Thursday 16 May 2013

Top Ten Tips for Comping Success

Are you going through a lean spell? Winning less than you used to? Or new to comping and yet to start winning anything much at all? Well, here are my top ten tips to get those prizes rolling in and KEEP them rolling in!

  1. Less is More. The fewer other entries there are, the more chance you have of winning. So always be on the look out for potentially low entry competitions. By all means enter those that are heavily promoted online, on TV, shared on popular forums and advertised in magazines, but bear in mind that every time you see it mentioned, many other people will also have seen it. If you see one run  on a Facebook page with only a few followers, or using a Rafflecopter widget where the number of entries so far is in the dozens rather than the thousands, you can be sure not many people know about it.
  2. Look Locally. Local newspapers, regional magazines, shopping centres, local community websites -  they all run competitions and sometimes don't even have enough entries to give all the prizes away. A big shopping centre that people will drive miles to might get tens of thousands of entries to one of their competitions - a small local mall might only get a couple of dozen.
  3. Don't Scorn the Small Stuff. Especially if there is a lot of it!  If a competition has just one prize worth £1,000 and gets 1000 entries, your chance of winning is 1 in 1,000. But if they have spent the same budget to buy 100 prizes and there are still 1,000 entries, your chance shoots up to 1 in 10. And in real life, that £1,000 prize will attract a lot more entries than the £10 ones, so in fact the smaller prize could give you an even better chance of winning.
  4. Make Sure Every Entry Counts. Check before you hit the submit button, send the text or post the envelope - have you followed ALL the instructions to the letter? Have you made sure that you've obeyed all the rules? You can't win if you aren't in!
  5. Enter a Restricted Zone! Look for competitions that have restrictions - ones where you have to be under 30, over 55,  live in a certain region, be available on a certain day.... the more specific the restrictions are, the fewer people will be entitled to enter. If, for instance, you find a competition that is open to only men or only women, 50% of your potential opposition is ruled out immediately!
  6. Serve up Some Special Skills. Creating a recipe, taking a photo, making a video, writing a blog post, playing a computer game (as long as it is hacker proof) - all of these tasks will put people off entering. You don't have to be super-skilled, leave that to professionals who have competitions of their own in their fields to enter - just an enthusiastic amateur. The extra effort involved means that fewer people will enter, giving you more chance to win.
  7. Enter, Enter, Enter - but only if you are allowed to! Modern technology makes it very easy for promoters to check for, and remove, multiple entries if they are not allowed.  But at the same time, don't become obsessed with getting as many entries as you can for particular competitions. After all, only one entry will be the winning one, however many of yours are in the pot. There isn't time to enter every competition out there, and putting all your comping eggs into one basket can lead to disappointment. If you want to enter several times, try spreading your entries out over the course of the competition, so that wherever the randomiser picking the entries hits, you have one nearby!
  8. Short is Sweet. The shorter the time a competition runs for, the fewer entries there will be. Sometimes, especially on Facebook and Twitter, a competition may run for as little as an hour. Far fewer people will spot it and enter it than one that runs for a month!
  9. Pick Peculiar Prizes. Not many people are going to want to win, for instance, specialist hobby equipment, a meal in a local restaurant, accessories for a certain brand of car. If you spot a prize on offer that is going to be irrelevant to a large section of the population but appeals to YOU, go for it!
  10. The Harder it is to Enter, the Easier it is to Win. Lots of compers just want to click and go,  whizzing through as many entries as possible. So anything requiring some thought, time or patience will put them off. A slogan to write, a crossword to complete, even a particularly long and complicated looking entry form, will reduce the number of entries - and that will improve YOUR chances!

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