Thursday, January 6, 2011

Successful Blogging 101 - Giveaway Etiquette

I have been asked a lot of questions since I posted - Successful Blogging 101 - Tips For Entering Giveaways, especially "What to do if you don't receive a prize". I decided to write another quick post.
What to do when you win
- When replying to a winning e-mail - make sure to thank the blogger

- Follow instructions in the e-mail. If it says to reply with a phone number (for shipping purposes) - do it, otherwise blogger will have to e-mail you more times than needed.

- Write your shipping address in a proper form.
First & Last Name
# Street
City, State, Postal Code
Capitalize everything that needs to be capitalized. It is frustrating to receive an e-mail with an address like this - jen m 123 abc street vancouver bc - you get the point!

- I personally would appreciate if you drop a line when you receive your prize. 

What to do if you don't receive your prize
Keep track of your winnings in a word document - If you don't receive the prize within 6-8 weeks, check in with the blogger. Most bloggers will go out of their way to get you your prize. I've had negative experiences too, where bloggers don't seem to care about prize not arriving. In that case I stop following their blog, it's their loss.
If the blogger hasn't replied to you within a month, send another e-mail asking them whether they have received your initial e-mail and state again that you haven't received a prize yet. If the blogger doesn't seem like they are trying to get you your prize - just leave it. Like I said above, I would just unsubscribe and stop entering their giveaways. I wouldn't e-mail the sponsor myself. I'm not sure if anyone has done it? If anyone has, leave a comment, maybe I am missing out!

Be fair
Only enter if you really want the prize and can actually use it or give it to someone close to you. My number one priority are prizes I can use with my little guy or something for myself. I don't have extra time to enter for friends or distant family. Be fair and think before you enter. If you play nice - good karma will be on your side and you will win lots of great stuff. 

If my prize has arrived and it's not what I thought it would be or I simply don't like it, I give it away to friends and family. I have given one prize away on this blog as well. I don't believe in selling something I won and I would never enter a giveaway with the intention of selling the prize.

(Forgot to add this) If you have won a giveaway from a particular company - do not enter their giveaways again. I would only enter again if it says "one win per 90 days".  Or if a year has gone by and the prize is completely different from what I originally won. If you do enter and win again, most likely the company will refuse to send you a prize anyways. What to do if you won once and then won again on another blog? It's happened to me a couple times and I e-mailed back saying I have already won this prize and that a new winner can be chosen.


~Dawn~ said...

Great tips. Thanks.

Fiona said...

Sounds reasonable. I've won three prizes so far from different blogs and each one has arrived safely.

Glogirl said...

I have e-mailed a sponsor myself but only because I saw on FB that someone else had not received the same prize and were directed to an e-mail address to inquire about the shipment. I had great success in getting my prize quickly that way.
If I have not received a prize I generally follow up with the blogger who is usually only too willing to look into the matter. I am amazed at the lengths some of these bloggers will go to!

Jen M said...

Thanks Glogirl for your input.

I've had amazing experiences with Leslie Loves Veggies & Simply Stacie when companies didn't want to send me my prize (and they were huge prizes too). But I've also had not so great experiences with other bloggers who wouldn't even answer... Hopefully nothing likes this will happen to me as a blogger, but if it does I will do my best to get the prize to the winner.

Mrs.Smitty said...

I've recently won similar prizes from the same company on different blogs. When I mentioned it to the blogger of the second win, she contacted the company and they decided to send me the second prize anyway. It was super nice of the company even though they took a loss on getting their product out to another winner/potential customer. It did, however, make me appreciate their customer service, which in turn, makes me a more loyal customer. Every blog and every company does things differently. As a reader, I try to think as fair as possible.

I have had terrific bloggers help me out when a company hasn't responded or sent a prize. I love their blogs, love reading their posts and loyally follow them. I've also had horrible experiences with bloggers who just didn't care. They lose a reader.

victoria99 said...

Great advice, I also add my phone number to the address for shipping purposes too. I didn't think about adding USA, but guess that would be helpful as well.
I enter giveaways on dif. blogs and have had great experiences. Only twice I have not received a price and decided not to persue the one prize after a couple nice follow-ups. The other one, I'm currently wondering if I should do anything because it is a prize package w/ several dif. sponsors (Amazon, Kmart, Scentcy and another) and on the fence on just letting it go or simply ask maybe Scentcy about it - although I wouldn't want to offend a blogger either????? What to do, thinking of just chalking it up all together.

DawsonDee said...

Great article. I appreciate that you address both sides of the contest coin.

Thankfully, all prizes I (or sponsors of my contests) have awarded have arrived safe and sound with the winner! What I have found surprising in two cases, however, is that I received neither a "thank you" nor a note to let me know the winners had received their prizes. Neither of these gestures are necessary, of course, but they are common courtesy and would be much appreciated! :-)

FreshGreenKim said...

Thank you for your advice on giveaways. I don't do a lot of them, but every so often I have an opportunity to share something with my readers. I never quite understood the protocol, which is probably why nobody ever enters my giveaways!

Anonymous said...

Very good points! I do follow up with companies and most of them quickly get my prize out to me. Sometimes I will contact the blogger first to get her spin on where the item might be.
I discovered blog reading and then giveaways the first week of March 2009. To date and because I keep extensive records and all related emails I have won over 450 giveaways.So people do win and all mine were legitimate entries.I have a file of a few things I have not received but over all it's been a great experience.My huge tip would be save every email so you can keep track.

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