How to enter competitions and win prizes

Q) Do people really win competitions?

A) YES THEY DO! And I’m lucky enough to hear from winners everyday here at the office. Everything from small but valued prizes; vouchers, pampering goodies, DVDs and CDs through to the big ones; two weeks in St Lucia, a brand-new Mercedes and £10,000 cash! Take a look at our prize winners’ archive and read real stories from compers who have won fantastic prizes.

Q) How will I know when I have won a competition?

A) If you have , the promoter will contact you by either telephone, a letter or email, depending on the promoter’s preference and what details you have given when you entered the comp. Expect to be contacted between one and four weeks after the closing date. Sometimes (and this has often happened to me) you will receive a prize through the post without a prize wining letter. This is when it is good to have kept a record of the comps you have entered (see ‘how do I keep track of my records’ in the ‘tools to help you win more prizes’ section).

Q) How many competitions should I enter each week to start winning prizes regularly.

A) I recommend you enter at least 30 competitions a week if you want to start winning prizes regularly. As we all know, ‘You have got to be in it to win it’ and the more competitions you enter the more chances you have every day of being a winner!

Q) What is the best way to get over a ‘lean spell’?

A) Positive thinking and PERSEVERANCE. Every comper (even those that win over 100 prizes a year) can have a ‘lean spell’ (when for one month or two they don’t seem to win very much at all). But what marks the difference between these successful compers is the fact they persevere and keep entering more competitions. The more you believe you are a lucky winner, the more likely you are to succeed – the power of positive thinking opens many opportunities.

Visit our prize winners page and read about other winners’ fantastic prizes to get you inspired. Keep entering the competitions and that could be you!

Q) Why do companies run competitions?

A) There are three main reasons why they do:

1) To promote their company or product, attract interest and get their name recognised as a leading brand

2) Companies running internet competitions want to direct you towards visiting their website

3) To collect data that helps them to understand their market (i.e. finding out what type of person reads their magazine, visits their website or buys their products).

Generally it is a ‘win win’ situation. Companies want to promote their brand and understand their market and competitions are a fantastic way to do this. For compers, entering competitions is the perfect way to enjoy winning prizes.

Q) When I start entering competitions, will I be bombarded by junk mail, emails and phone calls?

A) When you fill in your name on a competition form you may be contacted again by the promoter or a third party. However looking for the ‘opt out of further correspondence’ clause can prevent this. This should appear in the form of a tick box on entry forms and web pages. On postcard or plain paper entries, you can write ‘No further correspondence’ or the relevant words if stated differently in the terms and conditions after your details.

If you subscribe to an email newsletter to enter a competition and no longer wish to receive it, simply follow the instructions to unsubscribe at the bottom of the page, they will always be there.

Receiving extra newsletters or mail can be a bonus, and a source of finding more competitions that you would not normally receive!  I know many compers who have set up their own ‘competition email account’ purely for entering competitions (see ‘setting up your own comping email account’ in the ‘Internet competitions’ section. This way your regular inbox doesn’t get jammed with competition news and free newsletters. Plus think how nice it will be to open up your comping account and see the words ‘winner’ in the subject line without wading through other emails!

Q) Is it normal to wait three to six months before winning your first prize?

A) Yes it is. To start wining prizes regularly you have got to enter at least 30 competitions a week and build up a bank of entries. It can take up to six months to build up your entries (think about the competitions with closing dates in six months to a year’s time) and then the prizes should start rolling in!  The more you enter the more chance you have of winning. When people say they never win any prizes that is usually because they don’t enter very many competitions. It couldn’t be truer, that ‘You have got to be in it, to win it’.

Q) What are the odds of winning competitions compared to winning the National Lottery?

The odds of winning the National Lottery jackpot are 14 million to 1. The odds of winning a national competition are far better! They will obviously vary depending on how many people enter, but for example a competition in a popular newspaper or magazine could have 5,000 and a smaller promotion, a competition on a unusual website or in a little-known magazine, they could have as little as 50 entries. Compare that to the National Lottery! That’s why comping services such as Simply Prizes, Coffee Break Winner and MyComps are excellent value- uncovering those obscure competitions with great prizes that you wouldn’t normally find!

Q) If I am unhappy with the way a competition has been run, or have problems obtaining my prize, who can I contact?

A) The Institute of Promotional Marketing are the regulatory body that offer advice to promoters on the best practice of running a competition/promotion. They will investigate all competitions to ensure that they are being run fairly. Send your enquiries clearly expressed to The Institute of Promotional Marketing

If you would like us to list your comp club, please email me with the subject 'Comp Club'.