Tuesday 26 June 2012

How to enter Rafflecopter competitions

If you've ever entered competitions on blogs, you will have noticed that some of them have a box, or "widget" with several ways to enter listed and the words "A Rafflecopter giveaway" in tiny print at the very bottom.

Rafflecopter is a tool that bloggers can use to securely collect your details - no more worrying about being asked to give your email address in a comment on a blog - and keep track of entries, and then to a completely fair and random draw at the end of the competition. And if you are thinking "this doesn't apply to me, I never enter/run competitions on blogs", well, a Facebook version has recently been developed too. And we all know how difficult it can be for promoters to contact winners on Facebook!

So, whether you like it or not, Rafflecopter is here to stay. And here are some vital tips for entering competitions that use it and making sure your name is in the hat. Why did I emphasise that? Well my own personal experience, and that of many other bloggers,  is that around 1 in 4 entries don't follow the instructions. The blogger can see EXACTLY what you have done - commented, tweeted, liked or followed - so if you haven't done it, either by carelessly not reading the instructions or by deliberately ignoring them and simply clicking the "Enter" button, your entry won't go into the draw.

Let's have a look at the steps you need to enter. You might want to have a Rafflecopter giveaway open in another tab or window so you can see what I'm talking about for each one. Some you can try are
Competition Grape Vine Closing 30 June
Ninja Killer Cat Closing 27 July
The Curry Guy Closing 10 July
Fuss Free Flavours - a whole host of competitions with different closing dates

If you have never entered a Rafflecopter giveaway before, or if their cookie on your computer has expired or been deleted, you will first of all have to log in to the app using either your Facebook ID or your name and email address. TIP I advise always using your name and email address. If you use the Facebook option and win, the blogger will only be able to contact you by sending a Facebook message which will go into your "Other" folder, where it can easily be missed.

Now you can start entering. There may be several ways to enter: you will only see the mandatory one(s) to start with, and by completing those you unlock the others. Go through the tasks one by one, completing those you wish to do by clicking on "Do it" and then following the instructions that will open up. Once you have done each one, click the green "Enter" button in that section and your entry is saved. If you open one and decide you can't  or don't want to do the task, click "cancel" instead and move on to the next.

Here are the most common tasks and some tips about them:

  • Leave a blog post comment The widget will tell you what the topic of your comment should be. If you are asked, for instance, to give your favourite way of eating corned beef, it is no use saying "Lovely prize, I hope I win" because that isn't a way of eating corned beef! You would be amazed to see how many people get this wrong, or fail to leave a comment at all. Although you won't be judged on the quality of your comment, it will be checked to see that it is there, and says what you were asked to say.
  • Follow somebody on Twitter in this part of the widget you will see a Twitter username. If the type is in black and the little bird in blue, you are not following them. Click on the name and it will turn grey - now you ARE following them. If it is already greyed out, you are already following. Once it is grey, put your Twitter username in the box  -  but DO make sure you spell it correctly! somebody missed out on a prize in one of my competitions because the Twitter name they had given didn't exist - and click "Enter".
  • Like somebody on Facebook  once again you can tell whether you already do like them or not because the Like button will be blue if you don't, grey if you do, and slicking on a blue button will Like it for you and turn it grey. You only need to give your Facebook name if you are using a different name - for instance, on Facebook I use my personal name, Jane Willis, but often on blogs I use my Grape Vine ID, in which case I would type my name into the box.
  • Like a post  on Facebook another blue button to click - this one puts a link to the blog post with the competition in it onto your Facebook activity section for your friends to see.
  • Tweet about the competition in this section of the widget, there is a tiny Tweet button. The blogger will have prepared a ready-written tweet for you, and clicking this button opens up a pop up window with it in - you just need to click on Tweet in the pop up to send it. However you MUST then go to the tweet you have just sent and copy the URL of it from the address bar into the box on the widget. If you are unsure how to do this, see my post on How to Give the URL of a Tweet
  • Share using share buttons these are usually not in the widget itself, but below the blog post or in one of the side columns - the blogger
Sometimes you will  see other tasks too, like commenting on other posts or just leaving your email address. The blogger will have given instructions  on how to enter  these - simply do as they tell you.

Don't forget it isn't necessary to do every single step. Each step counts as one entry (sometimes more - the blogger may give you more entries for tasks they feel are more important to them).  Obviously the more tasks you complete, the more times you go into the hat but at the end of the day, it is one single entry that wins - and even if you have only entered once, that one entry could be the winning one!

1 comment :

  1. A lishy jar of sweets would sure go down a treat ~ Hope i am lucky ;)


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