How to know when you've won something!
First off, I want to publicly thank a
number of people who submitted winning e-mail samples and affadavits to me. It
gave me a much better 'bird's eye' view of what winning e-mails look like, and
the fact that actually -- not all winning e-mails look like winning e-mails! So,
in this article I will be outlining a few strategies that you can use not only
to detect these winning e-mails, but how to quickly find out which ones are
winnings and then claim your prizes!
quickly find winning e-mails
1. How to sort
your e-mails effectively. As you enter more and more sweepstakes, you
will most likely find you will start receiving more and more e-mails. (I.e.,
newsletters, etc). It is even possible you might start to get a few thousand
e-mails over time. While I do recommend you do take the time to periodically
read sponsor newsletters (because that is one way they are able to provide
amazing prizes) -- when you are looking for winning e-mails you can't possibly
read every single e-mail. So, most e-mail programs are able to sort by
"subject header". What you do is go into your e-mail program, click
the 'heading', and then usually it will automatically sort your e-mails
alphabetically. If you click again, it will normally sort in in the reverse
order. If it is a regular newsletter -- you will normally see 10's of similar or
identical subject headers. (I.e.,
Jun 1 - 'Company XYZ - June
Jul 1 - 'Company XYZ - July Deals!',
Aug 1 - 'Company XYZ - August Deals!'
But then -- you will be able to
easily detect something out of the ordinary, like
'Company XYZ - Confirmation.'
And amazingly, some winning e-mails will
simply say just that. "Confirmation". Nothing more, nothing less. But
since it is out of the ordinary, it allows you to easily focus on that special
e-mail, to see, if indeed, it is a winner.
Functionality. Most e-mail software (including online e-mail programs
like hotmail or yahoo), give you the ability to 'search' for e-mails containing
certain keywords or phrases. So rather than manually read 1000's of e-mails, you
can quickly & easily sort for common keyword phrases that generally show up
in winning e-mails. I will be listing those shortly, but some of them include
words like 'winner!','congratulations!','confirmation', etc, etc. Then, of
course you read those individual e-mails, and see whether you won.
3. Common Subject
Like I said at the beginning of this
article, not all winning e-mails "look" like winning e-mails. But here
are a few of the most 'common' styles, so if you see a subject header listed
like this, you know you should read it, because it 'might' be a winner. (And you
don't want to accidentally miss out on winning a great prize, simply because you
didn't respond to the e-mail in the necessary time!)
- "Congratulations! You are a
winner in XYZ Sweepstakes!" - Some will have obvious titles like
- "Roll out the red
carpet", "Interesting News", "Big News from XYZ"
- Some newsletters do this too though, but winning e-mails are listed like
this as well.
- "Winner - XYZ
Company","Prize Winner" - Obvious title :)
- "Your package has
shipped!" - They've sent out your prize.
- "Company XYZ
Sweepstakes","Company XYZ Giveaways" - Some winning
e-mails will just be very matter of fact, but have the
"Sweepstakes" or "Giveaways" included in their title.
- Unusual titles. Some titles for
subject headers do not sound like winning e-mails at all. So if it
"sticks out", or sounds "unusual", it might be worth
looking at. Some of the titles I saw were things like "Your Non-Stop
Summer Fun Is On Its Way", or "You just scored yourself an
XYZ", etc, etc.
- The actual name of the prize. So if
you entered a DVD pack for say some sweepstakes, it might actually list the
subject header as the actual prize, i.e., "Company XYZ DVD
Pack", just very matter of fact.
- "Product XYZ
Confirmation". Some winning e-mails simply had the word
"confirmation" in their subject header.
4. Common Keyword
Phrases to look for
Some common keyword phrases you can look
for include the following:
- "Shipped to you" -
I.e., when they ship via UPS
- "UPS, Fedex" - The
method they will send the prize to you. Usually only winning e-mails contain
company names like this
- "Claim your
prize","Congratulations!","You've won" -
- "Thanks for playing".
- Seems that some of the winning e-mails, after letting you know you are
winner, will say 'thanks for playing'.
- "Randomly Selected" -
Letting you know that you've been selected at random.
- "Dear [yourname]" -
Winning e-mails tend to also start with the words "Dear so &
- "Potential Winner" -
Since a lot of sweepstakes require you to sign an affadavit, etc, they will
call you a "potential" winner, before actually saying you are a
- "Administered By" -
Some of the 'larger' sweepstakes will let you know who the 3rd party company
was that 'administered' the sweepstakes. They generally include this in
Anyways, these are some of the common
things you can look for in finding winning e-mails. I also recommend you take
5-10 minutes every day or second day to do this, because a lot of sweepstakes
will require that you send some kind of confirmation within 48-72 hours. If they
don't hear back from you, they will usually then award the prize to someone
else. I did hear/get some feedback that some people had accidentally deleted
winning e-mails, and you don't want this to be you!
So anyways, hope these tips help, and
when you win, I look forward to hearing about amazing wins from you!