How to run Gleam giveaways

Gleam is an app that allows you to create giveaways for your blog, website or Facebook page. I trialled it for my Amazon giveaway this month and was impressed with the experience and results. Although I’ve always used Rafflecopter for my own and my clients’ prize draws, the Gleam widget is visually more appealing and there are a number of advantages over Rafflecopter – viral sharing is included in the free plan, as is a large graphic. The feedback I got after running my own Gleam giveaway was that the entrants preferred the ‘one click’ entry method over Rafflecopter too. If you’d like to try Gleam on your own blog you can do so using my affiliate link here.

Gleam is available as a free plan, offering everything that bloggers need to run simple giveaways. If you’re after something more powerful or need to access user data for each entrant, then you can upgrade to the Pro Plan ($39 per month) or the Business Plan ($149 per month). Gleam provided me with a free trial of the business plan for 2 weeks so I could give it a go – here’s a walkthrough of my own giveaway.

Let’s Gleam!

First of all, register at for a free plan and give the URL of the site(s) you want to host your Gleam giveaways on.

1. Setup

Click on Competitions from the side menu, then the big ‘New Competition’ button at the top of the page. Input the important information:

  • Name of the giveaway – this is in your default landing page URL too
  • Start and end dates
  • Terms & Conditions (I set these up as standard using Evernote, edit for each giveaway and then paste into the widget – for advice on your T&Cs see this blog post)
  • Login options – I choose Twitter, Facebook and email for mine
  • There are several check boxes to customise your settings – personally, I choose NOT to email to confirm an entry as it can get rather annoying!

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 14.17.33

2. How to enter

  • Choose the entry methods. There are loads of options, but try not to go wild with them as it can put prospective entrants off

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 13.07.22

  • As a benefit of the Business plan, I could use Mailchimp signup as a mandatory entry method. This was easy to set up and could be edited to remove the standard ‘Double opt in’ where Mailchimp requires the user to click a link in an email to confirm subscription. Simply by logging in to the Gleam widget and clicking the box, the entrant was added to my SuperLucky mailing list. Perfect!
  • In addition to this, I chose Facebook, Twitter follow, Tweeting and Instagram as optional methods of entry. I like to have a single mandatory entry method that anyone with an email address can manage (eg. mailing list sign up or blog comment), then make social media actions optional bonus entries. Believe it or not, there really are people out there who would love to win a prize but don’t use Facebook or Twitter!

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 13.14.05

  • I chose to use the Viral Share option, but as I also used the tweet option I found that entrants were tweeting two similarly worded entries one after the other – so it perhaps wasn’t the best idea!
  • You can choose to incorporate daily entries including tweets or a bonus entry button. I noticed that the daily tweets were only sent by a handful of the keenest compers – probably because they featured on the MoneySavingExpert list of daily entry comps. So if you’re after regular traffic to your blog, add a daily tweet to your widget!
  • Choose the number of entries in the draw that each task earns – I like to keep it simple by assigning them all a single entry in the draw, as I hate inflated entry numbers at the top of the widget!
  • You can drag and drop to reorder your entry methods, and even customise your own tasks.

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 14.17.36

3. Prize

  • Add your prize details
  • You can use text, text with a graphic, or a full graphic for your widget

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 14.17.18

  • I used a full ‘feature’ image as that had the most impact and best branding – doesn’t it look handsome?

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 14.13.44

4. Install options

  • Gleam generates a URL for your giveaway which you can see on your dashboard – in my case, it was
  • To embed your widget on a blog you need to select the Embed in a Page or Blog Post option. Copy the code and paste it into your blog post using the TEXT editor (WordPress) or HTML Editor (Blogger). If you have a free blog hosted on you won’t be able to display the widget and will have to link to the standalone giveaway page: this is because they don’t allow JavaScript.
  • You can also embed it on a Facebook page easily, adding a ‘Like gate’ so people have to like your page to access the entry form.
  • If you use the same widget on your blog and Facebook page and one of the entry methods is to leave a blog comment, add a clickable link to take your Facebook fans to the right place!

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 14.17.43

Checking the statistics

  • You can check out various statistics as the giveaway is happening and see a list of entries – with the free plan, you can only see the email address of your last entrant. With Pro and Business you can see everyone’s email address.
  • My giveaway was a great success – it ended with 2559 entries from 668 people, 410 of which were new sign ups to my mailing list. This included 47 viral referrals (people who clicked and entered from a friend’s link). To be honest, I thought viral sharing would generate more click throughs amongst compers, but perhaps the prize was too small!

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 10.00.03

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 16.21.14

I was impressed with Gleam and I think there’s enough goodies with the free plan for me to use it for every giveaway in future – the viral share option is a big plus for me. The downside of the free plan is that you can’t access all email addresses (so it would be tricky to set up a giveaway where you subscribe people to a mailing list) and you can’t choose a manual winner from the entries (for example, if you want to judge the best answer to a competition question). Mind you, forking out $39 for a month’s Pro plan and running a month long giveaway to get mailing list signups would likely be money well spent (just remember to upgrade and downgrade immediately so you’re not charged for more than a month!).

If you decide to give Gleam a try, let me know how you get on, don’t forget to add your giveaway to my monthly Linky Lists – and if you need more guidance or information on the plans check out the Gleam documentation pages!

Do you run prize promotions on your blog or website? Then please consider downloading my book Blog Giveaways: How to run successful competitions, contests and prize draws on your blog from Amazon. You can also join my mailing list for bloggers and promoters – sign up here!

Disclaimer: Gleam provided me with a free 14 day Business Plan membership.

14 Responses

  1. Anette_Halbestunde says:

    How can I choose/set a correct choice/answer in that questions widget?

  2. mibtp says:

    I have used both Gleam and Rafflecopter. I love the look of Gleam – looks more inviting, colorful and professional. However, after the contest is over, they HIDE THE EMAILS AND NAMES FROM YOU. YOU HAVE TO PAY THEM AT LEAST $39 TO GET IT. You’re able to download a useless csv list with hidden values.

    If that was made clear up front, I would have never used them.

    Raffecopter isn’t as nice an interface, but their free version allows you to download a csv file with the entrants names and emails for FREE.

    • This is definitely the main problem for most bloggers using free Gleam – but for most giveaways, all you actually need is the winner’s email address. If you want to collect data then yes, use Rafflecopter – but be clear to the entrants that they’re opting in for further communication!

    • Christine Dillon says:

      so I found out. As my only reason for running it was to grow my membership/newsletter list – that was really irritating. I will try Rafflecopter next time. My first trial was not a success with only 15 people entering in a 3 week period.

  3. Kristie says:

    How do I make it so that users don’t have to input email address – even after they sign up with social media?

  4. CJ WILLIAMS says:

    Thank you for this post, definitely going to check it out!

  5. Ting says:

    Thank you for this article. It’s very helpful!

  6. Helen says:

    Thank you – this is an easy to use guide to Gleam – going to give it a whirl on my next giveaway!

  7. MummyVsWork says:

    Thanks Di, I’m giving this a go over the rafflecopter and will let you know how I find it!

  8. Looks like something I’ll be checking out next time I host a giveaway! Thanks for sharing this x

  9. Hey Di, many thanks for this kind writeup. I was only expecting you to give us a mention on your podcast, not a full writeup so we’re super chuffed 🙂

  1. 08/06/2015

    […] The Do’s and Don’ts of Blog Giveaways hosted by Di Coke. She was an engaging speaker full of great tips and advice. She has not only done a round-up on the competitions that are in our BritMums goody bag but has also given advice on how to use the new Gleam competition widget. […]

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