Friday, March 16, 2012

The Rafflecopter Debate: You Make The Choice

If you've entered giveaways elsewhere on the internet at all lately, you've come across it. That jaunty little logo, that recognizable "You can earn X more entries today!" and the way that it seems to already know you're you simply by having logged into their system in the past.

And chances are you've formed an opinion about the simple, one-click, just-go-down-the-line forms that have quickly taken over the giveaway world.

Rafflecopter logoSo, here's the question of the day: Rafflecopter. Yay or nay?

When it first started taking off, I received messages from people on both sides of the fence. Some were grateful for the consistency and said things like Thank you for not switching while others were apologetic and said that they just couldn't stick around to spend the time leaving comments.

I have to admit that the first few times I tried to enter giveaways using Rafflecopter, I felt like I didn't completely understand it and I couldn't see the benefits. However, after a few more attempts, I've seen how it's possible to complete all entries in much less time than it takes to type out and submit each comment (not that doing that takes an immense amount of time in itself).

I was always content to sit back on my heels and wait until all the bugs were worked out, while making sure that this was a program that was around to stay. But now that Rafflecopter popularity has grown immensely, I'm beginning to feel left in the stone age... not to mention that I might lose more of you if I don't jump onto the bandwagon before it leaves without me.

So, it's in your hands now and I'll let the majority speak for itself. Do you love Rafflecopter? Do you hate it? Share your thoughts!

72 comments:

Shelly said...

I love Rafflecopter! It is very easy to navigate and it does take less time than trying to keep track of commenting for each entry. As a blogger, it also is very easy to set up. I've heard though that it might affect page views or unique visitors or something to that effect but I'm not really sure how that works.

Jessica Waters said...

I love Rafflecopter. Unless a giveaway is for something REALLY amazing I don't usually enter if it isn't Rafflecopter. It allows you to enter the most with the least amount of time. It's pretty crucial with infant twins!

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I have a love/hate. I've given myself a 6 month window to use it and test it, and time is almost up. I'll be evaluating it at that point and making the decision whether to continue using it or not.

Jenna said...

I have been struggling with the same dilemma. I am not sure what to do either. It does seem easy, but I know there are pros and cons to it just like there is to the "leave a comment for each entry" way of doing things as well. I've been told that because everything is run from their site, if the hosting server goes down all Rafflecopter giveaways are down. I don't know how common this is, but it's just something I've heard. I've also read that it runs using JavaScript and will not show up correctly on many mobile phones or tablets. Anyways...thanks for posting about this, I'm interested to see what others have to say and think! :) Happy Friday, Xenia!!

Shelly said...

We used Rafflecopter for 5 months and then dumped it. Our page views and page turns dramatically increased by at least 55-60% which does affect your overall SE ranking. In addition, we liked it better when it was cookie based, once they switched over to email to log in we had a slew of cheaters logging in from a variety of different email addys that they set up. It was a pain in the arse to go log into Rafflecopter, sift through thousands of entries and delete out cheater entries.

For now...we dumped it. That's not to say that we may or may not go back to it in the future.

Shelly said...

I meant to say dramatically DECREASED by 55 to 60%.

Lyndsey said...

Like it!

Jenny said...

It was annoying at first, but I don't mind using it now. Whatever is easiest for you! Shelly's comment is interesting. That's a bummer that her stats decreased so much!

Miss Sarah said...

Personally, I love using Rafflecopter both to enter and run giveaways, but I'm okay either way. You won't lose me one way or the other. :)

J @ IHeart-Motherhood said...

First off, I'd stick around on your blog even if you chose not to go the Rafflecopter route :)
I use it on my blog, I think it saves me time and my followers.
But either way, it's up to you, it's your blog :)

Hope your having a great day!

Jess

Angela said...

I've been using it for about 8 months and love it. When i first started doing giveaways on my blog, I used the comment system. I found that most people didn't list entires seperatly or just plain didn't enter. When I switched to Rafflecopter, I found that the giveaways are a lot easier and run smoother. It keeps track of all the entries and I can easily check to make sure that they didn't cheat.

The only problem that I ran accross where people skipping the mandatory entry of leaving a comment. I have since solved the problem by using the "Choose You Own" option and having them verify the comment entry.

Phaedra Seabolt said...

I love rafflecopter. I use it on my blog and I mostly have stopped entering giveaways that aren't using it because I have to save as much time as possible.

A Restful Place said...

I like rafflecopter

fancygrlnancy said...

I love rafflecopter. I use it on my blog and it is so much easier to see all the entries, sort them, and identify who did what. I really like that I can tell a sponsor exactly how many people entered, how many liked them on facebook, and how many followed them on twitter and so on. I have noticed lower pave views, but more entries. More people enter if its easy. I also make at least 2 comments on my blog as entries to get a few page views and comments going.

I will admit when entering I often pass by ones that are comment entries now and I know many people that do the same. The item has to be something I really, really want to enter if its a comment entry.

:)

Frugal Tumbleweed Acres said...

I don't like Rafflecopter, but, will go with the flow.
gourdsrmylife(at)yahoo(dot)com

Janet said...

I love Rafflecopter. Unless a giveaway is for something REALLY awesome and has low entry I don't usually enter if it isn't Rafflecopter. It allows you to enter the most with the least amount of time. RC is super easy and I see no cons to it whatsoever and it's the only way to guarantee that I'll enter a giveaway! I hope to see RC on your giveaways soon! :)

Mare/TommyGirl said...

My thought process is always whatever is easiest for the person running the giveaway. I do think Rafflecopter is easier for me - it remembers what entries I've completed and is quicker. But I don't mind comments - I'm just grateful for the chance to win great prizes. Oh, and I always still do the please leave a comment entries too.

apple blossom said...

I love rafflecopter. It's easy and all I have to do is log in and it tells me if I've entered this giveaway or not. I don't have to scroll through 100s and 1,000s of comments to figure it out. YES!!!!

LeeAnn said...

Obviously you know my feelings about this wonderful giveaway tool, but I thought I would post here too in case anyone else is struggling with this same decision.

I love Rafflecopter for entering giveaways. Your blog is the ONLY blog I will enter comment-based giveaways on, otherwise, I only enter Rafflecopter giveaways. Leaving a bunch of comments takes forever, especially on WP blogs where the page refreshes each time. That doesn't apply to your blog since you are awesome and use pop-up comments, which also means that Rafflecopter won't affect your pageviews in a negative way. In fact, it will probably make them go higher since more people will be coming by to enter your great giveaways.

As a giveaway enterer, I also love how it keeps track of giveaways you have already entered. Before Rafflecopter, I had to keep a spreadsheet of giveaways I had already entered because I didn't want to have to scroll through possibly thousands of comments to see if I had entered already.

As a blogger, I like the ease of use. Sure, the first couple may be confusing to set up, but once you get the hang of it, you just duplicate an old one, change up a few fields, and within a minute, you are done.

Another great point is that you can sort and/or group entries by any fields, which is great for analyzing different metrics. I have not had any problems with cheaters, but you can always sort on IP address if you think someone might be abusing your giveaways.

Rafflecopter has gone down a couple of times for me, but the guys there are always responsive and get it up and running again in no time.

OK, I think those are my main loves of Rafflecopter. So put down your stone tablet, join us in the present and make the switch! ;-)

The Frugal Free Gal said...

Yay! Yahoo! Yippee! I love Rafflecopter ;)

Personally, I am about 95% more willing to enter a giveaway if it was through a RC form. I find they are easy and take less time to enter, therefore increasing my chances of entering on a website. My time is very valuable these days, so the easier, the better. :)

Chris said...

I stopped doing the leave a comment giveaways, unless there is only the option of one comment/entry. I would keep having timeouts on comment posts (a lot due to, "if you do ___, leave # of comments" entries. I just can't invest the time anymore. I also like that it shows you the winner(s) versus having to still do random.org or otherwise.

VickeC said...

I like it when it works,,ive had a lot of problems of it NOT letting enter certain information in some of the blanks which frustrates me to no end

sandy1955 said...

I love the Rafflecopter way personally. I cannot remember what I'm asked the other way and it takes me forever to keep scrolling up and down the page. I think it's fast and simple with RC

Holly S. said...

Love Rafflecopter. I have stopped entering on blogs that require comments if I know they take forever to load, but it's not so bad on blogs like yours that use the blogger pop-up box for comments because you don't have to wait for the whole page (and all it's ads) to reload after every one. Rafflecopter does save more time typing though...

Lee Black said...

I LOVE Rafflecopter! I do not enter giveaways that are comment only unless they are really worth my time. I don't like that I can't easily see if I've already entered a giveaway when it is done by comments. I just will not put in the time to scroll through sometimes thousands of comments to see if I've entered. It is so much easier and faster to enter by Rafflecopter. I really hope to see all blogs start using it for their giveaways!

Gianna said...

I like the current way you are having giveaways. I'm not a big fan of rafflecopter.

DMDR said...

I like rafflecopter because it is soooo much easier to enter. Leaving all the comments is annoying and takes forever. With 5 littles my time is precious so I tend to enter giveaways with Rafflecopter alot more often.

turq said...

I love Rafflecopter, it is very quick & easy to use(most of the time)

Over Thirty Mommy said...

Love it! It makes things easier and it great for tracking if you entered a giveawya already so that you do not disqualify yourself. Sometimes I can't search through 1000+ entries to see if I already commented but with RC, it shows that you did already.

Azslyn said...

I like the rafflecopter a lot it is easy to navigate through and it is a lot faster then doing it the old fashioned way

Romapr said...

I am a huge fan of Rafflecopter. I am completely addicted to it :). It just makes entering easy and fun and is so fast.

Kaye said...

I love Rafflecopter both as a blogger AND as an entrant. People can cheat the system, but people do it with comments as well. Can't really stop them if they are so motivated.

It doesn't HAVE to decrease your page views if you allow entries for visiting other giveaways or posts on your blog.

I'm sticking with it. I like that I don't have to edit posts with winner info and such and do the random drawing myself.

Cathi said...

I'll admit that Rafflecopter makes it easy and I've actually tried using it for my giveaways. I wasn't able to personalize it for my particular giveaway which ... is probably my doing. Let me know what you decide and I'll ask for your advice!! ;D I would never skip you because of Rafflecopter!

won said...

Nope.

Jennifer P said...

Much easier with rafflecopter!
cspmom at gmail dot com

Brandi Elam said...

Yay yay! I love Rafflecopter. I have a limited amount of time to enter giveaways each day and so I tend to focus on the ones that use Rafflecopter to maximize my entries. I love how easy it makes it to enter (and to make sure that I'm not entering something twice!).

Teigh said...

I love entering giveaways using Rafflecopter because it is SO much easier to use. I don't have to do a lot scrolling up and down a post (which a PITA when there's like 200 comments and the post a comment link is at the very bottom) or switch back & forth between tabs/windows to find the next step to get bonus entries if the steps are linked onto the Rafflecopter form.

Sure there's probably cheaters who use more than one email to enter, but I think the same can be done if using the blog comments.

I also do the same as another commenter. Unless it's something that I REALLY, REALLY I want to win I won't enter if the giveaway doesn't use Rafflecopter or some other easy to use giveaway app.

I'll admit that with your giveaways, even though you offer daily bonus entries for tweeting, I rarely tweet for the extra daily entries because it's a hassle (to me anyways) to scroll down the post searching for the tweet then highlite & copy then switching to twitter and pasting and tweet, etc. It's like 10 step to do that whereas Rafflecopter would do in like half as many steps.

Anyway, didn't mean for my comment to be so long, but that's how I feel about Rafflecopter.

Judy B. said...

I love Rafflecopter in that it serves as an organizer for me and keeps thing simple and quick....most of the time.
What I don't like about it:
I took a break from entering giveaways for about a year. When I came back I was astounded by the increase in number of entries; even for a $10 gift cart. It's like entering a national sweepstakes. I am wondering if that isn't one of outcomes of Rafflecopter.
Then you have a lot giveaways for higher prizes that are hosted by 50 giveaway hosts and you have 60, 70, 100+ entries because they all want to follow, like, and enter to get an entry and you are then faced with the same really low odds of national sweeps. The prizes are tempting, but the odds are so low and it just seems creepy and cheap.
It seems like blogger giveaways are morphing into any number of different types that are not very similar any more.
So I say, hold to your guns if you want to. Have your blog reflect you and be yourself. The pendulum may swing back.

Judy B. said...

I'm sorry, I have to add this -- I guess I'm just mouthy and outspoken. I just went to an RC giveaway that opened earlier today with a prize of $450 cash. There were OVER 31,000 ENTRIES IN ONE DAY with 27 days left in the contest. That, to me, bears no resemblance to a blog giveaway. It depersonalizes everything to something cheap and commercial.
I would say that if this is partly due to cheaters, there is no close comparison to comment contests -- it is just out of hand.

Jessica said...

I didn't like the Rafflecopter form when I first saw it, but have grown to like it. I would use whichever way eliminates cheaters.

bloomerbear said...

YAY to Rafftercopter

Maija M said...

I love rafflecopter, I prefer it :)

barbara.montyj said...

Yes - love rafflecopter!

smdrm said...

YES for Rafflecopter.

It makes entering so easy and there's no doubt whether you've already entered a giveaway. I sometimes skip those that don't use Rafflecopter.

kg4rmt@arrl.net

callbr549 said...

Yes I prefer Rafflecopter. :)

Sonya said...

I love Rafflecopter! My computer is so slow that to leave comments takes forever and I don't bother entering. Thank you for asking! sonyadmorris@gmail.com

Jennifer Van Dahm said...

I love Rafflecopter! I use it on my blog for Giveaways. It has helped my readers to enter quickly. Entering your Giveaways is very lengthy, although I do it. I would probably enter more, if it was quicker to do so though :)
Jennifer(at)jennifervandahm.com

dannyscotland said...

Like you, I wasn't sure about it at first, but now, it is SO much easier. My computer time has become extremely limited because my new 2 month old has reflux and my three year old is jealous of the time I have to spend with her sister, so it's Mommy, Mommy, Mommy all day. Finding time to even read about contests/giveaways is hard, so having a faster and easier way to enter is important to me (where before, it wasn't a big deal). I say YAY to Rafflecopter! Having used it now for a while on other sites, I have come to really like it. I say go for it!

silverneon2000 said...

I like Rafflecopter as it is easier and faster to enter. Yes when i first started entering giveaways with it i did not understand it at first but then you get the hang of it. I find that when you enter giveaways without it, it takes longer to do so. Mostly when there are so many extra entries to do. With Rafflecopter it makes it simple for all those extra entries.

Crystal said...

I definitely prefer Rafflecopter! I almost never enter giveaways that don't use it anymore.

Aubrie G. said...

I like it.

SueZH said...

Im a YAY. Its faster but the best part is knowing what I entered already.

Connie Gruning said...

I love Rafflecopter. I have to really really want to win a certain item to enter giveaways that don't use the Rafflecopter. LOVE IT!!
Connie Gruning
CGruning at aol(dot)com

Mary T said...

I admit that entering via RC is convenient, but have you noticed how easy it would be to "game the system?" Do the giveaway hosts REALLY check to see if those entering actually did "like such and so" on FB or "follow whoever on twitter?" And the Picket Fence votes - is there ANY way to verify those? The numbers of entries in even the smallest giveaways has sky-rocketed since RC began. Now it seems as though its as hard to win a bloggie giveaway as it is to win the Publisher's Clearinghouse.

A trend I am seeing in the last couple of weeks is "give me Klout" as an optional entry. I thought Klout was supposed to be given to those that influence you, not as payment for an extra entry...

By opening two tabs of the blog giveaway page, I can enter a "comment based" giveaway almost a quickly as a RC one. Read the entries on one page, and enter on the other - easy breezy.

I apologize for sounding like a negative nancy on this comment, but it is my opinion that RC is a work in progress, not a finished product.

Allison said...

At first I liked Rafflecopter because it is easier, but now I dislike it for that exact reason! I think it makes it too easy for anyone and everyone to enter with little effort. I think if people are really interested in winning a giveaway, they wouldn't mind the tiny bit of extra effort in commenting. I think some bloggers/people take the rafflecopter giveaways to an extreme, especially having over 100 entries. I also agree with the above comment about it being harder to track possible cheaters. Another issue I've had is facebook won't let me login to my account that I normally enter giveaways with (on rafflecopter). It's asking me to verify via cell phone, so I haven't been able to verify yet. The only reason I even have an extra account for those giveaways is because Facebook has a limit to 5,000 page likes per facebook account, which I exceeded with my personal facebook account last year =X and most rafflecopter giveaways I've seen have TONS of facebook pages to like and some even have groups to like which is kind of annoying because I'll like all but one (with my personal account), but not beable to like the last one of the group, therefore I can't have that whole 25+ entry.

I guess the main thing is that people who really want to win a giveaway, should & will put extra effort into commenting style entries and that makes it nice because a lot of people enter the rafflecopters just because it's easy...

:)

Allison said...

Oh but I do love the fact that on rafflecopter it's easy to see if I've already entered and daily entries, etc...

LJ said...

I much prefer Rafflecopter. I will skip over many giveaways that don't use Rafflecopter. If you are doing several entries, and entering many contests, it saves a lot of time. The one pro of not using Rafflecopters is for the person entering- Non Rafflecopter giveaways almost always have lower entries. The only downside I've found with Rafflecopter is that it sometimes freezes and doesn't load so I have to "stop" it. Also, Rafflecopter makes it pretty clear when a contest is OVER.

LJ said...

Oh, I forgot to add a big one- if you enter a lot of contests, it's easy to forget if you've already entered and just need to do the dailies. I've had to scroll through hundreds of entries on some sites...

Anonymous said...

I vote yes! I like Rafflecopter. Its fast & easy.

Carrie Phelps said...

I definitely prefer the Rafflecopter form to typing each entry.

Katherines Corner said...

I am not a fan, I think it takes the "personal" out of entering. Hugs and wishes for a happy weekend

darce said...

As a user, I like it.

Nicole said...

I like the RC but I totally agree about the number of entries. They are horribly high. I am not going to enter something with super high entries, especially when there is 100 task. I can not follow any more people on twitter. It is nice to have to work for it. You know you have better chances, and probably less cheaters, because they don't want to take the time.

Laura Grace Andry said...

I love rafflecopter. I do not typically enter giveaways unless they use rafflecopter because of how long it takes to type everything and enter it into a comment box. I get the want of using comment entries for giveaways - it does wonders for your pageviews! But you make commenting on the blog post one or two different entries on the rafflecopter form and still get nice numbers for your blog without making entering a giveaway take 40 minutes.

Unless the prize is something I desperatly need {like a dyson} I simply skip it unless they use rafflecopter.

SusanD1408 Crochet Addict said...

I must admit if I see a giveaway that doesn't have rafflecopter I make a decision of whether I really do want that item. I am less likely to enter a comp with comments. I am even less likely to enter a comment giveaway with word verification. It just takes too long!

Alison said...

Not matter what computer I'm on (work or home), I can never get a rafflecopter giveaway to show up properly. Now I just avoid blogs that use it. Which is very sad to me!

Angelia said...

I love it! I haven't hosted many giveaways yet as I'm just starting out but I think it so much easier to keep everything organized! It's much easier to keep track of valid entries and double check to make sure entries count. As for entering giveaways, well-I love it for that too. Some days I don't get much time to be online and it just makes it super quick to enter giveaways and help support other bloggers.

tnrina said...

I love Rafflecopter, I prefer it unless it's prize I could really use or I like the blog owner.

It's faster, it gives me more time to look around and read the blog.

It let's me know where I left off so I don't have to break my neck scrolling up and down and up and down looking through 500 entries.

Customer service is good, from what I have seen. Thanks for asking.

Sandra said...

I used to win giveaways at least once a month before rafflecopter.
I've never won a giveaway that uses rafflecopter and have stopped entering them.
There tend to be an INSANE number of entries even for the smallest prizes, which tells me there are plenty of people with time on their hands to cheat by logging in with different email addys.
Rafflecopter clearly has no method to prevent cheating, so unless I, too, become a cheater, I'll stay clear.
Rafflecopter has taken all of the fun out of legitimate blog contesting.

MRWriter said...

I'm surprised by the overwhelming positive responses on here. I used to average approx $200 wins per month last year and the year before. Now I'm lucky to win a $15 book or something of equal value. Strange how I NEVER win anymore whenever it's a Rafflecoptor giveaway but win on magazines sweeps or manual entry giveaways. I used to believe that because it's so easy to enter that I'm simply competing against more people and numbers. However, after doing some research on this, it seems there's a great potential for cheating. Too bad. I'm going to avoid these Rafflecoptor sweeps because while it may technically take less time to enter (if there isn't any issues w/ it loading) I feel like it's a colossal waste of my time with zero gain. Forget it!

engineergirl said...

I prefer contests. I started entering giveaways after I won one unexpectedly and then I became addicted. lol, then my roommate got into it too. But guess what? We live in the same house and therefore we share the same I.P. address. Sometimes we enter the same giveways and I'm pretty sure we've gotten disqualified from a couple because they think we're cheating. I don't like Rafflecopter as much, because thou it's faster, it takes the fun out of entering giveaways, like, if you really wanna win, work for a little.

Charlotte said...

I dislike Rafflecopter! I use to LOVE entering giveaways and loved seeing "Congrats" or "Winner" in my email. Since Rafflecopter came along, I never see that! I'm a huge sweeper and use to win at least 7 prizes a month. Now I'm lucky to win ONE prize in 7 months. Rafflecopter has definitely taken the fun away from all the major sweeping fans! I really think the people that "Love" Rafflecopter are 1. Rarely enter giveaways or 2. Cheaters! Who cares if it takes a little more time? Take 10 miutes out of the day to enter a giveaway. If you don't have time that day, come back the next day and enter that giveaway! If you want it bad enough you will find a way to enter it. Rafflecopter has just allowed the cheaters to win giveaways. It's really, really sad! Especially, seeing 705,432,654 entries NO JOKE in a giveaway! How is that possible? Don't forget 1 winner out of all those entries. To me that's just ridiculous and unfair! Who wants to take their time out and enter those giveaways? I sure don't and won't! It's too bad for us "loyal bloggers" I guess. Until there's a change I won't be entering as much as I did. I try to avoid Rafflecopter as much as possible. To you cheaters out there, your journey will eventually end and I hope you feel like us loyal bloggers do now!