Advent competitions: tips & top picks for 2021
Advent competitions – the two words that strike fear into the heart of all compers! Yes, Christmas is coming, and with it comes the madness of daily entry competitions throughout December!
You may have noticed a few brands starting their daily giveaways early, but most will be launching them on Wednesday, 1st December.
Advent Competition formats
These are the most popular formats:
- Classic Advent competition – one prize draw every day for 24 days from 1st to 24th December (the most popular option!).
- ’12 days of Christmas’ promotion – one prize draw every day starting on either the 1st or the 13th December
- Advent instant win – there’s one winner a day who instantly wins the prize if they are the first to enter after a random ‘winning moment’
In some cases, there will be prizes on some days and discounts/offers on the other days. Some promotions may only be on weekdays, and some might have a prize draw weekly through December.
How to find Advent Competitions
Although I have my own popular list of instant wins and daily draws here on SuperLucky, it’s impossible for me to add the hundreds of December dailies to it! But I will be adding my 2021 Advent Top Picks to this blog post – scroll down to the end for a list of my favourites, which I’ll be adding from 1st December onwards.
To find more Advent competitions, use the ready made resources that are available online to curate your own list. Save your favourite comps using browser bookmarks, and simply use your own list daily – it’s much quicker than trawling through a long list on a competition website every 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.
www.competitiondatabase.co.uk are unfortunately NOT doing a specific Advent category this year, but advents will still be included in their regular listings.
I also recommend checking out the Advent Picks Facebook group, where Tony maintains an extensive list of Advent competitions.
Tips for Advent Competitions
Use browser bookmarks
Bookmarks are a comper’s best friend! I have 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 if you want to learn how to master these time-saving tools.
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.
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 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, take advantage of your browser’s autofill function. If you want more options and don’t mind paying, I recommend Roboform Everywhere (my referral link – you’ll get 6 months free if you join!) 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.
Read the instructions
December is a hectic time for compers 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! Check out my list of the top ten mistakes compers make to see if you’re making common mistakes which might be stopping you from winning.
Watch out for promoters running their competition on all platforms too – often they will post to Instagram and automatically share the same content to Twitter and Facebook, without telling people! Try and enter on multiple platforms if you have time, usually the promoter will just choose a winner from one platform as it’s difficult to collate entries from three.
If it’s a shopping centre or local business that’s running the Advent competition, 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. It’s a good idea to find a local friend who’s happy to be tagged, and to tag you, in local Advent comps – post a request in our friends album in Lucky Learners!
Keep your inbox tidy
Most of the brands who run advent competitions don’t do it out of the kindness of their heart – they want to get you on board as a paying customer! And lots of them will be adding you to their mailing lists when you enter – so double check any boxes you’re ticking, as sometimes it will be optional to sign up. Whatever you do, don’t register for daily email reminders of comps. You’ll be wasting time clearing out your clogged 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! Get organised now by reading my Tips for a tidy inbox – search for missed wins or comps, then unsubscribe from (or automatically file away) newsletters, organise useful messages and clear out all the junk.
Search for low entry advent competitions
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 after the start of November until mid December – some companies only start their ’12 Days of Christmas’ on the 13th December! Search on Google, Instagram 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.
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, shortcuts can be really helpful – but be careful as you could risk a ban for moving too quickly from one comment to the next.
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 @Twitterfriend would love this in her Christmas stocking!
- This would make the perfect Christmas gift for @Twitterfriend!
- 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’! to answer the common ‘What’s your favourite Christmas song?’ question. 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 get a ban! Switch between platforms regularly
It’s really easy to get in trouble on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for repetitive actions – and going from one Advent competition to another could be flagged as automated activity, so a lot of compers tend to get a Facebook or Instagram 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, and read my advice on how to avoid an Instagram ban.
Don’t ignore other comps!
While everyone else struggles to enter 200 advent comps every day, the number of entries for blog giveaways, creative Christmas comps, radio competitions, and purchase-necessary promotions 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 be useful too. And don’t miss out on the ‘win your wishlist’ comps that are so popular at this time of year – again, you can find these on a Twitter or Google search.
Copy other compers
Keep a close eye on your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds and stories 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 :
- Search the Competition Winners Facebook group for your name
- Check Facebook Filtered Messages
- Check Twitter message requests and notifications
- Check Instagram messages at least once a day in case you’ve been announced as a winner in a story – stories disappear after 24 hours!
- Check your email inbox and junk folder – if it’s too full, search quickly for ‘Congratulations’, ‘Winner’ or ‘Runner Up’ just in case!
- Beware of the profile cloning scammers who pretend to be brands and contact ‘winners’ asking them to make payments to receive a non-existent prize.
I hope these tips help you out – please let me know in the comments if you have any more advice on Advents!
Di’s top Advent Competition Picks for 2021
Below is a linky list of my favourite Advent competitions this year – I’ll add new ones to it as I spot them! If you can’t see the list below, click here to view it.