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:
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?