Running WordPress giveaways is not only an excellent way to promote your blog, site or product, but it’s also a great way to increase your social site followers.
Every successful WordPress site owner knows that publishing engaging material on a regular basis is a must if you want to grow your reader base and retain the existing one.
The easiest way to keep your existing readers interested and bring in new ones is to run a contest or a giveaway from time to time.
Running contests on the site can do wonders for building a reputation and establishing a brand.
When properly executed, a giveaway can bring you new readers, traffic and can boost engagement on your existing content.
Luckily, thanks to WordPress community, there are plenty of WordPress giveaway plugins and tools. They will make hosting a contest on your blog seem like child’s play.
Hosting a giveaway is a popular way to introduce a new product or service. People want the chance to get stuff for free. If you give them that opportunity, most will seize it.
Contents can provide enormous benefits to your company or site. When you run a contest on WordPress (or on any website), it’s going to be shared across social media.
More exposure means more business attention and more visitors to your WordPress website.
Giveaways when properly done can bring you:
#1. More followers and fans – All it takes is promoting your giveaway on social media, and you’ll see follower count increase. People love contests and free stuff. Might as well benefit from that fact, right?
#2. More comments likes and overall engagement – If entry methods are to make a comment, like Facebook Page, tweet or engage in some other way, you’ll see your likes and comments skyrocket.
#3. A bigger email list – As people enter your contest, you can collect email addresses in the process.
#4. Expand your brand’s reach – As word spreads about contest, you will be more visible to a wider audience.
You need to know what do you want to accomplish. Do you want more followers on social media? More site visitors? More email sign ups? More paying customers? Or even all mentioned?
Taking your goals into consideration, create giveaway campaign that will bring your business leap forward.
So you decided to organize a giveaway on your WordPress website. The simplest way is using a 3rd party giveaway tool or WordPress giveaway plugin.
Most popular giveaway tools are currently Gleam, Rafllecopter, and PromoSimple.
They can be used on WordPress websites, and some also have WordPress plugin for easier integration with our beloved CMS.
All three tools have free versions but also come in the form of paid pricing plans for those which want additional features.
The big advantage of this tools is that you don’t need to have the plugin installed to host a giveaway on your WordPress site.
If you intend to make giveaway few times a year or even once a month, there is no need for a plugin to just “collect dust” in your WordPress admin.
Rafflecopter is a popular free tool for giveaway creation which provides a simple and easy way to run and manage a giveaway.
You can set tasks for users to perform in exchange of entries into the giveaway.
These tasks can include sharing content on social media channels, making comments, joining a mailing list, etc.
Each task spreads the word about your website and keeps your users engaged.
You don’t need to edit any code or even install a plugin to add a Rafflecopter giveaway to your WordPress site.
How to Create a Rafflecopter Giveaway?
First, you need to sign up for a Rafflecopter account. The basic account is free, but they do have paid plans with additional features.
The business plan does not have Rafflecopter branding in the widget, and it also has some features to boost the viral reach of a giveaway campaign.
Paid plans go from $13 per month for basic to $84 per month for premium pricing plan.
After sign up, you will be taken to Rafflecopter dashboard. Click on +New Giveaway to create your first giveaway.
On the next page, you will see a form to create your giveaway. The first thing you need to do is give a title for your giveaway.
This will help you organize your giveaways on the Rafflecopter dashboard.
Next, add the prizes you want to include in the giveaway. With the free account, you can’t insert an image of the award.
You can still include images on your WordPress giveaways post or pages just by adding the list of prizes on post or page where you are hosting the giveaway.
The next option is to choose how people can enter the giveaway. Option to Refer a Friend is available for business accounts only.
Click on Add an Option to see a list of choices that you can add. These are tasks that you can ask the user to perform to enter the giveaway.
You can add multiple options and give your users opportunity to maximize their chances of winning while also spreading the word about your website.
A useful option is “choose your own task.” It can be used to create various giveaway options. For instance, you can enter your Google+ URL and allow users to add you to their circles.
Or maybe you may want to enter RSS feed URL and require users to subscribe. The possibilities are only as limited as your creativity.
With Rafflecopter you can choose a winner or let Rafflecopter pick it for you.
Each giveaway has detailed report (in a spreadsheet format) of each user and entry methods. That comes in handy when checking the validity of entries.
When the giveaway is over Rafflecopter will display the winner(s) on the widget. So anyone that goes back to the widget after the giveaway has ended will be able to see a winner.
Rafflecopter Free vs Paid Pricing Plan
Free account options:
Paid account options:
After adding the entry options, the final step is to choose the start and end dates of your giveaway.
Lastly, you need to enter terms and conditions of the giveaway and you are set.
Adding Rafflecopter Giveaway in WordPress
Once you have created your giveaway, click on the Get Widget button. Rafflecopter will give you a code which you can paste into WordPress to display the giveaway widget.
Copy the code and go to your WordPress admin area. Create a new post or page for your giveaway. Switch to text editor mode and paste the code.
If you want to edit your giveaway, log into your Rafflecopter account and edit giveaway.
There is no need to update code after changes. Changes are automatically applied.
If you are using a visual editor to create your posts, then you need to switch to a text editor before you paste the Rafflecopter code. If the widget does not appear on your page or post, then refresh the page.
For now, Rafflecopter doesn’t have official WordPress plugin which can be used instead of copy/paste giveaway code on the desired page.
If you enter a lot of online giveaways, at some point you encountered Gleam giveaway widgets. They’re used on blogs, websites and Facebook pages.
Gleam is an online application designed to help you drive more action and value. You can create sophisticated campaigns for any business objectives.
To get started signup for an account and add your site. You can add more than one site. Each site has its own sections, so it is easy to be organized.
Gleam giveaways can have one or more entry tasks which can be mandatory or optional.
When the giveaway ends, Gleam chooses a random winner from all entries. You can then contact winners via email and decide to display the winner’s name and photo on the widget.
Gleam giveaways are much quicker to enter than Rafflecopter. Tasks like tweeting or following on Instagram can be done with a single click, rather than copying and pasting links or waiting for pop-ups to load.
Although this makes life easier for the entrant, it does make it harder for the giveaway organizer to check if entries have been completed.
The giveaway organizer can choose that login is needed to participate or without the need for logging. Login methods are usually email, Facebook, and Twitter.
You can even enable an option that entrant needs to put a name, email address, postal address, etc.
How Does Gleam Giveaway Tool Work?
To use Gleam apps, you will need to add a site to your account. You should have already added a site during sign-up which will be your default.
Gleam makes it easy to switch and add more sites. To add a new site just click the drop down in the left navigation and select “Add Site.”
If you have multiple sites added to your Gleam account, then you must pay separately for each site for wish you want to upgrade package plan.
Here are some example giveaways you can create using Gleam. I must admit, they look amazing!
Gleam is made up of many different apps that you use to build campaigns:
Gleam is very easy to use whether you’re a small business or a large corporate.
Gleam integrates with many social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, Eventbrite, SoundCloud, Tumblr, Twitch, YouTube, and Vimeo.
Gleam integrates with various email providers like ActiveCampaign, AWeber, Bronto, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, Emma, MailChimp, Mad Mimi, Sendy, iContact, HubSpot, GetResponse, etc.
It also integrates with Shopify, Google analytics, Bitly, Zoho, etc.
Where possible Gleam always attempts to track whether or not a user has completed the action that is required.
There is Gleam WordPress plugin available to create Gleam WordPress giveaways.
You may choose to host your WordPress giveaways using Gleam plugin or if you think you already have too many plugins, then copy/paste code to your site from Gleam dashboard.
Adding Gleam Giveaways to WordPress Site
There are several ways to include Gleam made WordPress giveaways in your WP site.
1. HTML Widget – Widget allows you to embed your competition into any page that supports HTML.
This can be a blog post, a static page or wherever else you can think of. If you are a Shopify user, you can automatically embed Gleam inside a page during install (provided you have added the Gleam Shopify App).
You can also automatically trigger this overlay by using #gleam as the link.
The beauty of this flexibility means that you can create your own competition landing pages then trigger Gleam on a button, or however, you want.
3. Facebook – You have the option to embed automatically in Facebook during installation.
4. Gleam WP Plugin – Host giveaways on WordPress blog using Gleam plugin. It is free to download from WordPress repository.
Gleam allows you to set particular entry actions as repeatable every day. Tweets, sharing to Facebook, visiting the site… You can continue to bring users back to the competition (and potentially, the rest of your site), day after day.
Gleam forms are responsive and look good on mobile devices when served directly. When embedded on the page, they’re still subjected to the whims of the site.
Providing a quick link for mobile users is all that’s needed to take them to a perfectly formatted mobile entry form.
Except for free plan, there is Pro package for $39 a month and Business pricing plan for $149 a month.
Choosing The Winner in Gleam
When the giveaway has ended, you have an option to generate a random winner. The winning entry will be a single task.
For example, it could be a YouTube channel subscribe or a Facebook page visit.
You should check that particular winning task was done correctly. Also, check any other mandatory tasks completed by that person.
For example, the winning entry might be a tweet, but if the entrant didn’t also leave a mandatory blog comment, they wouldn’t be eligible to win.
If the winner didn’t enter correctly, you can invalidate that winning entry. Then just click again to choose a new winner.
But this is little complicated and tricky if you are using free plan. Except manually checking if entries are really done, free plan users only have access to the winning entry.
To bypass that problem simply set all tasks to optional or have a single, easy to check mandatory task like a blog comment.
You can choose to display the winner’s name on the Gleam widget. This is usually done when the winner has responded to the winning email, and all is set.
PromoSimple is a self-service application that provides brands, websites and bloggers the tools to easily setup, launch and track the results of online sweepstakes and promotions.
To use PromoSimple giveaway tool, you will need to create an account.
With the PromoSimple platform, you can create custom designed giveaway entry forms and integrate actions on social media networks.
They offer a Basic (FREE) version for those looking to access features such as integrating social networks and running promotions on Facebook.
There are also a variety of additional plans available for those with specific requirements. Paid plans start at $15 per month (Blog) to run an unlimited number of giveaways.
Features such as customizing Facebook ‘Like’ gates or running white label campaigns with more advanced features are included in Business and Agency pricing plans.
All plans are available on a monthly or annual subscription basis.
If you are adding a giveaway to a WordPress website, you can use Promo Simple Plugin which decreases the chances of conflicts with WP website’s code or other plugins that are installed on site.
PromoSimple giveaway WordPress plugin will add small PS icon in your post/pages visual editor.
Clicking on that button will allow you to add a campaign ID (which you previously made using PromoSimple account dashboard) and automatically generate ‘shortcode’ within the content.
This shortcode will render the entry form’s code when the post is published or viewed.
Creating Giveaway Using PromoSimple
You can create your own customized sweepstakes or contest and have it live on your website, Facebook page or blog.
Gather insights by collecting demographic data or including polls and surveys.
Increase your social media presence with Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook by offering additional chances to win.
Grab the attention of every visitor to the website by adding the PromoBar.
PromoSimple integrates with several email service providers like MailChimp, MadMimi, and Constant Contact.
A very popular feature of Referring A Friend is also possible. Each entrant is given a unique URL that they can promote on their social sites and directly via email.
The referrer gets an extra entry into the giveaway for each person who comes through their URL and enters.
You can choose from a variety of templates and themes or add your own image and select colors and fonts. No graphic design experience is needed.
It takes a few minutes to create your campaign. PromoSimple guides you through a five-step process.
In the second step, you enter more specifics about the entry mechanism for your contest like required information for participants, entries awarded per entrant, entry frequency, etc.
There is a decent number of call-to-actions that you can include:
Every above call to action option is customizable.
Once you’ve determined what is required for entering your promotion, it’s time to take advantage of tools to modify the layout and design of your entry form.
Add images and prize descriptions to generate excitement. Select a template and theme or create your own uniquely designed entry forms and microsite landing pages for your promotion.
WYSIWYG editor allows you to design Facebook and Microsite pages with absolutely no design experience.
You can create your own content to show within a Facebook Page Tab using HTML/CSS and/or our WYSIWYG editor.
For every entry, you can choose to display a custom design or message to users once they’ve completed the required entry section.
Entry forms work across all devices.
Publishing Your Social Media Contest
When done you can add entry forms to your websites, blogs, and Facebook pages or even run a single campaign on multiple sites simultaneously.
Once you’ve finalized everything, publishing your contest is as simple. You are given a variety of publication options:
As soon as your campaign starts you can access reports to monitor performance.
Reports that display daily and geographic trends of your entrants including automatically collected data like IP address and entry timestamps.
You can export any report at any time to analyze your data in spreadsheets.
All data for your campaign can be exported to spreadsheets, containing an email address, time stamp, and IP address as well as any additional data that users entered.
NOTE: Comparison table was made taking into consideration entry options initially provided by giveaway tool. Please check the official site before any decision because data in this comparison table may become outdated.
Here are other free WordPress giveaway plugins and tools which you can use:
1. Giveaway Tools is a free Web application that creates an embeddable entry form for contests and giveaways.
It is incredibly easy to use. All you have to do is choose the settings and options for your giveaway, and you will receive a small piece of code to place wherever you want your entry form to appear.
Giveaway Tools offers a number of different built-in entry forms like blog comments, RSS subscriptions, Twitter follows and Facebook page likes.
There is also an option to create a custom entry type.
2. Golden Ticket Plugin – This is something different than tools mentioned above, and it is not really a giveaway plugin. But it has an interesting concept, so I decided to mention it.
The idea behind the Golden Ticket plugin is to incentive interaction on your WordPress site.
Essentially, the golden ticket is like a prize the user has to hunt to win the reward.
You can create multiple golden tickets and hide them throughout your content.
The golden ticket will pop into view after triggered by an action, which you can define in the settings.
It’s not your traditional giveaway plugin, but it’s likely more accurate at rewarding those who are genuinely interested in your content, instead of randomly selecting from visitors who are only interested in the prize.
NOTE: This plugin has not been updated for over two years.
If you are trying to build up an audience quickly, or want to do some promotions for your websites, creating a contest or sweepstake could be an excellent idea.
Working with a WordPress site means you need to think about plugin and external contest solutions.
You need to think of how a contest would be presented on your site and how it would be integrated into social media.
Running a contest on WordPress is so much more than just gathering entries to give away a prize.
It’s about laying the foundation to build a solid brand reputation. That’s worth much more. With so many tools available, it’s hard to go wrong.
Here are few tips to keep in mind when creating WordPress giveaways:
Keep it brief – Set the contest duration to a short period. Between a week and a month is typical. Make sure the entry options are brief and to-the-point.
There’s no need to write a book. Just tell people how to enter and trust they’ll do it.
Follow through – Don’t stop your efforts as soon as the promotion is done. It’s vital that you keep up the hard work and continue to engage with your new followers.
Site related – Your contests or giveaways need to be related to your industry and what you’re offering as a brand for them to be effective.
Hope above content helped, and now you have some ideas to create giveaways. If you have used any of above-mentioned tools or plugins or know better, let me know in comments below.
Hello, my name is Matija but everybody calls me Kasa. I started this site to earn lots of money so that I never have to work again. Just lay down on a beach, drinking cocktails day after day while hot, beautiful chicks fight for my attention.Ok, now seriously. I love making websites, especially in WordPress. Hope reading content on this site you will find helpful tips, tutorials, comparisons, and product reviews for your business.
Hey Kasa, many thanks for the awesome review 🙂
I was using Rafflecopter mostly in the past, but started lately seeing many giveaways made with Gleam. So decided to check it out.
I was very pleased with options and features provided in free version. Keep up the good work, and dont forget FREE users!
Great review , was really helpful and I’m going to set one up tonight based on your advice. Thanks again!
Feedback is always welcomed.
How much does it cost to get the list of emails collected from Gleem?
If I am not mistaken, I think you need Pro plan which is $39 a month or if going yearly then $390.
Really informative regarding raffles, sweepstakes etc.
Would like to know if indeed Gleam gets the emails entered?
Depends what you mean. If you would like to get people to subscribe to newsletter then this is not possible with free plan.
Nice article. People loves free stuff, giving out giveaways are such an excellent strategy to attract new customers. I used Rafflecopter for a while now I am using Woorise to run my giveaways. Thank you for sharing!
I must admit this is first time I hear about Woorise. Will take a look.
This is a very thorough article describing the differences between the platforms. I am going to check out Promo Simple and see if it works for me. Question: Why don’t you use affiliate links?
I am glad you found article helpful. Though my main income for paying hosting and other costs are affiliate links, I don’t like to use them on every single post and content.
That is not reason why I started this website. I started because I love working with WordPress and want to share my thoughts, reviews, tips with others.
Thanks for article. We need something quick for a client promotions and you’re research was super helpful!
I am glad if my post helped in any way. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
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