I just discovered Rafflecopter and love it. It greatly reduces the work load on giveaways, and increases reach.

We give away / review a lot of stuff on ModMyi.com in our iPhone forums. We have been experimenting with various methods of incorporating these giveaways into our site and social presence. As a site owner, you want to encourage a few things when giving something away:

  • Brand loyalty. Whoa, cool, ModMyi always has free stuff, I love ModMyi! They must be huge too, because it’s always awesome stuff!
  • Traffic. We do not have any premium services on the site; everything is free. We get paid based on advertising, and in order to do that we obviously need traffic on the site.
  • Social networking. No need to go over the importance of a social network presence – we want one.
  • Discussion. Discussion creates a bond with your site and the reader. Once they’ve registered and contributed to the community, they feel much closer to it. This is good!

We went through a bunch of ways of doing this… should we require just a comment on the story, and pick a winner for a giveaway? Should we require them to tweet something? Like a page? We tried tons of methods, and found if you ask the user to do more than two things,¬†involvement¬†drops quite a bit. As in, exponentially. And that’s why I love Rafflecopter.

Rafflecopter puts a widget in your giveaway which is a one-stop-shop place for you to have your users do all these things. I require them to leave a comment on the story (the only thing you can’t do FROM THE WIDGET), and then grant them “points” on other things they do: Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, Like the giveaway itself, and tweet a link to the giveaway. Rafflecopter allows you to do ALL these things FROM the widget – the user doesn’t have to go anywhere, and it takes them 30 seconds to do all 4 of those things. And in addition, the points model encourages participation (everyone loves earning points) – and is EXTREMELY easy for myself as an admin to manage on the backend. I can also choose and announce winners directly from the admin area. No more tallying points by hand etc. Great stuff.

My only issue currently is vBulletin itself doesn’t allow javascript to run in a post (which we don’t want it to – it’d be a security nightmare), so I’m having to IFRAME in a php page which has the js on it. Why is this an issue? Because Rafflecopter’s current options don’t allow for liking a SPECIFIC URL – only the one you’re on. So I have to ask the users to manually press the like button outside the widget on the site. I assume this feature can be easily added later, and hope they do – that’d make it perfect for what we’re trying to do.

Our first giveaway using Rafflecopter has already received over 2500 entries in a single day – with another day left. We gained 300 Facebook followers and quite a few on Twitter as well. Over 150 people both liked AND tweeted the URL to the giveaway. We’ll be using Rafflecopter for all our giveaways from now on – and they’re completely free. They plan to roll out some freemium features after establishing a user base.

About Kyle Matthews

Kyle Matthews is an internet entrepreneur, musician, and amateur photographer. He lives in Tampa, FL (but hails from Seattle, WA) with his wife and son.