Many things change in comping, but one thing that doesn’t is that you will always find promoters going for the basic competition entry mechanism of “send us an email to enter”! Whilst for a comper this can make life easier, and indeed it’s the simplest way for a siteowner to offer up a prize, it’s also the most stupidest thing any one running a competition can do!
Once again we’ve heard of a competition being suspended because the siteowner is being deluged with 100s of emails. Even now with the competition taken down, they’re getting lots of emails – and for some odd reason they’ve pointed the finger at Loquax. Yet we’re telling our users to visit their website to enter!
Using email as a way of entering competitions should be avoided at all costs and should be used only as a last resort. It’s easy for someone to copy the details and post them on another site for starters. For a promoter/siteowner that’s instant lots of entries, but no traffic! No traffic means no means of understanding who’s visiting and from where. No traffic means no interaction with the site, sponsors, advertisers or products.
Using email is also the bread and butter of automated entry services. They don’t need to adapt their models for CAPTCHA or complicated forms or competitions with varied answers. Oh No! They just click “send” and drown a competition owner in a sea of repeat emails from their paying customers who probably never ever visit the site/brand running the promotion.
Using email is also great for cheats! Lots of email entries can be hard to sift through in order to spot same addresses, same IP addresses, multiple entries from individuals or households.
The biggest frustration for us, especially when another siteowner complains about their competition being hijacked, is that they’re more concerned at pointing the finger at others (usually Loquax and it’s not even our fault) without ever looking at their own mechanics. If your site is “big enough” to offer a holiday to The Caribbean for example, then it’s surely “big enough” to put in adequate forms and databases to manage the competition properly and fairly? You’d think anyway!
However, from all bad things come some good things so here’s a few tips for decent compers!
1. Do visit websites (where possible), even if the details have been posted.
2. Check the questions – sometimes things change!
3. Don’t copy formats posted by others in your emails. Sometimes they may be wrong.
4. Check your answers too.
5. In fact, check everything before you enter so that you don’t waste your entry!
6. Encourage siteowners/brands to use forms and tell them about automated entries too.
If you run competitions then please do check out our Guide to Running Competitions. If you have any questions or need advice then we’ll try our best to help you too. Just drop us a line.