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How to organise a competition, raffle or giveaway

How to organise a competition, raffle or giveaway

The benefits of holding a competition are numerous, if you are an online business a competition can help you generate traffic to your site, increase user participation, social media interaction and gain new subscribers.

If you are planning to hold a competition that is based solely on the luck of the draw and you are based in the U.K you need to make the it free to enter or you may get in trouble with the gambling commission. If your competition requires an element of skill or knowledge you can charge people to enter and you won’t need a gaming license, if you are a school or charity you don’t need a gaming license to hold a raffle.

Planning Your Prize Draw

Before launching any kind of contest, competition or giveaway make sure you have planned it properly, badly planned giveaways never go well. Consider what the prize will be, how people will enter, when the competition will close and how you will promote it.

Choosing The Prize

The prize is an extremely important part of the competition, it’s the only reason people are going to enter. The prize needs to be something desirable, if you are planning to use the giveaway as a means to promote your own products or services you could make them the prize. Making your own product or service the prize has many benefits:

  • It won’t cost you as much, your product will have a perceived value (what you retail it for) that is greater than what you buy it for.
  • You will know that anyone who enters the competition has an interest in what you sell and this will enable you to create a very targeted mailing list.
  • It will increase awareness of your product or service, increased awareness will be extremely useful if you have a new company or revolutionary product to promote.
  • You maybe able to sell your product to entrants who don’t win the competition, use the mailing list you have built to send out a special coupon code exclusively for the people who have entered the competition.

If you don’t have a product to giveaway you will find cash to be a popular prize. A cash prize doesn’t have to be large, £50 or more should make the giveaway popular. Competitions with multiple prizes always seem to do better.

How Will People Enter?

How people enter is nearly as important as the prize and should be correlated to it, the larger the prize the more people will be willing to pay to gain entry. Payment doesn’t have to be monetary, time is money for most people and you should take this into account. A simple email submit competition is usually quite easy to get entrants for, people will happily share their email address with you for the chance to win a small prize.

If you are giving away a car or some other large ticket item you can ask people for more to gain entry, getting people to share the competition on social media is an excellent means of entry as it means people will promote the giveaway for you.

How Will People Win

When you are planning your giveaway you need to decide how you will pick a winner, if you are holding the giveaway online you need to make it clear how the winner will be chosen on the page where people enter. It is quite common for the organisers of free giveaways to choose their winners at random, on the draw day organisers will put all names or email address in a random choice generator like this one and it will pick the winner for them. This kind of system is similar to an old-fashioned raffle.


The Oxford Dictionary says a raffle is “A means of raising money by selling numbered tickets, one or some of which are subsequently drawn at random, the holder or holders of such tickets winning a prize.” Raffles are often used by schools, clubs and other non-profit organisations as a means to raise cash. This type of giveaway requires the issuing of tickets and a small payment is required to enter, a raffle is usually an offline event and non-profit organisations are usually exempt from gambling laws.

If you are planning to run a raffle for your school or some other organisation you will need tickets, you can buy raffle ticket books or print the tickets yourself. A site like RaffleTicketCreator.com makes it easy to print your own raffle tickets, the site will enable you to change colours and fonts or add a logo.

Once your tickets have been created you will need someone trust worthy look after the money and the ticket stubs, on draw day you will need to put all the ticket stubs into a hat and draw the winners out randomly. As with any other draw you will want to put the draw date on the tickets, winners of your raffle could be drawn at a fete, end of term dance or some other group event.

Promoting The Prize Draw

Once you have planned how you will run the draw, decided on a prize or prizes and chosen the closing date you will need to promote it. You could promote your raffle by selling tickets on the grounds of the organisation you are raising money for, it is never advisable for anyone to go door to door selling tickets. Competitions, contests and prize draws can be added to onlinecompetitions.org by anyone free, we also have a facebook page where you can promote any kind of draw or giveaway.