I recently started using Google Docs for giveaways here at This Mom Loves, and I’ve found a number of advantages:

  • It still works even when there are glitches with Blogger comments
  • It keeps entrants’ email addresses private (they appear on my spreadsheet, nowhere else)
  • It can be filled in and submitted much more efficiently (several entries all on the same form, click “submit” and you’re done)
Readers must be appreciating it, since entry numbers are definitely rising. I don’t know if Cars 2 (my Google Docs launch) was just a really popular contest, but I had more entries for that one in the first 48 hours than I had by the end of any other giveaway in the preceding few months.

I got the idea from my friend Jen at Mom vs the Boys who had been using the format for a while, and I followed the instructions on this tutorial over at Family Friendly Frugality to get started.

It takes a few minutes to create each form, and I’m still working out the most efficient way of numbering the entries, but it’s definitely worth a look. I’ve had several people leave comments in favour of the new system, and a lot of friends and acquaintances have mentioned that they’ve never entered contests before because the commenting system took too long, but now they’re entering everything.

Feel free to ask if you have any questions, whether you’re a giveaway blogger or a contest junkie, or let me know what you think about the new contest format here at This Mom Loves!

6 comments on “Using Google Docs For Giveaways”

  1. I've used google docs for a while and I do prefer that you don't have to worry about it reloading the page everytime you comment, stupid catchca or wordpress saying you are commenting too fast. Even the people who have you fill out the form for each entry, is still easier.

    HOWEVER… I MUCH prefer rafflecopter. I just started using it and noticed a HUGE increase in my entries, compared to my other giveaways. Also one problem with google docs is the entrant has no way to see how many entries there are, to see their chances. Plus companies can't see any feedback. With rafflecopter, personal info is private, it's collected easily and such, but you can require one blog comment so if you do something like "go to the company website and come back and tell me one item you would want" they could do that for the comment so you can direct company to the post to see feedback.

  2. I am late seeing this post. Thank you for the information. I have been teetering with using google docs and rafflecopter. Callista mentioned seeing comment entries for company feedback. You could do the same with google docs. The first and madatory entry would to be leave a comment on the post. The only downfall to google docs is no one really know how many entries there are with the exception of comments. I have had one Rafflecopter giveaway and it is not going so well. But I am still learning how to use it.

  3. I am wary of requiring any sort of comment for entries, since I know it was glitches with Blogger comments that was turning people off my giveaways. Now that I am using Google Docs, I am honestly getting hundreds more entries than usual. I always let the companies know how many entries and what any comments were (e.g. favourite product, or whatever my question was), but I suppose they just have to take my word for it.

    It is too bad that entrants don't see how popular the contest is, or what their odds are…but based on what I've seen over the past few giveaways, I'm sticking with what I've got for now.

  4. Lesa – I assume you're asking how I can verify that they're actually followers, etc., and if so, good question! I only bother to verify the winner. For email subscribers, it's easy because they have to provide their email address to enter, so I can just cross-reference. I have a core readership, so often I recognize names associated with Twitter handles and GFC ID's. If worse comes to worse, I can contact a potential winner and ask for their Twitter/GFC names (checking first who the last person was to sign up for each) and then it's easy to see if they were already there, or just signed up after I told them they had potentially won. To tell you the truth, I've never had a winner who had fibbed; I've always been able to find their info, so it hasn't been a big deal.

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