March has arrived, which means that Saint Patrick’s Day is around the corner. Wondering if you have the “luck o’ the Irish” this Saint Patrick’s day? Try your hand at entering some awesome sweepstakes–you just might get lucky!
While we hope that the odds are in your favor, it never hurts to maximize your luck where you can. One of the best ways to do that is by making sure you understand how to enter sweepstakes correctly. Oftentimes, entry instructions are vague, confusing, and it’s easy to make mistakes if you’re new to the art of sweepstaking. However, failing to properly follow the instructions can void or disqualify your entry, which is the last thing you want when you’re trying to put Lady Luck to the test.
If you’re looking for clear instructions on how to enter the best sweepstakes, be sure to order an issue of this month’s Sweepstakes Advisor Prize Report. You’ll receive a comprehensive list of all of the best current sweepstakes in addition to detailed entry instructions, saving you time, effort, and the risk of making a mistake. And in the meantime, check out these tips for entering sweepstakes correctly:
15 Best Sweepstakes Entry Tips
As you’re entering sweepstakes this Saint Patrick’s Day, be sure to keep these tips in mind. The best way to lose out on luck is to disqualify yourself with an invalid entry. For many sweepstakes, the entry rules are very specific, and if you’re new to sweepstaking, it’s essential to understand common rules, terminology, and details to look for as you’re submitting your entry. So check out these tips–some of them might surprise you!
1. Use the Right Envelope
Believe it or not, when it comes to mailing in your entry, the type of envelope you use matters. This is why it’s important to look closely at the mailing instructions as you’re preparing your entry and follow them exactly. If the instructions require you to use a specific envelope size, make sure you do so.
Although some sweepstakes specify an envelope size, others don’t. If an envelope size isn’t specified, use a #10 envelope (4.125 inches x 9.5 inches). This is a standard envelope size, and one you probably already have around your house!
2. Know the Difference Between Postcards and Cards
The lingo in the entry instructions can be a little confusing, especially when you’re new to sweepstaking. One common source of confusion is the difference between cards and postcards. In the world of sweepstaking, the terms are not interchangeable, so if you’re wondering which to use, here’s a good rule of thumb: Unless the sweepstakes instructions specifically say that postcards are acceptable, don’t assume they are. If the instructions say “card”, they mean a blank note card, and they want you to mail it in an envelope. If the instructions use the words “3×5 postcard”, they actually mean 3.5 x 5, which is the smallest standard postcard size.
3. Use Upper and Lowercase Letters
Unless the instructions specifically say to use block print, hand print your entry in standard upper and lowercase letters. If the instructions use the term “block print”, however, this means to write in all capital letters.
4. Copy the Required Phrase Exactly
When writing the required phrase for your entry, be sure to copy it exactly–this is an instance where attention to detail really matters. Beyond spelling the word correctly, make sure you use the same capitalization, quotation marks, punctuation, and abbreviations as they appear in the entry instructions.
5. Only One Entry Per Envelope
If the number of allowed entries isn’t specifically mentioned in the instructions, we have good news: that means you can enter as many times as you’d like, so be sure to maximize your odds with additional entries! However, as you’re preparing to mail your entries, remember: only one entry card is allowed per envelope.
6. Envelope Rules
Unless the entry instructions specify, feel free to either type or handwrite the address and return address on the envelope. Return address stamps and stickers are also permitted unless the instructions say otherwise.
7. Understand What “SASE” Means
Wondering what “SASE” means? If you see this acronym on the entry instructions, it’s an abbreviation for “Self Addressed, Stamped Envelope”, meaning that is how you should mail your entry.
8. Use a Full Name
When you see the word “name” on an entry card, be sure to use a full name. However, it doesn’t have to be your full name in the legal sense of the word–simply a full name. While nicknames like Maddy or Tommy are acceptable, avoid using abbreviated names such as “B.J.”, “Dr. Davis”, or “Mrs. Smith”.
9. Use Your Full Address
When entry instructions use the term “address”, it is referring to your full address. This means street name, apartment number, and the part that sweepstakes commonly forget: zip code. Although most people choose to use their home address, P.O. boxes are usually acceptable too. Just make sure that the instructions don’t specify otherwise.
10. Use a Valid Phone Number
This tip is pretty straightforward. Most entry instructions require a phone number, and if they do, you really can’t go wrong–as long as it’s a number where you can actually be reached. Feel free to use your cell phone, a family member’s cell phone, a home phone, or even a work phone–and don’t forget the area code.
11. Know the Difference Between Paper and Cards
Pay close attention to the terminology used in the entry instructions. If the instructions specifically ask for “paper”, use plain, white writing paper (Unfortunately, this isn’t a time to be creative). If the instructions refer to a “card”, use a thick, plain card, with a thickness similar to a postcard or a sheet of cardstock. The paper or card should be unlined, plain, white, and have no other writing on it besides the entry information.
Regardless of whether you’re using paper or a card, remember to make sure it matches the size specified in the instructions. The dimensions need to be within 1/16 inches of the specified size.
12. Know the Term “OEB”
If you run into the term “OEB” on the entry instructions, know that it stands for “Official Entry Blank”. Most Official Entry Blanks must be requested with a SASE (Self Addressed, Stamped Envelope).
Sometimes the entry instructions say that they allow a “reasonable facsimile”. If you’re wondering what this means, you’re not alone! “Reasonable facsimile” means a copy that closely matches the original item. In other words, if you see that term, it’s okay to send a photocopy of the OEB. Otherwise, you should assume that it needs to be the original OEB and photocopies are not acceptable.
13. Write With a Pen and Skip the Pencil
When filling out your entry, avoid pencils and opt for using ink. Although you can use any type of pen, we recommend a ballpoint pen because they are less likely to smear or run if the entry card or envelope gets wet in the mail.
14. Type the URL Exactly
If your entry instructions specify a website, make sure you type the given URL correctly into the web browser. Otherwise, you may receive a site error or land on the wrong website. And if you’re wondering what browser to use, opt for any common browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.
15. Create the Needed Social Media Accounts
Some sweepstakes require you to enter through social media. If so, you’ll need to create an account on the specified social media platform if you don’t already have one. Setting up a profile on most social media platforms (such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok) is very simple and won’t cost you anything except a few minutes of your time.
If the rules specify that you need to follow or like a given social media account or post, don’t forget to do so. If you don’t complete those extra steps, your entry could automatically be deemed invalid.
How to Find the Best Sweepstakes
Now that you know the tips and tricks, it’s time to decide which sweepstakes to enter. Wondering how to find the best sweepstakes this Saint Patrick’s Day? Although there are many websites claiming to have “legit sweepstakes”, finding legitimate sweepstakes that are worth your time and effort can take a lot of tedious research–so let us take care of it for you!
At the Sweepstakes Advisors, we have over 30 years of experience under our belts helping people find and win the best sweepstakes, and we’re passionate about helping you win too! So be sure to order your Sweepstakes Advisor Report. For only $5 per issue, you’ll receive a comprehensive guide to all of the best current sweepstakes, both online and offline, as well as a set of detailed entry instructions.
Start Sweepstaking Today
This Saint Patrick’s Day, put your luck to the test by entering some exciting sweepstakes. It’s easy to enter and you could win big–but either way, you’ll have a blast. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!