I Never Win Anything: An Ode to Rafflecopter Giveaways (and why I’m changing the way they work)

Ok, so maybe that’s a bit dramatic. I’ve won a few things. I can count those winnings on one hand, but yeah…there have been a few times when my name was pulled and I almost shit a brick from sheer shock and excitement.

But something I’ve noticed lately – and really come to hate – about giveaways (Rafflecopter-powered giveaways especially), is the “come back tomorrow and do this again for more entries :)” option that people/authors/bloggers seem to looooooooooove to incorporate. No throwing stones! I’ve done it myself, up until now.

But all that is about to change.

As a marketing major who, you know, does marketing for a company…I totally get why this option seems awesome. IT’S MARKETING. Not only are you getting visitors to return to your site each day, but by having them tweet about the giveaway everyday, they’re drawing even more visitors. And more visitors = good, right?

Usually. But as someone who has recently started actually trying to win things from other bloggers/authors/people who are using Rafflecopter to manage their giveaways, I’ve come to realize just how lame-o it really is. Some people, like me, have terrible memories and not only won’t remember to come back every day but very literally CANNOT remember to come back everyday. And you know, sometimes people are just busy and AIN’T GOT TIME FO’ DAT. And I’m sure there are whole host of other reasons why tweeting about a giveaway every day just isn’t feasible.

Am I saying it’s unfair? No. Technically, everyone who enters has the same amount of entries/chances. But is it bad practice? I’ve come to think so. Because having the same amount of entries/chances does not equal having the same ability to make use of those entries/chances. I realize there are those (probably almost everyone) who will disagree with me, and that’s fine. We’re all entitled to our opinions and free to run our blogs/websites however we choose. But here at Twilight Sleep?

Well, I’m choosing not to make this an option for my giveaways any longer.

Every entry will be a one-time thing. I feel like this will level the playing field and that’s what I want, even if it costs me visitors. At the end of the day, I want quality, not quantity. I want to give back to the people who actually enjoy Twilight Sleep and aren’t just here to get free stuff.

And this is why I’m also making subscribing a requirement for entry into any future giveaways.

I realize there are ways to circumvent this and that some people will probably do just that, but it makes me feel better, so there. Note: this only applies to giveaways I’m hosting. If the giveaway is hosted by an author or publisher, then I’ll be doing it however they want.

So there you are. But before you start calling me a lunatic in the comments, I’d rather you tell me something that YOU wish would change about giveaways – or bloggers or Goodreads, or the new DC Universe movie featuring Batman and Superman. Ready? Go!

About the author /


Hi. My name is Shannon and I like books. And photography. And video games. I use this space to talk about books, review books, and generally participate in badassery.

45 Comments

  1. Tanisha McGaw

    When I start making giveaways for my blog (maybe around February next year) I plan on using Raffle-copter because a whole lot of blogs use it and its free and seems pretty easy to use. I do use the “Come back tomorrow” entries and usually make it a daily practice to go through and complete all of those. I do agree with you on the part that subscribing should be a requirement so people enjoy your blog and aren’t just their to earn free stuff.

    • Shannon

      I love Rafflecopter – it makes giveaways so easy! It’s pretty awesome that you can remember to go through and do all the come back entries. I almost ALWAYS forget!

      • TanishaMcGaw

        I make lists of each giveaway I’m entered in and mark the ones that I can tweet/Facebook about everyday. I don’t recommend it though. It’s very time consuming.

  2. Fly to the Sky

    I never EVER remember to go back and enter the giveaway again. And I also don’t really like to have my twitter feed be made up of tweets advertising one giveaway.
    I totally agree that requiring a subscription is definitely important! You want people to keep coming back!
    I definitely agree with this post an hope it works well for you!!

    • Shannon

      Thank you! I never remember either – or if I do, it’s only like once or twice, which is nothing when you have those people who remember to do it every single day! I don’t like to clog up my twitter feed with giveaway ads either – so much so that I actually created a separate twitter account that I used for giveaways because of that. Which, of course, circumvents what the giveaway creator is trying to do. I just don’t think it’s the best policy, you know?

      I’m on the fence about requiring a subscription after reading some other comments, but so far I’ve had a good experience with subscriptions. I keep an eye on my numbers and I haven’t seen much unsubscribing at all. Of course, people could be using alternate email addresses just like I was using an alternate twitter handle, so you never know. There’s not really a sure fix, but I think my ideas are a solid way to cut down on A LOT of the giveaway goblins, if not all of them…and I’ll take that. *nod*

      • TanishaMcGaw

        I agree. Requiring people to subscribe doesn’t really fix everything but it does help. :)

  3. Elena

    THANK YOU! I feel like it is minorly unfair to have going back so then done people have 100 entries and others have 5. As a person who has personally NEVER won ANY giveaways I’m glad you’ll be posting them differently. :)

    • Shannon

      See, I hesitated to say it was unfair because TECHNICALLY it’s not – but to me it FEELS rather unfair as well! I’m glad you’re in agreement, I honestly was not expecting so many people to agree with/support my decision!

  4. Go Book Yourself!

    I never ever remember to go back either! I don’t have it as an option either but maybe others are just not as forgetful as us !

    • Shannon

      See, I want to give back to the forgetful ones, like me! This way it’s fair for EVERYONE who enters – there’s nothing to remember to go back and do over and over.

  5. Lourdes

    THANK YOU! I hate those things :(

    • Shannon

      Me too! I’ve really hated them from the start but I used them, like most blogs do, as a marketing ploy to get more visitors. But that ends now! I’ve gathered a pretty great following and I want to bring more quality to my blogging instead of being constantly concerned about numbers.

  6. Courtney Renee

    I enjoy one time only entries the best. I think its annoying to have to go back to get more entries. I am on the same page as you!

    • Shannon

      Glad to hear it! I didn’t really think much about it until I started entering more giveaways myself, in attempts to win ARCs that I could review here. It got so annoying so quickly! I think this is the right thing to do, not just for me but for my readers.

  7. Leanne @ Literary Excursion

    I love that you’re doing away with the daily visits for more entries thing. I really hate seeing those on other sites as I can’t ever remember to visit them either. Even if I did, it feels like such a drag to have to visit that one post over and over again just for better chances in winning a book! If I didn’t like the blog’s content I wouldn’t be there in the first place.

    I also think having giveaway participants follow your blog is completely reasonable. I’m sure most of the people that stop by already are anyway. Having people show loyalty to your blog in exchange for being able (possibly) to get free books goes hand in hand.

    • Shannon

      Thanks Leanne! I think it’s the right decision to make. And some have commented on the subscription thing saying they probably wouldn’t do it, but I think that since 99% of my giveaways are sponsored by ME using MY MONEY, subscription is a small thing to ask. I’m fully aware that some may use “throw away” email addresses or Bloglovin’ lists to do so, but I’m ok with telling myself that MOST people probably won’t. :P

  8. Octavia

    I like that Ben will play batman! I don’t see what all the fuss is about really, I mean I’d jump his bones, I’d jump bat mans bones, two birds one stone right?

    Um..Raffelcopter. I personally prefer my flash giveaways anyway, so um viva the revolution?!

    • Shannon

      LOL! I think the fuss is that he did such a terrible job of playing Daredevil that most people aren’t willing to give him a chance at Batman. Who knows, though? Only time will tell.

      I like your flash giveaways too!

  9. Shannelle (The Tracery of Ink)

    It’s perfectly fair reasoning, Shannon. I can remember to do that tweet everyday, but how many of my followers don’t like that? And sometimes, I feel like I’ve been cheated, since I put in so much effort, even though it isn’t anything like that at all.

    I would do something like this as well, if only I had a bigger following. I’ll do something like this once my blog is good enough without the extra buzz.

    • Shannon

      Totally understand where you’re coming from Shannelle! I only did it from the beginning because I “needed” the extra exposure. I don’t feel that way anymore though, so I’m excited about making things a little more fair – or perceived to be that way, anyway! :]

  10. Jenna

    My blog doesn’t get enough traffic to host my own giveaways (I’d probably get one entry) but I’ve been taking mental notes about what I like and what I don’t when I enter giveaways, just in case I host any in the future.

    I never go back and tweet the next day either. It’s not that I don’t remember, it’s just that I’ve moved on to something else by then. It wouldn’t be hard to create a bookmarks folder for that purpose and go back every day. It’s just too much trouble. Maybe I just I don’t want to win THAT badly.

    There’s probably no easy way to keep track, but it would be interesting to see what percentage of winners do go back do that extra step daily.

    • Shannon

      Ooo, you’re right – it would be interesting to see the percentage. I’ve got a pretty good idea of what it’s like already. I link all my giveaway tweets to my twitter account just because I like to know when people are entering – and I will tell you that for the two biggest giveaways I have going on right now, it’s the same 3-4 people who enter everyday. That’s it. So when Random.com does it’s thing, they’ve got so many “extra” entries that they pretty much push everyone else out of the pool. Realizing that was what made me go, “Ok, this has to change.” I want it to be TRULY random, not just random among the top 3-4 entries, you know?

  11. Asti (A Bookish Heart)

    I’ve never really thought about the daily entry thing for Rafflecopter. But you’re right. No would I remember to go back everyday for entries, and it’s sort of swings the favor towards those who do. I think it’s awesome you’re taking what you notice about other giveaways and are applying them to your own. Makes total sense, but not everyone does that!

    But really, I hope you do win some giveaways! It’s always hit or miss for me, but I’ve won a handful in the past few months. I’d share but um… I’m a book hoarder. It’s just not possible! Anytime I see free books I go GRABBY HANDS! ;)

    • Shannon

      Yes, exactly! “It sort of swings the favor towards those who do” – that’s exactly what I want to eliminate. I think it’s safe to say MOST people don’t do that…which is why I wanted to post about it. Maybe if more people read my opinion and other people’s comments on it, they’ll start to consider how they run their giveaways, you know?

      BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD! *fist pump*

      Hahahaha, I’m a hoarder too! But I don’t mind sharing in the sense of borrowing! I’ve tried to get a few people to let me borrow ARCs they have read but don’t want to give away, promising to return them to them in pristine condition, but so far no one has taken me up on that! Which, in a way, I can understand. It’s risky, loaning out your precious books to someone who’s pretty much a stranger. Sucks for people like me though, who RARELY get physical ARCs and, therefore, can’t do trades and the like!

  12. bribookishconfessions

    I’m new to blogging, but I’ve been entering Rafflecopter giveaways for a couple months now. I don’t like the ones where they make you come back everyday to tweet again and everything. I thought you were completely right! I think (well to me) that the coming back thing is insane! I lose track of all the giveaways I enter. I have never come back to that giveaway to tweet the giveaway again or the other things. I’m sure I’ve entered more than 30 giveaways so far. :)

    • Shannon

      I know, it seems too much of a hassle to have to keep up with all that just to win a book or swag pack or whatever. I guess some people are just more dedicated/disciplined than I am – and maybe that’s why I never win anything, lol!

  13. Jessi (Geo) (@geobobspinelli)

    Well, maybe you are a bit of a lunatic, but we’re all crazy here, right? Your crazy is my normal ;D

    But I totally see what you mean. It IS really annoying when people only stop by just for a giveaway, not because they care about your blog. I personally never enter any giveaways unless it’s a blog I actually like and want to follow. And as for me, I require a follow on all my giveaways always because 99% of the time it’s out of my own pocket. That’s only fair! But people STILL cheat! I can’t tell you how many people entered our mini challenge giveaways for the Beat the Heat Readathon…without even participating in the fucking mini challenge. It’s like, DUDE, are you that desperate to win a $10 gift card? The prize was incentive to have fun with us and reward for signing up! Assholes.
    Oh, and my favorite…where I say leave a MEANINGFUL comment on a review and someone writes ‘Great review.’ Drives me bat shit crazy!

    Whoa, that turned into a little bit of a rant there. *clears throat*

    Anyway, I think eliminating the daily entry is a good idea, because then you don’t have that one person who is desperate to win something (and apparently has no life whatsoever) coming back every single day and monopolizing all the entries. OR tweeting EVERY. FREAKING. DAY. I despise seeing someone’s twitter feed being straight giveaway tweets. In fact, I’ve unfollowed a couple people here recently because they were filling up my feed with nothing but those tweets. Argh!!

    *looks around sheepishly* That was a really long comment!

    • Shannon

      LOL, I love it though! This is pretty much how I feel about it! Like you said, 99% of my giveaways are funded by me with my money so I don’t think subscribing is too much to ask! But yes, I’m fully aware that there are still ways that people can and probably will cheat. But I think this will weed out a lot of them!

      And I second you on the meaningful comment thing. My second favorite is when they just write “Thanks for the giveaway!” I mean, I’m glad they’re being polite and thanking me, but what does that have to do with what the post was about? *sigh* Thankfully I haven’t had to deal with a lot of that – most people totally get it and leave me comments I can appreciate and interact with. <3

      I’ll tell you what though, I have no qualms about disqualifying entries that I think are lame-o. If Random.org picks someone and I check their comment and don’t think it was up to par, I’ll toss ‘em out and make it pick someone else! No shame in my game. Like I said, I PAID FOR THIS…so I’m gonna have at least a little bit of say in how it gets awarded!

      I’m probably going to change a lot of other things too just to make my giveaways more simplistic and clean. It’s all about getting meaningful interaction from here on out!

  14. Kelley

    I am totally with you. I NEVER go back and do those daily things for more entries. I don’t have time for that and I certainly can’t remember to go back every day! There are way too many other, more interesting things for me to do with my time. PLUS, I feel like I’ll be an annoying broken record if I tweet about the same giveaway every single day. I don’t even tweet about my OWN giveaways but once or twice.

    But yeah, that’s why I don’t do that for my giveaways either. It just seems unnecessary, as far as I’m concerned. I wonder how many people actually DO go back and do those every day (or more than once).

    • Shannon

      RIGHT. I’m so glad so many of you feel me on this! I was expecting to get a lot of “are you crazy???” comments, haha! Unneccessary is the key word. I’m doing away with a lot of unnecessary. Changes are a’ comin’!

      And for the record, on my two most popular giveaways right now, there’s about 3 people who tweet it every day. 3 people is just not worth it to me, especially now that I HAVE established more of a following. Not a big one, but a GOOD one…and that’s what matters, I think.

  15. DoingDewey

    I agree with you completely about the daily entries! They’re annoying and they’re forgettable. And I do think they give something of an advantage to people who do GOT TIME FO’ DAT :)

    Personally, I’d most like to see people stop requiring people to subscribe. Although it sounds like you’d like to add that to encourage people not to enter unless they really want to follow your blog, my experience has been that people will follow just to enter a giveaway. Since I agree with you about wanting quality over quantity, I’m really not interested in having followers who only followed because of a giveaway and so I never make following mandatory.

    • Shannon

      That makes sense, I feel you on the subscription thing. I don’t know a lot of people who REQUIRE subscription though…a lot of them offer it as an option for entries, like I have, but I’ve only seen maybe two giveaways that actually required it.

      However, I think it’s a good way to weed out at least some of the giveaway goblins – and since I host 99% of giveaways on my blog using my money, it seems pretty fair to me. The point of my giveaways, especially from here on out, is to give back to those who are giving to me, by being loyal followers, etc. So I think subscribing is a really small thing to ask. For now, I’m planning to forge ahead with that idea. Could change in the future though!

  16. Leah

    Yep I’ve done away with those ‘you can do this once a day’ entries. I try to keep it simple and keep the entries to a max of 5. I also include a free entry or an entry that doesn’t require them to follow the blog or anything. Giveaways are mostly my way of giving back ’cause I’m pretty lucky when it comes to blog giveaways. :D

    • Shannon

      That’s really awesome, Leah! I’m not very lucky when it comes to blog giveaways…or any other kind of giveaway, lol. But I do like the idea of keeping it simple. I’m definitely planning to cut down on the number of things people can do to get entries, in addition to doing away with this the once-a-days.

  17. Erin Thompson

    I hate when you have to like tons of pages on facebook. It clogs up my news feed and I miss updates I do care about because of wanting to win something. I think they should cap it at like 5-10 pages to like max. Not 30+.

    • Shannon

      Oh, I know…I usually only see that when it’s a big giveaway though, for like a Kindle or something – something a lot of different people have contributed to. I’m definitely planning to make my giveaways a bit simpler, with less entries. Just gonna streamline a lot of things!

  18. scottreadsit

    My giveaways have been invaded by goblins and I’m trying to think of a more effective way to run them. I totally agree with this post btw, have a nice weekend!

    • Shannon

      Good luck coming up with some ideas, Jon! And thanks, you have a nice weekend as well!

  19. Stormy

    I dislike daily TWITTER entries, because I think it’s spam-y, but I admit that on my giveaways I like to have the “free” option as a daily thing. It requires NOTHING on participants and I kind of think about it as a bonus for people who visit my blog more than once(so, followers, basically). Since I don’t like having people follow my blog as a mandatory entry(though it is optional), I feel like having the daily free entry is a perk for followers. I’ve never felt totally comfortable personally with making people follow my blog as an entry for a few reasons(I feel it could be empty numbers and that it will lower the overall giveaway entries), so I feel like this is a nice balance.

    Reading the comments in this thread is making me re-consider though. I know most of the time when people offer daily entries it’s for tweeting about the giveaway, but I’m guessing if people don’t remember to come back and do that(even if they follow the blog), they might not for free entries, either. Hmm. I’ve only done two giveaways(but have a third coming up), and I’ve definitely been trying to decide how I want to conduct them.

    • Shannon

      Hey Stormy! I like the idea of the free entry better than the spam-y twitter entry, but I still feel like it does the same thing – gives an advantage to those who have the the time and memory to return again and again (which I’ve found to be less than 5 people), in turn edging out other people and their entries. I don’t see it as a plus for followers because odds are, my TRUE followers aren’t visiting my blog every day to re-read the same entry, you know? I know I don’t.

      I have no real qualms about requiring people to subscribe because, as I’ve said before, I feel like that a small thing to ask for in return for me having spent my time and money acquiring books and the like to giveaway for free. And also, I want to give back to those who truly have an interest in my blog and aren’t just giveaway goblins who enter any and every giveaway they find. I know the subscription thing is still flawed because there are ways to circumvent my purpose, but I do feel like it will majorly cut down on a lot of the goblin entries, and that’s what I’m going for.

      I’m going to start making some of my giveaways more random, too – I’ll just choose a person who comments often or interacts with me on Twitter or Facebook a lot and offer them a gift. *nod*

  20. gopony

    I enter contests as a hobby and I no longer enter any contests that use Rafflecopter. I don’t want to be bothered tweeting or making comments about someones products, it just slows down my entering.

  21. Anne

    I HATE RAFFLECOPTER

  22. Suzanne Shattuck

    I, like most others, do not have any kind of system to remember to go back each day. A huge petpieve that I have it when the entries have just a url that is not clickable. You have to copy and paste the url. I’ve only run across a few but one is too many! UGG!

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Behind the Curtain

Hi. My name is Shannon and I like books. And photography. And video games. I use this space to talk about books and particpate in badassery. You can read a bit more about my awesomeness and how Twilight Sleep came to be (the name has absolutely NOTHING to do with the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, contrary to popular belief) on the about page. :]

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