Setting up a fair contest with Random Generator

Come to the woods for here is rest. -John Muir

Having a Contest

This blog is a primer about setting up random winner on any online contest.

Giveaways and contests draw people to our blogs, websites, and books.  The wise marketer/author will make use of these.

However, the challenge is: how do I make sure my contest is operated with integrity. 

To me, being honest is more important than selling a book or finding new readers.

That’s where random generator comes in. It is a free website that selects random numbers.

Here’s how I set up this weekend’s recent complete book set giveaway.

1.  I use Mail Chimp as my newsletter provider.  It’s a good program that sets up your mailing list and helps create professional looking newsletters.   Erin Casteel, a talented Lake Charles area graphic artist, does the leg work of setting up the template.

2.  We send out the newsletter to the 1100+ subscribers we have.  The contest guidelines stipulated that anyone who read the newsletter was elgible to win a complete set (all 10) of our Creekbank Books.   The deadline was Sunday midnight.


3.  Using my Mail Chimp report page, I exported (to Excel) a file of everyone (all 215) who opened the newsletter.   This file was in the order opened from 1-215.

Random Generator. It's free!

4.  I used Random Generator to select a number.  It selected number 31.

5.  I went to my Excel file to find number 31 on the list.  It was Liz Bollich.

Liz was #31 on my Mail Chimp Database.

This is a simple way to honestly generate contest winners.  Best of all, this portion of Random Generator is free.

Your input needed:  About 20% of my newsletter subscribers opened this issue.  This is about the industry average. However, I’m not happy with it. I am thinking of removing the names of those who’ve not read/opened the last three newsletters.  What say you?

It’s really easy to remove your name from a newsletter on Mail Chimp using the unsubscribe button.

I surmise that most of these non-newsletter readers don’t want to hurt my feelings, so they just leave it alone.

Should I remove their names?

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