I have decided to start a new regular part of my blog - Comping Conundrums. Submit all those niggling questions that occur while comping. and I will go off and so some research as well as look back at my own experiences and try to answer them as best as possible. So here we go with the first installement of Comping Conundrums! Please submit your questions in the comments below, and I'll pick my favourites for next time!
1) The ‘I never win’ myth
Although this comment may have been made with some jest, we all go through a time in comping where it just feels like we just ain’t lucky. We can enter the same amount of competitions every day, and do the same things we always do, but the luck just doesn’t seem to be with us.
Comping prizes are like buses, you wait for ages and then two of the same come at once (this genuinely happened to me yesterday, and it was entertaining to see everyone roll their eyes at every stop we approached)
With comping, you just have to be patient. But also, switch things up a bit. I went through a spell of no wins a while back. The only competitions I was really entering was social media comps (and mainly RT-to-win Twitter comps). I decided after reading Di Coke’s book that it was time to switch things up a bit. I started entering more effort competitions and more online competitions such as through radio websites. I continued to do a bit of Twitter comping (as the odd small win really keeps up motivation) but after a while, I started to see the type of prizes I was winning change.
I was lucky enough to win £250 in the Oxford Campus competition, where you had to draw a phrase in a notebook along a theme they gave. I made sure to make it rhyme, add lots of colour and a few drawing (despite my extreme lack of artistic flair).
Then, when I was on holiday, I got a call from KissFM – I had won a technology bundle including an Apple Watch and iPod for simply answering a question about Batman v Superman (helps that I’m a huge Batman geek) online. Simple.
So to answer your question - you will win, just keep going through the dry spell and maybe switch things up a bit to keep the excitement and joy of comping going! Good Luck!
2) When doing competitions by post, on a postcard, does there seem to be any evidence that bright or larger postcards have a better chance of being chosen to win?
Sadly, the days writing letters pen to paper are slowly dwindling away, although I am still a fan and own a couple of colourful writing sets (The Works is a great place to get these fairly cheap). However, it is possible to find the odd postcard and post-away competition – and if this is the only method of entry, you have a better chance of winning, as less people are willing to pay the price of a stamp than enter an online comp for free.
However, how should you send in your entry? A plain piece of white card? Or the craziest, most colourful postcard you can lay your hands on. Well, it all depends.
If the promoter is a small company and it is the traditional ‘pick a card out of a hat’, there is a good chance that a colourful entry will be chosen. Its human nature (especially if it’s the end of a long week) to go for the more colourful entries, and so there could be a better chance of winning. However, some companies will choose by machine, or make sure the chooser is blindfolded when picking, to make sure that it is fair. My advice? If you have colourful cards, go for it! Better safe than sorry. However, if you are decorating it, I would suggest only using coloured pens and things, as sticking things on can increase the price of posting and glitter can cause one massive mess (years of working with children have taught me this the hard way).
Another thing to note on the subject of postcard entries, is how to write the address. There is often the risk that by writing two addresses on the same side the post office could get confused and you will end up with your entry back at your door. To make sure that the correct address is scanned, write your address at a 90 degree angle from the promoters, and make sure that the promoters is on the lined space provided (if it’s a traditional postcard, or if you are making your own, draw this bit in). Good luck!
3) In your experience, is it better to enter early or late during a competition, or does it not make a difference?
This is a question that phases a lot of people, and the answer is simply – it depends. Don’t worry, I’ll explain.
If you are entering a Twitter competition, sometimes the time that you enter does matter. For companies that are choosing a winner based on comments, they may not have time to look through all the answers, and so may just look at the most recent ones (as unfair as this seems). Therefore you are best to enter late on. I often will do a massive ‘win-it-Wednesday’ comping session on Twitter at about 4 o’clock typing into the search bar ‘#winitwednesday 5pm’ so that the competitions that are closing at 5 show up. This means that I will be one of the last people to enter. Once I started doing this, I did begin to see a change in the amount that I won.
By effort competition I mean things like slogans, photographs and drawings. For these competitions, I would always say enter as late as possible – but set a reminder on your phone for the day before the deadline so that you don’t forget and miss out! The reason that I say this is that ‘originality’ is often mentioned in the T&C’s of effort comps and so you don’t want any sly compers stealing your amazing idea! One of my comping friends was outraged when she saw an entry very similar to hers winning, even though she posted hers up first! So I would say, even if you have your entry prepared on day one, wait a little longer to post it up- just don’t forget and miss the deadline!
When the competition consists of simply filling in a form, or using a Gleam or Rafflecopter widget, I really don’t think that it matters. I am currently running a competition on my blog <enter here> which uses a Gleam app. Once the closing date is reached, the winner will be chosen at random from all the entries, regardless of when they submitted the form. So in this case, enter away and keep your fingers crossed you are lucky.
I should note that for some competitions it won’t matter, and this is just my thoughts from speaking to other compers, people who run giveaways and my own experience.
I hope this blog helped and please do comment any other questions below, I am keeping note of all questions asked, and look forward to answering more Comping Conundrums!
Luck and Love,