Winning Sweepstakes Media

There are many different types of media used for sweepstakes. This is because many companies want to reach as wide an audience as possible, so will offer these different media to enter. It is quite possible to have one sweepstakes media entry method that is not accessible through other means - so if you understand the different types of entry methods, you can maximize your chances of winning.

Sweepstakes Type Entry Information Winning Strategies
Online Sweepstakes
This is the most common type of sweepstakes. Very easy to enter, they tend to require only basic information (name, e-mail address and optionally a mailing address, phone number and birthdate). Many times these will tend to be daily sweepstakes. You can maximize your chances of winning by making sure you enter every day.
Instant Win
Instant wins tend to require you to play a game in order to win a prize. But if you win - you will literally know right away, as soon as you finish playing the game. Hence the name 'instant win'. They will also tend to send you an e-mail confirmation as well, in case you accidentally close a winning window. Many companies don't fully promote an instant win sweepstakes at the beginning or end of a campaign. So if you enter at the start or end, you tend to have a better chance of winning (fewer entrants). Also - many times these types of sweepstakes will have 'fixed' winning times (i.e., 4x/day at 6:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., 12:00 a.m). So if you enter at midnight, or early in the morning when most people are sleeping - you can maximize your chances of winning.
Mail-in Sweepstakes
This type of sweepstakes requires you to physically mail in a postcard or envelope to either obtain a pincode or game piece to enter online, or require you to mail in simply to enter. Nowadays, if you find a mail-in only type of sweepstakes (no pincode), these tend to be extremely rare, but very winnable. If you find a mail-in type of sweepstakes, definitely enter it. Usually you can obtain a pin code or game piece by purchasing the product. However, to satisfy "no purchase required" entry requirements, you may mail in for a free pin code or game piece. In this day and age of 'instant gratification' - very few people take the time to enter these types of sweepstakes because they are too much 'work'. So the more work something is, usually the fewer the entrants and the higher your chances of winning.
Facebook Sweepstakes
You need to have a facebook account to enter these types of sweepstakes. Many times, facebook sweepstakes will use a 3rd party application to manage the sweepstakes, so it is like an online sweepstakes - just through facebook. However, sometimes you can find 'timeline' sweepstakes which require you to make a post or comment on a post to be considered an entrant. Sometimes companies will post 'regular' promotions in their facebook timelines that very few people see. Use specific keyword combinations in facebook searches (such as "Enter to Win", "We are giving away", etc) to find timeline only style sweepstakes. Since so few people actually see facebook post timelines nowadays (just because they are inundated with information), this can help you discover facebook sweepstakes with little or no entrants. This means your chances of winning can be very high.
Twitter Sweepstakes
You need to have a twitter account to enter these types of sweepstakes. Usually a company will say "retweet" this tweet, or make a tweet, with a hashtag symbol and phrase ("#" + phrase, i.e., "#entertowin") to enter. The company then tends to simply do a search on that particular hashtag, and select a winner at random. Similar to facebook, you can do a search for keyword phrases such as "retweet to win" or "RT to #win" to find specific twitter sweepstakes that require tweeting (re-posting) as a condition of entry. Many times these types tend to be highly winnable - because so few people do it. Generally speaking - you also need to have people 'follow you' in order to 'follow' other people, which some sweepstakes have as a condition of entry. You can also do a search for something called a "twitter party" - which is where a sponsor offers a number of prizes for a specific group tweeting about their products. Since the number of entrants tends to be low - your winning chances can be very high.
Video Sweepstakes
A video sweepstakes tends to require that you actually create a video to enter. Since it is more difficult and time consuming for many people, you tend to have a very high chance of winning for these types of sweepstakes. They may require you to upload a video to a specific youtube channel, or to submit your own video. For these - read the rules. Video sweepstakes tend to be 'judged' - which mean they aren't random entry/selection. Usually the more creative or funny you are, the better your chances of winning. Large companies such as Doritos tend to have video sweepstakes with very large cash prizes (i.e., $250,000 with less than 1,000 entrants). Make the videos funny, succint, avoiding including other company logos on clothing or merchandise, and you can maximize your chances of winning.
Voting Sweepstakes
A voting sweepstakes requires you to obtain a number of votes to be selected as a winner. Usually you submit a picture, or a video - then need to get friends to 'vote' for you in order to be ranked first, and the winner is selected solely based on the number of votes he or she obtained. While a nice idea in concept, this type of sweepstakes can be extremely competitive. This is one of the few types of sweepstakes that can be extremely difficult to win. Some people will create fake accounts to artificially inflate their voting count, or have a large network of 'voting' friends that makes it difficult to compete against. This actually is the only type of sweepstakes recommended to avoid - unless you have a large following of people to vote and support you. Usually you will need at least several hundred people to vote for you to give you a chance. Some voting sweepstakes will require thousands.
"Mommy" Blog Sweepstakes
Blog sweepstakes, or 'mommy' blog sweepstakes (since it tends to be new mothers that offer giveaways through a blog), generally require you to comment on a blog post in order for a chance to win. Sometimes they will also have an online entry form in their blog. If the blog entry requires a 'post' as opposed to an online form being entered - sometimes a 'mommy blog owner' will simply give prizes away to 'friends', which can include 'virtual' online friends, instead of randomly selecting a winner. If you a required to make a post to a blog entry (as opposed to filling in an online form on a blog which tends to be random selection) - then participate and comment constructively on other blog posts. The blog owner will get to 'know' you - and you may increase your chances of being one of the lucky recipients of a prize.
Text to Win Sweepstakes
This type of sweepstakes requires that you have a cell phone with text messaging capabilities. Generally speaking, you will text a message to a specific number for a chance to win a prize. Organize your text message sweepstakes in a list on your cellphone, and enter at least once per day. While it may take 5-10 minutes of your time, you will get in the habit of entering, and maximize your winning chances. The reason many don't win is simply because they 'forget' to text to enter, which means better winning chances for you.

The above list includes the most common types of sweepstakes. Of course, as technology improves, the types of sweepstakes entry methods evolve as well. Newer types of sweepstakes with good chances of winning include Instagram, Pinterest, VINE, SnapChat, and FourSquare. (All predominately cell phone based types of sweepstakes, although they can be entered via a desktop web connection).