How to Choose the Right Email Address to Enter Sweepstakes

Stop Using Your Primary Email Account for Sweepstakes Entry!

If you're new to entering sweepstakes, there's a good chance that you are making a big mistake with the email address that you are using on the entry forms.

Most sweepstakes today will ask you for your email address when you enter, and with good reason. Many companies will notify their winners by email or offer you the opportunity to be informed when a new giveaway starts. And enticing you to join a newsletter list is one of the perks that lead companies to offer a giveaway.

But you don't want to enter using your everyday email, the one where you get emails from your friends and relatives and use for all of your important contacts. Instead, you'll want to set up a legitimate email address that you use for sweepstakes forms and nothing else.

Here are five good reasons why:

You'll Keep Your Main Email Address Manageable

Image of a hand holding an email from a pile of spam.
Using a sweepstakes email can help you tell the difference between wins and spam. Image (c) Tim Robberts / Getty Images

Even if you take steps to reduce spam from sweepstakes, your entries will come with a certain amount of extra email. Entry confirmations, newsletters, win notifications, and the occasional sneaky spam mail will add up over time.

Using a dedicated email for sweepstakes entry will help you keep your main email address uncluttered so that you don't miss important emails from friends, family, or work contacts.

You Can Handle Emails From Your Dedicated Sweepstakes Address Differently

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You Can Inspect the Emails You Get at a Dedicated Address More Carefully. Philippe TURPIN / Getty Images

Having a dedicated email address for sweepstakes entry lets you treat emails that come to that address differently.

For example, you can turn off spam filters for your dedicated sweepstakes email. Spam filters are dangerous for sweepstakes fans because they often block emails that contain words like "free," "win," and "prize." You can see how that would make finding email prize notifications difficult!

You can also unsubscribe from unwanted email in your sweepstakes email account without worrying about notifying spammers that they have reached an active email address.

Why? Because most of the mail in that account comes from legitimate companies, not from spammers. When you unsubscribe, legitimate companies really take your address off their lists. 

You'll Reduce the Chances of Overlooking Win Notifications

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Seeing a Win Notification Too Late Is So Frustrating!. Hero Images / Getty Images

Finding out that you'd won a prize but it's too late to claim it is an awful feeling. Receiving your prize notifications at a dedicated email address makes it easier to find those win notices before it's too late.

When mail comes to your sweepstakes email address, you know that there's a legitimate chance that it contains a win notification. You can check each mail carefully to make sure you don't miss a win.

It also saves a lot of time to know that you don't have to scrutinize the mail in your regular email address so closely since it's unlikely that a win notice will arrive there.

Keep in mind, however, that many Facebook win notifications will arrive at whatever email address you used to sign up for Facebook. If that's your main email address, be sure to keep an eye out for those kinds of wins. 

You'll Catch Sweepstakes Scams More Easily

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Having a Dedicated Email Address for Sweepstakes Can Protect You from Scams. Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

Many sweepstakes scams try to convince people that they have won prizes in order to con them out of money. But having a dedicated sweepstakes email can help protect you.

How?

Whenever you receive something that looks like a win notification at your regular email address, you'll know that it's more likely to be a fake, since that's not the address you use to enter sweepstakes. You can simply delete those emails or report them to the authorities.

This reduces the chances that you would fall for a sweepstakes scam.

You Can Toss Your Sweepstakes Email if It Gets Cluttered

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Emails Getting Overwhelming? Just Switch Your Sweepstakes Address. Johnlund/TomPenpark / Getty Images

Have you ever done something like entering a certain million-dollar giveaway and immediately receiving dozens upon dozens of emails?

If you are not careful about opting out of newsletters, your email address can be totally flooded with junk mail as a result of one bad sweep.

So what can you do? If you have a dedicated email address, it's not hard to stop using that free account and simply get another one.

This could have been a catastrophe if it had happened with your regular email address. Having a separate, disposable sweepstakes email address that you can simply shut down when it gets overloaded is a real help in managing spam.