A few years ago, Rafflecopter was used exclusively for blog giveaways, but now you’ll see the ‘widgets’ appearing on blogs, Facebook pages and websites. The range of entry tasks, although sometimes bewildering, offers bloggers and promoters flexibility – and there are options for them to pay a fee to upgrade their promotion to add extras like refer-a-friend. When the giveaway has ended, Rafflecopter chooses a random winner from all entries, and the winning entry is validated by the promoter before they are contacted.
The main problem with Rafflecopter is that it’s confusing. In most cases, the promoter/blogger doesn’t post any instructions with the ‘widget’, so the entrant has no idea what they need to do to enter the draw. As a result, promoters regularly have to disqualify winners who haven’t completed the tasks correctly! In this post I’ll be showing how to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway correctly. But first, let’s consider the main reasons I hear for people NOT entering Rafflecopter giveaways.
- I need to do all the entries
Not true – For 99% of Rafflecopter giveaways, just completing a single task will get your name in the draw
- I have to be on Twitter and Facebook
Not true – You can log in with an email address, and most giveaways have at least one task that doesn’t involve social media
- They have thousands of entries so there’s no chance of winning
Not true – the big number shows the entries rather than entrants, in some cases an entrant can earn up to 100 entries in the draw
Before you start entering Rafflecopter giveaways, consider creating a Google/gmail account – then it’s easy to comment on blogs, YouTube and Google+.
Types of giveaway
There are three types of Rafflecopter giveaway – most will have multiple tasks, and either:
- there are one or more mandatory tasks, which when completed will reveal one or more optional tasks
- all tasks are optional – complete as few or as many as you like
- all tasks are mandatory – you must complete all of them
Where all tasks are optional or mandatory, unfortunately the Rafflecopter widget will look exactly the same. All available tasks will be showing – in most cases, all tasks will be optional, but some promoters may make them all mandatory. Check the terms and conditions or the accompanying text to work out which it is – unfortunately, not every promoter takes the time to explain this clearly!
Rafflecopter tasks are weighted by the promoter – so for example a tweet might get you 1 entry into the draw, but if you write a blog post with a link to the giveaway, you get 20 entries. Some bloggers will list a LOT of optional tasks, but just do the ones you want to, and each one will get you the corresponding number of entries in the draw.
Rafflecopter giveaway walkthrough
I’m going to use one of ChelseaMamma’s giveaways as an example to show the Rafflecopter entry process – the video below will show exactly what I’m doing at each stage.
Below is the ‘widget’ on the blog – this is what you’ll see if you’re NOT logged in. If you can’t see the widget, refresh the page and be patient. At the bottom, click ‘Terms and Conditions’ to see more information (this may be blank!) – you should also read the instructions within the blog post to check what you need to do. On the widget you can also see the prize, how long is left and the total number of entries, as well as how many entries you can earn. You won’t see the required tasks until you’ve logged in.
You have two options for logging in:
- Log in via Facebook – choose this option and a pop-up will ask for permission to access Facebook details, so Rafflecopter has a contact email address if you win.
- Use your email – leave a name and email address. Your email address is PRIVATE and is only shared with the promoter, not published anywhere.
ChelseaMamma has just set a single mandatory task – when completed, that will unlock more tasks. The total number of available entries is shown at the top of the widget – in this case, I can get 13 entries in total if I do all mandatory AND optional tasks.
Leaving a blog comment
If the widget is on a blog, this is likely to be the first task – and is usually mandatory. Many entrants forget to leave a blog comment, or don’t follow the instructions. Scroll down and leave the blog comment first, THEN click ‘I commented’. Leave it until after doing the other tasks, and you might forget to do it… you’d be amazed how many people fall at the first hurdle! Click on the down arrow in the widget to see what the blog comment needs to be about.
If necessary, visit an external site to find the answer or choose a product. Promoters need to manually make a clickable link within the widget, and not every blogger does it – copy and paste the URL if it’s not an active link.
Blogs have different commenting methods. Some will have an empty comment box immediately after the blog post ends, for others the box will be at the bottom of all the other comments. If comment moderation is enabled on the blog, the comment may not appear immediately – comments are moderated by some promoters to prevent spam. Here are the most common ways to leave a blog comment:
- Leave an email address – simply comment, and leave an email address and name. The name will be published, but the email address is hidden – use a nickname if you like. There may be a box for a website/blog URL but this is optional – bloggers can leave a website address and if ‘CommentLuv’ is enabled the comment will appear with a clickable link to their latest blog post.
- Blogger comments (used on Blogger or Blogspot blogs) – Choose from a drop down menu – the best option is to use a Google identity. If you opt for the anonymous setting, ensure you leave a name in your comment so your Rafflecopter entries can be matched up to your comment. Don’t leave your email address in the comment box, as it may be picked up by spammers!
- Disqus comments – To comment, register with Disqus, or log in with Facebook, Twitter or Google+. It’s possible to post as a guest, but leave a name so it can be matched up with the Rafflecopter entry. If you have trouble using Disqus in Internet Explorer, try the solutions on the Disqus Help page.
- IntenseDebate comments – IntenseDebate is similar to Disqus. Register with a name and email address, or log in with IntenseDebate, WordPress, Facebook or Twitter. Or simply leave a name and email address.
Completing the mandatory task will show your entries at the top of the widget and display a list of all the optional tasks you can complete for bonus entries in the draw, in the case of this giveaway we have:
Follow on Twitter
This is straightforward – click Follow, you will get a Twitter pop up window prompting you to log in. Click to Follow the relevant account (you may already be following!), and leave your Twitter name in the box on the widget.
Visit a Facebook page
Facebook terms state you can’t incentivise a Like, so promoters have to ask you to Visit a page and it’s up to you whether to Like it or not! Visit the page, close the window and click I Visited.
Subscribe on YouTube
The promoter should provide a link here to their YouTube page. Make sure you’re signed in (with Google) and choose Subscribe. Leave a YouTube username or Google email address in the Rafflecopter widget, to validate your entry.
Add to Google+ circles
The promoter should provide a link here to their Google+ page. Make sure you’re signed in with Google and choose ‘Follow’, the choose a ‘circle’ to add to. Leave a Google+ username in the Rafflecopter widget, to validate your entry. Some promoters might request a +1, in which case click that button too.
Tweet about the giveaway
Click Tweet and a pop-up window appears with the tweet text automatically in there.
After sending, a pop up will say View it on Twitter – click this to open up a new window with the tweet in. Copy the long URL from the browser address bar – and paste into the Rafflecopter widget. Click I Tweeted.
If the pop up pops off too quickly, find the URL by right-clicking on the ‘timestamp’ to the right of the tweet on a Twitter profile page, and choosing Copy link address.
For some giveaways, the promoter can add a daily tweet option- so after tweeting you will see ‘Do this tomorrow for more entries’. If you want to increase your chance of winning, add the URL of the giveaway to a daily bookmarks list and pop back daily to tweet for bonus entries. Only do this if you don’t mind annoying your Twitter followers – and it’s a prize you’d really like!
I’ve now completed all 13 entries for Chelseamamma’s giveaway, and the tick shows at the top of the widget – if I choose to return to do the daily tweets, my number of entries at the top of the widget will increase by one for each day I tweet. That could get me 31 total entries in the draw if I tweet daily for the remaining 19 days – and this is how many compers do well in Rafflecopter giveaways, by organising bookmarks and tweeting or clicking daily!
Other Rafflecopter tasks you might encounter:
Answer a question
Answer a question in the Rafflecopter widget, rather than as a comment. This is useful if promoters don’t want entrants copying the previous answers in the comment thread.
Join a mailing list
The promoter will give instructions to do this – it might involve completing the ‘Subscribe’ box on the blog home page – sometimes you’ll have to click a confirmation email to ensure you’re added to the list – make sure you do it! A simpler method is to leave an email address in the Rafflecopter widget, which the promoter will add manually to their database – or if it’s a paid version of Rafflecopter, it might be a simple click to join the mailing list automatically from within the widget.
Follow on Instagram
Instagram is a photo and video app for phones and tablets. To complete this task, you’ll need to be registered with Instagram and then click Follow on the link provided by the promoter (eg. http://instagram.com/superluckydi) – OR search for the username within the Instagram app and then Follow. Leave your Instagram username in the Rafflecopter widget, to validate your entry.
Follow on Pinterest
The promoter should provide a link here to their Pinterest profile. Make sure you’re registered with Pinterest (you can log in with Facebook) and click ‘Follow All’. Leave a Pinterest username in the Rafflecopter widget, to validate your entry.
Follow on Bloglovin’
Bloglovin’ is a way of following blogs, and getting their content delivered via email. To complete this task, you’ll need to be registered with Bloglovin’ (you can use Facebook log in) and then click Follow on the link provided by the promoter. Leave a Bloglovin’ username in the Rafflecopter widget, to validate your entry.
Comment on any of my other blog posts
This is a favourite with bloggers, so they get traffic to other posts on their blog. You’ll need to go to another post and leave a comment, then copy the URL of that post and leave it in the Rafflecopter widget.
Pin this post on Pinterest
For this task, there will usually be a Pin it button on the post which you can click. You’ll need to leave your Pinterest name to validate your entry.
Bring your Friends/ Refer-a-friend
With this option, you’re assigned a unique link to share. For every friend who goes on to enter via your link (up to a maximum of ten friends) you get another bonus entry in the prize draw.
There may be a ‘free entry’ option, where you simply click for a bonus entry and can usually do so daily.
There are plenty of other options – the promoter can customise the widget to add anything they like! If there are tasks you’re not sure about, just give them a miss.
Choosing the winner and moderating entries
When the giveaway has ended, the promoter logs in at www.rafflecopter.com and clicks to generate a random winner. The winning entry will be a single task – for example, it could be a tweet or a Facebook page visit. The promoter should check that specific winning task was done correctly – but should also check any other mandatory tasks completed by that person. For example, the winning entry might be a tweet, but if the entrant didn’t also leave a mandatory blog comment, they wouldn’t be eligible to win. Some promoters do moderate ALL entries – but this is very time consuming, so most will just check the validity of entries from the winner. If the winner DIDN’T enter correctly, the promoter should delete their incorrect entries from the spreadsheet, then click again to choose a new winner and do the same checks. When a winning entry has been validated, the promoter clicks to send an email (if you used Facebook log in, this will go to your Facebook-registered address) and can choose to display the winner’s name on the Rafflecopter widget – this will usually be done AFTER the winner has responded to the winning email (for example, if the winner replies to the winning email and the promoter realises they live in an ineligible country, a new winner should be drawn).
- Sometimes if there’s an issue with the main Rafflecopter site, all the widgets disappear! Try refreshing the page – if that doesn’t fix it, check the Rafflecopter Twitter feed or Facebook page to see if there’s a problem.
- If you have problems with Facebook log in, you could try removing the app from your App Center and then trying again.
- The support team are always very helpful and quick to respond – you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
- There’s lots of tips and advice at http://blog.rafflecopter.com/
Hopefully this post has helped those of you who shy away from Rafflecopter giveaways – once you’ve done a few, you should find them easy! Please share this blog post with anyone who’s struggling with them – and good luck. Visit my Blog Comp Linkys for practice with lots of Rafflecopter giveaways.
Bloggers – if you notice entrants aren’t completing their entries correctly, why not add in some simple instructions telling them which tasks are mandatory, and link them to this post? It will benefit both of you if they take the time to enter your giveaway properly!
See also: How to enter a Gleam giveaway