Low-entry competitions. We talk about them all the time, and occasionally we even win them. But they’re rare, and finding them is a tricky task. Here are a few pointers!
What exactly is a low-entry competition?
Who decides what ‘low-entry’ means? There’s no exact figure I’m afraid – it depends on the prize value, the type of competition and the number of prizes! For example, a prize draw to win a car with 500 entries might be considered by many to be ‘low-entry’ due to the large prize value. For a smaller value prize – say, a £30 voucher for a local restaurant on Facebook, most of us would consider 20 or less comments to be ‘low entry’. I won a McDonalds Retweet comp with 500 entries – but I would actually consider this to be low-entry, because there were fifty prizes of a £10 iTunes voucher, so a 1-in-10 chance of a win. Believe it or not it is possible to find the ultimate low-entry comp though – with just one or two participants!
How can I tell if it’s a low-entry competition?
If the entry method is via social media, a blog or a giveaway widget then you have the advantage of seeing how many entries a competition or prize draw has.
- On Twitter, check the number of retweets or likes (hearts). Click the ‘timestamp’ of a competition tweet to see the number of direct replies it has for a rough idea of entry numbers.
- On Twitter or Instagram , click the competition’s unique hashtag to see how many results you get – on Twitter, click LATEST to see all tweets – or PHOTOS to see entries for a photo comp. Be warned – Twitter search is unreliable and you may not see all hashtagged entries on a search!
- On Facebook, check the number of likes, comments or shares for an idea of the competition’s popularity.
- With Rafflecopter and Gleam, the total number of entries usually appears at the top of the widget. Check how many entries you can earn though – in some cases the total entries is ten or twenty times the amount of individual entrants, especially with a daily tweet or bonus entry option!
- On websites or Facebook apps there may be a gallery option, where you can see how many people have taken part.
It’s better to check all this close to the end date of the competition – after all, every competition will appear to be low entry just after it’s launched!
For web and email entry promotions it’s much harder to guess entry numbers – but if you’ve not spotted the comp on MoneySavingExpert or PrizeFinder, it may well be low entry as it will be off the radar of many compers!
How to find low-entry competitions
- ‘Effort’ competitions are generally low-entry – do a Twitter or Google search for terms like ‘win photo’, ‘win recipe’ ‘reply to win’, ‘Pinterest competition’, ‘Instagram competition’ and more. Search the MSE competition board for the word ‘effort’ and check the PrizeFinder’s creative categories. Don’t be put off by photo comps – lots of them are random rather than judged, so everyone is in with a chance!
- Competitions open for a short length of time won’t get many entries. The best place to find these is Twitter. There are many short-lived competitions that last less than a day – sometimes they can even last just ten minutes! Add companies to Twitter lists and check your feed whenever you get a spare moment.
- Get clever with your search terms – on Google search and Twitter search, try looking for combinations of terms like: ‘comment to win’, ‘most creative wins’, ‘reply with your’ – anything that’s not ‘RT to win’ or ‘Share to win’! You can even search Twitter for bloggers or promoters grumbling that their giveaways have ‘not many entries’ or are ‘low entry’!
- Instagram is very hard to search, but that means you may find a few low-entry gems – do a little searching on hashtags like #win, #competition and #giveaway. Check they’re open to UK entrants though!
- Local competitions are low entry – search on Twitter for ‘win’ plus your local town, city or county name – or use the Advanced search to search near a specific location. Join your local Facebook comping group. If you’re stuck somewhere with time to kill, make a list of all the local businesses, shops, restaurants, radio stations, magazines, and newspapers you like – then when you get chance, find them all online, add them to Facebook and Twitter lists and check their social media pages for comps!
- Any promotion where a purchase is required to enter an instant win draw will usually be low entry, especially if promotional packs are scarce! An exception is where a promotion is widely advertised – if the general public know about it, there may be thousands (even millions!) of entries! Keep an ear to the ground, if you hear other compers are finding it hard to track down a certain product then have a good look for it yourself. If you find it, enter your pack code online as soon as you can to try and catch a ‘winning moment’ (read my tips here).
- If it’s a promotion where a receipt is required, that will reduce entry numbers. An expensive qualifying purchase means fewer entries – you may be able to sell the product on or give as a present to a friend. To find ‘purchase necessary’ promotions, again experiment with Google search terms (try ‘purchase win receipt’ or a similar combo) or get yourself a Compers News subscription.
- If you’re a member of a forum such as Compers News Chatterbox or Loquax, look out for U2U (user-to-user) giveaways offered by members – these are super low entry and you can even run one yourself and gain some comping karma!
- Enter to win prizes that don’t have wide appeal – for example horsey, sporty or football prizes are ignored by many compers! If you have a hobby – particularly an unusual one! – look for prizes connected to it.
- If you need to use a mobile app, that will restrict entry numbers as people still haven’t quite got used to apps!
Generally though – finding low entry comps is about using your initiative, not just entering the comps that can easily be found on listings websites or forums! Play around with different search terms, browse for favourite places and who knows what delights you might stumble across? One more tip – be careful who you share your special low-entry comp with (if you decide to share it at all!), because if you do, it might quickly become a high-entry comp!
If you find and enter a low-entry comp, I recommend you bookmark the link to it so you can check back for details of the winner. Some promoters might decide to extend the closing date or not award a prize if there aren’t many entries – neither of which are allowed under the CAP Code!
Have you won a prize in a low-entry competition? How many entries did it have? Leave a comment to let me know!
If you found this post useful, why not grab yourself a copy of my book SuperLucky Secrets, with lots more tips on finding and winning competitions?