Tips for Advent Competitions

Get ready for the busiest time of the year for compers – yes, the advent comps are coming!

You may have noticed a few companies starting their daily giveaways early, but most will be launching them on Saturday, 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 – likely to start on 2nd December this year. 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

Although I have my own popular list of instant wins and daily draws, it’s impossible for me to add the hundreds of dailies during Advent season, so I recommend people use the ready made resources that are already available online! BUT only use these resources to find competitions – then save links for your favourite advents in your own list using browser bookmarks. Then you don’t have to trawl through a long list on a competition website every single day.

Start with a browse of one (or more) of the main UK competition sites below, bookmarking your favourite advent comps as you go. Then each day, pop back and see what’s new – and add any new comps you like to your existing bookmarks list.

Check the Advent Comps Facebook group

This year we also have a Advent Competitions Facebook group (members of the Lucky Learners group are automatically granted access) where compers can share any Advent comps they find. It’s designed to be a resource for you to pick and choose from the comps then add them to your own bookmarks.

Using browser bookmarks

Bookmarks are a comper’s best friend! For 2019 I’ve recorded a full video guide with lots of tips on using browser bookmarks – see my blog post How to use bookmarks in Chrome and Safari.

I save links to my favourite 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).

Each day I then 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 I go. Put 15-20 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. 

Advent Competition Tips

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.

Read the instructions

December is a hectic time if you’re a comper, and it’s easy to just plough your way through your entries without paying much attention. But this is when mistakes are made – commenting on a shared Facebook post instead of the original, not tagging a friend, spelling a hashtag wrong on Instagram, forgetting to follow as well as retweet, etc! If you want to refresh your social media knowledge and learn some helpful tips, I’ve created three guides which you can take a look at!

If it’s a shopping centre or local business that’s running the competition, do check if the prize will be posted or must be collected. It can be disappointing to win and then find out it’s collection only, and you live 200 miles away!

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.

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. Find out more about Tweetdeck in my Twitter guide to comping on YouTube.

tweetdeckadvents

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, to tag friends, etc. With so many promoters asking us to tag friends in comments on Instagram and Twitter, shortcuts can be really helpful.

To set shortcuts on an iPhone it’s Settings > General > Keyboard > Text replacement, on a Samsung it’s Settings > Language & Input > On Screen Keyboard > Samsung Keyboard > Smart Typing > Text Shortcuts. 

Here’s a few examples of long phrases you could create a 2 or 3 letter shortcut for, and save yourself lots of time!

  • Check out this giveaway @Twitterfriend1 @Twitterfriend2!
  • I know @Instagramfriend would love this in her Christmas stocking!
  • This would make the perfect Christmas gift for
  • I’d love to find this under the tree on Christmas morning!

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. 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.

Switch between platforms regularly

It’s really easy to get a ban on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for repetitive actions – and going from one Advent competition to another is likely to be flagged as automated activity, so a lot of compers tend to get a Facebook comment ban in the first week of December. Do a handful of Facebook comps, then switch to Instagram, then switch to Twitter, then do some web or blog comps. Don’t spend too much time on one platform!

Don’t ignore other comps!

While everyone else struggles to enter 500 advent comps every day, the number of entries for blog giveaways, creative Christmas comps, and purchase-necessary promotions will be way down – particularly comps that require you to leave your warm home to enter!

But don’t forget the regular daily draws and instant wins sites like Pick My Postcode, you don’t want to miss out on a possible win

Photos of your Christmas jumper, decorations and tree will definitely be useful too. And don’t miss out on the ‘win your wishlist’ comps that are so popular at this time of year.

Copy other compers

Keep a close eye on your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds to see which comps your friends are entering – you might spot some low entry treats! You’ll find loads of compers tweeting entries on my Lucky Learners twitter list.

Check messages and notifications

December is so busy it’s easy to get carried away with the comping you might forget to check if you’re won anything! Don’t forget to :

I hope these tips help you out – please leave a comment if you have any more! 

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6 Responses

  1. Sylvia Robbins says:

    Thanks for this, Di. I shall try harder this year as I only did Dorset Cereals last year – I was already feeling very Ill. I probably won’t bother with Winneroo as it’s changing Attractive hampers are being shared but some don’t close until after Christmas – not very helpful.
    My tip is check the rules to see if prizes will be delivered or whether you must go to some far away place to collect. Good Luck.

    • Di says:

      That’s such a good tip about checking if the prize will be posted or is collection only Sylvia – I’ve added it into the post. Good luck!

  2. Thanks for the tips Di, especially about Tweetdeck I have just spent an hour sorting all my searches and found several low entry local comps. Good luck with your own Advent entries x

  3. Elaine Oliver says:

    Thank you for your tips. I never knew about folders on the bookmark bar- very handy

  4. Nikki Hayes says:

    What I do with Competition Database’s Advent list is go through it and click ignore for all comps that I either already have on my own bookmarks list or that I’m just not interested in. This leaves only the comps I want to enter each day, plus of course any new additions. I’m trying to make life a little easier for myself this year – last year I ended up with more than 200 bookmarks for advent comps! Wishing everyone best of luck for the busiest comping time of year!

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