How To Find The Best Online Giveaways

a keyboard with a winner key

Some people seem to have all the luck. Most of us know at least one person who seems to constantly be winning prizes or receiving recognition for winning things. While they might seem to be lucky, the odds are pretty good that person is just better versed in how to find the best online giveaways than most.

Knowing how to find the best online giveaways is partly an issue of knowing what types of giveaways are best for you. You will also benefit from knowing and implementing certain key behaviors and strategies when you enter these contests. While good online giveaways are not “rigged,” if you know how to find the best online giveaways, then you will know that some certainly offer ways for a dedicated participant to weight their entry.

What Is an Online Giveaway?

giveaway win win win

On the surface, an online giveaway is exactly what its name suggests: a contest or process for giving away something for free that is conducted online or, at a minimum, at least entered into online. However, there is more to online giveaways than a desire to give away free stuff. In most cases, online giveaway promoters have ulterior motives. Understanding those motives is one key to knowing how to find the best online giveaways.

Online Giveaways Serve the Promoter and the Winner

In most cases, online giveaways are intended to promote a product or company. There are many strategic uses for an online giveaway. If you can help the organizer meet one of their goals, you are one step closer to knowing how to find the best online giveaways for you. Here are a few ways that these contests serve the sponsor:

  • They generate leads for future buyers
  • They create a contact list of people interested in the product, service, or brand
  • They generate lists of information that can be sold to others (if the privacy policy permits)
  • They create large social media followings
  • They generate referrals if entrants post about the product or brand online

Red Flags for Online Giveaways

Although online giveaways are nearly always conducted to serve the company sponsoring them, there are a few signs that an online giveaway is not a good one. Knowing how to find the best online giveaways includes knowing how to spot potentially problematic programs as well. Here are a few red flags:

  • The giveaway requires you to make a large purchase
  • The giveaway asks for account information for your private financial accounts
  • The giveaway asks for passwords to other accounts
  • You must provide your social security number to enter
  • You must answer a lot of common “security questions” to enter
  • The privacy policy does not actually protect your privacy

Not all of these issues make an online giveaway illegal, but if you are practiced in how to find the best online giveaways, you will probably not want to participate in contests with these red flags. In some cases, you could end up with a lot of spam or junk mail and, in worse cases, you could end up a victim of identity theft.

Who Can Participate in Online Giveaways?

The people who can participate in online giveaways will usually be defined by the terms of the contest. While some online giveaways allow everyone to enter, if you know how to find the best online giveaways, you know that the best programs for you will limit entries. This is legal as long as the policy is not discriminatory.

man thumbs up

Some indications that entries are limited will be found in the terms of the contest, and others may be found in the privacy policy. Sometimes, you will have to read between the lines to figure out who is likely to participate, even if everyone technically is allowed to do so. Here are some examples of online giveaways that will likely have fewer participants and will, therefore, offer you better odds of winning:

  • The entries are limited to a few states or geographic regions
  • Entrants are limited by gender
  • Entrants are limited by age
  • Entrants are limited by a skill set, such as shooting a video or writing a short story
  • Entrants must complete a long, multi-page survey
  • The giveaway item will only appear to a certain demographic
  • The prize is so common as to be ignored by many entrants (iPads are an example of this)
  • There are lots of smaller giveaways 
  • The giveaway requires you to work by promoting the product, company, or process off- or online

Legal Considerations with Online Giveaways

In most cases, it is very important to online giveaway promoters to simultaneously not exclude a population from the online giveaway and to appeal only to their target audience. Often, this results in an online giveaway having a fairly large volume of “fine print” dealing with how the winner will be selected. One aspect of knowing how to find the best online giveaways for you will be knowing what will make you attractive to the sponsors of the giveaways.
One of the most attractive elements in any online giveaway winner is a large social media following. Sponsors do not just want your information so they can advertise to you later. They also want you to expose them to your friends in a positive light so that your friends will also enter the online giveaway. If you are a pro at knowing how to find the best online giveaways, you will probably also be able to identify contests sponsored by companies for which you are the target demographic.

How to Find the Best Online Giveaways

man searching the web

There are so many ways to learn how to find the best online giveaways, but some definitely work better than others. Since companies use online giveaways to promote themselves and their products, your understanding of this will help you learn how to find the best online giveaways for you.

Look for New Companies

Online giveaways can generate a lot of publicity. New companies often use them to build awareness about their brand. These giveaways are often a great opportunity for you because there will be fewer people aware of the giveaway in the first place because the company is probably not very high-profile.

Read Online Giveaway Newsletters and Referral Lists

There are countless online giveaway newsletters and referral lists that provide people who spend a lot of time entering these contests with the information they need to identify good online giveaways. Some newsletters are published daily and include all new online giveaways in a certain area of the country or area of interest.

If you have a specific interest, such as craft supplies or certain types of tools, subscribe directly to sponsors’ newsletters as well. Often companies will offer free newsletters to let their target audiences know when they are about to launch an online giveaway they believe potential buyers will find appealing.

You will probably need to subscribe to more than one newsletter since it is nearly impossible to locate every single online giveaway as it makes its debut. Another great way to handle this important element of knowing how to find the best online giveaways is to set search alerts for terms that show up consistently in giveaways that meet your personal requirements. For example, if you want to enter as many online gun giveaways as possible, then you will want to set a search alert for the term “gun giveaway.” You might also set alerts for terms like “gun contest” or “gun sweepstakes” as well.

Get Social

Online giveaways tend to favor participants that have active and large social media followings. Building up your social media following and “training” your network friends to click the links you post will absolutely help you win more online giveaways if you enter the right contests.

Social media can also help you know how to find the best online giveaways though. Joining groups of people who help each other win these giveaways or share experiences with different companies, organizers, and sponsors is a great way to fast-track your knowledge of how to find the best online giveaways and build the social media leverage you need to optimize your chances of winning.

These groups can also serve as a prime source of referrals since most members of groups like this will share not only if a contest worked well, but also if it went poorly for some reason. Of course, take every recommendation with a grain of salt. While some group members legitimately want to share knowledge and information, others will be more focused on minimizing participation in contests they believe are a good fit for them. You will need to become an expert in reading different peoples’ motivations if you really want to master how to find the best online giveaways.

Conclusion: You Cannot Win If You Do Not Enter

a boy and a girl is celebrating there win

Now that you have all the information you need to start looking for the best online giveaways for you, it is time to get out there and start looking and entering. After all, you can have all the expertise in the world, fail to use it, and still end up with absolutely nothing. Do not waste the time you spent learning how to find the best online giveaways. Take action now, and soon you could be enjoying your new status as “the lucky one” in your group of friends.