Tips for Advent Competitions

Are you ready for the busiest time of the year for compers?

You may have noticed a few companies starting their daily giveaways early, but most will be launching next Friday, 1st December. There will be a mix of comps – some will be 24 prizes, one a day until Christmas. For others, there might be a daily prize on weekdays only. And some companies might do a ’12 days of Christmas’ promotion, either starting on the 1st or the 12th December. In some cases, there will be prizes on some days and discounts/offers on the other days. If it’s a social media comp, the winner is usually contacted or announced the following day.

Yes, Advent can be a rather stressful time for compers, but don’t panic! Here are my  tips on getting organised…

Tips for entering Advent Competitions without getting stressed!

Check the ready-made lists

As usual, someone else will be doing the hard work for you – but keep in mind, thousands of people will be visiting competition listings sites daily through December so you have a lot of competition! Start with a browse of one (or more) of the main UK competition sites, bookmarking your favourite advent comps as you go. Then each day, pop back and see what’s new – and bookmark the comps you like in your browser.

Set up browser bookmarks

Bookmarks are a comper’s best friend – use Ctrl-D/Cmd-D to save a website, or tap the star in the Chrome menu. I store advent comps in a folder labelled Adv on my Bookmarks Bar – inside are several folders, for Facebook Advents, Twitter Advents, Web Advents and then more for Gleam, Instagram, apps etc (see screenshot below). On a computer, right-click a folder name and choose Open all bookmarks to open all the Advents in new tabs, then enter one by one, closing tabs as you go. Put 25 links maximum in each folder so it doesn’t slow you down too much. Keep these folders and each year you can reuse them! I also rename bookmarks where the comp opens or closes at a certain time, eg ends 5pm @LEONrestaurants. 

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Decide on a handful of essentials

If you don’t have much time to comp, limit yourself to 10-20 essential comps where you really want to win the prizes – and make sure you do those every day. File those into Essentials bookmark folders in your Advents folder.  Then if you get those done – you can move on to your other folders! Keep in mind that entry numbers REALLY tail off after the first 10 days of December, as people get bored or simply run out of time, so try to avoid burnout!

Use autofill to fill forms quickly

When you’re filling the same form every day, you have to take advantage of your browser’s autofill function. If you want more options and don’t mind paying, I recommend Roboform Everywhere and have used it for years. With Roboform you can SAVE the contents of an entry form before submitting, and load it the next day – handy for dailies that have unusual fields to be completed! I’ve also heard good things about the free Dashlane tool.

Keep your inbox tidy

Most of the brands who run advent competitions don’t do it out of the kindness of their heart. No, they want to get you on board as a paying customer! And lots of them will be adding you to their mailing lists as a reward for your entry – so check any boxes you’re ticking! Whatever you do, don’t register for daily email reminders of comps. You’ll be wasting time clearing out your inbox – just use a list or your bookmarks to enter them.

If your inbox is already jam-packed with rubbish, you’re not going to be able to cope with the influx of new emails – and might even miss a winning message! So start NOW and click the unsubscribe link in all those unwanted emails as they arrive – or do what I do, and use a tool like Unroll.me to combine them into one daily digest.

Make sure you search your inbox and spam/junk folders regularly for ‘Congratulations’, ‘Winner’ or ‘Runner up’ in case you’ve missed a winning notification – this applies all year round of course!

Search for comps

Thousands of people visit the competition listings websites, so you’ll do better if you hunt for your own comps. There are lots of words and phrases you can combine to find your own Advent comps. They can appear at any time in the next couple of weeks – some companies only start their ’12 Days of Christmas’ on the 13th December! Search on Google and Twitter for ‘Advent competition’, ’12 days of christmas’, along with ‘win’ or ‘prizes’ to find comps, you can even search for that specific day: ‘Day 6 win’ for example, or add your local town to the search. Don’t forget to check Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds for your local shopping centres and favourite brands!

Tweetdeck (for computers – see screenshot below) is an awesome way to run several Twitter searches simultaneously.

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Set keyboard shortcuts

This is a massive timesaver for compers! You can type a few letters, and your device will automatically expand it into a phrase of your choice. Set shortcuts for your Twitter handle, email address, etc. To do this on an iPhone it’s Settings > General > Text replacement, on an Android it’s Settings > Language & Input > Personal Dictionary.

Copy and paste comments

Have a notes file on your computer or mobile, and a set of answers: your favourite Christmas movie/food/song/tradition, etc. Add a generic comment you can use for quick Facebook and Twitter replies: “I’d love to find this in my Christmas stocking!” for example. Again, set Keyboard shortcuts for these phrases – you can type a few letters and a paragraph appears by magic! For example I type ‘xs’ on my iPhone and it expands into ‘The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping’!  Watch out though – Facebook algorithms are flagging a lot of comments as spam, so don’t do too much copy & pasting at once!

Don’t ignore other comps!

While everyone else struggles to enter 500 advent comps every day, the number of entries for blog giveawayscreative Christmas comps, and purchase-necessary instant wins will be way down – particularly comps that require you to leave your warm home to enter! Photos of your Christmas jumper, decorations and tree will definitely be useful too – see my list of this year’s win your wishlist competitions too. And don’t forget to tweet your BBB and Kellogg’s advent calendar daily selfies…

Copy other compers

Keep an eye on your Facebook ticker (if you have one, it’s on the right of your screen on a computer) to see which Facebook comps your friends are entering – you might spot some low entry treats! It’s hard to search Instagram for comps, but you can always check the entries on competition posts to find compers and then check their profiles to find other comps to enter. And of course, you’ll find loads of people tweeting entries (try our Lucky Learners list to start with).

I hope these tips help you out – please leave a comment if you have any more! You might also want to watch the Facebook Live I recorded in 2016 with lots of Advent tips.

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15 Responses

  1. Nikki Hayes says:

    You are totally right about the bookmarks – this is how I comp year round. I have folders for daytime entry, midnight entry (helps to split the advent entries up a bit but not all comps can be entered at this time), weekly entry, monthly entry, blog comps and specific day of the week comps. I browse through all the available advent lists and add the comps I want to enter to the appropriate bookmarks folder. It means a lot of work on the first 2-3 days of December but it makes it much easier after that. The Prizefinder website appears to be having some problems this year – site is either not loading or loading really slowly…

    • Di says:

      I noticed that the Prizefinder was playing up the other day – and I don’t think AdventCompetitions.co.uk is free this year. I’m just looking out for the ones I fancy on social media, and bookmarking the ones with the best prizes!

  2. Lynda North says:

    Thank you so much for the Shortcuts info for my iPad. I’ve been filling in my n&A manually for years But now I’ve set a few letters for my email addy, and part of my address which should make entering Advent comps much faster! I’ve just tried them and they work. I will be setting a few more no doubt. What a fantastic tip. Thank you again xx. PS. Just realised I should set one for my name too!

  3. Mark Johnstone says:

    Thanks for the amazing and resourceful blogs. I definitely will be reading them more closely.

    A nice comping contact pointed me to these blogs. For the advent giveaways this was my first year doing them. God I wish I was prepared for the tsunami of giveaways. Always next year. I’ll be prepared!
    My advice be prepared for them or run.. run as far as you can.

    A lot of the advice I already did out of necessity eg the copy and pasting of comments and checking my feed for competitions. As I’m indirectly connect to large groups of compers I got a a mountain of Facebook comps that way. What I didn’t utilize enough was checking the winning forums to pick up Advent giveaways I might of overlooked. I picked up good win from entering a giveaway by checking a winners forums.

    The easiest way I found for entering the daily Advent ones quickly was to create a private facebook summary page for them instead of going back to competition sites or bookmarks. That way I could quickly do at least 50 regular ones each day. Yeh I know there was a lot I didn’t get around to as I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught. I’ve archived my list of promoters for next year. 🙂

    I usually extensively use bookmarks to keep things organised by adding a date ending to the start so I can sort them. Helps for checking back etc. For the Christmas onslaught I didn’t bother for the advent ones just used my list.

    Another bit of advice junk mail/subscriptions can be a great source of giveaways. All the promoters that you build up over they year tend to run Advent or giveaways in the lead up to Christmas around the start of December. Before I deleted the email I first checked out their Facebook page for giveaways. Most times the promotions where not mentioned in the email. I picked up quite a few that way. 🙂

    The major problem I noticed among compers was the overwhelming Facebook notifications during this period, which made it near impossible to get things done during the day. Advice send them all to email and turn them off as they are distracting. For me they slowed down my PC to unusable at times. It was a lot easier to search my inbox folder for Facebook notifications which are separated automatically into a folder. Note however some cases of winning notifications might not be picked up. Eg when the promoter posts a image with winners names. That’s were having nice contacts helps to private message you or winning forums to tag you. The case when comping contacts doing the same competitions may help verses reducing your odds when the comping “gangs” get whiff of a comp.

    Damn shh I hope the aussie compers don’t notice some of those UK sites. I use them a bit for international competitions they overlook. I don’t think most of them think outside of the box from what’s shared about down under. 🙂

    Thanks for all the blogs SuperLucky

  4. Guy Nash says:

    Thanks used your ‘cheeky’ tip of using the Blippar Maccie D’s picture to win a £10 Amazon voucher.

  5. rebecca beesley says:

    LOVED the video! just caught up with it now. You were brilliant.

  6. Chris says:

    Thanks for the live feed Di. It was great. Please do another one sometime. I have re-played it as there were so many good tips. You gave some very sensible advice – do not go overboard with the advents – it will only tire you out.

    • Thanks Chris – I’m glad it was useful! As for the Advents – oh boy, I didn’t even get my ‘essentials’ done yesterday I have so much work on, ha ha!

  7. Laura Barratt says:

    Won 3 advents all today which makes up for the last 3 years when all I have won is a jumper! Question why is FB unliking all the companies I am liking over night every night? It is frustrating as it looks like I am not doing what the company is asking me to do. Hope you and Ry are winning lots too!

    • No idea about the unliking lately! Although I’d like to think it’s the pages of companies who are asking you to Like them just to enter a competition… which of course is against Facebook rules! I don’t bother liking pages unless I’m interested in them. Well done on your wins!

    • Mark Johnstone says:

      Yeh I noticed that a few times as well thought it was as I was using my ipad instead of the pc and had overlooked liking the promoter or it didn’t register for some reason.

  8. Lorraine Bryan says:

    Thanks Di, some great tips and links. Much appreciated x

  1. 14/11/2017

    […] A big thank you to Di Coke at SuperLucky blog (the Queen of Comping Organisation) for all her advice – it has really streamlined and focussed my comping. Check out her tips on getting organised for festive comping here. […]

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