Another day and it seems like yet another raffle site launches. A raffle site is one which offers tech, lifestyle prizes or even cars as prizes but to enter you need to purchase tickets. These tickets are often limited in number and the closing date is usually based on whether enough tickets have been sold. Although these sites are often referred to as raffle sites they are in fact prize competitions. To this extent they must either offer a free entry route or have some degree of skill within the competition mechanic.
How To Launch A Raffle Site
Since we first looked into raffles and added the car raffles section here on Loquax we’ve come across more and more of these sites. When we looked on Trustpilot we actually discovered well over 50 and anticipate that there are more around. Each week we get one or two new sites popping up to post their competitions on Loquax – despite it being made clear in our terms that we don’t permit their inclusion. Anyway the question we’re considering today is why are there so many raffle sites?
Our view is that they’re actually incredibly easy to set-up! With a good domain, some hosting that has access to a payment gateway, and a few plugins you can quickly set up your own site. And here’s the big thing you don’t need any prizes to get going either. The only thing any new entrant to this market needs to do is get people interested in their competitions and keen to purchase tickets. Get to that point and you’re well on your way. So let’s have a look at this in a little more detail.
If you’re going to start a raffle site you need a good brand name. Seek out a domain name with ‘Competitions’, ‘Prize’, ‘Comps’ or ‘Win’ as part of the name and that’s a good beginning. Once you have your name make sure you get the respective social media handles too! You then need to find somewhere to host your website. This location should be able to host and manage Woocommerce. We recommend Siteground as a good option for starting up.
Woocommerce “is a customizable, open-source eCommerce platform built on WordPress”. You’re going to need to install this and build your website around it! We’ve never used it but it looks relatively easy to use and get going. As part of your site you will need to be able to collect payments. There should be options to collect payments with your hosts or using WooCommerce Payments. You will need to investigate this yourself as we’ve never needed to implement a payment system. However you’ll need to make sure your site has an SSL Certificate so payments/logins etc are secure.
WooCommerce Lottery Plugins
To convert your WooCommerce platform into a raffle site you’ll need a plugin that will cost a few dollars to purchase but it gives you the option to create automatic ticket generation lotteries and user ticket selection lotteries. Head to either Woocommerce Lottery or Lottery for WooCommerce. If you look at a variety of other raffle sites you’ll discover how they are implementing these products. Additionally you can add refer a friend plugins to incentise your entrants to encourage sharing.
Of course you’ll need to tart up your site with logos, images etc. plus you’ll need rules, terms, a no purchase necessary option and a bit of info about your company but the above will get you on your way. The final thing you need is some prizes and because it’s a raffle you don’t actually physically need to have them straightaway. For example if you offer an iPhone as a prize there’s no need to have it in hand until you’re ready to pay out. The same with other tech prizes and cash, whether it’s awarded as a main prize or alternative if not enough tickets are sold.
Raffles & Regulations
Car raffles are slightly different as you need to have the motor details and be the owner in order to “sell it”. We’d suggest that unless you’re in the motor trade not to start with a car as prize. Now you have your site the hard work starts as you need to get entrants and people to purchase tickets. You also need to consider how you’ll pick winners (most sites use random.org or wheelofnames.com) and make sure your processes are transparent. This may involve running the draw live on Facebook and listing the names of entrants.
Although this is quite a quick overview it’s obvious why there are so many of these sites mushrooming at the moment. They’re relatively easy to set up with a minimal initial outlay. The hardest part is actually marketing the thing and picking up regular customers. Additionally they aren’t regulated so provided you either offer a free entry option or include a skill element then you can get underway. Of course the latter we think is a problem especially with respect to safe gambling.
Offer a £500 prize with 750 x £1 tickets and that’s a £250 profit if sold. Even if all the tickets aren’t sold you can still offer a 70% prize so running these prize competitions is surely the road to big profits, especially if you run a number of competitions every week? Whilst a number of the established sites are doing well with respect to ticket sales many new ones are not. When we trawled through Trustpilot’s list of raffle sites we found that a number were no longer active. Therefore setting up a prize competition site doesn’t automatically mean instant success.
If we had the formula for a successful prize competition raffle site then we’d implement ourselves. However having reviewed numerous sites we think that there are several things to consider. The sites that are really successful seem to have big social media followings – pages and groups. Building a community of regular players is very important. Transparency is also important! Remember you’re taking hard earned cash off people and they are your customers. Treat them with respect so that they give good reviews and have a positive experience. Finally stand out from the crowd. The raffle arena is already quite saturated and entrants have a lot of options.