How to Use RaffleCopter to Simplify Your Giveaways, Increase Engagement, and Boost Your Klout!

If you are a blogger that runs giveaways, then you know that they can be challenging to set up and administrate. And if you are running a giveaway for a sponsor, it adds a whole ‘nother layer of responsibility-and stress.

A few months ago I entered a giveaway that utilized a widget from Rafflecopter. Originally, I wasn’t that “into” it- but I decided to give it a try for myself. Within 2 weeks, I saw my engagement go up (as evidenced by tweeted entries), the number of entries increase (because you can offer multiple entries without leaving eight-gajillion comments) and even my Klout score went up.

So let me walk you through setting up a Rafflecopter giveway and you can decide for yourself if Rafflecopter is right for you.

Of course, you’ll need to log in and offer up your email address. But worry not, fair bloggers- the basic service is FREE. (If you’d like to “white paper” the widget- that is, customize it to look like you built it yourself- you can pay an up-charge for that.)

But after logging in, it’s really, really simple.

First, you name your giveaway. You can see by this screen shot that you can offer multiple prizes- so it allows you to be perfectly clear as to what is being offered. So you can set it up so that you give away many of the SAME prize- for example, 12 cans of spraypaint, one to each winner- OR multiple items to the SAME winner.

Next, you can add the conditions of entry into the giveaway. The most basic one- the blog comment- is right at the top. AND you can make it mandatory- so if they don’t at least comment, readers can’t enter at all.

You also have the option of providing multiple entries for each action. In the screen shot above, I’m offering ONE entry for a blog comment. In my opinion, it’s the easiest way to enter, so it’s worth the least.

You may add extra giveaway entries for “liking” a Facebook Page, following on twitter, or subscribing to email. The widget is designed that for “liking” and following, you simply have to enter the Twitter and/or Facebook Page URLs. It’s so easy to set up- it’s save me scads of time while offering my readers more options to enter, without leaving all those comments.

You’ll also notice that I’ve tiered the value of the entries. Following and “liking” are worth 2 entries, while tweeting is worth three. I feel like the more involved/engaged I ask my readers to be, the more entries they should receive. And since you can write your own tweets, make sure you include your twitter handle. With all those extra mentions, my Klout score actually went up from 56 to 59!

Just a word of caution: beware of hyperbole! In other words, is a tweet really worth 50 entries? Try to make sure the values are fair and credible. Secondly, think carefully of how many entry options you’ll allow. I saw one contest that literally had 15 options and up to 50 entries! That’s a bit of overkill, in my humble opinion, and it can easily overwhelm and tire out a reader.

Lastly, there is a “comments” section where you’ll want to type in the rules of the contest. I recommend that you ALWAYS add the following:

  • disclaimer that no purchase is necessary in order to win
  • odds of winning are based on number of entries
  • eligibility (ie, US residents 18 and over)
  • international rules or disclaimer
  • information about shipping of prize and statement of responsibility

That last one is sticky- but I’ve heard horror stories about winners that claim to not have gotten a prize and go after the administer of the contest to get compensation. (Shudder.)

This is is how a finished widget looked on my blog. You’ll notice that at the very top, it says there are 473 entries. That looks REALLY impressive, right? Well, in actuality there are only 49 comments on this post- but because of the other entry options, the number is much, much higher. And to a sponsor, this number indicates more than just comments- it’s a hallmark of engagement. Which, of course, is what they are really looking for!

At the end of a giveaway, you may export an Excel spreadsheet with names, emails, and IP addresses. You may- or may not- want to make this available to sponsors. But it’s nice that RaffleCopter at least offers that option!

So there you have it- a tool that can make administrating an giveaway easier, gives your readers a simpler way to engage, and a side benefit of a boosted Klout score- all for free. You might just want to try it out once or twice and see if it’s right for you!

Disclosure: I have no affiliation with RaffleCopter and all opinions are my own.


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