Running a giveaway is great for promoting your WordPress blog, products, and rewarding your customers. When a giveaway is conducted in the proper way, you can expect a huge increase of traffic, Twitter followers, Facebook likes, blog comments, and many other things you want. As a result, the user engagement of your site is improved dramatically.
The traditional method of running a giveaway is to list all entry methods in a post requiring the entrants to follow a Twitter account, post a comment, like a Facebook page, etc. Then the blog admin checks each entry and picks the winners manually, which is quite time-consuming.
Fortunately, there are several all-in-one tools available on the web that you can use to run a giveaway in WordPress easily. Rafflecopter is exactly one of the most easy-to-use. So in below, we will detail the steps to use this tool. But before doing that, let’s look at some basic information about Rafflecopter.
Note: We do not suggest any WordPress plugin for running giveaways because there seems no satisfactory plugin solution so far.
What Is Rafflecopter and Why Use It?
Rafflecopter is a popular online giveaway tool that provides an easy way for you to start and manage giveaways and for your users to take part in giveaways. Depending on what you want to achieve, you can even create your own tasks to require users to complete before receiving entries. And you can either handpick winners or let Rafflecopter select random winners.
Besides, there are several other good reasons to use Rafflecopter to run a giveaway in WordPress. For example,
- It has a free plan which allows you to create unlimited giveaways. For the premium paid plans, a 7-day trial is available so that you can test things out if you need the special features in them.
- 6 languages are supported.
- You can add Rafflecopter giveaways to you WordPress site without editing any code or installing any plugin.
- You can export entries in CSV.
- A Facebook app is available allowing you to add Rafflecopter giveaways on a Facebook page easily.
Make Some Decisions
Before starting the giveaway on your site, you firstly need to consider the following aspects and make the proper decisions so as to target the right goal.
- Decide the topic or theme of this giveaway. In most cases, webmasters will launch the giveaway to promote their newly released web contents, services or products. Also, this special can happen on some anniversaries or festivals.
- Pick up the proper keywords or hashtags for the giveaway title. Note that the title of your giveaway needs to be influential, precise and short that can generate the interests of your readers effectively. In addition, its theme should be search engine friendly.
- Determine the giveaway prizes. The prize you choose should be fully related to your website niche. For instance, if our website starts the giveaway, our offered prizes might be the hosting solution offered by some great web hosts, the free utilization of some powerful plugins and themes, the free download of the private tutorials and many more.
- Set the tasks for people to win the giveaway. Generally, you can require people to share your contents on the main social media, to join your email list or to leave the meaningful comments on your site.
Run a Giveaway in WordPress with Rafflecopter
First of all, you have to open up an account with Rafflecopter. If you want to run several simple giveaways only, you can just sign up for the free plan. But if you’d like to use the features like Pinterest entries, image slideshows, email list integration or branding removal, you need to start a trial of the paid plans.
The signup process is simple. Fill in your name, email address, and password in the signup form and you are good to go. No confirmation is needed.
As soon as your account is created, you are redirected to the Rafflecopter dashboard. Now you can create your first giveaway by clicking on “New Giveaway”.
Add prizes for the giveaway
The first thing to do when creating a giveaway is to add the prizes. Clicking on the “Add a Prize” button, you will get a popup in which you need to enter your gift and then the save the prize. There is also an “Add An Image” link, but this feature is not included in the free plan.
Note that you cannot add several prizes in bulk. Instead, you have to add them one by one.
Choose the entries of the giveaway
This step decides how users can earn entries. On the top you will see a checkbox for referring friends, but users of the free plan have no access to this option.
Now click on “Add An Entry Option” to see the available entry options that you can use.
At present, there are three options included in a free account. You could use any of them by making small configurations and assigning them with a point value ranging from 1 to 5. Also, you can make any option mandatory although we do not recommend doing so.
- Visit a Facebook fan page. To use this option, you have to paste your Facebook page URL.
- Tweet a message. You need to enter a text message for users to tweet, and the tweets will include a link to your blog post automatically. You can allow users to perform this option on a daily basis or once for all.
- Follow a Twitter account. You then need to add the Twitter account which users should follow. If you want to increase your Twitter followers to the maximum possible extent, you can assign higher point values like 3 or 4 to this option.
If you are using a paid plan, you will also have access to some or all of the following entry options, depending on which plan you have purchased.
- Pin an image or follow a Pinterest account. You would need to select an image or offer an account for users to take the appropriate actions.
- Leave a comment on a selected blog post.
- Subscribe to an email list. The supported ESPs include MailChimp, Aweber and Constant Contact.
- Answer questions in a poll.
- Create a custom option. You can add whatever you think about, for example, asking a question and requiring users to give an answer, or asking users to watch a video.
Bonus tip: Try maximizing the user engagement, your social media exposure and your users’ opportunities to win by selecting multiple of the options suitable for you.
Select the start and end time
After configuring all the entries you’d like to use, you should next decide when the giveaway starts and ends. For a normal giveaway, we suggest you run it for about 7 days to allow the maximum possible users to take part in while not making them lose patience. Of course, you can extend the duration if your prize values over $100. The higher the value of the prize is, the longer should you run the giveaway.
Also, there are some other useful suggestions about when to start your giveaway.
- Try starting it on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.
- For monthly giveaways, you’d better start them on the first Monday or Tuesday of the month.
- When running giveaways on holidays, end them several days before or after the holiday but not exactly on that day, for the sake of user engagement.
When selecting the time, do not forget to change the time zone if there is a need.
Add terms and conditions
On the right side of the setup page, you’ll have to give the giveaway a name for further identification, and then add your terms and conditions which should include the promotion description, eligibility, winner selection rules, privacy, etc.
After dealing with all these sections, click on the “Preview and Install” button on the bottom of the page.
Add the Giveaway Widget on Your WordPress Site
On the preview and installation page, you can scroll down first to check the preview of the giveaway and change the background color if you like. If there is no problem with the setup of the giveaway, you can then scroll back to the top to copy the widget code. As Rafflecopter claims, the code can be used anywhere as long as HTML is accepted.
Now, log into your WordPress site and create a new post or page. Then paste the code copied before in the post editor. Make sure that you are using the text editor. No extra code or plugin is needed.
That’s all. Previewing the post or page, you will see the giveaway displayed properly. When the giveaway is published on your site, your users can log in with their Facebook account or email to take part in.
After logging in, they will be able to see the entries and take actions accordingly.
If you want to make modifications to the giveaway after adding the widget code to your WordPress site, you can go back to Rafflecopter to make changes. There is no need to update the code because the changes will apply automatically.
Now you have created your first giveaway successfully. The entries users have earned will be listed in the Rafflecopter dashboard, so that you can easily pick the winners and contact them via Facebook or email.
Promote the Giveaway
To make the most out of your giveaway, you need to reach out to the largest possible audience. If you are looking for some simple ways to do this, then refer to the following tips.
- Add the giveaway to your Facebook page.
- Share the giveaway on other social media platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
- Send an email newsletter to your subscribers with a link to the promotion. The best sending time is between the 24-36 hours after launching and before ending the giveaway.
- Display the giveaway in the footer of your WordPress site to make it visible to all visitors.