Common Mistakes You MUST Avoid When Setting Up Online Contests

There are some common mistakes that brands and businesses often make that affect the success of their contests. The purpose of this article is to highlight the common mistakes you must avoid when setting up online contests.

Common Mistakes You MUST Avoid When Setting Up Online Contests

While the benefits of running an online contest are clear, achieving success is not guaranteed. Many brands make critical mistakes that can undermine their efforts, leading to poor participation, legal issues, or even damage to their reputation. The process of planning, promoting, and executing a contest requires careful consideration and strategic thinking.

There are some common mistakes that brands and businesses often make that affect the success of their contests. The purpose of this article is to highlight the common mistakes you must avoid when setting up online contests.

Lack of Clear Objectives

One of the most fundamental mistakes brands make when setting up online contests is failing to define clear objectives. Without clear goals, a contest can become aimless, leading to scattered efforts and unsatisfactory results. Clear objectives provide direction and purpose, ensuring that every aspect of the contest aligns with the desired outcomes and contributes to the overall marketing strategy. Your contest should have a pre-defined objective, which helps you stay focused on what you want to achieve. Goals help you to measure the success of your contest by comparing the actual results with the intended outcome. Additionally, clear objectives lets you know what type of contest to run and the required actions for your audience.

Your objectives could include to increase brand awareness, generate leads, boost engagement, drive website traffic, or to promote a product or service that you may be offering. Ultimately, your objectives should be SMART i.e., specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Overcomplicated Entry Processes

A common pitfall when setting up online contests is creating an entry process that is too complex. While it might seem beneficial to gather as much information as possible from participants, an overly complicated entry process can significantly reduce participation rates. The simpler and more straightforward the entry process, the more likely people are to participate.

The entry process is the first point of interaction participants have with your contest, and it sets the tone for their entire experience. If the process is too complicated, it can create frustration and deter potential entrants from completing their submissions. An example of a common mistake is asking for too much information upfront. For instance, requiring participants to provide their full name, email address, phone number, mailing address, and answers to several survey questions can be overwhelming. Such an extensive entry form can deter participants who might be willing to share minimal information but are put off by the volume of data requested.

Only ask for essential information. Typically, this includes the participant's name and email address. Additional details can be collected at a later stage, such as when a winner is announced. Provide participants with various ways to enter the contest. This can include social media actions (like following, sharing, or tagging), submitting an email, or filling out a short form. Offering choices can cater to different preferences and increase overall participation.

Poorly Defined Prize Structure

The allure of a desirable prize is often the primary motivator for participants to enter a contest. Conversely, an unclear or unattractive prize structure can significantly deter participation, rendering the contest ineffective and potentially damaging the brand's reputation. If the prize is not compelling enough, potential participants may not find it worth their time to enter the contest. Offering prizes that do not resonate with the interests or needs of your target audience can result in low engagement and participation rates.

Understand the preferences, interests, and needs of your target audience. Conduct surveys or use existing customer data to determine what types of prizes would be most appealing to them. Ensure that the value of the prize is significant enough to motivate participation. High value does not necessarily mean expensive; it can also mean exclusive, unique, or highly desired items. For example, a limited edition product or a behind-the-scenes experience can be very enticing. Also, include how the prizes will be distributed to the winners.

Also Read: 7 Amazing Prize Ideas for Your Next Ecommerce Giveaway Campaign

Handling the Entire Process Yourself

Running an online contest can be a highly effective marketing strategy, but managing every aspect of it on your own can be a daunting and overwhelming task. From planning and promotion to execution and follow-up, each stage of the contest requires careful attention and expertise. Trying to handle everything yourself can lead to significant challenges and potential pitfalls that could undermine the success of your contest.

Handling all aspects of the contest alone increases the likelihood of making mistakes. Errors in contest rules, entry forms, or winner selection processes can lead to participant dissatisfaction, legal issues, or damage to your brand’s reputation. Without proper tools and expertise, managing a contest can become inefficient. Tasks such as tracking entries, verifying winners, and responding to participant queries can become cumbersome and prone to delays.

Leveraging Expertise and Tools Provided by

To avoid these pitfalls and improve the overall efficiency of your contest, it is beneficial to leverage the expertise and tools offered by platforms like provides various automation tools that can simplify many aspects of contest management. Automated entry tracking, winner selection, and email notifications can save significant time and reduce the risk of errors. has templates that can be designed to be user-friendly and tailored to fit your brand’s needs, making the setup process quick and efficient. Additionally, this giveaway hosting platform seamlessly integrates with various social media platforms to promote your contest effectively. Without a doubt, coordinated promotion across multiple channels can increase visibility and participation.

Using assures you of a hassle-free giveaway process where your contest participants enter easily and winners are chosen automatically at the end of the giveaway. uses a blockchain-based algorithm to assure the immutability of your giveaway. Tasks are verified automatically with little or no need for human effort or input.

Final Thoughts

The potential for success with online contests is immense when thoughtfully planned and executed. Avoiding these mistakes sets your contest for success. Remember, a well-executed contest can do wonders for your brand—boosting visibility, increasing engagement, and generating valuable leads. Start planning your next online contest with confidence, knowing that is here to help you every step of the way.

Don't let the fear of making mistakes hold you back. With, you have everything you need to run a successful and engaging online contest. Get started today!