Rafflecopter-Four Weeks Later

It’s been four weeks now since I started using Rafflecopter for my giveaways. As some of you know, I asked for input from readers before I moved to Rafflecopter so that I could get some feedback before making the switch. I’ve been planning a follow-up post to share what I learned but I wanted to wait until I had actually chosen a giveaway winner and verified entries using Rafflecopter so that I could talk about that aspect as well.

For me, like most other blog owners, there are two important questions that need to be answered when choosing how to run a giveaway. The first question is, “Is it easy for my readers to enter?” The second is, “Is it easy for me to monitor entries and choose a winner?”

The feedback from my readers played a very big role in helping me make the giveaway easy to enter. Because some people mentioned that they forgot whether or not they had entered a giveaway after their cookies were deleted, I used leaving a blog comment as the mandatory entry almost every time. This way, if someone forgot whether or not they had entered a giveaway, they could just search through the comments quickly.

The other important piece of information I received from readers was that when their cookies were deleted, they were required to complete the mandatory entry again so that they could access the daily tweet option. I worked around this by not using Rafflecopter’s “mandatory entry” feature, which blocks access to the other entries until the mandatory one has been completed. Instead, I simply made sure to state that completing the first entry was mandatory. Yes, it requires readers to read the giveaway details, but that’s no different than when I was running a giveaway using blog comments as entries.

That effectively dealt with the two biggest issues people mentioned about Rafflecopter. The other consideration was, of course, whether or not choosing a giveaway winner and verifying their entries was easier using Rafflecopter than it was using WordPress. Choosing the winner was much easier; with one quick click Rafflecopter randomly chose a winner and provided me with all the relevant information including the comment number, the entry method, the IP address, the date and time of the entry and the winner’s email.

But choosing a winner has never been terribly difficult; the hard thing about running a giveaway is checking and verifying the winner’s entries. With WordPress, I can filter comments using a winner’s IP address to find all the entries that person has made. The downside is that all the entries from all of my giveaways are lumped into the same list, so I then have to search through pages of entries to find the ones from the giveaway I am currently dealing with. This isn’t a big deal when somebody only enters once, but when the person is collecting daily bonus entries with tweets I sometimes have to search through ten pages of entries to make sure the winner truly tweeted once per day.

Rafflecopter, I was thrilled to learn, made this process SO much easier! First of all, when I searched the giveaway entries for a certain IP address, I was searching only through the entries for that particular giveaway. No more hunting through pages and pages of unrelated entries!

Then, I just expanded the entries to see what entries the winner had completed and I could start verifying. I was quite honestly blown away by how easy finding the winner’s entries was; it was a HUGE improvement over searching through my WordPress comments!

Of course, there are still a few issues with Rafflecopter; I know at least one reader ran into a problem where they were unable to enter a giveaway. (I have a feeling “Oh Noes!” is going to become a phrase that causes shudders among giveaway entrants everywhere!) But for the most part I haven’t had people reporting a problem with the widget or the system so I hope everyone is finding Rafflecopter to be an effective means of entering giveaways. While both easy entering and easy verifying are important to me, when it comes right down to it I would much rather make sure that my readers are able to easily enter giveaways even if it means more work for me verifying the entries. After all, I couldn’t run my blog without you!

So, after four weeks of Rafflecopter giveaways, what’s your opinion? Is Rafflecopter a keeper? Have my work-arounds for some of the program’s issues been effective? Let me know!

23 thoughts on “Rafflecopter-Four Weeks Later”

  1. I love it, it has saved me so much time and energy – I find I am less and less attracted to the non-rafflecopter contests to be honest – they just suck up to much time. Thanks for all you do!

  2. Rafflecopter still has some glitches. It locks up and then when it comes back, it has done multiple entries!! Sometimes the links do not work and you lose entries.

    However, it is much better than the previous appications.

  3. I have a question, I thought the mandatory entry would be tied to the email address I enter (not my IP address) because sometimes I do daily tweets from a different computer, but still only one per day and I enter the same email address. Would that mean they are invalid because they won’t be linked to the same mandatory entry IP address?

    1. I’m a pro; I use both! ;) No worries, Amy, email is always my first check. I check IP addresses as well just as a matter of course, because while 99.9% of my readers are honest, there is still the odd person that tries to cheat. Enter anywhere, anytime and if it’s the same email address I’ll find all your entries! :)

    1. Aww, that’s sad to hear, cl! I’ve heard from the Rafflecopter team that the new version (which will make cookies a thing of the past, among other upgrades!) is getting close to being ready for release, so hopefully it will work better for you!

  4. I love Rafflecopter. I enter many giveaways a day and now I find myself, not even bothering entering giveaways that require comments. Rafflecopter is so much faster & easier for entering. You don’t have to leave the page for Twitter or Facebook. You can even tweet from the form. It saves having to have a bunch of windows open.

    I just started hosting giveaways on my own blog and I’ve had Rafflecopter from the start. I am so happy I got an invite when I did!


  5. Thanks for this post! I love entering giveaways with Rafflecopter so I was excited to start using it myself. I started using it at the beginning of my current 31 Days of Giveaways event on August 1st. I’ve had a few minor issues but their tech support is awesome! I really like your idea about not making a mandatory entry. It makes so much sense! Thanks for writing this post! By the way, do you use a comment plug-in?

  6. I do like Rafflecopter for the ease of use.. I have gotten the “Oh noes” (*shudder*) BUT I find if you simply try again (maybe more than once) it will go through…

    All in all, I have had no concerns!

  7. I think Rafflecopter is okay but I’m still confused (even after reading your post – sorry!).

    So when I go see the mandatory entry is still lit up (even though I’ve already entered), so I complete it again and simply say I’ve already completed the mandatory entry so I can tweet?

    I apologize for not understanding that element – it has been my biggest frustration with Rafflecopter (that and I have received the “oh noes” as well on a couple of your giveaways and no matter how many different times I’ve returned, it’s never gone away).

    1. No need to apologize, Susan! This is actually one of the things that I was most confused about too and I made sure I clarified it with the Rafflecopter people so I was clear on it. Once you’ve entered, your entry is there and accounted for, even if the buttons go green again. So by entering again, you’re essentially going to end up with an extra invalid entry, or at least that was, I believe, what they explained to me.

      On my giveaways, there is no need to complete the mandatory entry again because even if the buttons go green again, you can still access the daily tweet button. So once you’ve completed the mandatory entry, you never have any need to complete it again. Hopefully that helps clarify it; if not just let me know! :)

    2. Oh, and that is awful about the “Oh Noes;” I know people have had issues with having to reload the page or come back later but when it still doesn’t work after repeatedly coming back that’s a much bigger problem! It’s so strange that it happens with some giveaways and not with others; I can’t imagine why that would be…??

  8. my personal issue with rafflecopter is the cookies when it doesn’t read my cookies then I have to do mandatory entries again and sometimes I have hit refresh on the page a few times to even get the rafflecopter form to load in and I am on high internet speed with a super fast computer and I use the most updated IE and/or Fire Fox browser.

    I also have a PR & GA blog and several of our sponsors have requested that we don’t use rafflecopter as they like to come in every day and read entries and see what folks are saying in the comments. Is there a way for sponsors to monitor entries/comments as they are happening or not? I haven’t checked into that issue yet.

    1. Wow, that’s a new one and not a request that I’ve had. I guess it’s because I still make visiting the site and leaving a blog comment the mandatory entry. I can’t imagine most sponsors really enjoy searching through pages of “I subscribe by email” or “I follow on GFC” to find the relevant comments about their site so Rafflecopter is actually probably helpful in those cases.

      I know cookies are very much the biggest issue for many, which is why I set up my giveaways so that there would be no need to complete the mandatory entry again to access the daily tweet. Even if the buttons go green again, you can still access the daily tweet button.

      I’m also on a new computer with fast internet access. I have had pretty good luck with Rafflecopter so far, but once or twice I’ve had the same problem with the widget not loading so that I’ve had to go back and return to the page again. For the most part it’s been pretty reliable though for the giveaways I’ve entered. I can’t help but wonder what causes the problem though…

  9. I do like Rafflecopter. I find it much quicker and easier to enter giveaways. One thing I have noticed is that on occasion I will enter the wrong info (ie. wrong tweet link) or accidently hit the submit button before I was ready to. There is no option to edit my entry-so I guess that entry would be invalid. In that case should I re-do my entry or post in the blog comments the correct info? I would love to see Rafflecopter incorporate some sort of editing ability for the giveaway entrant.

    1. Good point, Glogirl! I’ve noticed this too; in fact I saw one set of entries where the email was [email protected]. (Obviously I was able to figure that one out! lol) For now I support the posting the correct info in the blog comments; I’ve noticed a few people doing this and I think it’s a good idea because that way you don’t add an extra entry that might invalidate you. But I agree, an entry editing feature would be very cool to see! :)

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