Are you wanting to learn how to win competitions?
Thanks to entering competitions I've managed to go on holidays to places I could only otherwise of dreamed of including Orlando, Florida and the Philippines.
I've won games consoles, meals out, cash, in fact, I've won heaps of cool stuff – and you can too!
- Postcard Competitions
- Magazine Competitions
- Radio Competitions
- Purchase Necessary Competitions
- Twitter Competitions
- Facebook Competitions
While snail mail isn't as popular as it used to be, there are still hundreds of competitions a month that require a postal entry.
I often find the vast majority of postcard competitions indexed in the latest edition of Compers News.
There are two main formats of postcards that you can use to enter your postcard competitions;
A Plain Postcard
These postcards maybe a little on the dull-side but they are super cheap. Simply add the promotion address to the front of the postcard and add your details on the back. Add on a stamp and you're good to go.
A Picture Postcard
A little or a lot more expensive. Picture postcards add a little of your personality and help you stand out from the hundreds or even thousands of entries.
For the vast majority of postcard entries, you'll be asked to include your own address.
However, this can often lead to the postcard actually being sent to you, instead of the promoter.
To avoid this write your address, answer and any other details on the left-hand side of the postcard at a 90-degree angle.
Tips For Entering Postcard Competitions
Some ‘professional' compers will use address stickers on postcards. This reduces the time it takes you to write your details on every entry, and also reduces errors.
These are available for peanuts – I buy them for our eBay reselling packages.
Although I've never actually used them for my competition entries for the fear of looking too professional.
Despite being in the ‘internet age' there are still hundreds of competitions printed in magazines weekly. However, not all magazine competitions are created equal.
What Magazine Competitions To Enter
If you bought every single magazine that featured competitions in, you'd be broke. Magazines aren't cheap and can range anywhere from £1.50 up to £6.
Therefore it's important you only buy magazines for competition prizes you want to win and only buy magazines that you NEED to buy in order to enter the competition
How To Find Magazine Competitions
Get into the supermarket, into the magazine shops and start flicking through magazines.
Once you find a magazine with competition in, write it down. That way you can go straight to that magazine next week or next month.
The likelihood is that if they have a competition in one entry of the magazine, then they'll have competition in them all…
Depending on the types of prizes you want to win will depend on the magazines you look at.
For example, if you want to win a spa break, then you're probably not going to find a competition to win one in a kids magazine.
Instead, you'll want to be looking at the likes of ‘Women and Home' and ‘Women's Fitness'.
If you find yourself buying the same magazine every single month because it's required to enter competitions that you actually want to win then it might work out cheaper to purchase a subscription.
After going on a game show (and not winning) my hook for the instant win of competition was apparent and my fear of speaking in public was at an all-time low. So I decided to start looking for radio competitions.
Before you get started entering radio competitions you're going to need a couple of things;
Firstly a piece of equipment that has a radio built-in. It could be your TV, computer, phone or even just a traditional radio.
The vast majority of radio competitions are instant wins that require you to directly call the studio.
This means you're going to need a home or mobile phone. Be sure to check the rate in which you are being charged for the calls in advance.
I have found that the best way to find radio competitions is to shuffle through the stations. Spend around 15 minutes on each station and you'll probably hear the host talking.
If they're not hosting a competition themselves they'll probably be talking about one of the other shows or hosts who is hosting a radio competition at another date or time. That way you can programme it into your calendar and set reminders.
Prior to the promotion going on air find out the studio number (or number required to enter) and get it set into your phone ready so as soon as the lines are open you can make the call.
If you have more than one phone on hand to call the studio with. Some introductions to the studio can be super long so it's good to have a backup (or two) in case you don't get through straight away.
When you hear the promoter begin to introduce the competition, start calling straight away. Depending on the station and popularity of the competition a number of things might happen;
1. The phone starts ringing you get straight through to someone…
2. You get an intro to the studio message you get straight through to someone…
3. The phone is engaged – try again, try again, try again…
4. You get an intro to the studio message but it says all lines are busy – try again, try again, try again
5. You get through to someone but they put you in a queue. This is in case someone prior to you gets the question(s) wrong.
If the phone starts ringing and nobody picks up just let it ring. Keep calling again on the other phone too but don't hang up that first phone.
I was once ringing for 12 minutes before getting through to someone. Who knows how many people before me hung up the phone thinking it was broken – and I went on to win more than £600 in cash.
On The Call
Once you get through to someone at the studio, stay calm. Listen to the instructions, take your time (wherever possible) and seem enthusiastic. All this comes with practice.
You're not going to win them all, so take it as a bit of fun and use every experience as a learning experience.
After The Call
If you loose you're probably just going to want to hang up.
However, if you win they'll probably tell you to stay on the line so they can take some details.
The line might go dead, don't hang up. Someone from the office will usually then pick you up and take details such as your name and address etc.
In conclusion, radio competitions are a great way of hitting that instant win buzz. However, don't get too hung up on them.
It's going to take some practice getting comfortable live on air, and even then you're not going to get it right every time.
Purchase Necessary Competitions
I used to think paying to play for competitions was a bit of a ‘scam'. That was of course until I won my three biggest prizes from purchase necessary competitions;
A family trip to Orlando, Florida, a TV & Blu Ray Player and a £500 designer watch. Read here how I won £11,000 in prizes from competitions in 2016…
This is exactly why I'm dedicating today's post to sharing with you guys exactly how you can enter purchase necessary competitions, and start winning yourself some fabulous prizes!
I've only covered what in my opinion are the best and most common, but it's worth remembering that there are others;
On-pack promotions. You'll find these on neck collars of wine. Printed on the bottle or on the back of a bottle sleeve, inside boxes etc.
Just to make things a little more confusing for you, there are a number of different types of on-pack promotions;
The winning moment (also known as an instant win). I love these for the instant gratification of finding out whether you've won alongside the manipulation you can have with the system to increase your chances of winning.
So, a winning moment is the first entry received after the randomly generated moment.
So if the moment is set to 12.04pm, and someone enters at 12.10pm provided nobody else has entered between 12.05pm and 12.10pm then the person to enter at 12.10pm will be declared as the winner – instantly!
Depending on the prizes available there could be one, ten or even thousands of prizes that could be won seconds or hours after the winning moment occurs.
So, I spoke about manipulating your chances of winning, I did this with my biggest win to date.
The family trip to Universal Orlando. We bought the game of Monopoly on a Saturday afternoon, but I figured the chances of people entering on a (rainy) Saturday afternoon were quite high.
Instead, like a crazy woman I slept with the sealed game of monopoly next to my bed. When I woke up Sunday morning I unwrapped the box of monopoly, entered the code and won the star prize.
I was more likely to win because the odds of anyone else entering a code from around 11pm Saturday night up until the point of me entering my code at around 7am in the morning were super low.
However, the truth is I have no idea when that winning moment was triggered. It could have been seconds, minutes, hours or even days before I entered the code. Which in my opinion makes it all the more exciting!
This is when you'll find a code on the packaging. It might be a neck collar, inside packaging etc. and enter it either online or via text.
Then depending on the terms and conditions of the competition, you might find out if you're a winner that hour, that day or even once the competition has closed depending on how the competition has been set up.
Swipe To Win
Something I've not been so lucky with is a swipe to win competitions. In this case, you're often required to purchase a specific product and swipe your loyalty card while paying to be in with a chance of winning.
I don't like these competitions as much as people can enter without knowing in many cases (I mean how many people are scanning their Tesco Clubcard whilst buying a Mars bar, more than are specifically going to a website to enter a code right?)
Using A Product
I also managed to bags myself a PS4 and a VR headset thanks to these particular styles of purchase necessary competitions. The use of a product.
These competitions come in all different shapes and sizes.
They can include; filming a video with a product, taking a photo with a product, using an app with a product, sharing something on social media, writing a recipe and anything/everything in between.
I lost a competition hosted by the biscuit Brio who asked us to make a music video to the theme tune of the biscuit.
But won my PS4 console by scanning my bottle of Pepsi at the time of a winning moment with a specially designed Pepsi mobile phone app (at 4am in the morning…)
The social media site Twitter is constantly full of competitions. From #FreebieFriday to #WinitWednesday and everything in between. There's always an opportunity to enter and win a Twitter competition.
Finding Twitter Competitions
With hundreds of Twitter competitions running at any one time. Finding competitions on Twitter is often very simple.
You can use the search bar on the Twitter platform, or just follow me and RT competitions I've recently entered.
However, if you're looking to enter multiple competitions on Twitter, then as expected it can become rather time-consuming.
Especially on hashtag days (#winitwednesday & #freebiefriday) where hundreds, sometimes even thousands of competitions are hosted by brands such as Huggies, Pappa Johns and Asda are available to enter.
I, therefore, recommend using the free service Twitaculous. This application filters the competitions making it easy to find and enter them quickly.
Another social media platform popular with promotors for running competitions is Facebook.
How To Find Facebook Competitions
Once registered it's time to start finding those competitions. The easiest way to find competitions on Facebook is to find other people on Facebook who also love comping.
That way you can simply use your Facebook wall to follow what they are doing.
However, if you're new to Facebook then you may have no friends and if you've been on the platform for a while you might not have any who are interested in entering competitions.
For that reason, I recommend joining the dedicated Lucky Learners Facebook group. Run by avid comper Di Coke the group is filled with more than 3,500 friendly compers.
Di likes to keep tabs on who is in the group and therefore requests that you message her directly first so she can manually accept you – this keeps out the spammers!
Whilst the Lucky Learners Facebook group is filled with people you can follow promotors are now actively promoting their Facebook pages and so you'll find Competition directories listing Facebook competitions directly.
Different Types of Facebook Competitions
There are a large number of different ways in which Facebook competitions are run, here's a quick overview.
If a promotor asks you to enter by liking the page, liking the post and sharing the post on your wall they are breaking the terms and conditions of Facebook's policy.
Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to stop many promotors from advertising such competitions.
The most popular entry method is often via comment.
The promotor will ask you to leave a comment on a particular post or photo. The comment may have to contain certain words, explain why you'd like to win the item etc. etc.
Larger promoters may often use integrated applications within Facebook.
Games such as Candy Crush are an example of an application on Facebook. In order to take part in these particular Facebook competitions, you'll be asked to ‘allow' the application to access your information.
Whilst this sounds terrifying, it's really not as bad as it seems. You're simply giving the promoter permission to access the information that you're already sharing with everyone else on Facebook.
Facebook Competition Hints + Tips
So you have an account, you've found competitions and you're entering like crazy.
After a short while with no success, it can seem easy to give up. We've all been there, so let me share with you my top Facebook competition hints and tips.
Don't Set Up Multiple Accounts
It's against Facebook's terms of service to have more than one Facebook account so while it can seem tempting to split your real-life friends and your comping friends up, don't.
Instead, I'd advise you to create lists and categorise your friends accordingly. I have a list of friends from school, a list of competition friends, blogging friends etc. etc.
I'm then able to use these lists to decide who to show what action to. This also means that you won't be spamming your friend's walls with competitions (well only the comping friends, who love to see this stuff anyway!)
Comment With Thought
If you're asked to leave a comment then try and make it thoughtful and relatable. Include a photo if you have the option. The better your answer the more likely you are to win.
Don't include a sob story… I'm yet to find one person who has won a competition based on replying with a sob story. Instead, keep it funny and lighthearted.
Make it something that the promotor may want to share in the future. Most importantly, when leaving a comment to ensure that you're leaving something the promoter asked about.
For example, if they ask your favourite flavour of their brand of soup don't reply “I'd love to win this”… You've not followed the instructions and left a thoughtful comment. It sounds simple, but you'd be surprised how many fail at this first hurdle.
Check Your Messages
Facebook filters can often mean that messages sent to your Facebook account are restricted.
This means that you never actually get alerted to them being there. Finding such messages is simple. Click the message icon, and instead of viewing you're recent messages view your message requests.
Set up an alert on your calendar and check these messages once a week to ensure you never miss a win!