An About.com Contests reader asks:
How do I fill out sweepstakes entry forms? I'm not sure which information to use. Should I use my home phone number or my cell phone number? Which email address should I use? Help!
Before you start to enter sweepstakes, you should think about what information to use to fill into your entry forms. Since most people have a variety of telephone numbers, email addresses, and perhaps even physical addresses to choose among, this is not a light decision to make.
Sweepstakes sponsors are sticklers for accuracy. If there is a discrepancy between the information on an entry form and your true personal details, you could be disqualified from receiving a win. Here are some tips for providing acceptable entry information.
Many sweepstakes sponsors need to receive a signed and notarized affidavit before they can officially name a winner. Make sure that the name you use on your entry form can be verified by a notary (i.e., it matches the name on your official documents, such as your driver's license or passport).
Sweepstakes frequently use delivery companies such as UPS or FedEx to deliver prizes. Because these companies do not deliver to PO Boxes, many sweepstakes prohibit their use. Also, requiring a physical address allows sweepstakes sponsors to enforce rules like "one entry per household." For these reasons, it is better to use a street address than a P.O. Box on your entry forms.
Many companies notify prize winners by telephone. Notification calls may be made in the evening or during the day, and many sponsors do not leave messages. If you have a cell phone that you carry with you, that is a good number to use for sweepstakes entry. If you do not want to risk receiving telemarketing calls on your regular numbers, learn about how to enter sweeps without using your home phone number.
When you enter a lot of sweepstakes, you are sure to receive a ton of marketing emails from sponsors. For this reason, I highly recommend setting up an email address specifically for prize entry. A dedicated email address for sweepstakes entry will make it much easier to recognize win notifications when they appear in your inbox, and will help reduce the amount of spam that you receive in your regular email.
By following this simple advice, you can ensure that sweepstakes sponsors are able to contact you, and avoid losing any prize wins to disqualification.