Tips & Tools

What is a Sweepstakes?

Sweepstakes are prize giveaways in which the winners are randomly chosen by luck. Prizes can vary from limited edition mugs, pens and t-shirts to cars, houses, and cash wins.

Why Hold Sweepstakes?

Companies look for more innovative ways to endorse their products. Sweepstakes and contests come from the budget of these companies, thus, it is important to support them. When these sweepstakes and contests succeed, sponsors will likely continue offering more prize giveaways. Always remember to try the sponsors’ products and to thank them for your wins whenever possible. Doing so will encourage the companies to sponsor more giveaways.

Tips and Tools for Safe and Successful Sweepstaking

I have come up with a few useful tips and tools that I often use and why these are important to efficient and safe sweepstaking.

  • Be Cautious of What Information You Disclose – Most sweepstakes entry forms only ask for your Name, Age, Address, and Phone Number. They should never ask anything more than that.
  • For the Name field, make sure that you use your name which can be validated by a notary. The names on your official documents, like your passport or driver’s license, can be verified by a notary. This is important because most sweepstakes sponsors need a notarized affidavit before declaring an official winner.
  • When filling in your Address, you should use a street address rather than a P.O. Box one. This is because sweepstakes often use delivery companies like FedEx or UPS to deliver prizes and these companies do not deliver to P.O. Boxes. Also, some sweepstakes sponsors implement rules like “one entry per household”, thus demanding a physical address
  • Sometimes you may be asked to write in other information relevant to that certain sweepstakes, but unless you are required to make a purchase, never disclose your credit card information and any other data that might be pertinent to personal accounts or financial information. Always keep in mind to be careful when entering sweepstakes.
  • An Email Account Only for Sweepstakes – You must have an email address exclusive for entering sweepstakes. Oftentimes, when entering a sweepstakes, you are to agree to receive marketing emails. Because of this you will receive plenty of emails so it is so much better to have an account devoted only to your sweepstakes entries. You can also try creating a new account for every month of the year so you can trace how much email you actually get from any entered sweepstakes. I do so myself.
  • Password(s) Only for Sweepstakes – A number of sweepstakes require you to register for an account. Using your exclusive email account, you should also use an exclusive password. Don’t ever use the same password(s) you use for personal accounts. Make everything unique and exclusive when entering sweepstakes.
  • A Phone Number Only for Sweepstakes – Some sweepstakes entries require you to provide a personal phone number to have a valid entry and/or to be notified of your winning. There are various online phone services that can supply you a local phone number which you can use just for voice mails. You will then receive an email notification upon receiving a new voice mail. You definitely do not want to be giving away your number out to everyone.
  • Use Firefox Web Browser – Firefox is probably one of the best tools for sweepstaking. Aside from giving you a more secured Internet browser, it also has one of the best auto fill solutions. Firefox provides a safe alternative since most sweepstakes are voided if you use an auto fill robot.

To Save Time and Win More – Use a Sweepstakes Strategy

There are so many sweepstakes with fabulous prizes to win out there that you can’t even get to enter them all in a day. Having a strategy is so important to help you improve your chances of winning. Here’s a daily sweepstakes strategy plan you can try out.

  • Look for new sweepstakes listings and see what have just recently started. Then, select the daily, weekly, and monthly sweepstakes that you’re really interested in. Listing these would save you more time when you decide which ones to enter.
  • Decide which sweepstakes you want to enter. Prioritize the ones whose prizes attract you most. Even if you don’t have time to enter other sweepstakes, you should try joining these first.
  • Bookmark sweepstakes you like to enter so you can easily find them and be able to join quickly without the risk of disqualification through duplicate entries. Using Bookmarks is an effective way to organize your sweepstakes entries.
  • Enter the sweepstakes that you’ve assigned for your daily entry list. Make this list short as much as possible so that you will be sure to enter them every day. If you have weekly and monthly sweepstakes list, choose a specific time when to enter them.
  • Once you’ve entered your favorite sweepstakes, look at your list again and enter the sweepstakes that are about to expire. Doing this ensures that you are going to get at least an entry into every sweepstake that you’d like to win.
  • Enter other sweepstakes if you still have some extra time. Go over your list of daily sweepstakes and enter the prizes that you’d like to win.

Doing this simple strategy plan can maximize your entries in sweepstakes and lets you save more time.

Beating Sweepstakes Burnout and Staying Motivated

The disappointing feeling that Luck is no longer on your side, that you will never win again, and that you’re only wasting your time – it’s called sweepstakes burnout and you don’t have to worry because every other sweeper experiences it too! So here’s how you can beat sweepstakes burnout and keep your love for sweepstakes burning!

  • Join more sweepstakes! The most effective medicine for sweepstakes burnout is winning a prize, even if it is only a t-shirt. So try to talk yourself into joining more sweepstakes and not less. Try adding some entries to your daily sweepstakes list.
  • Join instant win sweepstakes! It boost your enthusiasm for sweepstaking and entering instant wins helps fight the burnout because they notify the winner right away without waiting for the entry period to finish. Why not add some instant wins to your daily entries to keep you motivated?
  • Join Creative contests! It not only let you express your talents and skills but they also have fabulous prize giveaways. They are more interesting and challenging than just filling out entry forms.
  • Read about wins! It motivates you to keep going. There’s nothing like hearing about others’ good fortunes of hitting a big prize just when they were about to give up.
  • Try joining for different prizes. If you’re too concentrated on winning only sweepstakes with big prizes, why not try entering the smaller ones? There’s less competition and your chances of winning will be higher. Winning those small prizes can keep you motivated.
  • Give yourself some time-out if everything else fails. Sweepstakes is a hobby and it’s meant to be enjoyed. If you’re not having fun, you need a break. Just keep reading about sweepstakes so that you won’t give up for good. You can visit different sweepstakes forum or subscribe to some sweepstakes newsletter to stay active in the sweepstakes hobby even while having a break from entering.

How Will You Know When You Win?

There are six most used methods that sponsors use to notify their winners. The notification method they will use should be listed in the sweepstakes rules. This is why it’s very important to read the rules.

  • Notification by Email – Many sweepstakes sponsors send an email notification to the winner’s email address provided on the entry form. These notifications sometimes include the sweepstakes rules and an affidavit to be printed out and returned, or a link to a website where more information is found. So be sure to always check your sweepstakes email.
  • Notification by Mail – Many sweepstakes sponsors also send a letter to their winners via postal service or a delivery service such as FedEx of UPS, and most of the time, the sponsors require an affidavit or a response before they ship the prize.
  • Telephone Call – Some sweepstakes sponsors notify their winners via telephone call. They usually try to reach the winner a couple of times before moving on to the next winner. They also usually don’t leave messages so be sure to use a phone number where you can easily be contacted.
  • Instant Notification – Instant win sweepstakes notify you right away when you win usually by a popping message on your screen. Sometimes you are required to fill in additional information, like shipping address, after the win message is displayed.
  • Announcement or Newsletter – Some sweepstakes sponsors only declare their winners on their websites or via newsletter. If you won’t reply to them within a certain period of time, the prize will be given to the next winner that they’ll draw. Always be reminded to check back to see who won if this is the sweepstakes’ method used. You may also use Google Alerts to avoid overlooking win announcements.
  • SurPrize – Sometimes, the prize you won is delivered at your doorstep without prior notice. It’s what some people call surprize. So watch out for those delivery trucks