How to Manage Contests and Giveaways in Style

Rafflecopter manages competitions for you

As most of you are probably aware, I recently ran a few large giveaways here on Do It With WordPress, in honour of our first birthday. You may have noticed that in order to enter the competition, I had a rather snazzy little widget which registered all the entries right on the contest pages and allowed you to take the necessary actions to complete an entry. Let me explain:

Entry methods

If you were involved in the giveaways in the past few weeks, you will know that there were several ways of entering the competitions, and they changed from week to week. Some weeks you could enter by following my Twitter account, or sending out a tweet about the giveaway, and in other weeks it might have been a case of following my Facebook page, leaving a comment on my blog, or signing up to my newsletter.

These type of competitions are increasingly common as people realise the value in building up their social media following. In addition, it serves a second purpose of promoting your contest to others who may not have otherwise seen it. So you can soon end up with a massively popular giveaway and a much larger following on social networks. Win-win!

How I did it

A week before the first contest opened up, I was getting a little nervous about having to time things right, rely on search engines to find all the correct entries and then pick a random correctly from the right list of people. If your competition gets enough attention, that could become a nightmare.

Just two days before I launched the first competition I came across a service which handled all of that for you, called Rafflecopter. It’s a very minimalist service, doing what it needs to and not much more, which is fantastic for people with a lot going on, like a blogger running big competitions!

When you sign in, creating a new giveaway is just a click away. You put in the simplest of details about your giveaway, like the start and end dates and the prizes available and then you go in to define how people can enter your giveaway; you can choose from several preset options. These are:

  • Leave a blog post comment
  • Send a tweet
  • Follow a Twitter user
  • “Like” the post on Facebook
  • Follow a page on Facebook

These preset options are great because the widget creates the code needed to follow, like or Tweet the message with just one click from within the widget. Once the entrant has completed the requirement, they just fill in their name and email address and the information about their entry so that it can be checked if it wins at the end of the contest. Genius!

In addition, if you want to do a different entry requirement entirely, there’s a Custom entry option, which allows you to collect whatever information you want from the entrant. So for example, in one of my giveaways, I gave entries for signing up to my newsletter and I asked for the email address that was used, so that I could double check that the user did in fact sign up if they were picked as the winner.

You then have the option of setting how many entries each action is worth, whether the action is mandatory or not and whether or not the action can only be performed once, or once every day.

In short, Rafflecopter is the contest management system that has been lacking from the arena for a long time. I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t charge for using it before long.


Have you been using some other tool to manage your contests, that does a similar, or better job? What are your thoughts on the system? Did you like using it as an entrant?

22 thoughts on “How to Manage Contests and Giveaways in Style”

  1. Sumon says:

    I’ve used Punch Tab before. But RaffleCopter looks much more interesting and simple to use. I’ve really liked it during participating in the giveaways here.
    By the way, how can I get an invitation to try it?

    1. If you go to their website, you can sign up for an invite. I’ve not used Punch Tab before, so I have no comparison, but Rafflecopter has been extremely simple to use.

  2. Karan Lugani says:

    I have not given giveaways a try yet . But I am soon going to start them up . I never imagined that there would be tools for giveaways and contests too. Raffle Copter seems to be nice. Will try it once I kick off with the contests and giveaways.

    1. Oh yes. If you try and run and contest that requires liking posts on Facebook and sending out tweets, it can soon become a huge mess. Rafflecopter have done a great job of making it very simple for both users and administrators. I highly recommend it :)

  3. Very interesting. I’m considering doing a giveaway soon, may have to use Rafflecopter to leverage a little bit of interest from the social media types. Very, very interesting post.

    1. I’d highly recommend it. I can attest to how well it helped me build my social media base on a number of sites. Get your invite request in now so that they can approve it :D

  4. Hesham says:

    Just launched my first giveaway today, and it’s going great so far, thanks for letting me know about this amazing app Dave, I love it

    1. Yeah, it really is. Just dropped by to check out the competition and entered as well. I’d quite like to win CommentLuv Premium :)

  5. Jamie says:

    Love it! Thanks so much for this. I can definitely attest to the effectiveness of a simple giveaway. I do giveaways for a couple of my sites but recently discovered that I really need to find a better solution if I’m going to do them more than once a month and on more than a couple of sites. I’m going to give this a go.

    1. Hi Jamie,

      Yes, it can soon become a bit of a nightmare to manage a contest, if you don’t have a tool like Rafflecopter to help you. I definitely recommend it.

  6. Murray Lunn says:

    This would be really quite awesome. I just updated one of my business websites and now I’m in all on promotion mode. I could do something like giving away a few products to people that wins the contest and maybe a bit of money; this would be excellent for tracking because I’m definitely stretch on time as is.

    1. Well it sounds like Rafflecopter is an excellent option for you. It makes managing contests very easy and time-efficient.

  7. ATVCamper says:

    I have been looking at doing a couple of contests to test the waters and was seriously looking at Wildfire but this looks very interesting. I going to look into this more and may try it first. Thanks.

    1. Hmmm. Haven’t heard of Wildfire before, but I might have to have a look, even if just to see how it compares

  8. Nice article. I was just thinking of launching a contest for one of my sites and this seems like a great way to promote and create a good giveaway. Thanks for the info.

    1. Yeah, it really is. Give it a go and let me know what you think

  9. Monica says:

    We were thinking of doing a giveaway on our site, but I haven’t had a chance to research the best way to go about it. You have saved me a lot of time in research and now I know what direction I need to go in, and hopefully it will be as popular as yours! Now I just need to decide on what to give away…

    1. Well, you’re quite welcome! I hope it goes well for you :)

  10. Ana Hoffman says:

    Love the tool, Dave. I’ve been doing it the old-fashioned “pull the name out of the hat” way. Fun, but not very productive, to say the least.


    PS I am adding your blog on my new CommentLuv enabled blog list!

    1. Hi Ana,

      Yes, this certainly beats collating the names yourselves and drawing the winner. It’s a really smart little tool. Nice people too

  11. Jenny Barron says:

    Wow, just last week I ran across a website having a giveaway for CommentLuv Premium. It was handled much in the way this post describes and I thought, “How cool is that?”

    I think maybe my domain name giveaway would have gone over much better if I’d taken it OFF Facebook and put it in my blog instead, and had a tool like this to use. Yeah.. since it was a total flop on Facebook *laugh*

    Thanks for the link, heading there as soon as I hit Add Comment :)


    1. Yeah, Rafflecopter really makes it easy to run your giveaways in a way that is easy for your readers to understand and also makes it easier for you to run your giveaway

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