One of the most visited posts on this blog is one I wrote back in 2007 about how to submit your contests to directories for free traffic, and since then I’ve had several people ask me how they should go about hosting a giveaway on their site in the first place. Luckily in this day and age, there are a lot of options that are free or relatively inexpensive to make it easy for visitors to enter your contest all while growing your mailing list and social followers. Here is an alphabetized list of sixteen such tools that I’m acquainted with or have at least heard about:
1. Agora Pulse – This a robust toolbox specifically for Facebook and Twitter that includes much more than contest applications. They do offer a free Timeline Contest Manager.
2. EasyPromosApp – First promotion is free. After that, they offer Basic ($15/mo), Premium ($100/mo) and White Label ($250/mo) options.
3. Giveaway Tools – This seems to be the most popular tool used by mommy bloggers, probably because it’s totally free and allows entries for several social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Etsy (this appears to be the only tools integrated with Etsy). There is also a “Make Your Own Entry” that you can use for a question or ask them to follow on a non-option social network, like Instagram. I’ve seen many bloggers offer other bloggers a free social link in exchange for them promoting the contest on their blog as well. This is great for expanding reach, but offering too many entry options tends to bore your visitors, and they will give up after too many options.
4. Gleam.io – Run Competitions, Capture Emails &/or Offer Rewards. Integrates with email providers. Free ($39/year) and Business ($149/year) options available. Thanks James!
5. Gravity Forms – This is a WordPress plug-in that is great for getting visitors to submit user-generated contest. For example, you could hold a photo contest and have the entries automatically become draft posts for you to publish after reviewing/editing if need be. Plus Gravity Forms integrates with all the major email platforms so any submission can be automatically added to your mailing list.
6. Heyo – I haven’t played with their turney contest apps yet, but they offer a 30 day free trial.
7. Inlinkz – I use Inlinkz’s Link-up tool for my weekly sweepstakes link up and pay for advanced settings to have images show, but if you are using Inlinkz strictly for contest submissions (and you can set to not publicly show the entrants), then the free version will work just fine.
8. KingSumo – I personally haven’t tried this WordPress plug-in as it isn’t free ($198 personal license or $594 developer license), but anything that Noah Kagan from AppSumo puts out is usually over the top good stuff.
9. PromoSimple – They have a variety of plans from Basic (free), Blogs ($15/mo), Businesses ($75/mo) to Brands & Agencies ($295/mo). I believe this is the only tool integrated with Instagram.
10. PunchTab – This appears to be the only tool to integrate Google+ and YouTube (where visitors must watch video for entry). PunchTab used to have a loyalty program that awarded visitors “points” for clicking on participating sites, but upon logging in, I read that they discontinued that option. I also could not find current pricing options.
11. Rafflecopter – This is also a popular tool among bloggers and offers similar options to Giveaway Tools. They have a free option, blogger option ($7.99 per month) and a business option ($59.99 a month). You will need the business option to connect with email platforms. I personally use just the blogger option so I can include Pinterest options, add prize photos and easily generate terms/conditions. And you can easily “Invent Your Own” option to ask for email addresses and add to your mailing list provider yourself.
12. ShortStack – Pricing vary from free to $499/mo according to the number of leads/entries you capture.
13. TabSite – Their 14 day free trial and Premium apps include the ability to have photo and video contests, essay contests, Instagram contests and more.
14. ViralSweep – Plans include Basic (free), Starter ($49/mo), Professional ($99/mo) and Business ($199/mo). I like that free version includes “Refer-A-Friend” referral links, as usually those are only available in higher up plans.
15. WooBox – Free apps include tabs for Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube. Paid plan prices vary by the number of fans you have, but they have some awesome options that include much more than Instant Win Games and Pin To Win contests.
Note: On 11/5/14 Facebook will no longer allow one to incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page (Source). So we’ll soon see how that ruling affects the above tools that use Facebook as an entry method.
11/28/14 Update: Most widgets still allow Facebook as an option, but the visitors are only required to visit the Facebook page as an entry. You cannot require them to “Like”, only encourage them.
Am I missing any tools to run a giveaway? Which do you use or recommend?