How to Set Up a Successful Raffle or Competition Website
Posted on 11th November 2021
Over the past 18 months, it’s become a virtual world with many of our traditional leisure activities moved online.
If you regularly run a raffle or competition at one of your local events or to raise funds for local projects or good causes, there’s now a new way to attract interest and sell tickets. Online raffle and competition websites are becoming very popular, but how do you set one up? Let’s take you through the process.
What are raffle and competition websites?
In their simplest form, a raffle website or a competition website is an online ticket-based event that is used to raise funds. People buy raffle tickets online or enter a competition to win prizes. The good thing is that they don’t need a lot of planning, nor do they cost a lot to start, but you will struggle to sell tickets if the prizes aren’t of sufficient quality and interest.
How to set up a raffle or competition website
There are several steps to consider when setting up a raffle or competition website, which we’ll take you through.
Step 1 – get together a team to help you plan and run your virtual raffle or competition. Their roles will include procurement of the prizes, marketing and promotion, managing online ticket sales and supporter data and hosting the live draw.
Step 2 – set out your guidelines and decide your goals, such as:
Your budget for securing prizes as well as managing and running the raffle/competition
Your goals, including how many tickets you need to sell to cover your costs and how much money you’d like to raise
Decide how long you are going to run the competition, when you are going to close it and when you will conduct the draw (live or not live).
Step 3 – get a website built from which you can promote and manage the raffle effectively. Make sure it includes:
Built-in ticketing tools and online bidding software that allows supporters to buy their tickets online
Easy set up for the handling of registrations and if doing the draw live, you will need a live streaming facility
A connected database or CRM solution to store supporters’ personal details and record transactions
Payment options, such as a reliable payment gateway or processor
Analytical software to monitor online activity
The reason for the raffle or competition, i.e., the charity, project, or good cause.
Step 4 – choose the social media platform you are going to use to promote your raffle, such as Facebook or Instagram. Beware that some social media platforms have regulations regarding the advertising of prize competitions so check first before you promote via social media.
Step 5 - decide on and procure your prizes; remember, they are the main attraction that will encourage people to buy tickets so they need to generate sufficient interest to make your competition a success. You may find that local businesses are willing to donate a prize or two, such as a smart TV, dinner for two, a gaming package, or a luxury holiday. Make sure you have the full permission of the prize provider to promote it as part of your advertising campaign and that you’re not infringing on any brand intellectual property rights.
Step 6 – promote your raffle and sell tickets. You can start promoting the competition even before it has opened, i.e., before tickets are available, using a ‘coming soon’ theme on your raffle website. Before you start advertising and promoting your competition, make sure you have a marketing and promotion plan in place. Also consider special offers or bundle discounts, such as buy 10 tickets and get 2 free.
Step 7 – decide if you’re doing the draw live online or behind the scenes and announcing the draw after closing the competition. If you decide to draw the winner live online, you will have a captive, engaged audience. However, always notify and announce the winner online after the draw as the person who won may not be in your audience.
Legal requirements to run an online raffle or competition
It’s important to remember that when running a raffle or competition online, if it’s for private or commercial gain, you will need a licence from The Gambling Commission or your local council. If it’s to raise funds for a charity, local project or good cause, you may not need a licence but it is always worth checking before you go ahead.
There are specific legal requirements for organising an online raffle or competition:
You must register your organisation’s online raffle/competition with your local council as you will be selling tickets to the general public
Whilst you don’t need to include your local council’s name on the tickets, you must ensure the competition complies with the Gambling Act 2005
Tickets must be sold for the price specified on the website
Every ticket number must be unique and recognisable
You must keep track of all ticket sales and official records on how the raffle or competition was promoted, how many tickets were sold, and the prizes
If your raffle or competition does require a licence, you must submit a report to your local authority stating the number of tickets printed and how many were sold. Your local authority may want further details so it’s better to check with them first.
You must notify all winners immediately and send out their prizes, once address details have been confirmed, as soon as possible
You must publish online the raffle results (without winners’ addresses, of course)
All ticket holders must know the time and place of the draw.
Looking to run a raffle or competition online and need a new website built, or an update to an existing website in an affordable, approachable way? it’seeze Web Design Ashford is a Kent-based website design company that delivers professional web design to your specifications. Not sure if your website is working for you? We offer a free website audit that will decipher the areas where improvements can be made. Call us today to create the competition website of your dreams and turn your online raffle business into a success.
This article is brought to you from the desk of Nick Templeton, consultant for it'seeze Ashford, Kent.
Nick is keen to see our clients with competition websites succeed! If you want to find out more about our web design services, feel free to contact us for more information.
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