What you may be doing that makes bloggers want to quit giveaways

Ugh! This is why I want to quit hosting giveaways!

This is a comment I am seeing way too often lately. Bloggers feeling like they are being taken advantage or or not appreciated. Many bloggers like myself have made it a policy to have a minimum amount of dollar value for blog reviews. We usually request reviews to go along with our giveaway and if not possible many charge a fee. I certainly do. It is not that I do not value my readers and want to offer them the chance at something great. It is just, sometimes it is NOT worth the headache. Plus, companies have the budget for this kind of promotion, they should be compensating accordingly.

I have been very lucky and have had some fabulous readers here at Tales of a Ranting Ginger in the last 2 years. Many of us have chatted on Twitter and Facebook and I am always open to your feedback. I appreciate every last one of you.  Lets face it, without readers I would have no opportunities for my blog. No product reviews, no ambassadorships and certainly no one to talk to but myself.

Not every blogger is this lucky. I know I have had my share of strange events, messages and emails surrounding giveaways. I have been able to deal with them, resolve and move on. Many just pass on giveaways all together. 

pass

Like many I try very hard to be clear what I expect from my entrants regarding a giveaway. I post the rules and have a site wide disclaimer. My winner emails also have detailed requirements. Quite often the requirements are determined by the sponsor but some are added by the blogger. So you must read all info before entering as it changes often. We do not mean to swamp you with hoops to jump through to enter either. The reason for the different entries is to help spread the word of the giveaway and increase our following. The more the word gets out the better response we get. The better response, the more opportunities will come our way later. I try to always request a giveaway when possible and always make it open to Canada. Sometimes due to my location I can not allow US entrants, but do whenever possible. The same goes for Quebec entries. This is a law not a choice. 

Even with all of this and my background as an avid contest enthusiast I get down sometimes. Having to redraw because somebody did not respond in time for their prize really bums me out. But rules are in place for a reason.

Over the holidays I had a winner email 3 times because of a prize being “late”. I responded to each email and emailed the sponsor, then realized “late” was actually only 10 days from the winner notification email.

Really?

10 days?

Any normal month I would say allow 6 weeks to receive their  prize. Quite often the company will be running giveaways with multiple blogs and wait for them all to end their giveaway and send info in before sending out prizes. This way they can send it all out at once and sometimes make sure there are no repeats (if this was a rule) So giving the fact that it was Christmas, 10 days was not long to wait for a prize. 6 weeks later and I have no idea if the winner received their prize. I assume they did as the emails stopped. Had they had patience and not have been demanding me speak to a “person in charge” I would email and follow up.

I have no intention of ending my giveaways. I love hosting them, enjoy the traffic they bring to my blog and best of all, I love getting to know new people via my blog. I do however want to share with you all a few things that some people are doing that makes my fellow bloggers want to quit hosting giveaways. 

Note- Companies and reps are often causing these feelings as well. Some just do not get our value. Luckily many of them do. But that would be another posts 🙂

5 Reasons Bloggers want to stop with giveaways

5- Time

It takes a lot of time to research for a giveaway if the review is not included. Promoting and getting the word out takes a lot of time. Responding to emails. Contacting winners, sponsors and reps. As well as verifying entrants, information and more. Creating a form for the giveaway etc. It all takes time.

What you can do to help

– Respond quickly to winner notifications

-Make sure you include contact information correctly so you are easy to notify

-Use the tweet and share entries to your advantage. You are helping spread the word , saving the blogger time and increasing your chances of winning.

-when responding to your winner notification, include all of your info including phone number for shipping

4, Read the rules and entry requirements

Often my mandatory entry is to visit the sponsors site and leave a blog post comment in response to a question. Every time I get “thanks” or “Thanks for the giveaway” But no answer to the question. Reason for this entry is so at a glance the sponsor can see by the comments how many people entered. Also it gets you to visit the sponsors site and check them out. They appreciate the visits form our readers.

What you can do to help

-read the rules and do the entries as written.

-Do not enter if the giveaway is not open to you 

-enter with 1 email, 1 IP address. If you enter as multiple people this is seen as cheating 

3. Contacting the sponsor

NEVER ever contact the sponsor directly for your prize. Many companies have PR agencies working for them as well have divisions for countries and provinces. By you contacting them, you may be starting trouble with the wrong person. By the time it gets to the right person they are all upset and ready to stop giving prize away. Deal directly with the blogger.

If you are provided with a twitter handle or Facebook page for the sponsor you may contact that way and say thank you for the prize. I suggest no other reason.

2. Patience

If you are waiting to see the winner announcement or for your prize to be delivered. Have patience. Bloggers are often working outside the home, taking care of their families and running other giveaways. They have not forgotten about you.

What can you do to help.

-Read the blogs giveaway terms, policies. There should be a time frame posted to contact the blogger. If you have not received the prize by that time, email the blogger. Reply to the original winner email you were sent. This helps them know what you are talking about. Be polite. They will do everything in their power to find out where your giveaway prize is and to track it down or resend. If you are rude or short they will not want to rush to help.

1. Say Thank you

Saying thank you seems like common sense. But often when people respond to their notification they send their info and nothing more. A thank you goes a long way. When you receive your prize, send the blogger a tweet or email so they know you got it. Bloggers do not want to align themselves with companies or reps that do not follow through.. We need your feedback to keep up on this.

If you were provided with the sponsors Facebook or Twitter you can leave a shout out or tweet thanking them as well. I do not recommend doing so if you did not see the info. You never know if the blogger was paying for the prize or if you are thanking the US company when it was actually a Canadian PR agency etc. 

thank you

Hopefully these 5 tips will help you be a better entrant to blog giveaways and keep these fabulous bloggers feeling appreciated and hosting giveaways. I know I need to still get my fix and enter some every once in a while 🙂

If you are a blogger, do you have a tip for people entering your giveaways?

 

Comments

  1. Great tips. I think it's great that you took the time to write this up, as I know a lot of times when these frustrating behaviors show up, it's just because the reader/entrant didn't really know giveaway "guidelines" that are good to follow.

  2. carl bainbridge says

    As part of #4

    if you indicate you did the mandatory entry and yet there is no comment.. Bloggers can tell. We will be forced to redraw. The mandatory entry is just that Mandatory. Not doing it means you have no chance of getting that prize.

    My recent post A Parent’s Perspective: Family Year In Review

  3. I've encountered these issues with my giveaways and am flat out shocked at how few people say thank you.
    My recent post Cran-Raspberry Mock-Tini Mocktail

  4. Great post.. I love how you made the text bigger as you went along. 🙂 I think all the tips you have mentioned are great.. I have lots of patiences..lol Christmas time is a busy time for giveaways and a busy time for deliveries so prizes do take a bit longer and this should be expected. (coupons take 4-6 weeks) If you wait longer then I would definately send a message to the host of the giveaway.

  5. Jenny Stewart says

    I just want to say Thank you for all you do for your readers. I love reading your posts and of course entering giveaway's from time to time.

  6. I have been very lucky, almost every one of my winners has said thank you, and been REALLY happy! I do, however, get frustrated when I don't get a response in time, redraw, contact and confirm the new winner and THEN hear back from the originally drawn winner, to have them upset that they cannot have the prize….

  7. Thank You for all you do on your blog and Thank you for the great tips on entering giveaways

  8. pegcitylovely says

    What an awesome post! I'm new to the game but can relate! Keep on keepin on my dear – you are fabulous! Thanks for sharing these tips with all of us! 🙂
    My recent post Maternity Leave Melancholy: Working Mom Reflections

  9. Doris Calvert says

    I agree with all of these and is it not common courtesy to thank someone? Sometimes I get a prize and life gets in the way and I feel guilty not sending an email til a week or 2 later but I always send one, one point though is I so contact a company directly if it has been a long time and the blogger does not reply when I have emailed, tweeted and posted on FB. It has only happened once with a blogger but I did get my prize, I have one blog now I am waiting on 4 prizes and have not received a response, so I will never visit the blog again and just forget about it but this was a lot of work, tweeting 3x a day for 8 weeks and no rafflecopter, this has happened at this blog before so I am assuming it's a regular occurance, not sure what to do!

  10. I consider myself a courteous entrant. I reply quickly. I love the notifications that I won. I always thank the blogging host. What I find discouraging and makes me want to quit are some sponsors that claim they ship their prize and it becomes a battle, with the blogger becoming the guy in the middle. I like to stand my ground knowing I did not receive the prize but what I am I to do?

    • I request that the sponsors have a tracking number. If they do not, they need to give the winner a second shot no matter what. A tracking number saves many headaches for all. Even receiving reviews things get "lost" in the mail.

      And you are one of my fave winners 🙂

  11. reply to the actual mandatory question or whatever- don't just comment "thanks for the chance" or "i like this" or some general comment- because you didn't complete the mandatory entry, and thus non of the others count. no good. and a bummer for everyone.

  12. Lots of great info in your post. I've cut back on giveaway just because of the hassle. Last year, I cut back. This year I made the decision to only offer giveaways from companies or PR who I have an established relationship with. It may mean less giveaway which equals less traffic, but at the end of the day I am not having to chase anyone down for someone to get a prize.

    Amen, to winners not being grateful, or sending rude emails. You know, I don't know if the prize was shipped or when to expect it – but, I'll ask. But, first ask me to do that, politely and maybe in a sentence.

    Like anything in life, blogging has a learning curve. I've learned a lot over the years, and I am sure I'll continue to learn. One thing for certain is I've learned not to be taken advantage of.
    My recent post Packing for a mid-winter exchange

  13. wisteriagirl says

    I feel a bit disappointed when I enter with a detailed comment and see entries with one word answers or not answering the question at all. It seems that some people copy what other people put and don't even go the sponser's site…I have found great websites and product information from these giveaways. I enjoy reading your blog and I am pleased that you put this post out. I was a redraw…skinessentials 🙂 Love it!

  14. cathy henatyszen says

    Many years ago, before the internet, I ran a bulletin board system <google it> when you are a blogger, or webmaster as we used to call it, you put a lot of time and energy into providing a service to others.

    Nowadays there are all sorts of contests and such on the internet, back when I was doing it , we used telephone lines and modems, which were very expensive !! We used to charge a small monthly fee to our users to offset our costs, but still put out much much more out of pocket than I care to remember.

    Those that are greedy and demanding should carry on… if you don't have the MANNERS to respect the bloggers in their virtual living room then you don't belong in it.

    I have won a few giveaways, and ALWAYS thanked the blogger, and let them know when I've received my gift/prize. I KEEP a folder in my email so I can do this.

    Anyhow… 'nuff said….

    Thanks to our host on this blog!!!!

    • I was actually recently educated on the bulletin boards as my husband ran one and met a lot of great people. We were chatting about this. It would have been over 20 yrs ago

  15. Great post, my friend! I couldn't agree more. I won't stop the giveaways either. All these tips are fantastic and I will be sending them out to share 😉

  16. Thanks for this post. You would think so much of what you said is common sense and common courtesy. The fact you had to remind people of this is a sad statement on society.

    I do have one question about the multiple people entry point. I live in a home with three adults and one wireless internet connection so one IP address. All of us enter giveaways with varying frequency. If we enter the same giveaways are we then disqualified. How do we not get disqualified and all still enterthe same giveaway?

    • As for the IP address I realize as do many others that people enter from work, school, the library or even home with other entrants. We look for names, email addresses, twitter accounts and other social media accounts to be unique and not repeats. Some are all repeats and this would cause us to believe it is one person with multiple accounts.
      My recent post Please welcome our new additions

  17. Love this post! I love to enter giveaway too and whenever I won a prize, I will respond right away to make sure I am in compliance with the giveaway rules and respond deadline and I always ask the blogger to reply to confirm receive my info. Then I always wait patiently for my prize to arrive and if 8 weeks has gone and still no sign of it, then I will email my blogger to follow up. I always thank the blogger for hosting the giveaway as I know that she has put a lot of effort in putting the review and giveaway on her blog.

  18. great tips, I've only had two blog contests so far that I never received my prize. Both bloggers never have replied to my emails (And I sent numerous ones to the email they sent me, to their blog web site etc). I've warned others of those two sites but still like the blog sweeps, even though I do fairly little on the entry forms (I certainly won't use up my follow limit on twitter to someone who won't follow me back, I save that for the real people who will follow me) I might occassionally follow someone on fb but tend to delete them pretty fast if they break fb rules. I see a lot of instagram now and I assume thats for people with cell phones or something so never do that part either…I might tweet but that can be it and I tend to tweet FIRST cus I've had plenty of instances where my internet goes down and never got to do the mandatory post cus of it LOL (but if I tweet first I can find the blog and go back)

    • I get a lot of contest tweets in my stream because I follow back. If the person tweets me, has a profile and a pic of some sort I usually always follow back.

      Facebook rules are sketchy and many bloggers are not aware of them. The one main one is liking a page for a mandatory or running a contest directly on a page without an app or widget.
      My recent post Please welcome our new additions

      • OMG the no profile pics aren' the ones I'm scared of, its all those porn ones that get me to a blocking them – and I usually won't follow back if there is a person with 14000 followers but not one tweet to their name LOL, sometimes its just things that make you go HMMMMMM
        and I only use twitter for sweeps so I really gotta wonder what they see in my tweets for the porn people to want to follw me !!

  19. peacefulperspective says

    I am relatively new to the giveaway's. And unfortunately I have made a few mistakes as an entrant. I have entered and won a giveaway that was only for Australia. The Blogger contacted me for my AU. Address. When I realized what I had done responded quickly and explained the situation Thanked her and asked that she pass the prize on to another Lucky entrant that was sure to enjoy it. Kindness and Courtesy can go along way. She thanked me for my quick response and invited me to enter another on her site that was WW.

  20. This is an awesome and useful post, thanks so much for putting this out there! 😉

  21. Great tips and I hope I follow them all. I usually wait 2-3 months to contact a blog if I haven't received a prize, wow 10 days. It takes longer than 10 days if you place an online order somewhere!!

    Thank you for your time in all you do 🙂

  22. Love this post! I try to reply back asap, I check my email from my phone constantly lol.
    I normally wait 4 weeks before contacting a blogger about a missing prize unless they have given me a wait time (ex 4-6 weeks, I would wait the 6.)
    I entered and won a giveaway that was open to US and Canada and got refused the prize because it was actually only for US residents and the blogger didn't change the form – I was told there wouldn't be enough prizes from the PR company, because the blogger picked a new winner instead of waiting to hear if they would send it to me anyway. I was very dissapointed.
    I also had won one prize – a big one – a $200 item. After 4 weeks, I never recieved it. I emailed the blogger. No response. I waited another week, emailed again. No response. I emailed about 6 more times up until it had been 10 weeks. With still no response from the blogger I contacted the company. When I finally heard back from the company they sent my prize. Total time all this went on was 13 weeks.
    Any other issues I have had – the bloggers have been fantastic and have kept in contact with me and the company, let me know all updates and when to contact them back.

  23. multitestingmommy says
  24. I love, love, love that your wrote this up!! Now, let's hope that those that need the advice, read it!!
    My recent post Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Valentine’s Day Dessert Love

  25. deanna_boocock says

    Whoa. I can not believe how selfish people are! Not to say thankyou when they win. I am always amazed when I win something. And I usually try to email the blogster to let them know when the prize has arrived. Boy oh boy, there are some incredibly rude people out there!

  26. Loving this post. I am a review & giveaway blogger and I love when my winners say Thank you and let me know just how much they love their prize. It's great when a winner let's me know they have received their prize too! Great Post!!
    My recent post Amazon Blast $100 Amazon Giveaway! Ends 1/31

  27. wendy Hutton says

    I totally agree with this, I read the rules on every contest I enter as they all vary and am quick to respond to a win, I usually will not contact the blogger until after at least 1 month has passed if I have not received a win, most I have been winning from are great and the sponsor sends it out within 2wks, there are a few that I have had problems with not getting the prize even after 6 months and they do not reply to me. I know the bloggers go to a lot of work to run these and I appreciate it

  28. I will be sharing this on my Facebook pages of Your Contests Canada and Your Contests USA. #1 is so obvious but so many people do not do it, it is sad 🙁

  29. I read this a couple years ago and just reread it. Quick question about eligibility, what would you say the best way to tell who is eligible is when there is conflicting info? Like sometimes the entry form will say one thing but the write up just before or after the form says something else, or on giveaway tools it says one thing under the sign in but something different when you click terms.
    On a side note: Thanks for being a Canadian blog that keeps giveaways Canadian. I feel disappointed when a super Canadian blog has a US only giveaway (I mean, I get it but I still feel disappointed about it).

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