Our Comping Questions today are all about Automated Entry Services - do YOU know what they are? Here at The PrizeFinder, we're very much opposed to them and I worked with Loquax last year to raise awareness on my own SuperLucky blog too.
What is an Automated Entry Service?
Automated entries are competition entries submitted by a company on your behalf. So, you pay a company such as Win24, Prizewise or Prize Draw Centre to enter comps for you. That company will go to a website, and use an automated script to submit thousands of competition entries, assigning you an email from one of their own domain names. All About Prizes actually charge a whopping £29 per month!
Aren't automated entries the same as Autofill or Roboform?
No. Most browsers now come with a standard Autofill function designed to help you fill out common name and address fields - people use these all the time, whether that's for online shopping OR entering a competition. Many compers also use Roboform which is a more advanced version of Autofill. A comper using Autofill/Roboform still visits a website to enter a comp - someone who has paid to use an automated entry service DOESN'T visit the site.
Why do people use Automated Entry Services?
They may be short on time, or simply lazy! Here at The PrizeFinder we think comping should be fun. We help you out by listing competitions on websites, but you still need to click the links and complete your details. Sometimes you'll need to find the answer or complete a tiebreaker too - we like to think the extra effort adds to the joy of the hobby! Using an Automated Entry Service means you don't even know what competitions you're entered into, what prizes you might win - or even whether or not your entry has even been counted! There are very few examples of successful winners on the Automated Entry Services sites - read yesterday's Loquax blog for more details.
Why don't promoters like Automated Entries?
Competitions are designed to get you to visit a promoter's website and spend a bit of time there entering a competition or trying to find an answer to a question. Now, that promoter may get 10,000 or more entries from the same 'Automated Entry' company - none of these people have even visited their website. Any further email correspondence or newsletters are received by the Automated Entry Service's email account, so never reach the prospective customer! So it's in the promoter's interest to disqualify them, and lots of them DO. You'll often see this text in competition Terms and Conditions: 'Automated/bulk entries will be disqualified'.
Why should I care about Automated Entries?
If an Automated Entry Service submits 10,000 entries to a competition, that means the odds of YOU winning will be tiny. It also means that websites like the PrizeFinder will have less users winning prizes, and we LOVE to hear about our members' wins! It's in a comper's best interests to warn promoters and ask them to include 'Automated entries will be disqualified' in their Terms and Conditions if they don't already.
Have YOU ever used Automated Entry services, or know someone who has? Are you a promoter who has been targeted by them? Tell us your experiences!