Types of Competition - Advantages & Disadvantages

There are so many types of possible competition that we've compiled this mini guide that briefly explains how they work and the main advantages and disadvantages of each one. If you've never run a competition before then stick to something simple.

To see competitions in action just follow the links to see current live examples!

Type Description Advantages/Disadvantages
Email Prize Draw User sends an email to enter a competition Quick and easy to set up but open to abuse and should be avoided at all costs.
Web Prize Draw User completes an online form to enter a competition Attracts traffic to your site. If used with CAPTCHA should avoid automated entry problems.
Registration User has to register for your site to enter the competition Easy to set up and you're getting people signed up to your site!
Mailing List To enter a user has to join your newsletter Easy to set up and a good way to develop a mailing list.
Caption User has to send in a funny caption for a picture. Tends to attract fewer entries than a prize draw. Requires judging but can be fun and generates content!
Tiebreaker User has to complete a sentence in x number of words. Needs fair judging and attracts fewer entries! Can be time consuming.
Trivia Quiz To enter the competition all questions need to be answered. Can be time consuming to set up and answers may be shared around the web
Photo/Video A user has to upload a photo or movie in order to enter. Will attract limited entries of varying standards. Requires Judging!
Refer Friends A user has to tell their friends or post links to gain entries. A good way to attract more users, but can be seen as spammy and difficult to manage.
Surveys Entrants need to complete questions about a subject or your site. Useful for getting feedback or user data but make sure entrants are regular visitors!
Treasure Hunt User has to locate items around your site in order to enter the draw. Time consuming to set up. Your hard work may be lost if answers are posted online.
Blog User has to post a comment on your blog to enter! Tends to attract less entries as users have to register to take part
Game User plays a game to enter the competition. They may have to get a high score. Expense required for the game, plus it's open to cheating if not checked. Can attract viral traffic if done properly.
Purchase Customer has to buy an item to be entered into a prize draw May attract limited entry levels but can be an effective promotional tool. Check NPN rules!
Twitter User has to tweet a message or follow you! Watch for multiple accounts/entries. People just follow you whilst you give stuff away.
Facebook Entrants have to like your page or enter competition via FB interface. There are rules about competitions on Facebook so you should check these first.
Vote for Me Users submit an entry (e.g. video or photo) and other people are asked to vote for them Can attract cheats galore and can result in a lot of bad publicity for you. Avoid if possible.
Reviews Entrants need to post a product review to enter the competition. Limited entries and you may get varied quality. Entries may need to be screened and judged for competition to be fair.

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