend, Photo Contest, Promote Your Online Store, Promote Your Shopify Store, YouTube Giveaway, Twitch Growth, Crowdfunding Promotion, Event Promotions, Pre Launch Awareness, Goodreads Giveaways and many more!
Rewards templates include options such as E-commerce Coupons, Game Key Unlocks, Gated Content, App Downloads, Twitch Channel Points, Album Downloads, Telegram Growth, Referral Discounts, Sales Promotions, Surveys, SoundCloud Tracks, Surveys, Customer Feedback and even Webinar Signup Rewards.
Captures templates include popups and banners for Email Signups, Coupon Codes, Exit Intent, Limited Time Offer, Flash Sales, Abandoned Shopping Carts, Newsletter Signups, Sale Countdown, Full Screen Takeover Offers, Geotargeting and even QR Codes.
Last but not least, Gallery templates feature stunning gallery/display options such as Social Media Feeds, User Generated Content (UGC) Galleries, Carousel, Hashtag Campaigns, Instagram Wall, Twitter Feed, Photo Contest, and Video Walls among many others.
You can see and experiment with all of Gleam’s templates here.
Gleam Preview Section
In addition to offering numerous templates, Gleam also gives you a very deep level of customization for your contests. Here we will cover briefly every main section when viewing and editing your contest.
Here’s where you see a visual preview of how your giveaway will look on your website from the entrant’s perspective. The preview includes the featured image, giveaway description, ways to enter, the number of entries, total entries, and days remaining until the end of the giveaway,
Gleam Code Install Section
The code install section gives you a variety of options to install the giveaway widget embed code to your site. If you have a WordPress site, then simply adding the “Embed Widget Code” as an HTML block will be sufficient to have the giveaway widget in responsive mode.
You also get the code for the Open Graph tags, in case that your SEO plugin isn’t already including them automatically.
Gleam Promote Section
The Promote Section is practically a big checklist of actions you can take to promote your giveaway once it’s launched.
Most importantly, you get the URL of the Landing Page of the giveaway that is hosted on the Glealm domain. You and your entrants can share this link on social media or giveaway forums like Reddit’s r/giveaways and r/sweepstakes.
The list includes actions such as sharing the giveaway on several social media, using an email marketing promotion platform to reach our email subscribers, and posting the giveaway on Giveaway directories and websites.
Gleam Entries and Actions Section
This section features a detailed view of the list of entries and entrants for your giveaway. In this list, you can see the personal information of the latest giveaway entrants, the action that they have completed, any supplemental details for the specific action (if available), the location of the entrant, the date of the completion, the number of entries each action is worth, if any integration platforms were used or not, and last if the action is considered valid or not via Gleam’s security system.
The list is very easy to navigate and understand and gives a very clear image of your giveaway entrants and entries. We strongly suggest reviewing this list often to make sure that there are no issues with specific entries.
You can also filter the list by specific actions, status or emails. This makes it easier to review all responses for a specific action and export those data via CSV for further analysis.
Gleam Secret Codes
Gleam also offers the option to use expiring secret codes as actions in your giveaway. This allows to create some more engaging tasks that have a higher value for your brand and reward those who complete those tasks accordingly.
For example, in GvieawayListing.com’s giveaways, we ask our entrants to find the secret codes hidden within our articles. This way, we make sure that only the most loyal readers of our website will be able to redeem those high-value entries.
Gleam Reporting Section
The reporting section is a crucial part of measuring and evaluating your giveaway performance.
In this graph, you can see the daily number of impressions, number of actions, number of users, and ultimately the user conversion rate of your giveaway.
This analysis will be particularly effective when combined with time-based split test campaigns, for example, you only promote your giveaway during the first week with email marketing, then the next week with social media, then the third week with giveaway website listings, etc.
Gleam Winners Section
The final giveaway overview section is the Winners section. Here you can see who’s the winner(s) of the giveaway and assign their prizes. You can either draw the winner automatically or by manual selection (available in the Pro Plan or higher).
Gleam Pricing and Value for Money
Even though Gleam is typically priced higher than most competitors like Rafflecopter, it is much more reliable, feature-rich, and offers a high level of customization that justify its price.
Moreover, Gleam offers high customization when it comes to its pricing plans as well.
Gleam Full Package Plans
The Full package plan is an all-inclusive service that provides access to ALL Gleam Apps, and includes Gleam’s rich features, including competitions, reards, galleries, and captures at a price that starts from $97/m.
The Full Package Business Plan is priced at $397 per month, and the ultimate Premium Plan is at a hefty $997 per month. However, those pricing plans are meant for large brands that need to have the full suite of marketing tools that Gleam has to offer. If you have a startup, there are many more reasonably priced options that we display afterward.
The main differences between the Full Package Pro, Business, and Premium Plans are the following:
The Pro Plan ($99/mo) targets small businesses. It offers complete access to Pro versions of all Gleam Apps, including Pro Competitions, Pro Rewards (with a Repeat Action Limit of 5), Pro Captures, and Pro Galleries. As a bonus, you can add an additional team member for a total of 2 Team Sizes.
The Business Plan ($397/mo) is designed for medium-sized businesses. It provides complete access to Business versions of all Gleam Apps, such as Business Competitions, Business Rewards (with a Repeat Action Limit of 10), Business Captures, and Business Galleries. As a bonus, you can add four additional team members for a total of 5 Team Sizes.
The Premium Plan ($997/mo) caters to large businesses. It encompasses complete access to Premium versions of all Gleam Apps, including Premium Competitions, Premium Rewards (with a Repeat Action Limit of 15), Premium Captures, and Premium Galleries. As a bonus, you can add nine additional team members for a total of 10 Team Sizes.
Gleam Competitions Plans
Competition Plan is Gleam’s most popular option for a good reason. It offers its main giveaway widget, and it starts only at $10 per month while offering all basic needs for a standard giveaway. It has the option to create unlimited campaigns, choose up to 25 Winners and 5 prizes, featured images and videos, and up to 10 secret codes, along with many more perks.
The Pro Plan is also a great option since it offers the option to choose up to 50 winners and even manually choose the winners if needed. It also allows for many more “Pro actions,” which enrich your giveaway tasks and deliver more brand value, pixel tracking, and up to 100 secret codes.
The Business Plan provides even more “Business actions,” 10K secret codes, custom CSS styling, removing the “Powered by Gleam” notice, and even access to use a Custom Tracking API.
The Premium Plan is the heavy lifter of all plans, offering a powerful Gleam API, Webhooks, Custom SMTP, Embed Leaderboards, and more.
You can see the complete list of features here.
Gleam Rewards plan
Gleam Rewards enables businesses to create engaging reward-based campaigns. It offers three pricing plans: Pro, Business, and Premium.
The Pro Plan ($39/mo) is suitable for small businesses. It offers features like Pro Email Integrations, a Repeat Action Limit of 5, 4 Reward Types, 25+ Languages, Custom Actions, Secret Codes (100 Limit), and basic customization options such as Feature Images, Landing Page Backgrounds, and Pixel Tracking.
The Business Plan ($109/mo) targets medium-sized businesses, including all Pro Plan features and extras like Business Email Integrations, a Repeat Action Limit of 10, support for 3 Team Members, removal of ‘Powered by Gleam’ branding, Coupon Actions, Secret Codes (10K Limit), and advanced customization options such as Widget Text Control, Custom Redeem Emails, Custom CSS + Fields, Custom Tracking API, Event Mode, and File Uploads.
The Premium Plan ($399/mo) is tailored for large businesses. It offers advanced features like Premium Email Integrations, a Repeat Action Limit of 15, support for 5 Team Members, Secret Codes (100K Limit), Spotify Pre-Save, Webhooks, Custom SMTP, API (BETA), Leaderboard Embed, and Whitelabel Social Apps, in addition to all features included in the Business Plan.
Gleam Galleries Plans
Gleam Gallery helps businesses showcase social media content by creating curated galleries. It offers three pricing plans: Pro, Business, and Premium.
The Pro Plan ($39/mo) is designed for small businesses. It includes features like Unlimited Connections, access to All Import Sources, 60-minute Updates, importing up to 250 historical items, Carousels, Full Page Popout, Import From Campaigns, Basic Moderation, and enabling Voting and Sharing.
The Business Plan ($149/mo) targets medium-sized businesses, encompassing all Pro Plan features and extras like 30-minute Updates, importing up to 1000 historical items, removal of ‘Powered by Gleam’ branding, adding 2 Moderators, Multi-Campaign Import, Smart Highlighting, Custom CSS, and Advanced Options.
The Premium Plan ($399/mo) is tailored for large businesses. It includes everything in the Business Plan along with advanced features like 15-minute Updates, importing up to 2000 historical items, adding 4 Moderators, Advanced Column Control, and API (BETA).
Gleam Captures Plans
Gleam Capture simplifies building email lists and synchronizing them with email providers for sending newsletters, product updates, special offers, or announcements. It offers three pricing plans: Pro, Business, and Premium.
The Pro Plan ($39/mo) targets small businesses, offering features like 1k Conversions, unlimited campaigns, 30+ Beautiful Templates, Pro Email Integrations, Fully Mobile Responsive designs, Standard Rules, On Exit Targeting, Page Level Targeting, and Geo-targeting.
The Premium Plan ($399/mo) caters to large businesses. It encompasses everything in the Business Plan with advanced features like 50k Conversions, Custom Captures, Premium Email Integrations, support for 5 Team Members, Custom Field Sync, Rule Grouping, Webhooks, Dynamic Text, and API (BETA).
Gleam Customer Support and Reliability
Gleam offers exceptional customer support for both paying and prospecting customers. Paying customers can request support directly from the Gleam dashboard by going to the bottom left corner and selecting “Support.”
Alternatively, paying and non-paying customers can send support tickets using the contact us page, using the form shown below.
Even though Gleam customer support is only available via email, you should expect a response within 24h working hours or less.
In our experience, Gleam customer reps were always very quick to respond and provided thorough, detailed responses to our inquiries.
Gleam Security and Privacy
In the digital world of Gleam, security is held in the highest regard. The platform’s meticulous measures are designed to safeguard personal information provided by their platform’s clients and giveaway entrants.
Gleam has aced the SOC 2 Type II audit with flying colors, earning a “clean” audit opinion. For those curious about this prestigious certification, simply send an inquiry to [email protected].
Gleam’s platform uses SSL-secured channels, AES-256-bit encryption, and TLS 1.2 to ensure that sensitive data is encrypted and well-guarded. Plus, passwords are hashed with the mighty BCrypt.
With Amazon Web Services as its backbone, Gleam offers continuous backups and daily snapshots. The app is hosted across multiple availability zones in Oregon, with Disaster Recovery systems stationed in Ohio. For added security, Gleam supports two-factor authentication (2FA) for customer logins.
In the unlikely event of a security breach, Gleam vows to notify affected users and detail their responsive actions promptly.
Gleam routinely conducts penetration tests and offers a Bug Bounty program with cash rewards via HackerOne, ensuring its systems remain robust and well-defended.
All Gleam staff are required to complete annual Security Training and receive additional instruction as needed.
Additionally, the platform entrusts its credit card processing to trusted third parties like Stripe, which boasts PCI Service Provider Level 1 certification.
Gleam Pros and Cons List
This is a summary of Gleam.io’s Pros & Cons according to our personal experience:
- The best extensive collection of 3rd party integrations than any other giveaway platform
- Features an all-inclusive suite of marketing tools to run competitions and rewards programs
- Intuitive, user-friendly, and responsive interface
- Easy to implement and customize on any website
- Reliable, secure, and insightful user activity tracking
- Customizable marketing tools and pricing options
- Some of the most advanced plans are quite pricey and primarily meant for bigger brands
- No seasonal discounts are offered, even though there are permanent discounts for the bundle plans
- No chat support or telephone support for any plan
If you have a different opinion about our pros and cons list, please send contact us using the link at the bottom of this page.
Gleam Reviews & Testimonials
Gleam has accumulated a large number of reviews of its long presence in reputable review aggregator sites like TrustPilot, G2, and TrustRadius.
On TrustPilot, they have more than 175 reviews, with an average score of 4.6/5.0. More than 90% of the reviews are 5-star, which is the highest rating among all of their direct competitors. Similarly, TrustRadius gives Gleam an overall score of 8.8/10 and G2 a score of 4.2/5.
Most reviewers emphasize Gleam’s optimized user interface, rich giveaway features, reliability, and detailed analytics:
Gleam Review Score
We have been using Gleam.io for several years across several brands, and the results have always been exceptional.
There is no competitor that can match Gleam’s user-friendly interface, customization options, 3rd party integrations, security measures, and user analytics. The only main drawback of Gealm is its higher pricing compared to the industry average, that is, however, completely justified considering the superior quality of the service.
|Case Studies & Effectiveness||10|
|User Interface & Ease of Use:||9|
|Features & Functionality||10|
|Pricing & Value For Money||8|
|Customer Support & Reliability||9|
|Security & Privacy||10|
We rate Gleam.io with a 10/10 overall score and absolutely recommend it to any individual or business who wants to run its own competitions and rewards programs.
How to Get Started with Gleam?
To get started, visit Gleam’s homepage and explore the features and pricing plans. Even though we tried to cover all the important points in this review, we strongly suggest creating an account and experimenting with it.
Gleam Competitions offer’s a free plan that you can use to do some basic customization and give an understanding of how the service works. Once you have determined that Gleam is the right service for you, you can upgrade to their paid plans seamlessly.
We also recommend reading our 9-step Gleam entrant guide to help you understand what giveaway entrants need to look for when entering Gleam giveaways. This will be a valuable insight for your marketing strategy.
How to Set up a Viral Gleam Giveaway?
Here’s a quick 7-step guide on how to run Gleam giveaway like a pro:
Step 1: click the edit button if you already partially created your contest, or the “Create a new competition” button if you just got started
Step 2: Setup the giveaway
Fill/select the following fields:
- Name of the contest: Use a catchy yet short title. Mention the ending date if possible.
- Starting date
- Ending date
- Hide “X” ways to enter
- Hide Total Entries count:
- Event Mode (Business plan)
- Captcha: You can choose the security system level; higher security means more reliable entries but reduces the number of entrants
- Terms & Conditions: Gleam will automatically fill this section, but you can replace it with your own custom terms if needed.
Step 3: User Details
Fill/select the following fields:
- Minimum Age: set a minimum age for each entrant
- Allow Users To Like Facebook Page: Place the URL of your Facebook page here
- Require Login before actions: This will hide the actions of the contest unless you log in first
- Allow Login with: We suggest you use email, Facebook, Google and Twitter at minimum, as those are the most reliable and popular login channels
- Build a Competition Subscriber list: Enable this to create an email list that you can remarket later (highly recommended)
- Add Custom Fields: Use this if you want to store additional info from your subscribers.
Step 4: How to enter
Here you get to set the individual actions for your contest and how many entries each action will reward. There are numerous options to choose from, however our favourite ones are listed below:
Here’s the complete list of actions available in Gleam as of June 2023:
Step 5: Prizes
Here you can set the prize information such as :
- Public Competition Title: make it short, and sweet
- Widget Layout: We suggest using the Feature Image + Name + Description option
- Competition Description: Mention the most important information for the giveaway within a paragraph.
- Upload file: Upload a featured image that will be ideally in 1,920 x 1,080 pixel dimensions.
- Feature Image Slider (Business Plan): Let you add up to four images within the same widget
Step 6: Post Entry
Here you can see the email that an entrant will receive once they have completed a few entries within one session. The email will encourage them to continue and complete all the remaining actions to get the full available entries.
Step 7: Install Options
Copy the embed code and install it on your website. If you are using WordPress, a simple HTML block will be sufficient. You can also enable an AMP version and redirect the self-hosted landing page.
You can additionally add scripts for having a giveaway tab on your site, enabling widget callbacks, and even having an embedded leaderboard of your contest.