Entering competitions and prize draws is known as ‘comping’ … and, with a bit of luck or skill, it can be profitable too! Here are Compers News editor Steve Middleton’s Top Tips for getting on the winning trail...
1. You’ve got to be in to win
Prize competitions are everywhere. In supermarkets, newspapers and magazines, TV and radio – the fact is that, at any given time, there are HUNDREDS of competitions and prize draws on the go throughout the UK, giving away prizes worth THOUSANDS of £££!
And the chances are that if you take a little bit of time and start entering these competitions, then the prizes really will start coming your way.
Why am I so confident? Well, believe it or not, entries to competitions – are on the way down these days, while the number of valuable prize opportunities remains very high. It’s not unusual for a competition with a large number of prizes to have more prizes than entries… so make the effort to enter, and sometimes your success is guaranteed.
So my first tip is the most important one for any potential winner:- YOU’VE GOT TO BE IN IT, TO WIN IT!
2. Stick to the rules
The small print for any competition is very important. You should get into the habit of reading the Terms & Conditions. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that, since the writing’s so small then it can’t be important.
Thing to look out for:
* Pay special attention to the closing date of the competition
* Check whether proof of purchase is needed
* Look out for any entry restrictions, and whether you must enter the competition in a particular way – using a postcard, or an official entry form for example
* If the competition has a task, make sure you read the instructions carefully
* I’ve heard of competitions where over than two thirds of entries have been disqualified, in most cases, the most minor rule infringement!
So if you want to improve your winning chances, simply read the rules!
3. Never say never
The ‘comping’ scene is always changing! New technology has brought us instant wins, internet, phone and text competitions. And Social Media has brought us Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest competitions. So it’s always a good idea to keep up with changing trends, and to try as many different types of competition as you can.
Remember my number one tip! The more competitions that you enter, the more chances you have of winning a prize – it’s as simple as that.
4. The harder it is to enter, the easier it is to win
Easy to enter prize draws are going to have more entries compared to a similar prize draws where an entry form is needed, a product purchase is required or you have to collect a series of labels or tokens!
The ‘effort’ required in comping tends not to be a real effort at all… more a willingness to do things a little differently once in a while. Visit different shops, buy a new magazine, or try a different brands. And who knows, you might even discover something new that you like… and this, after all, is why companies usually run competitions in the first place!
Trust me - a little effort really WILL reap rewards!
5. Write great slogans
Leading on from the last tip, the type of competition that gets by far the fewest number of entries is one that needs a slogan. Which means that if you make an effort to enter a slogan comp, then your chances of a win are statistically better than ever!
Don’t think that you can’t write a slogan. The simple fact is that no-one knows what judges might be looking for. They might well prefer a charming ‘amateur’ effort from the heart compared to a more professional sounding line – so EVERYBODY really does stand a chance in a slogan competition.
Some slogans – known as ‘chestnuts’ – win prizes over and over again. “Experts perfect them, connoisseurs select them” is probably the most famous chestnut of all, and this continues to win prizes to this very day. But don’t be put off if you think that this sounds out of your league. Just try to praise the product and promoter, tie this in with the prize on offer to make the line ‘apt and original’, and you won’t be going far wrong.
Just take a look at WINDEX for some inspiration, were we have thousands of winning Slogans!
6. Be organised
Make sure that you never miss a closing date. If multiple entries are allowed in a competition, spread these entries out right up until the closing date.
Pick up entry forms as soon as you see them, as they won’t be around forever.
Buy promotional products as soon as we’ve known them to sometimes disappear within a week.
Organisation and strategy will make your comping hobby easier and more fun.
7. Focus on prizes you want to win
Many prizes are non-transferable, so it makes sense to concentrate your time, effort and resources on winning prizes that you personally want and can use.
8. Don’t Give Up
When you enter a competition, the closing date could be weeks or even months away. So the chances are, if you’re just starting out on the hobby it might take a little while for your first prizes to start rolling in.
Don’t lose heart and give up in the meantime.
9. Be in the know
My final tip is to make sure you know about as many competitions that are running at any one time as possible.