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Sweepstakes "Robots"

There seem to be more and more automated sweepstakes entry services popping up and these could radically reduce the value of online sweepstakes for a brand.
These services enter a consumer into hundreds, or thousands, of sweepstakes automatically and the consumer never sees your brand, creative or value proposition! A site like Acuwin charges people a fee to use their service.
Of course these “sweepstake robots” are just the next logical step for sweepstake sites to take.

There are hundreds of sites that simply list sweepstakes by the prize they offer and let consumers click directly to your entry form. The reason you often see an entry spike several days after your contest starts is often because you get listed on these aggregator sites. These consumers have no interest in your product (and may not even notice it) the only thing they are interested in is your prize.
Even before these automated services, I’ve always wondered just how much value a sweepstakes sponsor receives by displaying their brand on an entry form. Do consumers really care about your brand? Do they even notice it? Or do consumers simply notice the prize you are giving away?
The good news? As opposed to sweepstakes, perhaps advergaming, when done right, can get your brand noticed by actual consumers (not just automated web bots).


  1. Ken Schafer
    Ken Schafer May 10, 2005

    Good post Stefan.
    I wonder how these sites impact list building. Many sites run contests primarily to build their mailing lists but if the consumer isn’t really aware of what they’re signing up for, they’ll be on the list but will likely think incoming e-mail is spam (even though they’ve given permission through the ‘bot that did the entry for them).

  2. Stefan Eyram
    Stefan Eyram May 10, 2005

    That’s a good question, Ken. I guess my quick answer is this:
    If the marketing objective when running a sweepstakes or contest is to build a list you would assume there will be some type of direct marketing to follow. This will likely be email (but could be snail mail, too). For email marketing you require “permission” to abide by the US CAN-SPAM laws, to adhere to industry guidelines and to keep from being reported as a “spammer”. Since you can’t demand an entrant to register for your email as a condition of entry to a sweepstakes there is no “list building” benefit in this.
    Furthermore, I question if there is any value in trying to market to someone who would use a contest entry “bot”. That person is likely in it only for the prize. Even a marketing or brand impression with this person is unlikely to be of benefit.
    I wonder what others think?

  3. Kevin Kieller
    Kevin Kieller May 10, 2005

    The automated sweepstake entry programs generally “opt-out” of all follow-up communications.
    Further, most of the automated sweepstakes sites set up an email address on behalf of the consumer just to be used for sweepstakes entries.
    This means that even if you add these emails to your list it will have little or no value.

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