Rafflecopter: How to Make Blog Giveaways Easy
January 15th, 2013
Whether you're a blogger or website owner, product or service giveaways can be a great way to boost readership, engagement, and social media following. But, the logistics of giveaways can be very difficult and confusing.
How will you:
- Collect entries,
- Calculate entries,
- Identify false submissions,
- Choose a winner,
- Spread the word?
You could, of course, enter everyone who shares or tweets or comments, but that can get really complicated really fast. Instead, there's a free program that does absolutely everything for you while also making you look like a professional, grownup blogger!
It's called Rafflecopter, and you're going to fall in love.
As a lifestyle blogger, I often see people giving away wonderful items from various companies. I see a new giveaway at least once a day, and have entered into many. There are some I just won't apply for, though.
Unless I see Rafflecopter, I'm not entering.
I don't trust the giveaway. I don't want to be involved in the mess, I don't want to feel like I'm doing something for the blogger without receiving our agreed-upon entry, and it just gets complicated.
What is Rafflecopter anyway?
Rafflecopter is an online raffle program that allows you to set up a giveaway of customizable options. It offers a variety of methods of entry, including the options to create custom ones. You can require to follow you on Twitter, tweet something in particular, pin a post, write a blog comment, or do a variety of other things.
It shows users exactly how many entries they can earn, and how to do so, and it looks like this:
Here's an example of a Rafflecopter giveaway form. Looks pretty nifty, eh?
One beautiful aspect of Rafflecopter entry submission is the seamless integration with Facebook and Twitter. Your users don't have to open any tabs to Like your profile or Follow you. Instead, they click a little button, type in their username (for your verification purposes), and it's done!
Rafflecopter collects all of the information in a spreadsheet, chooses the winner for you at the right time, and makes everything super easy.
To install your giveaway on your post or page, simply copy and paste the HTML code provided once you create your giveaway.
You can even integrate your giveaway with your Facebook Page, thus creating a tab heading where users can enter the giveaway without leaving the site!
Is Rafflecopter really free?
Yes! Although the site offers three different types of accounts, there is a very useful free version that I highly recommend.
Rafflecopter account types with features
The other accounts are for bloggers and businesses. I do find the free version of Rafflecopter somewhat limiting (you can't customize start and end times, add pictures of the prizes, or take advantage of all entry options).
Still, I will come back to Rafflecopter time and time again. Perhaps one day, I'll even opt for a paid account!
Have you ever hosted a giveaway? Have you used Rafflecopter? Would you? Tell us below!