Winning Radio Contests: 10 Tips to Boost Your Chances of Winning on the Air
Trying to Be Caller Number Ten? Here's How to Win Radio Contests
Do you ever listen to the radio and hear ads for upcoming giveaways? Do you stop and take notes when those ads come on, or do you just ignore them? If your answer is the latter, you could be passing up the chance to be one of those excited people who win concert tickets, unique experiences, or piles of cash.
Call-in radio contests are worth entering because they get fewer entries than online sweepstakes. Only people in your area who are listening at the right time will be able to enter, and a good portion of the ones who are listening won't bother to try to win. This means that your chances of winning are comparatively high.
Furthermore, by entering intelligently, you can boost your chances even more. Here are ten tips to help you claim prizes offered on the air.
Keep Your Ears Open by Listening to Various Radio Stations
In order to find radio sweepstakes to enter, listen to different radio stations whenever you have the time.
Get to know each station's patterns, such as when they announce their "song of the day" and which DJs are most likely to hold giveaways.
Remember that some stations offer streaming audio of their stations, which allows you to listen to them on your computer even when you are not near a radio.
Some radio stations have better odds of winning than others. For example, radio stations on local college campuses may have more giveaways and fewer listeners than national radio stations, so prioritize listening to them.
Jot Down Information That Can Help You Win
Good organizational skills give you an edge over the other entrants in radio contests. For example, taking good notes about current contests helps you avoid missed opportunities.
For example, when you hear an announcement about an upcoming giveaway, write down the date, time, station name, and telephone number in a paper calendar, or use an online app like Google Calendar.
Other useful information to jot down in your notes includes the song or sound that indicates when it's time to call, what you'll have to do if your call is answered, and any hints or tips the DJ might offer.
Some call-in giveaways ask their entrants to answer trivia questions or to gather clues to win the prize. Write down the clues or the answers, if you know them.
This way, you'll be fully prepared if you get through and have a chance to win.
Remind Yourself When to Call for Each Contest
Once you have your calendar in place, set up reminders to notify you 10 to 15 minutes before the radio sweepstakes you want to enter are due to start. This gives you plenty of time to turn on your radio and get your phone ready.
If you're using an online calendar to organize your notes, you can easily set a reminder in the app. This is handy because you'll have everything all in one place.
Add Radio Station Phone Numbers to Your Speed Dial
Most radio stations ask listeners to call in to the same telephone number for all of their giveaways. You can give yourself an edge by adding these numbers to the speed dial of your telephone or cell phone.
Not only will you dial more quickly, but you won't run the risk of misdialing when you make your call and losing your chance to win.
It's a good idea to cross-reference the phone number you have on speed dial with your notes ahead of time, though. You don't want to call the wrong number if the giveaway is using a different line.
Keep Calling Until You Win — Or You're Sure You've Lost
A common mistake with radio giveaways is to call once and give up if you hit a busy signal. It's likely that you're calling at the same time as many other entrants, but that doesn't mean that you don't have a chance of winning.
When you get a busy signal, hang up and call again immediately. And again. And again. Even if you get through and find out that you are not the right caller, try again. Many people have redialed and won the next time their call got through.
Don't give up if it seems like a lot of time has passed; some stations wait a while before they start picking winners. Keep calling until the winner is announced on the air.
Use Flash and Redial or Continuous Redial
Since your goal is to get as many calls through to the station as quickly as possible, reducing the time it takes your phone to dial boosts your odds. If your phone has flash and redial buttons, using them will speed up your call time.
Flash hangs up the phone more quickly, and redial saves you from re-entering the number by hand or scrolling to your saved speed dial every time.
Just be sure that you don't hang up so quickly that you mistake a ring for a busy signal!
Some phone companies offer a continuous redial service for a low fee. This service will continuously calls in the background until you reach a ring instead of a busy tone. It then calls you back to answer the call.
Use More Than One Phone
If you have two telephones, such as a house phone and a cell phone, call in with both at the same time. This doubles your chances of getting through.
Using your phones' speaker function will make it easier to keep track of which phone is getting through or reaching a busy signal.
Cancel Extraneous Phone Services
You might have extra services, such as three-way calling, available on your phone line. Even if you never use those services, having them available can slow down your redial time.
By all means, keep any services that you find useful, but it's not a bad idea to talk with your phone company about canceling extra features you don't use. Doing so may speed up your connection and hang up times.
Get a Little Help From Your Friends
Team up with your local sweepstakes club or with interested friends to help each other win.
For example, if you are trying to win a pair of concert tickets, convince a friend to try to win, too. Whoever wins can invite the other.
Another idea is to set up a group on Facebook of local friends who can help each other win on the air.
Your radio sweepstakes group can share information about sweepstakes and listen for announcements of winning names, greatly increasing your chances of winning.
Bonus Tip: Be Picky About What You Enter to Win
Radio stations give away a wide variety of prizes, ranging from CDs to thousands of dollars in cash.
But before you enter to win any prize they offer, consider this: nearly every station has a limit on how often people can win from them. For example, they might say that each person can win a prize only once every 30 days.
Some networks even limit the number of wins you can get across all of their radio stations.
As fun as it is to win any prize, it's a good idea to avoid trying to win anything that you aren't excited about. It would be a shame if winning a CD from a band that you don't really like prevented you from entering to win a $10,000 prize, for example.