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This is my #1 entry tip because it’s the one thing people do the least. You do not want to inadvertently disqualify yourself because if you do not follow the rules, and your name is selected as a potential winner, your entry will be deleted to thrown out.
The full official rules are usually very long with many clauses designed to protect the sponsor from fraud in any manner. Read the rules slowly until you get very familiar with the layout of clauses and are able to find exactly what you are looking for quickly.
What you should always look for in the rules is: 1) entry period, 2) eligibility and 3) frequency, along with any clauses specific to the contest. For example a Twitter contest may require all entries use a specific hashtag, or a photo contest may require all entries to show the sponsor’s logo.
What most people don’t realize is when you agree to the rules; it is no different than signing a lease, a will, a mortgage, etc. The rules are a legal and binding contract between the entrant, the sponsor and the judging agency/contest management company. They can be, and have been, upheld in a court of law.
That is why ALWAYS READ THE RULES is my #1 tip.
Carolyn Wilman (aka @ContestQueen) is the author of You Can’t Win If You Don’t Enter. She teaches others how to find, organize, enter and win contests, sweepstakes and giveaways. To-date others have won over $1,000,000 using her Online Contesting System. With over twenty years experience as a Marketing Consultant, Carolyn also helps companies create, and viral market, winning promotions.