Competitions are a great way to increase the traffic on your blog and grow your email list. This post details the ways you can launch a competition on your blog without getting in trouble with regulators.
Where to Source for Competition Prizes
You might think running a competition means investing your own money in a prize. You’d be surprised to learn just how many brands are willing to provide you with products to give away on your blog in exchange for the added exposure. Think of some brands that align with your blog and email their PR or press representative. You might not hear back from all of them, but particularly smaller brands aren’t usually so fussy about the size of blogs that give away their products. If you end up with no replies, then you can start looking at investing your own money in a prize. Gift cards to popular high street stores or Amazon tend to do well. They don’t have to be high value either. People will enter your competition even if you only give away a £10 voucher.
There are lots of different tools out there that help you set up competition on your site and integrate these with your different marketing channels. We’ve highlighted three of the most popular tools below:
Gleam offers a wide range of tools to grow your blog traffic, the main one being a competition widget. Gleam works by letting you add multiple methods of entry to your competitions, such as subscribing to your mailing list, following you on Twitter or visiting your Facebook page. Basic entries do not require a subscription. If you wish to enable email subscription as an entry method, you will need to upgrade your account to the Pro Plan which costs $39 per month. This also gives you access to a host of Gleam’s other growth hacking tools, like email capture pop-ups and lead generation emails.
Rafflecopter is one of the most popular competition platforms for bloggers and big brands alike. Rafflecopter advertise that installing and setting up a competition on your site takes less than 3 minutes in total. The basic version of Rafflecopter is available for free. Added functionality requires a subscription, starting from $13 per month, which enables entries via more social networks.
PromoSimple offers many of the same methods of entry as Gleam and Rafflecopter, but has a lower price point for their paid subscriptions. Plans start from $15 per month and even the cheapest subscription level lets you integrate with email services like Mailchimp, MadMimi or Constant Contact. You can also enable entries via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Keeping Your Competition Legal
The first thing you will want to make sure of is that your competition complies with your country’s competition laws. The tools listed above all offer a template competition terms & conditions generator, which makes this process much easier. One way to make your giveaway easier to manage is to restrict the countries that are eligible to enter to your own country. That is if you are based in the UK, restrict your entries to just the UK. You’ll need to be aware that competition laws in Northern Ireland are different from those of England, Wales and Scotland. Best practice for competitions is to include a multiple choice question or asking entrants to provide an image caption as the primary entry method. This satisfied the legislation requirements of needing a level of skill to enter the competition, in order to not be regulated by the 2005 Gambling Act.
One condition that is required by UK competition laws is that the winner’s name must be made available upon request. If you use a competition tool, this becomes easier as they will automatically list the name of the winner once the competition closes. If you choose to operate a competition without using one of the above mentioned tools, it is standard practice to have a postal address listed where people can send a request for the winner’s information. If you’d like to learn more about UK competition legislation, we recommend you read this post from Out-Law.
Where to Share Your Competition
Once you’ve posted a competition on your blog, now it’s time to promote it on other sites. Schedule regular tweets on Twitter during the competition period using the hashtags #win and #competition. If you don’t already schedule your social media posts, you can do this using Hootsuite or Buffer. You’ll also want to post your competition on as many competition forums and sites as possible. In the UK, the most popular are the MoneySavingExpert forum, HotUKDeals, The Prize Finder and Reddit. As with all things blogging, many of these don’t allow self promotion, so you may need to get a friend to post the link to your competition for you.