10 Reasons Why Your Contest, Competition Or Prize Draw Sucks!

Posted on: September 5th, 2012 by Jason

Over the years we’ve seen a lot of competitions, contests and prize draws – for the most part they’re fine and we’re happy to tell our users about them. However more and more we’re seeing annoying little traits cropping up in online promotions – school boy/school girl errors which turn what should be a good marketing mechanic into something that – well, basically sucks. Here’s our top ten of things you should avoid….

1. No Closing Date

You go to through the hard work of putting up your competition/prize draw, getting it organised and promoting it – but you don’t bother to actually include the date it ends. A prize promotion needs an end date – so don’t forget to include it!!

2. Long Closing Dates

Sometimes we’ll see a prize promotion which has a closing date six to twelve months down the line – yet the prize is a £20 voucher for Fred and Brenda’s Emporium in The Outer Hebrides! Rubbish! We advise that most comps should run for up to four weeks – longer if there’s a big prize on offer. Giveaways involving small prizes really shouldn’t run for months!

3. Low Value Prizes

First off a discount code is not a prize – it’s a discount code – so don’t fob us off it’s anything but! Secondly a 50p or £1 prize pool is not particularly generous unless you have a number of the items to giveaway (to be clear 1 x £1 keyring bad, 100 x £1 keyrings good). Thirdly eBooks are fine as prizes provided you can’t download the book for free anyway.

4. No Likey No Sharey!

We’d really love Facebook page admin to move away from likes and shares. Facebook guidelines advise against them. It’s not that difficult to run promotions via an app and there’s really no need for any brand to not follow the guidelines. It’s high time Facebook clamped down on like/share to enter and it’s high time promoters made an effort to get away from them.

5. No Googley No Plussy!

In a similar vein to the Facebook one, we’re a bit fed up of seeing Google+ stuff in competition mechanics – mainly because Google states quite clearly they don’t allow it (Google+ Contest Guidelines). One offender even had the gall to say to us that they’d gotten “special dispensation” from Google to run their promotion. Yeah right!

6. We’ll Run A Competition When….

One thing that really irritates us is when a promoter asks us to link to their site/social media page and says “at x00 followers our competition will start”. Guess what!? You’re not getting listed with that one. Just tell us when the prize promo has started – simples!

7. We’ll Giveaway A Prize If….

A recent prize promo offered to giveaway a holiday if their Facebook page reached 2000 by the end of August. They hit around 800 – and didn’t give away the prize. That sucks big time! They should have said “prize offered at 2000 likes or xyz closing date, which ever comes first”. The people who took the time to take part completely wasted their time (and our apologies we should have picked up on it before it appeared on Loquax).

8. No Governance For Automated Entries

Yes, we haven’t forgotten about these things! They’re still about and although every promoter who submits their competition to us is warned about them, many still choose to ignore our warnings. Our blog offers sensible advice to all promoters – do try and use it. By the way, have you noticed that a lot of magazine sites are moving to Facebook or login to take part systems?

9. Not Understanding Compers

Last week we spotted a blogger bemoaning “freeloaders” entering their prize draw. They hoped that their winner would be someone who deserves the prize. First off, if you’re going to moan about compers don’t do it on social media – it gets found. Secondly if you’re unhappy with a link on Loquax or other comping service ask for it to be removed. Finally go to our promoter’s guide and educate yourself about running competitions. A little bit of knowledge will save a lot of unhappiness… guaranteed!

10. Do This! Do That! Jump In The Air! Voting!

One way of getting round loads of entries from compers is by making your competition a little more complicated. Instead you get a few entries – mainly from compers who like low entry, creative, tougher to enter comps. However, some comps have more stages than the Tour de France and the prizes aren’t that good either. Then just to crown the glory – the promoter throws in a public voting thingy as they think that’s a great way to choose a winner.

We were commenting on the unfairness of voting comps long before it became trendy for those who did them to now turn round and say “yes they aren’t fair”. Voting comps are unfair and comps that require 101 elements to take part are rubbish. And you can take that to the bank!

Well, that’s our little rant over with – over to you guys! You do plenty of comps, but what really grinds your gears when it comes to promoters? Leave a comment on the blog and release that frustration once and for all!


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