Woobox 101: Basics of Contest Rules

Facebook, How To's, Tips

Here at Woobox we are not lawyers and we do not offer specific legal advice, however we can offer some tips on the basics to help guide you in the right direction. In this article we will discuss guidelines that are important to remember for your contest official rules:

Disclaimer: Woobox is not responsible for any legal rules surrounding your contest. Please contact a lawyer to verify or help create official rules for your contest.

Disclaimer

This one is pretty straight forward. Facebook offers its own Promotion Guidelines that covers the do’s and don’ts for promotions on their platform. Facebook requires that you must include a written disclaimer that includes the following:

  • A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
  • Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.

Here at Woobox we offer some default language for each contest apps that states:
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to {business_name} and not to Facebook. By participating in this promotion you agree to a complete release of Facebook from any claims.

Even though this is on the entry page it best to be safe and add it to your overall official rules as well.

Entry Requirements

Most contests online are hoping to go viral, and that means that you can have a wide variety of entrants. So stating the requirements directly in the official rules helps to ensure that all users are made aware of the required steps for entry. So you will want to be sure to set specific eligibility requirements, such as:

  • Age
  • Geography
  • Dates for entry or voting
  • When the winner will be selected.

If your prize can only be collected locally want to state any geographical restrictions so that users are aware of the need to be located near the collection area. For examples like an in store coupon, physical service like a message or dental checkup, or concert tickets for a specific location.

Winner Information

There are four commonly accepted ways to choose a winner for your contest. These can each be used on their own, or in combination with one another:

  • Random selection
  • Selection by a panel of judges
  • Most votes submitted by the public
  • Selection by the contest owner of the entry that best exemplifies the entry requirement

The best way to contact the winner after a contest is via email. Woobox will place a defaulted Email field on all contests so make sure to leave that field for email on your entry form. Also, it’s best to tell entrants when you’ll be sending the email. This helps to reduce having to respond to multiple entrants as to when the winner will be announced. You can also provide a time limit for how long a winner will have to claim their prize before you move on to the next winner.

You want to be able to announce the winner in a timely fashion, or else entrants will forget or start asking you about it. As a general rule, give 3 – 7 days for the winner to respond to your email before selecting another (be sure to let the original winner know you’re doing so by email).

Information Collection

With the tightening of email privacy legislation you will want to be direct in letting your entrants know how their personal and contact information will be used. If a person enters a contest, you will want to add an optional opt-in checkbox to allow people to opt-in to receive emails from you after your contest is over. You don’t want to start email blasting users that are not expecting it, as this might come off as misleading and deter entrants form entering again in the future. Also, state if you are going to provide the entry list to any contest sponsors, you can add an additional checkbox on the entry form so that entrants can opt-in for both or place it clearly in your official rules.

Rule Violations

Although uncommon, there is a chance that someone may commit some kind of fraud in order to increase their chances of winning. The most common style of fraud that we have come across is vote buying. Vote buying is when people pay others to vote for their entry when a contest winner is decided by number of votes. Now, it can be almost impossible to prove 100% that a person has bought votes, but there are some red flags that can be clearly seen if someone is.

Here are a few warning signs that a person is buying votes:

  1. One entry has a large number of votes form a single IP.
  2. One entry is getting a large number of votes from people who live in different countries.
  3. There is a clear patterned in the timing of the votes (Every 5 seconds)

Here’s one way that you could write your terms of how you will deal with fraud:

We reserve the right to disqualify any entrant that we suspect of vote rigging or vote buying.

You will always want to include, no matter which type of winner selection method you choose, a caveat that you have the right to disqualify any entry. This is important if you need to disqualify an inappropriate or fraudulent entry.

Now that you know the basics of contest rules, get started for free and begin setting up your next successful promotion. Have Questions? Leave them in the comments or email us at Support@woobox.com

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