First of all, we would like to thank everyone who subscribed to our newsletter and entered our contests. We really look forward to our contest drawings and hope you do too!
We strive to choose our winners in our drawings as randomly as possible to give everyone an equal chance at each drawing whether they have been subscribed for a while or they just got in 5 minutes before the close.
First, we sort our subscriber list by first name. This puts all subscribers in alphabetical order by first name. It doesn't matter when they entered.
Second, we use a random number generator program that picks the numbers for us. We have the program randomly select the the three numbers that represent the winners then we have the program select one more that we use as an alternate in case one of the first three are undeliverable and automatically cleaned from our list. The alternate name is sent out as a replacement for the undeliverable name.
Third, we go through the list starting at the beginning and count through until we get to the person representing each selected number, After we get to each person, we copy & paste their email address into the unconfirmed winners list. We send an email to each of the persons on the list. The email has has a link that sends them to the instructions page that tells how how to claim their prize. When they complete the address form and submit it, they will show up on our confirmed winners list at that point, the first of the three parts of there prize will be processed and mailed to them within the next two weeks. The confirmation form shows a schedule of when they can expect the other two prize packages will be mailed. The unconfirmed winners have 5 days to confirm themselves as winners.
Forth, after the winners are confirmed we will then list them on our website and on our Facebook page. We don't like to list them before they accept their prize as they may not want such publicity. This can be a touchy subject with those who have no intention of collecting the prize. Many subscribers had no intention of entering the contests and simply joined our mail list on our website or in our retail store. We think we should respect their privacy if they do not wish to claim the prize.
The open rate for emails is about 20 to 30%. This means only 2 or 3 people of every 10 actually open their email when received. This presents a major problem in distributing prizes because we do not ask for mailing addresses when you enter our contest and depend on the winners to respond to our emails. We actually had one person open the Congratulations email and unsubscribe immediately! She must have had a bad morning.
It is very important that subscribers whitelist our email address so that our emails arrive in your inbox and not the spam or trash box. You never know when we may randomly throw in a special code for one or two subscribers to get a freebee from our store.