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How to Enter a Text to Win Sweepstakes

Did you know that while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or enjoying a beer at a bar, you could be entering to win prizes on your phone?

Text to win sweepstakes offer a fast and easy way to win cool prizes. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

What Are Text to Win Sweepstakes?

A text to win, or SMS sweepstakes, allows you to use your smartphone to enter a sweepstakes from just about anywhere. If you’re out and about and you see a giveaway from a company and you’d like to enter it, all you have to do is send a text and you’re entered to win.

With some sweepstakes, you might even win instantly. As long as you have a phone that can send text messages (and a mobile plan that includes text messaging), you can sign up.

How Does a Text to Win Work?

Text to wins are sweepstakes that work through the text messaging system. They’re convenient to enter while in store or at an event and can be an easy way to win. When you enter, your entry is recorded with your cell phone number. Once the sweepstakes is over, the company randomly draws a winner and sends a text message congratulating them.

How Do I Enter a Text to Win?

To enter a text to win sweepstakes, you need to send a text message to a 5- or 6-digit phone number called a short code. In the text message, you simply send a word or phrase, called a sweepkey or keyword. The sweepstakes’ instructions will give you the short code and sweepkey to use.

Then you just follow the instructions and send a text message as you would to a friend.

Here, 65047 is the short code and HIPPEAS is the sweepkey.

How to Enter: Step-by-Step

Smartphones may vary, but in general, the steps are as follows:

  1. Open a blank text message on your smartphone.
  2. In the “To” or “Recipient” field, type the short code (65047 in our example above).
  3. In the “Message” field, type the keyword or sweepkey (HIPPEAS in our example). The sweepkey can be upper or lower case.
  4. Tap “Send” or press the arrow button to send your message.
  5. You will get an automatic confirmation text in return. It may include a link you should click to finish your entry on a form. Follow the directions as instructed.

How Will I Find Out If I’ve Won?

Since this type of sweepstakes focuses on SMS or text messaging, you will always receive a text message if you’re drawn as a winner. If you’ve also provided an email, you may be notified by email as well.

Are There Any Fees?

No purchase is necessary to enter a sweepstakes, but text message or data rates may apply when you send a text. This depends on the plan you have with your mobile carrier and whether or not text messaging is included.

How Will the Company Use My Cell Number?

Reputable text to win companies will not sell or share your mobile number. They’re regulated by the FCC and the telecommunications industry and can be heavily fined, not to mention blocked by AT&T and other carriers, if they don’t follow the rules.

You may receive marketing text messages from the sponsor during the sweepstakes or a message if you win, but this will be disclosed when you enter. Look for wording like, “You consent to receive text messages from the sponsor – 4 messages/month max.”

Can I Unsubscribe or Stop Texts?

Yes, you can unsubscribe at any time by sending the word STOP to the phone number or short code. Keep in mind, this may also make you ineligible to win the sweepstakes. The Official Rules will note if you must stay subscribed until the end date for a chance to win.

How Do I Get Help or Contact the Company?

Text the word HELP for help or tech support. To contact the sponsor or the company awarding the prize, consult the Official Rules for contact information.

Did you know that while you

Win Prizes on Your Phone with Text-to-Win Sweepstakes

How to Enter and Win Text Sweepstakes

Have you ever wished that you could do something fun and productive while waiting in line or stuck in between appointments? If you’re tired of playing silly games on your handy, maybe it’s time to try winning prizes with your telephone. Text-to-win sweepstakes are a quick and easy way to win exciting prizes in your extra time.

If you haven’t tried them before, here are some tips on how to get started and which pitfalls to avoid.

What Are Text Message Sweepstakes?

Text message sweepstakes, also known as SMS or text-to-win sweepstakes, let you use your smartphone to enter sweepstakes on the go. They’re convenient, easy, and a lot of fun as well.

If you’re at your grocery store and see an interesting giveaway that you’d like to enter, you don’t have to wait until you get home and find the website on your computer or send out an entry by mail. All you have to do is whip out your cell phone, send a text, and you’re entered. Sometimes you’ll even find out seconds later if you’re a winner.

If you’re standing in line at the bank or grocery store checkout, you can simply jump on your phone and use the time which would otherwise be wasted to win some prizes.

If you enter instant sweepstakes by text, you can even find out immediately that you’ve won a prize. Imagine how thrilling a simple grocery store run could be if you turned those wasted minutes waiting in line into a fabulous prize!

Text sweepstakes are a fun and easy way to enter sweepstakes on the go, as long as you have a phone that’s capable of sending text messages — and a data plan that doesn’t make them prohibitively expensive!

How Do Text Message Sweepstakes Work?

To enter text message sweepstakes, you’ll need a type of telephone number called a shortcode and a keyword to text to that number.

You then simply use your cell phone to send an SMS Message containing the keyword to the shortcode, just as you would text any other telephone number.

For example, the rules might tell you to “text the word ‘SEC’ to 567890.” In this case, 567890 is the shortcode, and SEC is the keyword to enter.

You’ll find the keyword and the shortcode for the giveaway you want to enter in the sweepstakes’ rules or advertisements for the giveaway.

How Do You Send Text Messages?

In general, you only need to compose a text message containing the keyword and use the shortcode as the recipient’s phone number. It’s that easy to be in the running to win.

If you’re not familiar with sending text messages on your phone, this Lifehacker article can get you started: How to Send a Text Message.

How Will You Know When You Win Sweepstakes by Text?

If you’ve entered some text sweepstakes, you might be wondering how you’ll know if you’re a winner.

In most cases, you’ll receive a text message letting you know that you’ve won and telling you how to claim your prize.

Instant sweepstakes will notify you within minutes if you’ve been selected as a winner, while regular giveaways will wait until the end of the sweepstakes entry period to notify their winners.

Be sure to check your text messages regularly to make sure you don’t overlook a prize notification.

Does Entering Text-to-Win Sweepstakes Cost Money?

Legitimate sweepstakes never charge you money to enter. But just as entering mail-in sweepstakes costs you the price of a stamp and envelope, entering text sweepstakes may carry costs from your cell phone provider.

Depending on your cell phone plan, sending and receiving text messages might carry a fee. In some cases, texting is totally free. In others, you have a certain number of free texts you can send every month. And some plans charge a few cents for every text you send and receive.

Before you enter any text message sweepstakes, be sure to find out whether your plan includes free SMS messages and how many you can send before you need to pay for them.

If you have a per-text charge, you’ll need to consider whether the chance of winning is worth the cost.

In addition to the fees your cell phone plan charges for text messages, some sweepstakes charge “premium fees” to enter by SMS. These can be quite expensive. Be sure to read the rules carefully to find out whether you have to pay to enter by text.

Are There Any Pitfalls with Text Message Sweepstakes?

When you register for sweepstakes by text, you may also agree to receive advertising messages texted to your cell phone. These advertising texts are not only annoying, but they can also be expensive if your cell phone plan charges for received texts. Be sure to read the rules and the privacy policy before entering.

Many times, you can easily unsubscribe from these advertising texts by sending another keyword to a shortcode. Commonly, you have to text “STOP” to the same shortcode you used to enter the sweepstakes. Check the rules or the ads themselves for details about how to unsubscribe.

Furthermore, there are scams that play on your hopes of winning by text message.

A common text sweepstakes scam involves sending victims a text telling them that they’ve won a prize. To claim the prize, they need to click a link, which then installs malware on their phone. That malware might gain access to personal data or spam their friends. Or they might try to trick their victims into spending money to receive their “prize” or have other negative consequences.

To avoid these, read the FTC’s tips on recognizing text scams.

Entering SMS Sweepstakes Daily

Some text sweepstakes let you enter repeatedly. In this case, you raise your odds of winning by entering daily.

If you’re having trouble finding the time to enter text message sweepstakes every day, Sweepstakes Ninja has a YouTube video showing you how to schedule your text entries in advance so you don’t miss any chances to win.

How to Run Text-to-Win Giveaways

If you’re a small or large business that would like to drive engagement through text messages, SMS sweepstakes could be a good choice for you.
If you’d like to learn more, sweepstakes administrator Marden Kane offers guidelines for running your own text sweepstakes.

How to enter and win text message sweepstakes, aka text-to-win sweepstakes. Includes how to raise your odds of winning and how to avoid pitfalls.