WPin’s Review Of The WP Raffle Plugin.
The WP Raffle plugin is available to buy from WPEka a monster theme/plugin company with a shed load of WordPress themes & plugins up for grabs, some free others premium.
Well I got an email from them mentioning the WP Raffle plugin and I thought to myself that looks pretty cool, I think I’ll review it for WPin.me. I asked and they said yup, so here goes.
About the WP Raffle Plugin
At its core, WP Raffle takes the onus of having to use a third-party solution such as Raffle Copter etc and lets you run giveaways, competitions and such right from your very own self-hosted WordPress install. Giving you complete control over the competition and bringing it in-house as it were.
If you’ve ever wanted to run a giveaway on your very own blog it’s relatively simple to do Raffle Copter is a piece of cake to use. However I wanted to show you, you don’t have to rely on the third party all the time.
WP Raffle drives social engagement so individuals can enter a competition to win a product or service from your blog. All the individual has to do is like your Facebook page, perhaps follow you on Twitter, retweet a pre-defined message etc, etc.
If you’ve ever entered a competition online that’s used social media chances are it would have been something very similar to the WP Raffle plugin or indeed Raffle Copter.
Installing WP Raffle
Installing WP Raffle plugin is the same process as you would very every other plugin simply add a new plugin and upload them.ZIP file. Nice and simple. Upon installing the WP Raffle plugin you will have a new menu element called Raffles.
It’s from here we can view all existing raffles, add a new raffle and finally adjust the settings. The image shown is of the settings panel for the plugin itself, we have options here to add in our Facebook API details for joining WP Raffle to Facebook to track those who like pages and such.
There’s integration with the email giants that are MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, and Aweber. These options will, of course, require an API which you will be able to find from your control panel for the aforementioned.
Creating A Facebook App For WP Raffle
For those who think Facebook is a nightmare to set up can breathe a sigh of relief. Thankfully the plugin tells you how to create a Facebook app to work with your installation of WP Raffle, thus making it an absolute breeze to get up and running. I just followed the instructions shown above and it worked like a charm, I love easy.
What about setting up a raffle using the WordPress plugin?
Well, that’s relatively easy to do in fairness. Don’t worry though I’ll go through it with you.
Naming your giveaway
Not unlike naming a blog post in truth simply give it a name and add a price. You can also add a small image of exactly what you’re giving away on your blog.
Have more than one prize? Simple just keep adding them as you see fit.
Adding A Facebook Page
Funnily enough, this is where you enter in a Facebook page for people to like, could be yours could be the vendor of whatever you are promoting at the time. Here you can attribute how many raffle entries users will receive upon liking the page. After you have done that you will see this on your raffle on the front end.
You will note of course I have a pitiful 2 likes on my Facebook page. In fairness I don’t really like FB, I never have hence the 2 likes. Oh well. You will also note that there is a box for users to paste on their Facebook page so you can verify they have indeed liked your page. Just in case they cheat etc, etc.
Setting up a tweet for WP Raffle
This part is pretty cool, again you can attribute points between 1-10 for this entry. Here you can add some text that will be shown in the tweet, the plugin itself will append the URL of whatever the post or page is shown in via a shortcode.
Here is where we need to make it sexy and get people to tweet to enter (I prefer Twitter over all the other platforms) so I will add 2 points for this. As I want to target WordPress peeps I have added the hashtag #WordPress to give it some weight. I’ve also added in my @wp_in username so I can cross reference and such. See below for how it displays on the front end:
We also have the option for users to cut and paste the URL to the tweet in the box so we can verify, although I’ve added in my username in the Tweet itself it’s just another way to verify the entry.
Follow On Twitter Setting
Want to reward another entry with some points just for following you on Twitter? Well, this is where you need to input your username, a simple @username will suffice here. How does it look on the front end? See below:
WP Raffle lists the number of followers you have and also displays a message stating that if you already follow you’re entitled to a free entry! All of this data as with the above will be stored in the Raffle post type so you can cross reference and such.
It’s a great way to build your Twitter following and reward your followers both new and existing a free entry to win your awesome product/service.
Last on the list email subscriber entries
Whether you’re using MailChimp, Campaign Monitor or Aweber this is the section to add in a subscribers list for you to add people to. It’s as easy as the other entries to configure and in this case I am using MailChimp, so I just need to find my email list ID and enter in. You’ve also got an option for adding some text in for users to agree to before subscribing, here you can tailor it to fit your needs. What does it look like?
Well as you can see from the above, you have to check the box for confirmation then hit subscribe. A great way to grow your email subscribers list and reach out to previously unknown readers.
Setting up the time and the shortcode
After you have added in your social media ways to win using the WP Raffle settings you can nominate a time to run the raffle from and to. It’s here you can choose a date it starts and of course a date it will finish.
This, of course, is displayed on the front end to make potential entrants aware of the time frame they have to enter. Just above this is the shortcode for you to cut and paste into a blog post and page of your choosing.
Once you have added all your entries you then hit publish and simply enter in the shortcode to be displayed.
WP Raffle Plugin Plus Points
It’s easy to use. It’s a breeze to get up and running and has instruction on how to set up Facebook etc. The potential of this plugin is quite exciting, especially if you have a popular website with a large user base. Or indeed for those just starting out and want a way to engage readers by running your very own giveaway.
WP Raffle Plugin Negative points
Its negatives are minimal, however like everything in life along with the good you have to take the bad. The bad for me is the aesthetics, I’d like to see options to choose the background color of the front end displayed. I’d like to change the text of elements to make it more enticing, I’d like to see a drop-down option whereby users can click and display all the options available to them for social sharing.
Minor points granted, however, those looking for a sexy looking competition plugin may well have to look elsewhere. Those looking to drive more social shares and increase there social media presence and couldn’t give rats on how it looks, get the plugin. Simple.
In truth for the current price of $21.00 (usually $41.00 so get in quick) the WP Raffle plugin is a must for anyone that wants to grow there social following. Be it generating awareness through tweets of your brand / product /service, generating more followers or Facebook likes for your page. Did I mention growing email subscribers? No? Well you can with the WP Raffle plugin. I really like the plugin, it's a piece of cake to use and could see your social prescence go through the roof. As long of course as your offering is strong! That being said for a small investment of $21.00 it's worth it's weight in gold.Sure it's got it's pitfalls in terms of aesthetics and lack of ability to really go to town on certain things like renaming and making things more enticing. The IMPORTANT thing to remember is this "When was the last time you didn't enter a competition because of the way it looks?".Flat answer I bet it was never, so what are you waiting for? Grab the plugin for $21.00 here.