Hosting a giveaway is a popular way to introduce a new product or service on your website. When properly promoted, a giveaway can bring you an influx of new readers, traffic and can boost participation on your existing content. Other than using a 3rd party randomizer of some kind, there’s no easy way to do it in WordPress without a plugin. Not all giveaways are structured the same, so we’ve selected five unique plugins that make it easy to set up a giveaway on your WordPress site.
WP Giveaways is one of the most comprehensive plugins for selecting a winner from your WordPress users. It makes it possible for you to select a random winner(s) from a pool of subscribers or any role you select. The plugin allows you to host multiple giveaways and each will have a unique shortcode that will display the date of the next scheduled draw. WP Giveaways features the following:
- Set up a custom email template used to email the prize
- Attach files or simply email out the links to the prize(s)
- Each giveaway can be set as a recurring giveaway or a onetime deal
- Limit the contestant pool to the subscribers that registered since the giveaway was initially published
- View the history for each of the giveaways in terms of draw dates and the associated winners
- Choose how many winners to announce for each giveaway
The handy thing about WP Giveaways is that it is totally automated. Once you schedule your giveaway, there is nothing else you have to do. The plugin utilizes WP Cron to schedule the draw and will automatically email the winner using the alert template that you create.
Give It Away Now
Give It Away Now is a relatively new plugin that is specifically for creating daily giveaways. Users can only enter once per day and the results are available in the admin settings page. Giveaways are created as a new content type with a featured image and the following fields: Why, About, Rules, Number of Prizes and End Date. This is how the new content type appears on the frontend:
The post will automatically indicate when the giveaway has closed and all published giveaways will appear in their own archive. The Give It Away Now plugin is useful if you are hosting giveaways that last only 24 hours.
Meetup Winner is a plugin that allows you to host a giveaway at your local meetup. It integrates with the Meetup.com API to select a random member of your Meetup who RSVPed to your event. You can then give away swag or prizes at the event.
The Meetup Winner plugin is very easy to use. Simply add your API key in the settings, add your shortcode with the event’s ID to a page, and the winner will be shown on the frontend of the page.
Pick Giveaway Winner
If you want to select a winner based on comments on a post, the Pick Giveaway Winner plugin will do the trick. Its configuration page is found under the Tools menu.
The plugin uses MySQL’s random function RAND() to randomly select the winners directly from the database. When selecting a winner, you have the option to disqualify entrants who have submitted multiple entries, allow multiple entries, or disqualify multiple entries and allow only one to count. Pick Giveaway Winner hasn’t been updated in awhile, but I tested it with WordPress 3.9 and had no issues.
The idea behind the Golden Ticket plugin is to incentive interaction on your WordPress site. Essentially, the golden ticket is like a prize the user has to hunt for in order to win the reward. You can create multiple golden tickets and hide them throughout your content using a simple [ goldenticket ] shortcode. The golden ticket will pop into view after triggered by an action, which you can define in the settings.
There are three available triggers for revealing the ticket:
- After a set amount of time: If you want to reward only the most loyal of readers, set the delay to something like 30 seconds. If they are still reading your content after 30 seconds, odds are they will read the ticket when it appears.
- When the mouse is over the ticket: The ticket will remain invisible until the user hovers over it with the mouse. This is for those readers who scan through the content with their mouse cursor.
- When the ticket is scrolled into view: The ticket will remain hidden on the page until the position of the ticket is scrolled into view. This means if you hide the ticket near the end of the content, it will never show until the user scrolls to that point.
The Golden Ticket plugin offers a nice way to identify readers who interact with your content and reward them accordingly. It’s not your traditional giveaway plugin, but it’s likley more accurate at rewarding those who are truly interested in your content, instead of randomly selecting from visitors who are only interested in the prize.