Are form fillers okay to use?

A. This question has been debated over and over in various sweepstakes forms, but the short answer is that in most cases, yes.

The purpose of a company running a promotion is to get marketing exposure, brand recognition, word-of-mouth advertising, and so forth. If you visit their website, if you know the company sponsoring the sweepstakes, and if you know what you’re trying to win — then generally speaking the companies don’t mind if you use form filling software.

You have to remember that behind each sweepstakes, is a real person managing the promotion. If they see that people are indeed engaging with their brand, then they are usually quite happy.

You also need to remember that each sweepstakes is different. While most don’t mind, some might. It is always important to read the rules. That being said, I have personally read numerous winning stories (literally hundreds of them) in which someone won a prize, and admitted to using a form filler to help speed up the process.

How do I prevent disqualification?

A. You need to remember that it is up to the individual sponsor to decide, but as a general rule of thumb if you do any of the following, it could possibly get you disqualified.

(a) Don’t enter more than you are allowed. If the sweepstakes says you’re allowed to enter once per day, and you enter 10 times per day, most likely all of your additional entries will be disqualified. In some cases all of your entries may be disqualified, because the company thinks you are trying to abuse the system.

(b) Don’t Abuse unlimited entries. There are some companies that still allow you to have unlimited entries. That means, you could sit in front of the computer all day, and keep on entering the sweepstakes. But even though it says “unlimited”, in many cases it’s not really “unlimited”. This is because companies are smart enough to know when it’s a person doing it as opposed to a computer script. Realistically, in a day, a real person might at most enter 100 times for an “unlimited” sweepstakes. If, however, there are 100,000 entries in 10 minutes, the company will deduce that their system is being abused, and most likely disqualify that individual.

(c) Don’t have someone else enter for you (i.e., entering not from your own computer). If you do not actually enter the sweepstakes from your own computer, then you may be disqualified. Simply because, if a company sees hundreds of different entries for hundreds of different individuals coming from the same IP address (a.k.a. the same computer), then they will most likely disqualify those entries. This is simply because the person being entered probably has no idea of what they are being entered for.

(d) Don’t enter for multiple people “in excess”. While most companies will let you enter for, say, a son or daughter, a husband or wife, and so forth — if you start entering for 20 or 30 different people, chances are they will disqualify those entries, and yours as well. This is simply because, there are some people who will indeed make up fake names and fake addresses just to try and win a prize. Sponsors are smart enough to recognize this, and if it appears it is being abused, pretty much all entries from the same computer will be disqualified.