All the Ways to Collect Online Contest Entries

This content provides information on different methods to collect entries in an online contest, including entry forms, hashtag feeds, and comments/likes.

By Jessica Miller-McNatt ・2 min read
Customer Data & Engagement

If you’re new to contest marketing, or just want to shake up your strategy, knowing what your entry collection options are is a great place to start. Depending on your contest’s goal, choosing your entry collection method can go a long way in helping you to achieve that goal. So, let’s jump right in and go over all of the ways you can collect entries in an online contest.

#1 The good ol’ entry form

Using an entry form to collect entries is certainly not news to anyone. However, with good contest software, the options you have when building that entry form should go above and beyond your data-collection needs.

Let’s say you’re interested in running a video contest. With ShortStack, you can collect video entries from YouTube, Vimeo, TikTok, Instagram, or even raw video files uploaded from a computer. The versatility doesn’t stop there. If you’re collecting data, you can use drop-down lists, radio buttons, date fields, text fields and so much more. Basically, whatever type of content you need to benefit your business, there’s probably a way to collect it with an entry form.As you can see, even after deciding you’d like to use an entry form to collect entries, there are still lots of entry collection options you’ll need to consider.

#2 A hashtag feed

Entry forms are great, but from my years in the contest marketing industry, I know that the more you ask of a contest participant, the fewer entries you tend to get. For example, if you ask participants to write a recipe, make a video, or write a story - this sets the barrier to entry very high. The lower the barrier to entry, the more participation you’ll receive.

Fancy Sprinkles Unique Hashtag for Halloween Contest Ideas

This is why using a hashtag to pull in entries can help you get the best of both worlds. Posting on social media is something many people are already doing, so when using a specific hashtag, their Instagram or Twitter post is automatically pulled into a feed within contest software like ShortStack. The entries can then be displayed in a gallery where you can enable voting, choose a winner at random, or even incentivize sharing.

#3 Comments and likes

Comment and like contests are fun ways to get a little engagement on your social media profiles. They can be very inexpensive (depending on the prize you’re offering) and take very little time to execute. All you need is a prize, some terms and conditions, and to create a social media post.

Focus on Engagement for Facebook and instagram Comments as Constest Entries

When running these types of contests, make sure you 1.) know the rules of the social media platform you’re launching it on. For example, Facebook prohibits you from asking for a profile follow whereas Instagram doesn’t. And 2.) know how you’re going to choose a winner. If your contest gets loads of entries in the form of likes or comments (or both), you may find it difficult to choose a winner while keeping things fair.One solution to choosing a winner is to import the comments and/or likes into a list in ShortStack. Then, you can use the “Choose” function to select one or more entries at random.

Want to learn more?

Check out The Best Ways to Collect Entries in your Contest or Giveaway for more tips and best practices.

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About the author

By Jessica Miller-McNatt ・2 min read

Jessica Miller-McNatt has been with ShortStack for over a decade and has served in every role from Marketing Team Lead to Customer Success. Her journey in martech continues to fuel her fascination for what drives growth. Jessica's favorite weekends are spent in the North Georgia mountains, chasing waterfalls and exploring with her family.

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