Sweepstakes / Contesting Myth Buster #1: Don’t Hide Your Hobby!

February 26, 2007

From attending conventions and group meetings of sweepers and contestors all over North America, I have noticed a number of common themes of myths and misconceptions amongst entrants about sweepstakes/contest in general and the industry that runs them. I want to tackle some of these in a series of posts dispelling those myths with some realities.

It seems that too many regular entrants or hobbyists develop a paranoia about their identity and being ‘known’ as a regular entrant. For some reason they begin to believe that there is some benefit to keeping a cloak over their hobby and assume that there is no knowledge of the existence of regular entrants amongst sponsors and contest operators. This is wholly untrue.

In case you haven’t heard it before – promotion management companies, advertising companies, and large sponsors of contests are already well aware that there are hobby/professional entrants and that they enter often and regularly. Some of them even have members participating in the groups that meet face to face and all of them have lurkers/participants in the online discussion groups. I can count on one hand the number of companies/promoters that have a problem with the organized groups. Most welcome this because they know that through the hard-core entrants, is the only way to the casual entrants.

It is all too obvious. In the united states, several thousand promotions every month are operated by less than 20 promotion management houses. These companies see that the core lists of names are the same across hundreds of sweeps that they manage. They know you are a sweeper, and they don’t care. In fact if they see you missing from one of their promotions, they start to wonder what they are doing wrong. Did they miss on their communications of the promotion? Was the prize not enticing? Was something broken in the entry process?

When a promotion is running and they only see the hobbyists entering, this is a flag that maybe the process was too hard or something was wrong with promotion because the non-hobbyist did not bother to participate. Maybe they didn’t use the open-loop and closed-loop method of entry. Maybe the format of a field was broken or something was done in error that only the diligent entrant bothered to figure out. This is how they key into their business. The hobbyist is a cornerstone of the success of any sweepstakes/contest.

There has never been a case where names of regular entrants have been removed from a contest unless they blatantly broke the rules of entry.

In Canada, the lion-share of promotions are operated by maybe 10 companies. They have people involved in the online groups and discussions as well. They know who the regulars are. They also know that being a regular entrant doesn’t always make you a regular winner. As long as participants are following the rules and entering legally to the promotions – they have the same opportunity to win prizes as everyone else that enters. In fact many people working with these promoters are also regular entrants of contests that they do not manage. They are hobbyist contestors too – nobody has won without an entry yet!

So stop being concerned that promotion companies and contest management companies know who you are – they already do! And they don’t really care.

“Those who cannot translate adequately, with a fair amount of integrity and accuracy, fall quickly into severe neurosis or even psychosis: the world ceases to make sense—the boundaries between the self and the world are not transcended but instead begin to crumble. This is not breakthrough but breakdown; not transcendence, but disaster.” Ken Wilber

Keep entering and keep winning!

Good luck.

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