10 ways to up your competition game

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Many people are of the opinion that there’s no point taking part in competitions because the odds are forever against them.

And with a one in 116,531,800 chance of winning the likes of the Euromillions, it’s no wonder people are put off wasting their time and money entering contests. But don’t let crazy odds like this deter you from ALL competitions. Remember: if you never try, you’ll never know…

Whether you’re a contest newbie or a serial sweepstake entrant, get competition savvy with these following tips.

1. Follow the guidelines

It sounds pretty basic, but making sure you read the entry guidelines carefully and follow the instructions properly can make all the difference. Think about all of the entries made void because no name or number was sent in alongside it. Other people’s carelessness is your treasure in the world of competitions.

2. Enter competitions frequently

The more you enter, the greater the chance you have of winning something. It’s that simple. Enter as many competitions as you possibly can, especially if they are free to take part in. Keep a record of what you have entered, and when the deadline is, to keep yourself on top of things. And if it is an option to enter a giveaway multiple times, take advantage of it!

3. Avoid spam and scams

A good way of avoiding a load of junk-mail from spoofy competitions is to set up an email account specifically for entering contests, so that spam is not sent to your own personal account. When it comes to scams, be sensible – a pop-up ad on the internet claiming you have won a million euro (all you need to do is enter in your bank details!!!) is definitely not legitimate. Investing in an anti-virus software (or availing of some of the free anti-virus options) is a great way of weeding out the dodgy comps. Only enter competitions that come from platforms you trust, such as Woman’s Way…

4. Essay competitions

You might scoff at the notion of writing a lengthy piece about why you deserve to win a holiday to Lanzarote. Simply because it seems like a lot of effort. But LOADS of other people are also going to have that mind-set, meaning the number of entries might be relatively low…meaning you have a greater chance of being a winner!

5. Postal entries

If you are entering something via FreePost, make your entries stand out as you have a better chance of being picked as the winner. Using colourful card or personalising an entry is a good way to get noticed – as long as it is not breaching the contest’s terms and conditions. If you are sending in a postcard printed specifically for the comp, make sure it is correctly filled out and that all of your details are legible.

6. Tell your friends

Sometimes competitions can offer the chance to up your odds of winning by telling a friend about the contest. AVAIL OF IT. This is particularly prominent with social media giveaways. ‘Like and Share’ or ‘Like and Tag a Friend’ are commonly seen online.

7. Look online

Websites such as www.competitions.ie offers a list of hundreds of competitions that can be entered across Ireland. Keep yourself updated and enter the ones that are most suited to you. You could REALLY use that new washing machine…

8. Always look for the free option

Competitions advertised on TV or in newspapers and magazines, should always offer a free entry alternative. Paying the hefty call charge on contests is usually not necessary, and they will usually offer a free online entry method. Entering competitions should be a hobby that doesn’t leave you out of pocket!

9. Be sneaky

Look out for competitions that won’t have a large number of entrants. Local businesses and shops often run comps that don’t receive much advertisement, so make sure and keep a look out. Some competitions run by supermarket chains will require proof of purchase – so keep receipts! Many people will dump them, meaning less will be able to enter. Also, competitions aimed at men can be goldmines. 75 per cent of competition entrants are female, meaning contests targeted at male audiences have a much lower volume of entries.

10. Enter answers speedily

For most online competitions, speed is of the essence. If you use Mozilla Firefox as your main internet browser you can download a nifty add-on that will help you fill out answer sheets quicker than you can say ‘winner winner chicken dinner!’ Split Panel allows you to split your browser screen in half, meaning you can have two different pages open at once. This means that you can copy and paste answers at a speedy pace.

Woman's Way