Six Tips for Rafflecopter’s New Giveaway Widget

The new Rafflecopter widget has been live now for over 48 hours. The response has been overly positive. Constant improvements are being made as we receive feedback on how we can better it (send us your thoughts at info@rafflecopter.com!). We wanted to share six quick, but important tips that will help you get the most out of our giveaway widget.

Tip 1 – Take Hold Of The Updated Extra Info Section

When creating a giveaway, you have the option to create your own entry options w/ the ‘Choose Your Own Task’ field where entrants can leave ‘extra info’ to verify or collect an entry. In the new widget, you have the ability to edit not only the title of the entry option and the description, but the sentence above the box where ‘extra info’ is left. When an entrant fills out this field, the information is collected in your giveaway’s moderate tab in the dashboard.

Because you have the ability to edit this section, put a clear message here of what information you’d like the entrant to leave. Here’s an example from the giveaway in a previous blog post where we ask you to answer a question as an entry option and how it would show up in the widget:

Rafflecopter

Tip 2 – You No Longer Have To Ask For Name/Email

The old widget relied on cookies to track entrants and caused too many problems! Rafflecopter no longer relies on cookies, as we’ve updated to a sign in system. Advantages of the sign in system are that 1) entrants will only have to enter in their name and email once only across all Rafflecopter giveaways as opposed to every entry option on every giveaway, and 2) helps the entrant remember what giveaways they entered across different computers/devices.

With the old widget, many bloggers asked entrants to leave their name and email address as an entry option. You no longer have to ask entrants to leave their name and email as an entry. If you still have this as an entry option, it will appear confusing to the entrant:

Rafflecopter

Tip 3 – More Than One Widget Per Page Is Allowed

You’re allowed to have more than one widget on a page, so please take advantage of it! Here’s a great example of two widgets running for separate giveaways on the same page.

Two things you should keep in mind: if you have a ‘tweet about this giveaway‘ entry, the URL will always be pointed to the page where the entrant is viewing the widget. If the tweet from an entrant points to your homepage, that means they entered the giveaway there. If the tweet points to your  post (preffered) that means they entered from your individual post.

If you have a ‘leave a blog post comment‘ entry, it would make it less confusing on the entrant if the widget is only on the post page as opposed to the blog page. Because of this, we’ve included the page break tag when selecting the widget code to be used on WordPress, Blogger, and TypePad in the updated dashboard. If you don’t want the more tag, unselect the box below the embed code.

Tip 4 – Call to Action! Directions vs. Words

With the ‘Choose Your Own Task’ entry option, you have complete control over customizing the title, the description, and now the extra info section.

For best results, think about using a call to action in these sections. If you want someone to share the post on their blog for example, use the title “Share This Post On Your Blog” or “Blog About This Giveaway”. Don’t just say “Share”. You wouldn’t believe how much your giveaway can improve with clear, concise directions. If you make the directions in your giveaway easy to follow, everybody wins!

Tip 5 – Take Advantage Of The New Share Code Page

You’ve showed us how often you share your giveaways with different bloggers. Rafflecopter now has a much better share code page which will help you share your widget code with other bloggers looking to use the same widget you’re using.

Check out an example: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/Z3JlZzo5Mw==/

Tip 6 – Placing HTML/Javascript In The Widget Won’t Work

With the old widget, some folks were able to post things inside the Rafflecopter entry form: RSS feeds, HTML buttons, email sign ups, etc. We estimated that for every one person that got this to work, there were about four that couldn’t. If it worked for you, of course we didn’t ask you to take it down, but we didn’t officially support this functionality.

In the new widget however, embeddable codes like these aren’t supported yet either, so check to see if you have any codes in your widgets when duplicating old giveaways. We do plan on giving you the ability to do that, but right now, its something we aren’t able to officially support.

Questions? Feedback?

If you have any questions for us, you’re always welcome to shoot us an email – info@rafflecopter.com

If you want to see something built into Rafflecopter that we don’t have yet, let us know!

We think these tips will help a lot of folks enjoy the new Rafflecopter much more – we’d love it if you would help us spread the word!

About the author

Greg Goodson

Greg Goodson is the cofounder of Rafflecopter, the world's easiest way to run a giveaway online. Follow his shenanigans, ramblings, and memes on Twitter at @GregGoodson.

  • http://www.spiffykerms.com Nancy

    Awesome! Love this, thanks! :)

  • http://profiles.google.com/kristy.anstett Kristy Anstett

    This is great! Love 1 and 2 in particular. Thanks for your continued effort improving what is already such a GREAT tool! Appreciate it!

  • multitestingmommy

    Thanks for this info….I’m a bit saddened by the fact that the “tweet this giveaway” puts out a link to the blog’s homepage instead of the individual giveaway b/c it makes people work hard to find the giveaways on that blog now.

    • http://twitter.com/rafflecopter Rafflecopter

      hey! the tweetlink will point to whatever URL the user is tweeting from. that’s why our recommendation is to have a page break before each widget so that when entrants do tweet, they’re more than likely tweeting from the giveaway post and not the homepage. I hope that makes sense! :)

      • multitestingmommy

        Oh ok phew – thanks!  I will keep the page break in then – same as before!

        • http://twitter.com/rafflecopter Rafflecopter

          yup! :)

          • http://www.biculturalmom.com/ Chantilly Patiño

            Double Whew!!  Should have read the comments first, but that sentence is confusing…lol.  ;)

  • http://www.biculturalmom.com/ Chantilly Patiño

    Confused by one statement, “if you have a ‘tweet about this giveaway‘ entry, the URL will be pointed to the home page as opposed to the specific post.”  

    So, whenever someone tweets about a giveaway, they will be taken to my homepage?  Because this would be seriously confusing for more of those who visit the site via a Twitter link.  They would have to search for the giveaway.  I’m reading this wrong, right??  Seriously hoping this isn’t the case…

    • http://twitter.com/rafflecopter Rafflecopter

      ok – wow. that totally needed to be rewritten. done – thanks! :)

      • http://www.biculturalmom.com/ Chantilly Patiño

        Thank you!  :)

  • Davincikittie

    Great new updates! Love the new look!

    One thing I’d really like to see, though, is an option to change the color scheme of the Rafflecopter widget. My WP hme is dark so the CSS specifies white text! Which appears blank in the white background of the widget. Here’s an example…
    http://gravetells.com/2011/12/14/thankful-for-the-holidays-giveaway-h○p-win-an-amazon-gift-card/

    I know you guys are working hard. Any idea when this option might be available?

    • http://twitter.com/rafflecopter Rafflecopter

      we’d love to give you the functionality to edit colors on your widget – it’s on our list of things to do! but probably won’t be done immediately :) thanks!

    • Jennifer York

      I have the same problem and have been getting comments from my followers that they can’t enter their info. With the white text they think it’s blank.

  • Sher A Hart

    I’m so excited to get this after the 3 day headache I had trying to sort entries for my multiple Gratitude Giveaways prizes sorted by US and International. I wish I’d known 48 hours ago but didn’t get the email that you were open now. My chocolate and books contest restarts on the 11th of every month. So how do I go about adding in entries from comments that were left on my blog between the 10th and today?

    • http://twitter.com/rafflecopter Rafflecopter

      hey Sher! importing entries isn’t something we support right now… thanks!

  • http://www.motherofpearlitis.com/ Tree a.k.a Mother of Pearl

    Thank you! I love all the new changes!

  • http://www.clumpsofmascara.com Brittany

    I love everything about Rafflecopter. One thing though – the # left to earn instead of “entries” is hella confusing. WHAT’s left to earn? I can’t be this slow…

  • DNatrlBeauty

    1.  I have to sign in every single time I go to someone’s page to enter and it’s very annoying…and it always prompts for Facebook first, then I have to cancel so that I can sign in w/ my email/name…time consuming and not cool.  With the cookies, the form would already be there & I could just start entering!

    2.  There are many that I have entered that do NOT have the extra info. box in the widget…I’d say 85% of the time.

    3.  Still seeking a customizable appearance of our widgets, you colour scheme is depressing…LOL

    4.  I’m not a fan of how many are left to get…people enter the options they feel comfortable with and this makes me feel pressured to enter all of the entries…

    5.  You now have the how many entries you get as an automatic, we cannot enter the value ourselves any longer and I have, as of yet, been able to get the values to work for me…they all come up as +1 and not the +3 I’d rather have.

    6.  I certainly appreciate all that you do, please do not be offended by my words…I’m just having troubles with the new format and thought you should know~!!  You are groovy and appreciated~!!  :D

    • http://twitter.com/rafflecopter Rafflecopter

      thanks for your feedback! i realize you left this message for us a week ago, but hopefully things have smoothed out over the past 7 days :)

      • DNatrlBeauty

        For the most part…yes and no worries on the time…it’s THAT time of year…hehe  May your holidays be joyous filled and may they be groovy~!!

        ________________________________
        From: Disqus
        To: heavensent1@yahoo.com
        Sent: Friday, December 23, 2011 12:46 AM
        Subject: [rafflecopter] Re: 6 Tips for Rafflecopter’s New Widget

        Disqus generic email template

        Rafflecopter wrote, in response to DNatrlBeauty:
        thanks for your feedback! i realize you left this message for us a week ago, but hopefully things have smoothed out over the past 7 days :) Link to comment

  • Donna C.

    Is there going to be a field to enter username/link in each area before entering and moving to next field? It is such a pain to do the whole RC and then go to the end and have to post a large link and hope I remember every username/link that I am supposed to put down.

  • Shannon Wieneke

    I just wanted to say that it seems like the new rafflecopter widget is taking longer to load then the other one did. Is anyone else seeing that too?

    • http://twitter.com/dresdenrain carol lewis

      Mine will NOT load at all!!!!

  • Stacy Croy

    Excellent new options! Thanks!

  • Dolores Brister

    Thanks so much for continuing to provide Rafflecopter to us for free!  I currently have 3 Rafflecopter giveaways going on right now. 

  • A Mom’s Rantings (User)

    I didn’t know if anyone mentioned this or not yet, Didn’t have time to read through all the comments. BUT, i noticed in the new widget, when entering a giveaway adding someone’s twitter account, it has a blank spot with the @ sign, but will not allow you to actually add your account name to it… I was able to follow all of the the Twitter accounts but not leave my Twitter name in any of the blanks… Just wondering if it was in the coding or if the person made a boo boo in adding the code to her/ his page. (found here: http://ladonnadennis.com/2011/12/15/fabulous-kitchen-aid-giveaway-win-this-trio/)

  • Bonny

    I have had quite a few people
    email me to tell me that on the entries, there is no where to
    put the extra information required for the entry.

    I have check the box, where it
    says: I need extra info to verify this entry

     

    Just thought you should
    know.

    • http://twitter.com/rafflecopter Rafflecopter

      hey Bonny – would you let us know what giveaway where I can see an example of this? Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/dresdenrain carol lewis

    It won’t come up for me at all! I am so disguted!!!!!

    • http://twitter.com/rafflecopter Rafflecopter

      Hey Carol! Right now (as of 12/20/11 at 11:30 EST) our host is having a major outage, and we’re working closely with them to get it fixed. Sorry for the bad first impression! We’re working to get it fixed ASAP.

  • Brandy Lewis

    I love the new format.  The only issue I’m seeing is when I go to enter a giveaway for the first time, it’ll say that I already did the requirements.

    • http://twitter.com/rafflecopter Rafflecopter

      hmm – that shouldn’t happen. do you have an example of a giveaway where this happened?

  • Clarissa D

    is there a way to view all the entries once the giveaway is over? i asked a question and i wanted to see the answers, not just the winner’s answer.

    • http://www.rafflecopter.com Greg Goodson

      Of course! Check out this blog post we wrote… this will probably answer your question: http://blog.rafflecopter.com/2011/12/pick-a-winner/

  • Bonmay

    I would love for the tweets to show up at the bottom, with out signing in, so I can tweet my own giveaways!

  • http://twitter.com/itsFreelancer Gambit

    Guys, there are a lot of bugs… I am hosting a giveaway using your latest widget and it looks like anyone can enter without actually doing any task.. for eg, follow on gfc, share on FB, just clicking on ‘i did this’ shows it as done..WITHOUT ACTUALLY DOING IT!

    And i don’t have time to double check entries. DO SOMETHING about it.

    • http://twitter.com/rafflecopter Rafflecopter

      You don’t have to verify every single entry in the giveaway – we recommend that you wait until the giveaway is over and verify that the winner picked entered properly. We wrote a little blurb on how to best pick your giveaway winners in this blog post here: http://blog.rafflecopter.com/2011/12/pick-a-winner/

      If you need extra info to verify their entry, just ask for it as discussed in tip 1 of this post. Hope that helps!

  • http://www.fussfreeflavours.com/ Fuss Free Helen

    Love love love Rafflecopter, but please can we have the option to set it to tweet the link we want it to, rather than the  page the widget is on?

    Currently for the same giveaway it is tweeting

    http://www.mysite.com/giveaway
    http://www.mysite.com/giveaway/comments-page-2
    http://www.mysite.com/giveaway/comment-number-1234

    etc etc, depending where the entrant is.

    I am sure that with the old widget it only tweeted the url to the post, and did not add the extra bits about the comment number or page?

    Many thanks

    • http://twitter.com/rafflecopter Rafflecopter

      Thanks for the feedback Helen! The old widget might have seemed that it tweeted the URL of the post, but that was most likely b/c we strongly recommended inserting the page break tag so it would only appear on the post page.

      Though you’re able to have more than one widget per page, we still recommend putting a page break tag… this is one of the reasons why. But you’re right, the tweet link will point to wherever the entrant is entering the giveaway from. I hope that helps – thanks Helen!

  • http://twitter.com/Fashionistaera Fashionista Era

    I would wanna add a 5 extra entries option for visitor to blog about my giveaway and link the post from their blog to my giveaway. How can i make sure to verify that this visitor has done 5 entries? 

  • Crajabari

    Hi,
    Is there a way to change the size of the widget? I need the width to be smaller.
    Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/calgaryphotographer1 Maria Jolly

    What does “Point Value” +1, +2, +3, etc… means?

  • Drjones35

    Is it possible to show a picture of my giveaway? 

  • Chantelle

    I just signed up and set up a giveaway but the widget is way too big for my site. Is there a way for me to shrink it down?

    • Chantelle

      oops, and one more thing. Can I remove the number of entries? We’re just starting out and I’d rather not have people see so few entries.

  • Danielle

    I just launched my first rafflecopter and asked two questions. I want to see the answers everyone gave but can’t seem to find out how. Have I just not done it right?

    • Josh @ Rafflecopter

      Hey Danielle– You’ll be able to see those answers on your entires tab by clicking ‘show me the entires’. If you continue to experience issues please don’t hesitate to shoot us a message at support(at)rafflecopter.com