Giving away something on your blog or website is a great way to give something back to your followers and even gain a lot of new traffic and possibly future sales.
A fast and easy (also FREE) way to start your own giveaway is to use Rafflecopter. You can embed it right onto your website and even add it to your Facebook page. Let’s get started!
Register and Meet the Dashboard
Sign up for a free Rafflecopter account and after that you’ll be taken to your dashboard. The interface is pretty minimal so there aren’t too many features to get confused with. Start by making a new giveaway!
Create Your Giveaway
Ok, so for this example I’m going to have my prize as 1 hour consultation plus a website audit. You could give away ANYTHING! Well, maybe not something lame but just about anything you can think of but hopefully it relates to your business.
If you decide your prize will be a physical item you’ll have to consider the shipping as well. You could make the winner cover shipping but that isn’t so fun, is it?
You can add as many prizes as you like and even collaborate with other entrepreneurs to give away a whole bundle of goodies!
Once you’re done with that skip over the People can enter by… section and choose your dates.
By default, Rafflecopter will choose a week from the current date to end your contest. You can have it start and stop whenever you like. For more luxurious prizes you may want a longer run time or to give yourself more time to advertise.
Add Your Ways to Enter
With the free version you are limited to a certain type of entry option. In the image above, I’ve put X’s over the one’s that are premium. But there is a way around; see the Invent Your Own! option? You can add anything you can think of!
The only drawback is that you have to manually check each entry to make sure it was completed. But we’ll get to that shortly.
You can always choose which options you want but I recommend at least using all the free entry options. If you don’t have a blog or aren’t making a blog post then ignore that one.
Also notice that you can request they visit your FB page but not like it. I’m almost 100% certain this has to do with Facebook’s rules for contests. Either way, it’s a good way to get some new faces to your business page.
The Twitter options are pretty straightforward. If you’re unsure about what you’d like your users to tweet, have them share more information about the giveaway such as the prizes and how they can enter. Also give your contest a cool hashtag so it’s easy to follow and share.
So how do you make your own options? Ok, let’s say for example you want your fans to follow your Pinterest account for an entry or two. On this menu you’ll enter something like I have in the screenshot. I’m telling my entrants to follow my Pinterest account (and I used the formatting tools to make my text a link to my profile).
I’m also asking those who do so to provide me with their Pinterest name.
Why? That’s the unfun part.
Once the giveaway is over you’ll have to manually verify these entries by going to your Pinterest account and checking your followers against the entrants who say they’ve followed you.
You can totally take their word for it but I’ve found that not everyone actually follows you or stays followed for the duration of the giveaway. If you plan on having TONS of entries, you might want to give this task to someone else.
Set a Start and End Date
Choose when you want your giveaway to begin. You can make it start immediately or set it for the future so you can prepare and build up hype! You also must pick an end date and time.
How long will your run your contest? I think that the giveaway duration should correlate to the cost of the thing your giving away.
If it’s something very valuable and/or time-consuming I would hold it for at least a month. A smaller item? Maybe a week or two.
But it’s completely up to you and your audience and how much marketing you do.
You’ll also want to set some terms and condition for your giveaway. You can’t do the pre-fill option unless you want to upgrade. I recommend googling for giveaways similar to yours and see what they have for their terms to get an idea.
For the giveaway in my example, I would require entrants be 18 or over, speak fluent English, and have an existing website to audit. I might also add the entries will be verified after the giveaway and deleted if they don’t match up.
Also mention how long they have to respond before you pick a new winner. You can be as specific as you like.
If you’re shipping something you might choose to limit your entries to people in the US or Canada. This is also where you’ll want to go over shipping costs and who covers them. If it’s something local you’ll want to reflect that as well.
Don’t worry though, you can come back to this page at any time and make changes! Now click Preview & Install!
Share Your Giveaway
You can embed it right into your website with the first code. When you insert it into a post or page make sure you use the Text editor, WordPress users! You could also include it in a widget on your site with the Text widget.
To the right is an option will let other bloggers and business embed your code or install a FB widget for your giveaway, but not access the admin stuff. This is great if you’re doing a giveaway with multiple people.
The second option lets you install a tab right on your Facebook page. Clicking a button lets you login and choose what page to add it on.
You’ll then be able to edit the tab’s page where you can enter a title and a description. You can add a pop of color or link back to your website or blog! You can also easily share your FB tab page from here so it’s easy to get FB users here.
Pick a Winner
After you’ve spent long nights sharing your giveaway and getting people hyped up to enter, it will come to an end and you can finally pick your winner!
First click Show Me the Entries to see a nice spreadsheet of all your entries. This is where you’ll have to manually go through your entries and delete any that aren’t valid.
But it’s easy to group them by going up to Group By: Entry Option. If you have thousands of different entries for tons of different ways to enter, you’ll be crosschecking for a long time. If you don’t mind spending some money you could outsource this task to a VA or your sister’s nephew 😉
When you’re happy with the entries click the Add a Random Winner button to randomly select someone! You can select multiple winner which is great if you’re giving away a few of the same item.
Clicking on the dropdown by the winner will give you some info about them and a quick and easy link to email them right away. Try to reach out to your winner as soon the giveaway ends. In the off-chance they never respond you’ll have to choose someone new.
Now Get to Giving
That’s pretty much all you have to do to run a successful giveaway! Once you’re collaborating with the winner(s) you can send off your item or do whatever you need to honor your Rafflecopter giveaway. I hope that was fun and simple 🙂
Was using Rafflecopter for your giveaway easy? What did you give away? Let me know in the comments!