24 February 2015

{Blogger Babble} Your Entry To That Giveaway Didn't Count, Here's Why:

By: Me My Shelf And I | 24 February 2015 at 1:02 PM | |


Hey! You! Yea, you. C'mere!

Do you enter lots of giveaways using Raffelcopter forms and never win? There could be a reason for that, and you don't even realize it's happening. 

It seems people are having a hard time with Raffelcopter these days. More to the point, they are having trouble using the form and entering the proper way, thus making their entries null and void. Since the form doesn't actually tell you when you've done something incorrectly, you likely don't even know that you are entering improperly and that you're being disqualified. Don't worry, I'm here to help!

On any given day, I disqualify easily 15-50 entries PER GIVEAWAY for not providing the actual needed information to verify a winning entry. PER GIVEAWAY. Needless to say, I run a lot of giveaways, they appear on dozens and dozens of blogs a over a months time. Having to go through this many people to find a winner is a waste of my time and more importantly, a waste of your time, because you're entering and it's not counting…and you likely really want those things you are entering for! I mean, why else would you be entering?

Before I break things down and give you the info you need to make sure you are entering correctly please understand something: This post is factual, it's not my opinion – well my opinion is here, but it's at the end of the post.  What I'm saying is, don't slam me with comments about how this is a "stupid way to do things" – this is the ACTUAL way you're to do it..it's a fact and I am giving you the info to help you – that's all. Lay down the pitch forks.

Below is two of the most common mishaps, offenses and incorrect entries that I see when I have to disqualify someone. Take a moment to go over them – you might be doing one and not even know it.

 - Tweet About The Giveaway-
This is a simple option that will normally get you the most entries on any given giveaway since, in a lot of cases, you can do it once a day. However, it is easily the entry the most people do incorrectly.

1. Click TWEET in the Raffelcopter form
. It looks like this: TWEET

2. Click TWEET – again! This time in the box that pops up. The box looks like this:


Clicking this TWEET button sends the tweet to Twitter. Not the first Tweet button…THIS ONE.

3. Once you have clicked this TWEET button, you must GO TO TWITTER. Physically leave where you are, open a new tab, do what you have to – but you HAVE TO GO TO TWITTER. If you are using any device other than a laptop or desktop, you will need to do this by using the INTERNET option, NOT THE TWITTER APP. Apps will not give you CORRECT URLs (if a URL at all). If you are not using a computer this doesn't mean you are exempt from entering the right way, it means you have to do more to collect the info.

4. Once you are on Twitter, locate the tweet you just sent. Going to your page is the fastest way to do this.

5. Click the TIME STAMP in that tweet. It will either be an hour (hr) OR a date. Here is an example of BOTH. (Tip: it will always be in the same place, directly to the right of your name!)

The time stamp on this one is "FEB 19"


The time stamp on this one says "2h"

6. THE URL that comes up AFTER you click the time stamp, and the only thing on your screen is that tweet, then you have the URL the Raffelcopter form is asking for. Only this. No matter how many other URLs you come across on your road to entry – this is THE ONE.

NOTE: Raffelcopter IS NOT designed to work smoothly or be 100% compatible with devices other than a computer. This is why it loads slower, takes longer and so forth. This being said, it's requested information for entry was set up assuming you were using a computer. If you can not obtain the proper information on your phone, tablet, eReader or so forth, then you should not be clicking the ENTER buttons on those options. 

***EDITIED TO ADD:*** Clicking the three dots in lower right of the tweet and then the word DETAILS will also get you a URL suitable – this was 2 steps longer, and so I went with the shortest option.
Also – some of you seem to have a "take me to the tweet" button after you enter – if this takes you to the tweet, and you check the URL that when used does in fact bring you back to it– it's fine. This is not an option everyone has for some reason. For example, I have never seen it and I've been using RC since day one.

Here is a list of things that will not count for the TWEET entry:

  1. Typing "Null"
  2. The proper link , but  you changed the pre-written tweet. We have that specific tweet for a reason, use it. In instances where you have to change a few words to shorthand (two = 2) for space, is FINE, removing any info/hashtags or writing your own tweet entirely is not okay or acceptable and it won't count.
  3. Any URL that comes up before step 6 in the above list.
  4. Typing in your Twitter Handle only.
  5. Typing  "Me!" "Mine!" "I want it" or any variation of this.
  6. Basically, anything that is not the ACTUAL URL.
  7. Putting in a tweet URL, then deleting the tweet right after you tweet it– I can't actually verify that you tweeted, if you delete the tweet. If I can't verify – you're not going to win.
  8. Hitting the entry button for the option with out putting anything in the box where the URL should go.  
  9. Using the same URL day after day. The tweet each day option means a new tweet, and a new URL. Period.

If you are unsure of weather or not you have the right URL – checking it is easy:  take the URL you plan to enter the giveaway with and paste it into the address bar on a new page and try to visit it. Did it take you to twitter, AND to your tweet and only your tweet?
Yes? Awesome, use it – and if you got it a way other than what is listed here – tell us!
No? It's not the right one.

- Adding a Book or Becoming an Authors fan on Goodreads -

When these options are listed on a giveaway form, they normally ask you to provide a link to your Goodreads profile so that the entry can be verified. Not everyone asks, if they don't that is their choice – I do, and therefore I'd like to make sure that it's understood, once and for all, for all of the bloggers that do ask this– even though it's in the form, right there on the entry….

If you have your account set to private, we can not verify the entry – and so the entry does not count!

Breaking this down for you – if we can't verify your entry, it's as if you never entered and I will move on and choose a new winner. Now, slow down, I'm not suggesting that you make your private account public – I'm simply telling you that if your account is private, don't enter. You will be disqualified if I pull your name and can't verify the entry.

The "private account" thing goes for Instagram, Twitter and and any other entry you use where you have a private account. If it's private, don't enter.

Before you get all crazy and accuse me of punishing those who chose not to have a public appearance online by making their accounts private, know that I am not intentionally pushing people out. I have to be able to verify the entry, asking me to trust you did it is like handing in a test that's all blank back to your teacher, and saying, "Well you should just trust I know it all and give me a good grade". I (like all giveaway hosts) provide many options for entry – and I never make something mandatory unless it's a free "click here" entry. Meaning, you're not required to do any entry. How you enter is totally up to you – just follow the rules when you do.

- Wrapping Up -

Are all bloggers required to care about this? No, I suppose not. But I do, and the main reason is 99% of the time I'm not giving away things that are/were mine or from me – I'm running giveaways for Authors and Publishers. The people I work for expect me to make sure that winner, actually won.

In fact you might be saying to yourself "I win lots of giveaways and never do all of the things I said I did…" well, that's the blogger who was running those giveaways prerogative to not check things. Also, that's cheating if you are purposefully not doing the things asked of you and just clicking ENTER…just throwing that out there… Here at MMSAI, I will check. Every time. You won't win here. PS – neither will you giveaway hoarders/bots. If all I see for miles and miles when I check your tweets is giveaway tweets – I move on.  Professional giveaway entrants will not succeed here.

If you are having trouble with Raffelcopter, have a question -  let me know I will be happy to try to help you out! Drop me a note in the comments!



  1. Wow, I never even thought about whether my Goodreads was private, but thankfully it's NOT. Great article!

  2. +JMJ+

    I've had to disqualify entries myself, but they were mostly from people trying to scam the giveaway rather than people who made honest mistakes. (The number of entries I get is very small and the entrants are mostly regular readers, so even when they do make mistakes, I retain the entries in good faith.)

    One of your points makes me curious. What is the reason for using only the pre-written tweet?

    1. The pre-written tweet was written to promote the author and their book (or the giveaway itself, depneding on what the giveaway is attached to) It's a win/win for the entrant and the author/blog - the entrant tweets, the author/blog/giveaway gets exposure - that is the entire point of the Tweet Entry. Exposure. If you change it to something like "I really want to win this giveaway" not only do people who see it have no idea WHAT the giveaway is for (and then will just pass it by...), you've removed the exposure to the author and their book.

      It's marketing wrapped up with an "extra entries for you" bow - a win/win ;)

    2. +JMJ+

      Thanks for explaining! That makes sense. =)

  3. People actually write "Null" for their Tweet URL?! No wonder they aren't winning! I always pull up the exact Tweet, ever since I started entering giveaways and knew how it all worked. SMH.

    And I'm with you on following up that someone really does what they say they did. You can't just trust that a person did something without proof, especially online. And the people with all giveaway entries--yeah, I don't pick them either. You have to have more than just giveaway tweets--to me that's just tacky. I rarely enter with "tweeting about the giveaway" anymore because I don't want my Twitter profile spamming people with giveaways. A couple, yes, that's cool. Otherwise it's annoying.

    Thanks for this article! I'm going to share it on Twitter. ;)

  4. I usually have to throw out entries when I starting looking at the IP addresses because some people enter under several different names but use the same IP address.

    1. I actually don't consider this because I can't actually confirm that there aren't different people entering under different names from the same IP address.

      Especially in the case of shared computers either at homes or libraries. Unless I'm asked to do One Entry Per Household, (which Fox Home Ent. requires of me - in which case I list that and then check for it..) I let them have at it and stick to only what I can 100% prove.

      Also, the more they enter, the more exposure the author gets, so it's not harming me even if they are going to the trouble to enter under different accounts.

  5. I have two questions and I am actually really excited that you posted about this because I have wanted to ask one of them for a long time.

    1. Twitter - Rafflecopter actually has a button that takes you to the tweet (and only the tweet). That's the URL I use. I've tested it and it links back to specifically that tweet. Do you know if that URL is different than the time stamp one? If that button doesn't pop up, I usually get it by clicking on the "details" button of the tweet. I had NO IDEA that the timestamp yielded the true URL.

    2. Giveaway twitter accounts. This has been bothering me for awhile. I've seen bloggers complain about giveaway accounts a lot. I get it - you are doing this for promotion and if the account doesn't have followers, that tweet isn't going to yield results. I'm wondering what the criteria are for determining "real" vs. "giveaway" accounts. I follow a TON of book blogs and bookmark giveaways to do later in the day, so depending on the time of day, you'll either get MY tweets or a bunch of giveaway tweets. I guess I worry that sometimes I look like a fake account just based on my love/addiction to book blogs. If there is any light you could shed on how you judge this (look at follower numbers? Click on the interactions? Scroll down to see if there are a few "real tweets?"), I would really appreciate it.

    Thanks again for such a great topic!

    1. I use your twitter way ashley and it works for me since i know i have been announced winning through tweet several times. You are good

    2. Just because you have been chosen as a winner, doesn't mean you are entering correctly. The person running the giveaway may not care, or maybe your tweet entry wasn't the one pulled as the winner.

      Basically, don't assume that because you have won in the past, you're doing things correctly - some people don't care to check for things like this. To make sure it's correct, check the URL yourself before plugging it into the form - if it takes you to the tweet and only the tweet - it's right ;)

  6. **ASHLEY**

    My computer won't let reply to your comment so I'm going to do it here :)

    I have never, since I started using Raffelcopter on any of my devices seen this option for gathering a tweet URL. Any button that I wouls ee would literally flash on the screen and be gone - never enough time to actually click on it.

    Basically: If the URL leads directly to the tweet on Twitter, than it's fine. As the post does say - check the URL if you want, if it leads to the tweet only, it's right - if not, it's wrong.

    More on this one - Twitter recently updated, and the Time Stamp became easier to locate since it's right there. With details it's an extra 2 clicks, so I was basically going for the easiest way since this was already 6 steps and I was worried I'd lose people. If you wish to get your URL by clicking the "Details" button, that's fine with me.

    Now - Giveaway Accounts. I can't speak for everyone, only myself. I scroll 2-5 pages in to look. I, myself have been known to enter a small handful of giveaways in a row, and I'm certainly not a giveaway account. As long as you don't have 50 in a row - you're more than fine with me for sure.

    The reason I dislike the giveaway accounts isn't so much the "spreading the word of the giveaway" thing, though it is in there (I mean they are spreading the word even if to other giveaway hoarders mostly) - it's more that there's no way they actually want what I'm giving away most of the time. In my opinion the professional giveaway entrants want these things to sell, or discard - they want it just to want it. If I'm giving away book things, I want them to go to the readers interested in the item itself.

  7. What I find frustrating is when you use TWEET this message and it's deleted, or the person un follows the author/blogger. Generally, the giveaway account people do this, but I've seen bloggers do this too.

    One thing - some ask for the actual LINK to your profile (say bloglovin) and some ask for usernames. So I suggest people read exactly what it is that the entry asks for. Personally, if I ask for a link and they supply their name, I'll take it (assuming it can be verified) but others might not. :)

    Thanks for the additional info! I think my Goodreads is set to private haha

  8. It makes me so sad that people are just so damn dishonest. I never knew how bad it was till I started holding my own giveaways. I have an issue with this entry sometimes it will say enter your name you followed with for bloglovin, well that would be Please Feed The bookworm, however if its clarified enter your username is know to enter kalebsmome. Sometimes i got out of the way and just enter my url so there isnt any confusion. I wonder would i be disqualified for that? Great post thanks for taking the time to clear some of this stuff up.
    Britt @ please feed the bookworm

    1. I know that I would never disqualify for more info that I asked for, but I can't speak for others. Maybe when you do it, put: "Link to my profile, since I have 2 names" and then put the URL with it?


Me, My Shelf and I is an Award Free Blog. Your continued support is all the award we need! Thank you so much!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...