Do You Run or Have You Ran Online Competitions? Help Needed!

One of the most interesting, but also frustrating, aspects of running Loquax over the last decade or so is the myths and legends that crop up. We get people saying “they never win anything via our site” with such accusation that you wonder if they believe we’re responsible. The fact that we’d have to be in cahoots with several thousand across the web to perpetuate this seems to be completely overlooked!

Reasons for the belief that “it’s our fault” stems from the issue of referrals from a competition listing site and concern that entries are deleted because they may be deemed from a “professional comper” (*).

In our experience only a handful of sites have ever really got the hump with people who like competitions, or enter them as a hobby, visiting their site. Usually this is because answers have been given out and occasionally it’s because the person running the competition is a bit naive. A handful over the years doesn’t suggest a major issue though.

By the way the term “professional comper” is total nonsense. I like taking photos, but I’m not a professional photographer. By the same token, aome people like entering lots of competitions, but that doesn’t make them professional. I really wish media people would get their head around this!

Anyway the purpose of this blog!

What I’m hoping for is some blog comments or private feedback about compers and how you, if you run or have ran competitions, perceive them. Do you embrace them as “well it’s traffic” or do you actively monitor them perhaps via referrals in your logs or check popular sites and forums to see if people are trying to circumvent appearing on your radar (using non-referral tags).

Another question that crops up is what is cheating? Do you mind that answers to your questions are posted freely, essentially turning what you’re offering into a quick and easy send in your data prize draw format.

Finally do you remove entries? Automated entries (where a bot will deliver a lot of competition entries without those people ever visiting your site because they’ve paid a service to do it for them) have already been mentioned here on OLD and I’m all for those kind of entries being disqualified. But do you (or have you) ever disqualified people because they’ve clicked from a comping site?

Hopefully they’ll be some replies. I was going to do a survey for siteowners who submit competitions via Loquax, but that’d probably be targeting those people who don’t mind competition people.

If you do want to make anonymous comments (or at least not reveal your site’s identity) then fair enough, but please use a valid email address.

Please post via comments or send via the contact form. Thanks!

3 Comments Do You Run or Have You Ran Online Competitions? Help Needed!

  1. Anon August 19, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    OK, this better go anonymous as I’m writing based on checking analytics for several large companies in various sectors.

    In terms of conversion it’s about the worst type of traffic you can get. It also screws other metrics such as time on site ! Brand awareness etc it’s not so bad though.

    What I haven’t looked at though is the “lifetime” of competition entrants … If there is an email sign up, do they unsubscribe quickly, do they ever open the emails, do they eventually buy from the site ?

    Looking forward to hearing other people thoughts.
    For example I know some compers have a dedicated email for entering comps.

  2. Jason August 19, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Thanks for being the first to take the plunge!

    Some interesting points – would you based on traffic quality ever disqualify entries though? Do you also monitor for automated entries?

  3. Jez August 23, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    My BI team at a large UK commercial website that I used to work for up until a few months ago was responsible for picking winners. We ran no checks over entries. We’d just pick a random entry from the database – with a few checks and balances to provide an audit trail of how the winner was chosen.

    Generally I think comps were used as promotional tools that ran concurrently with other marketing efforts – I’m not sure if anyone outside of IT was even aware of concepts such as automated entries, but if they did they didn’t care!

    On my own personal site I’ve been considering competitions, if I do have one I will make an “entry” involve something like posting a comment, a new thread, making a wiki edit, etc – just something that’s easy enough to do, adds a little value, but can’t be automated.

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