General, Social Media Contest

Amazon GiveAways Case Study Example – A Spammy Waste of Time

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Krista Neher

Aug 06 2015

Amazon recently launched Giveaways (or I recently discovered them) where you can easily run a giveaway/sweepstakes on Amazon. It is extremely easy to set one up, but they clearly didn’t think through the wonderful world of internet spam — don’t waste your time until they have some controls in place.

How Amazon Giveaways Work

It is extremely easy (although has limited functionality) – you choose a prize and the number of prizes and frequency you want to give out the prizes at (for example 3 prizes for every 1,000 people).

You can require people to follow you on Twitter to enter (YAY!) so presumably this would be a cool tool to grow your Twitter following.

 

Next you customize a few settings (name, etc.) and your giveaway is ready to go. The setup is SOOOOO easy. You don’t have a lot of flexibility but you can set it up in 5 minutes or less.

The Results

My contest was approved, so I promoted it through our Twitter account and on Facebook. I thought this would be a great way to connect with our customers and test a new digital marketing tool.

For the first two hours I got about 25 entries (I had planned to give away one prize for every 400 entries). All of a sudden, the contest generated HUNDREDS OF ENTRIES in under an hour. The prizes were gone and the contest is closed before my promoted post on Facebook was even approved!

Since I required that users had to follow us to enter (which seemed like a great way to get our Facebook followers to connect on Twitter) we ended up getting followed by HUNDREDS of fake spam accounts in under an hour.

This is a sampling of our new followers:

 

 

You can see the HUGE spike in followers when some bot online must have picked up our contest – we got almost a thousand spam followers in minutes.

Bottom Line: Before our customers and fans even became aware of the contest it was overwhelmed with entries from fake Twitter accounts & bots.

With the technology that Amazon has, you’d think they would be able to see that thousands of entries in under an hour isn’t organic for a business trying to promote a giveaway.

Now our Twitter account is FULL OF SPAM FOLLOWERS!!!!!!!

Overall Amazon Giveaways are a good idea but a TERRIBLE execution. I can’t believe that Amazon hasn’t put some controls in place to prevent this.

The way they currently work they are a waste of time and will overwhelm your account with spam followers and lower the quality of your Twitter account.

 

12 Replies to “Amazon GiveAways Case Study Example – A Spammy Waste of Time”

  1. Wish I read your article before I put up my giveaway. I ran into the same issue and wasted $80. I had to take down my twitter, contest page, and all links for a while to slow down all the spam entries.

    Despite having Twitter follows as a requirement, even when that was taken down, somehow thousands of entries kept going in. Was talking to amazon for about two hours and nothing could be solved. According to them all the entries were legitimate. But we know better. The numbers didn’t even add up.

    Lesson learned: Never use Amazon giveaways again.

  2. I came across this page doing a Google search looking for people who had the same issue. Recently they enacted a new giveaway procedure but a friend of mine who entered to it notified me that they’re doing the same thing, finding a loophole and spamming it. She was hoping to generate interest in her store but ended up just losing merch and not getting any real interest.

  3. Id like to give an opinion from the other end of the spectrum. I am a frequent Amazon buyer. I have been accessing Amazon giveaways daily since it started. I figure i look at 20 to 30 offers a day. At this point im pretty much starting to give up on the idea. Looking at endless youtube videos, i hate twitter so that is a waste, and just clicking away. I have lost interest and/or i beginning to think of it as a scam. How times do you think a person can see “You didnt win” before they feel like they are wasting their time. Even at time; it will say “All winning items have been distributed” seconds after the giveaway started. There are not enough controls in place to guarantee that contest holders are not wasting the time of actual customers. One idea is; Contests should only be available to registered customers who have made purchases and been customers for a minimum length of time. Either way in my case, im done with tge giveaways. I feel like they are either faked or rigged.

    1. I’m pretty sure there are bots that just enter them all…. as someone running them we found mostly “fake” participants and I’m sure it is the same on your end. Overall a waste of time.

  4. I have been an Amazon Prime member for years, make purchases regularly, but I don’t use social media. Having a Twitter account is of no interest to me whatsoever. But I created one to enter the giveaways. Entering only ones I have interest in. I’d hope to be able to find some cool new things/books through it but hate to think people think I’m just a spammer just because I have no interest in posting random posts on Twiiter to make it look real. That’s just as dumb an assumption as entering every contest just to win or using bots.

  5. I started a give away campaign today. It was over 15 MINUTES after it started and all 30 prizes were claimed by who knows who. A complete waste of $625. All prizes were claimed before I even posted the contest on my website. People must be sitting on that public give away page. It’s my fault for making it public. BIG MISTAKE.

  6. We should start a class action suit or get big media attention on this. Amazon is making too much money from the world to have a “rigged” game. I may be disgruntled, but aren’t they required to post winners and then we will see the bots winning these contests. Let’s taje them down. I mean why should the ceo be the richest man in the world? Preying on people that like the service but not a rigged game. Also, what cost does the world pay for the “free” shipping?

  7. I have to agree. I work with/on computers so for a long time have kept lists or looked for giveaways as a few seconds to enter a contest while waiting on something to complete or meeting to start has netted me tons to make the effort worth it over the years, but I have probably entered in hundreds if not thousands of Amazon giveaways without winning so much as a pencil and thats with only applying for the products I want/need. Now I refuse to use the “you can still get 20% off” and mostly do it when I have free time to see how bad it is ie. how long before (or if) I actually could win something. Without hundreds of thousands of bot entries the probabilities don’t add up. Until reading this I was thinking it was an Amazon scam to get you to the “buy it anyway for 15% off” page.

  8. What exactly is the point of this? Is this someone who has written code to go out there and collect a bunch of fairly low value amazon crap gifts and then they’ll resell them?

    I don’t understand WHY you’d get BOTS signing up for your Amazon Giveaway. What is in it for them?

    I feel your pain by the way. It is frustrating for sure. I will forgo such a giveway given your findings. Thanks. Ryan.

  9. Amazon Giveaways is a total waste of time for customers and sellers! It is the lowest form of clickbait. The whole thing is a crooked mess.

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