Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Golden Rules For Sweepstakes

If you have been entering sweepstakes for a long time or you are just beginning your sweepstakes hobby, I have listed a few Golden Rules to keep in mind as you enter sweepstakes and giveaways.

1. The sponsor or blogger of the sweepstakes/giveaway does not "owe" you anything.
Over the years I have seen this attitude time and time again. I can not tell you how many times I have heard the phrase: "I can't believe they are "only" giving away a ..." Perhaps my favorite was : "I can't believe they are "only" giving away one car." Thankfully this sentiment is rare but it still happens. Giveaways and sweepstakes can be a lot of work for sponsors and particularly bloggers. In addition to making sure you reach your targeted audience, you have to make sure the entrants are eligible, followed the rules and did not not cheat. (It happens) If a blogger  is running the giveaway, the blogger has to make sure the sponsor will deliver the item to the winner. Sometimes, the sponsors will not send the winner the prize for various reasons.So the blogger  usually provides an alternative or pays for an equivalent prize. Keep in mind how much work goes into a sweepstakes or giveaway the next time you enter or hear the phrase "they are only giving away a.."

2. Follow the Rules 
Read an follow the rules. If you are not eligible move on to the next sweepstakes,giveaway or  contest. For example, if you are asked to send in a postcard to enter the sweepstakes, don't send in a 3x5 card in an envelope. Your entry will be disqualified. Please follow the rules.

3.Visit the Sponsors Website or Social Media Pages
Take a few minutes to visit the website and social media pages of the sponsor or blogger that is sponsoring the giveaway or sweepstakes.

4. Check your Email Frequently
The  sponsors of the giveaway or sweepstakes will contact you by email, phone or postal mail. Usually by email. Respond to the email immediately. Many people have lost prizes for not responding to a winning email.

5. If you win 
If you win a prize, do not share it on sweepstakes forums, social media or any public forum until the prize is in your hands.

6. Say Thank you 
Take a few minutes to go to the sponsor's website and social media pages to post a thank you note for the prize and if you are comfortable a picture of you using the prize. This shows gratitude and may encourage the sponsor to run more sweepstakes.

 7. Have Patience
On average it takes 8-10 weeks to receive a prize you have won. Of course the time to receive the prize depends on a number of things. The time frame to receive a prize is usually listed in the rules. I can say that I have received a prize a year after a sweepstakes ended. It is rare to receive a prize a year later but it happens.

8.  Have Fun
It's a hobby, have fun and don't take it too seriously. Enjoy the process and have some fun.

9. Stay Positive
There will be times when you will not when a prize. We all go through dry spells. During those times, take a break, evaluate how you are entering sweepstakes. For example, are you getting  all your sweepstakes from a website instead of finding them on your own.

10. Try Something Different 
Do you always enter daily sweepstakes? Why not try 1x only sweepstakes or blog giveaways. Why not try a recipe contest, radio contest or twitter giveaway. Remember,trying something different, increases your chance of winning.