We’re pretty sure that once upon a time comping was pretty straightforward. A site or brand would put up a giveaway, a portal such as Loquax would link to it and send traffic (or compers if you like), those people would enter and everything in the garden would be rosy.
Occasionally you’d get one or two sites who were less than chuffed to have new visitors attracted by a competition but thankfully they were few and far between. Over the years we’ve had a handful of issues regarding a site being listed on Loquax – that’s not too bad.
Comping Traffic Isn’t Always Welcome
In more recent times though there have been a few grumblings about compers, especially in blogging circles. Bloggers have become a massive source of giveaways but the arrival of eager compers on to their pages has sometimes been met with a less than enthusiastic welcome.
The reasons for this lack of enthusiasm stems from being unaware that compers exist, assuming the giveaway is not going to be picked up outside their readership circle, not quite tailoring terms appropriately and not knowing what to expect when running a giveaway.
For some bloggers suddenly being inundated with traffic can sometimes be overwhelming, especially if that traffic creates problems or it’s not engaging as expected. The sad fact is that it only takes one overzealous comper to ignore terms and conditions before a blogger decides that therefore all compers are “spammers” or “free loaders”.
Our Tips For Bloggers
Now this blog isn’t about having a go at bloggers who dislike compers. Nor is it to paint a picture that everyone who loves entering competitions are whiter than white.
Running a giveaway – whether by a big brand or on a blog – has to be thought out in terms of what is the aim. Is it collecting data? Is it rewarding loyalty and readership? Is it to generate new followers? Is it simply to just be nice and offer something free without worry? A few moments making those considerations will help to determine the all important rules and mechanics of the giveaway.
Admittedly we’re a little out of the loop when it comes to mechanics of giveaways on blogs, but things like Rafflecopter and Gleam seem to be the tools of choice. We know they allow social options when it comes to entries but can’t remember if they allow questions?
Why questions? Well if you want to reward loyalty.. why not ask the entrant for an answer or password or codeword you’ve sent out in a newsletter? In fact if the giveaway is solely for those loyal to your blog, why not confine the giveaway to a newsletter?
Wrap all this goodness up in to some iron clad terms and conditions (e.g. only open to UK entrants with blogs who have subscribed to my mailing list) and whilst you won’t have an infallible giveaway, you’re on a better footing.
In this day and age though it’s hard to keep a giveaway hidden from the eyes of the comping community. Back in the day we only had Alta Vista to use and that wasn’t great for searching out new comps – nowadays there’s Twitter, Facebook, Google, Blogs, MSE etc.
Compers Have Found My Competition – Help
If your competition is picked up by compers – what should you do?
Our advice to any siteowner, especially bloggers, who find themselves unhappy because they’ve been flooded with comping visitors is try not to over react to what’s happening. We know that’s not always easy but going on to social media and slating compers, calling them spammers etc isn’t good form.
For an easy life you could simply accept what’s occurring and use it as an experience. On one hand it may turn out OK and it’ll give you something to blog about. On the other it may be a real pain in the butt… and it’ll give you something to blog about.
However, you might want to try and stem the tide a little…
If your competition is listed on a portal, go to the site and contact them. Ask not only for a link removal but request politely that your comps are not listed in future. Remember also that not everyone is attached to the PC 24/7 so things may not always happen immediately.
Secondly look at your entries. If they’re within your specified terms and conditions then they are valid and you should accept them. If they’re not then you’re at liberty to disqualify.
Spammers/multiple entrants/cheats will try it on – but that doesn’t make everyone who likes entering competitions the same. Be careful tarnishing a group of people with the same brush because of some bad apples.
Please Don’t Slam The Door
Compers are often not loved in some circles because quite often they simply visit, enter, leave. The key here is can you encourage them to come back to your site another time? Someone entering a competition may not want to read your article or purchase from you straight away. Slamming the door on them because they’ve been attracted to your site by a giveaway is a guaranteed way to make them never return.
If you’ve collected emails for example you could send out a message saying “thanks for visiting to enter my giveaway – here’s a few other articles you may be interested in.. please follow, bookmark etc”. It may be that you find new followers or new engagements this way. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar!
Of course some sites don’t want compers to return – and that’s their choice and it needs to be respected. Rather than bust their balls, threaten them with ASA issues or argue with them – move on. There are plenty of other places with giveaways that are happy to receive visitors from the comping community.