The winners of the competition are actually chosen at random

5 ways to determine competition winners

Sweepstakes are a wonderful way to reward loyal users and attract new ones. Because on the one hand, regular readers are happy when they occasionally have an advantage or are allowed to win something, whereas new users like to get to your website for the first time through competitions.

There are also various portals and groups in which competitions are linked, so in the best case, a give-away also generates a few backlinks.

The only question left is how exactly the competitions should be organized. On the website itself, within the comments, maybe via social media or would you prefer a service that specializes entirely in competitions?

Today I would like to show you how you can use various tools to find a fair solution for your competitions and to determine the winners. After all, nobody should be angry in the end because their chances were too slim.

Legal notice: Sweepstakes in Germany can be a legal minefield here and there, at least I sometimes have the feeling. So before you organize any kind of competition or follow a hint, please inform yourself about the legal situation in this regard.

5 ways to determine competition winners


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There are many ways to determine competition winners, but which of them are fair and how can they be carried out effectively?

At the end of the day, a certain degree of transparency is always important here, because anyone who takes part in a competition does not want to feel fooled afterwards.

Today I'm going to show you a few ways to resolve competitions in a fair and clever way so that not only your users get something out of it, but you too.

Use random generator

It is certainly easiest to put the names of the participants (e.g. who left a blog comment under the competition article) in a random number generator. There are a lot of them online and one click later you have drawn the lucky winner.

When it came to competitions, I always had a list at the end and generated a number via Random.org and lo and behold - the winner was certain. Quite simply and without unnecessary effort.

Social media comments

Anyone who organizes competitions on YouTube, Instagram or Facebook would now have to write out each comment individually or use the CommentPicker tool, which, by the way, can be used free of charge for almost all standard procedures.

Simply enter the link to a YouTube video to see the total number of current comments. Then go one step further down and click on start and a user will be selected at random and the corresponding comment will be displayed.

Works quite simply and the basic version can be used free of charge. If you want more, then of course you have to pay.

Social media hashtags

Hashtags are also welcome in order to be able to participate in competitions. You can push your own hashtags accordingly. Alternatively, a hashtag is invented that didn't even exist before.

Anyone who uses the relevant hashtag will automatically take part in the competition. Hashtags are always visible, that is, before the resolution, you can simply search for the hashtag used in order to select a few users as winners. It's quick, easy and ensures that your own hashtag is spread.

Of course, the selection does not happen by chance. Creative contributions could be required here, from which a winner is then selected.

WordPress plugin

If you use WordPress and want to organize a corresponding competition on your blog, you can use the Simple Giveaways plugin. The start time can be set here, as well as the end of the competition, the prizes and all the rules in order to then automatically draw a winner.

Multiple winners are possible on request. The whole thing can also be equipped with shares and integrations of newsletters, etc., so that participants can secure additional "lots" when they distribute the article.

Very helpful when the main focus of competitions is quantity and backlinks, i.e. the competition is pure marketing.

External winning game services

If you don't want to host competitions as such yourself, you can use services such as Gleam, Rafflecopter or Givelab. The services all work on the same principle, with slightly modified features.

The aim is always to request promotions in order to participate in the competition. This can be a subscription to the YouTube channel or social media profile, downloading an app and much more. From earlier times, when I ran a gaming blog, I still know very well that something like this can work very well and that it really attracts and encourages people.

However, I don't know what it looks like nowadays in the course of the GDPR etc. and whether everything is still so legally secure in Germany, especially since the services almost all come from the USA.

So it is better to inform yourself in advance. In principle, I would personally do without, as the whole issue literally cries out for a warning. I wanted to introduce you to the possibility anyway.

A lot of effort or as little work as possible?

The question that you have to ask yourself at the end is basically whether you want to put a lot of effort into the competition or whether it should be kept simple. The easiest thing to do is then to select a few comments at random. This can be done quickly in your own blog, via social media too, because the aforementioned online tools are available for this.

WordPress plugins, which partially automate competitions, are also interesting. There the competition starts and ends by itself and the winner or winners will be notified automatically. Depending on whether anything physical is being sent at all, the competition will almost take care of itself.

Sending is a good keyword right away. You should not underestimate that either, as packages have to be packed and receiving them sometimes leads to inconsistencies. Back then we always had a few with us on the gaming blog who, despite a positive acknowledgment of receipt, happily tried to get even more out of it by simply claiming that the package had not been delivered. That all clears up with time, but you as the organizer have the trouble and the discussion anyway. Giving away digital codes or products is often the more pleasant and, above all, less stressful method.

Sweepstakes are almost always worthwhile

What has to be said very clearly in the end, however, is that competitions are almost always worthwhile. As a rule, they automatically lead to backlinks, and such campaigns also go around quickly in competition groups. Something like that is similar to the vouchers, which also land immediately on all portals.

This is particularly advantageous if you want to spruce up your statistics a little or want to attract new visitors who are referred to other articles or services by the competition. Incidentally, it is ideal if competitions take place regularly, because this actually leads to new regular users here and there, who actually only came because of the competitions.

So don't be afraid to hold a competition. See it as an opportunity to attract or address new target groups. Even if many of them will certainly only stop by for the competition, in the end it is almost always worthwhile for both sides. For you through higher traffic and more advertising clicks and for users and readers because they can gain something useful.

However, nowadays nobody wants to win odds and ends. So you either have to put together a large package or draw several winners so that the chances for the individual user increase. For an eBook or a Blu-ray, hardly anyone bothered to save their data or even write a creative comment. Unfortunately, that's the way it is.

How is your experience with sweepstakes?

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