Building a Better Raffle

At a staff meeting today, we discussed the idea of incentivizing students to register or update their registration with my organization. In the first month of the school year, we could potentially have about 200 new students register and about 600 previously registered students update their info.

Two incentive options were proposed:

  1. Randomly select 5 students who register/update and give each of them a $20 iTunes gift card.
  2. Randomly select 2 students who register/update and give each of them a $50 iTunes gift card.
So which is more effective at getting students to complete the registration? Would either of them push you more than the other to register? That is, do you want a better chance at winning something small, or a lesser chance of winning something big?

7 thoughts on “Building a Better Raffle”

  1. Today, either one would make me register/update since I’m always buying music. Not to mention if it’s something I want or use I’ll register myself for a chance at getting free stuff. 🙂

    But, thinking back to when I was a student, I would want to at least feel like I had a chance at actually winning the prize. So, I would be more likely to register/update if there were more opportunities to win. If there were only two opportunities, more than likely, I would have the best of intentions at registering but would procrastinate and forget because I would figure I wouldn’t win anyways. 🙂

    • Interesting. I wonder how it scales. Like, if you know there are about 500 people in the pool, would you choose differently than if there were 50,000?

      • Nowadays, unless they want me to sign my life away, if I want what they are offering I’ll enter. 🙂 I like free (useful) stuff!

  2. I totally agree with Laura. I enter to win! I like to think I can win when I enter a raffle, a lottery, or a rubber duckie picking. I think amount of people makes a difference. The smaller the pool, the bigger their hope is. You can set a date for raffle drawing for the first X amount of people. They won’t know what number they are, they’ll enter their info, and they’ll wait until that date to know they did or didn’t win. Maybe you can give out some consolation prize for entering like a cookie or a slice of cake or a key chain with a bottle opener pick it up at your organization.

    • I’m actually running a much bigger raffle for my organization right now that uses something somewhat similar to what you describe above. There’s one huge grand prize and we’re only selling 400 tickets. But leading up to the drawing (it’s two months away), I’m holding several smaller drawings that everyone who has already bought a ticket is eligible for. So the earlier you buy a ticket, the more chances you have to win. It’s worked out quite well so far.

  3. I actually think MORE should be available. 10 cards for $10 is better than 5 for $20! I can still feasibly buy 10 songs for free, which is still a good deal just for updating my info on some online form (presumably). I think people LOVE winning stuff, even if it’s stupid stuff. People LOVE winning.

    • Even more, eh? At some point your reach a level of diminishing returns that may not be worth a person’s time, right? So how low do you go?

      People do love winning, though. I just read today that one of the most important ways to be happy on the job is to have the potential for lots of small wins. The occasional big win is great, but there have to be a number of small wins in between the big losses and the big wins. Maybe I’ll blog about that.


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