Do you want to create a contest or giveaway on your site that goes viral and gets you more traffic and engagement from users?
Hosting a giveaway is easy! All you need is the right tool and always have an end goal in mind.
In this step-by-step tutorial, we’ll show you how to easily host a viral giveaway or contest on your site. There’s no coding involved, so anyone can use this method.
What You Need to Host a Successful Contest in WordPress
If you want your contest to be successful, you should always plan out your objectives for the contest. What do you hope to achieve? More website traffic, more social media followers, or email subscribers?
Make sure you also calculate your budget that you can spend on prizes.
Aside from this, you need a WordPress plugin that will take care of the technical side of hosting an online contest.
For this tutorial, we’ve chosen RafflePress as it stands out as the #1 giveaway plugin for WordPress.
RafflePress is a powerful giveaway plugin that’s got all the features you’ll need while hosting your contest.
First, it’s easy to use and you can make contests that people love to join.
It has giveaway templates and a simple drag-and-drop builder. You can easily create your contests by just moving things around with your mouse.
It comes with 20+ contest entry options that include:
- 1 click entry
- Visit, follow, or subscribe on social media platforms
- Like a page, post, video
- Refer a friend (Viral sharing)
- Sign up for an email newsletter
- Tweet a message
- Answer a question
- Take a survey
- Leave a comment
- Submit a blog post
- Subscribe to RSS feed or podcast
That’s just to name a few. You can connect to all the popular platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Linkedin, TikTok, Trustpilot, Capterra, and more.
RafflePress lets you create a dedicated giveaway landing page for your contest. Also, you can add tracking and retargeting rules to maximize your conversion goals.
Aside from this, every contest you create automatically is protected against fraud to eliminate fake entries.
Now that you know why we chose RafflePress as #1 among the best WordPress giveaway plugins, let’s get started with the tutorial.
How to Create a WordPress Contest or Giveaway
Step 1: Install RafflePress
RafflePress has a free version and premium version. The free lite plugin lets you create cool contests for your site, however, if you want all the bells and whistles, then you can sign up for a pro plan.
The free plugin is available in the WordPress plugin repository. From your WordPress dashboard, go to the Plugins » Add New page. Here, search for ‘RafflePress’ and install and activate it.
That’s it! You’re ready to use the plugin.
If you’re choosing the pro version, then sign up for a RafflePress plan. Inside your account, you’ll see an option to download the plugin and copy the license key.
Now, you can upload this plugin file under the Plugins » Add New » Upload Plugin tab.
Once installed, you can enter your license key on the next page. You can also access this any time you need under the Settings tab of RafflePress.
Now, you’re ready to create your first contest for your WordPress website.
Step 2: Create a Contest
Head over to RafflePress » Add New in your WordPress dashboard menu.
This will open up the template library where you can check out the different templates available. There’s a field to give your contest a name. This name is for your internal reference.
Then when you hover over any template, you can view a demo or choose to use this template.
Once you’ve selected your template, the contest builder will appear. This builder is so easy to use even if you’re completely new to WordPress.
First, you can enter a name for your contest that will appear on your website. Below that there’s an option to add a description.
In the left menu, you can add the contest start and end time and also choose which timezone you want to target.
At the top right corner of this screen, you can preview your contest as it would look when it’s live on your site. You can also save your changes here.
If you want to add an image to your contest to really make it pop, there’s an option to do that in the editor on the right.
All you have to do is click the Select Image button and choose to upload a file from your local computer.
We recommend adding just enough giveaway prize details including images and the value of the prize. This will get users interested in entering the giveaway contest.
Once you’re done editing, make sure you save your changes. Next, we’ll show you how to add entry options.
Step 3: Add Entry Options
RafflePress really shines when it comes to contest entry options. There’s a long list you can choose from under the Actions tab on the left. You can choose these options based on your goals and marketing strategies.
For instance, you can ask users to do such as follow, like, or share on social media.
If you want to grow your email list, then you can ask users to sign up for your email marketing newsletter. If you want to collect data, you can ask users to answer a question or submit a post or image.
If you’re a WooCommerce (eCommerce) site, then you ask customers to refer a friend. This helps boost brand awareness. If you don’t see the entry method you want, you can also invent your own option.
Keep in mind, that you’re not limited to one. You can add multiple ways to enter your contest and allow users to get extra entries to win a prize.
Take a look at the entry methods available in the editor below:
All you have to do is click the plus icon next to the one you want, and it will automatically be added to your contest.
So for instance, we’re adding the ‘Answer a question’ entry option. Once added to the giveaway campaign, you’ll see editing options appear on the left.
Here, you can add your questions and answers. You can choose to add an open question where users can fill out their own answers, or you can give them multiple choices.
You’ll see an option to an a value as well. This is how many giveaway contest entries is this task worth. So you can entice people to pick this option by increasing its value. So for instance, we can give them 5 contest entries to answer this question so they’ll be more likely to complete this task.
Next, we’re also adding an option to refer a friend. You can allow users to quickly share the contest on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, and email. This will help you get more momentum for your contest.
Now you’re ready to customize your contest design and configure important settings.
Step 4: Customize the Design and Settings
RafflePress gives you complete control over the look and feel of your contest. This lets you create a design that seamlessly fits into the rest of your website.
In the left menu, switch to the Design tab. Here, you can change the layout, fonts, and button colors. You can add your own background as well.
If you’d like to add custom CSS, there’s an input field for that too.
Next, let’s configure the settings of your contest.
If you switch the the Settings tab in the left menu, you’ll see all the settings options including General, Giveaway Rules, Automation, GDPR, and more.
You can explore these options as you need. Everything is self-explanatory and really easy to use.
So for instance, if you want to add rules to your giveaway, open the Giveaway Rules tab. Now you’ll see an option to enter your terms and conditions of entering the contest.
If you’re not sure what to add, there’s an option to generate rules. This will take you to a generic template of rules that usually apply to any online contest. You’ll have a foundation that you can build on or customize as you need.
If you need to add GDPR consent, then open the GDPR tab. You can enable GDPR consent with just the click of a button to switch the toggle on. Then you can add your own GDPR consent text and you’re done.
Like this, you can add success tracking, redirects, ReCaptcha, social logins, email verification, and more. This contest plugin has everything you need for a successful giveaway.
We won’t go into too much detail here cause RafflePress is straightforward. You shouldn’t have any trouble configuring your settings.
If you do face issues, there’s tons of documentation and tutorials on the RafflePress website. Plus, they have a really awesome support team that you can get in touch with and they’ll help you out.
Make sure you hit the Save button at the top to store your changes.
Now you’re ready to publish your new giveaway on your website.
Step 5: Publish the Contest
To add your new contest to a page or post, open the block editor in WordPress.
Add a new block using the plus icon and search for ‘RafflePress’.
When you add this RafflePress WordPress block, you’ll see RafflePress appear with a dropdown menu. You can choose the campaign you just created.
You can preview your contest and publish the post or page to make your campaign live.
If you want to add the contest to a sidebar or footer, you need to go to Appearance » Widgets in your WordPress dashboard. Here, search for RafflePress and drag and drop the block to your sidebar.
Now you can choose the campaign you created from the dropdown menu. Make sure you update your sidebar to see the changes.
RafflePress also supports WordPress shortcodes if you need to embed the contest somewhere else.
If you ever need to edit your giveaway, you can access the campaign under RafflePress » Giveaways.
You’ll see a list of the campaigns you created. You can view all the details of how many people have entered the campaign along with the start date and end date.
You can view the status of your campaign as well to see when it’s going to start or end depending on the dates and times you entered. You also get an option to ‘Start Now’ if you want to launch your campaign right away.
Declaring a Winner of Your Giveaway
Once your contest ends, on the RafflePress » Giveaways page, you’ll see that the contest ‘Needs Winners’.
Click this option and a new popup will appear with a winner selection. You can select how many winners you want to declare. There’s also an option to choose only verified emails so you know your winner is legit.
The RafflePress plugin will randomly select giveaway winners for you. You’ll see their names and details appear. You can email your winner, disqualify them, or show entries.
That’s it! You’ve learned how to create a contest or giveaway in WordPress!
Now with RafflePress, running giveaways is so easy even for beginners. You can use this plugin to set up and run multiple contests simultaneously. Next, you may also want to see our guides on:
These guides will help you set up a contact form so users can get in touch with you. You’ll also learn how to track your WordPress site’s performance with Google Analytics and boost SEO as well!