Over the past few weeks, we have covered many important things. How to find sponsors, how to pitch, why your PageRank in important in finding sponsors, how to make a media kit and more. So now that you have all this information, you’ve pitched fabulous sponsors and they have said YES (squee), you’re ready to run a giveaway. Today, we are going to cover how to set up and run a Rafflecopter giveaway!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Rafflecopter, it is a giveaway entry platform that makes both running and entering giveaways a snap! What are some of the biggest benefits of using Rafflecopter in my mind?
- Tracking and moderating entries is easy.
- You can create a template that you can use over and over.
- Entry is much easier than leaving comments.
- You can easily choose and notify winners.
- The format is much neater to use in your posts.
So how do you set up and run a Rafflecopter giveaway? Well, let’s walk through this step by step.
First, you must go to the Rafflecopter website and either sign up for an account or log into your current account.
From there, you will sign in and access your dashboard. If you are currently running giveaways or have any that need winners chosen, they will show up on this screen. I am using a sample so we are starting from scratch. The first thing you will need to do is click on the Add New Giveaway tab at the top of the page.
This will take you to the screen where you essentially set up your giveaway. You can name your giveaway so that you can easily distinguish what giveaways you have going on…
And then add your really awesome prize!
Now we are going to begin adding entries. There are tons of entry options in Rafflecopter. Some are built in for you and if what you’re looking for is not there, you have the choice to add your own text. The options Rafflecopter offers are:
Leave a blog post comment – great if you want them to visit a site and come back and tell you their favorite item or even if you want to keep it simple and just ask them to leave their name and email address!
Tweet a Message – This can really help spread the word about your giveaway! Having them tweet a message using your twitter id, the company who is sponsonring’s twitter id and any applicable hashtags is an awesome way to give your giveaway a little boost! For example: “Have you entered to #WIN a beautiful pair of @JewelryCos earrings from @jmanmillerbug? Ends 3/24!” Make sure you check the box that allows entrants to do this daily for maximum exposure!
Follow a twitter user – You can easily put in the Twitter user’s name and as long as the entrant is signed into twitter, they just have to click a button – easy peasy!
“Like” a Facebook Page – Just like the twitter option, this allows an entrant to simply click on a button and like the sponsor’s or your facebook page! Be sure to enable the extra info box so that they can leave their facebook name!
“Like” the blog post – This entry option will post your giveaway to the entrant’s facebook page! Again, tons of exposure for your great giveaway!
Choose Your Own Task – This is where you can add anything that was not covered below – like the shop on Etsy, subscribe via email, follow on Google+ – anything and everything that was not covered in the above entries can fit in here!
As a quick side note, there are some entries that are not allowed:
You cannot ask an entrant to take an action on Facebook such as leaving a comment on a photo. This is against Facebook’s TOS. You CAN have an entrant like a page and come back and let you know they did so on the entry form. You CANNOT ask them to like a photo as a form of entry, leave a comment on a Facebook page or upload a photo to a Facebook page.
You CANNOT ask an entrant to make a purchase for bonus entries. This is against FTC guidelines.
Figure out what entry methods you would like to use and start entering them. Rafflecopter, gives you the basic template where you will just need to plug in information. Once you have a few entry options, your screen will look something like this:
If you forget to add something – don’t worry! It’s easy to come back and make changes later. Want something higher up in the entries, just click on it and drag and drop it where you want. You can really customize your entries, giving some options more value and arranging them in any way you want. Once you have all the entries you would like added, you need to set your dates. If your giveaway is starting today (3/3), you will wanto to make sure the begins date is 3/3. Then you need to set your end date. It is standard for giveaways to end at 11:59 PM on a certain date. With Rafflecopter, all giveaways end at 12:01. Pay close attention to the date you have here. If you are wanting your giveaway to essentially end at midnight on March 5th, then you need to the box to say March 6th since the end time is 12:01.
All that’s left is the terms and conditions and you will be ready to add your giveaway to your site! Terms and conditions are really important. It is essential to add a disclaimer here. What does this disclaimer include:
- When the giveaway ends.
- Who it is open to.
- What responsibility you have in the fulfillment of the prize.
- A release of liability for entries.
A standard disclaimer might look something like this:
“Giveaway ends March 21st at 11:59 PM EST. Open to Residents of the US only. Prizes cannot be shipped to PO Boxes. Winner will be selected by Random.org and be notified by email. Winner have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Please note that The Adventures of J-Man and MillerBug is not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. I have represented each sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. I will contact the sponsor regarding your prize(s). The sponsors, in most cases, are shipping their items to you directly. I will make every effort to assist you obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor, please notify the blog you won a prize from within 30 days for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you. The product provided for the review was free of charge from the company. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to me and me alone. I do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.”
Yes, I know that is a lot of legal speak but it is VERY important to make sure that you are disclosing all relationships that are associated with this giveaway!
Whew! That’s it! Your Rafflecopter form is done! So what do we do with it now? We embed it into the HTML of your post so that it shows up nice and pretty on your blog. This just takes a few simple steps. First, click on the get the widget button on the bottom of the Rafflecopter form.
This will take you to a screen with the HTML code for your widget.
Copy your code and then head over to your blog. You will most likely have already created the wording of your post, telling your readers all about your awesome giveaway! Switch over to HTML mode and then scroll to the bottom and paste the HTML for your Raflecopter code:
Now, switch back to your visual mode and will see a little Rafflecopter link! You will need to preview or publish your post to see the actual entry form. When you preview or publish, it will look something like this!
And Ta-Da! You’re ready to run that giveaway! Now, this is just step one in running a successful giveaway. So come on back next week for the second part – how to PROMOTE your giveaway!