Competitions Setup

Ready to run your first competition? In this doc we'll give you insight into how to setup one from scratch, get an overview of all the features, plus give you some tips & tricks to get the most interaction from your campaigns.

Competitions Overview

Gleam is fast becoming one of the most widely used contest platforms. Whether you're a blogger, online store, agency, marketing manager or publisher - Competitions are a powerful way to engage your community & grow brand reach with consumers. Our aim here at Gleam is to make it easy for you to build powerful competitions for your own business or clients.

Competition Widget

The competition widget is the heart of our application, it's the interface between your prize & the users that want to win it. We've carefully designed it in a way to maximize entries, but also be incredibly easy for contestants to use.

  1. Shows the users how many entries are available & how many they have completed. Updates live.
  2. Shows the total number of competition entries. This field can be hidden.
  3. Shows the time left on the competition.
  4. Feature image, you have multiple options & ways to display content or images here.
  5. We support multiple ways to login to an existing account. It just works.
  6. Entry actions, you setup here how you want people to enter.
  7. Entry worth, you can make certain worth more entries in the competition depending on their value to you.
  8. Daily entries, allow users to come back daily to complete certain actions.
  9. Your Terms and Conditions, users can read this at any time.

Once a user logs into the Gleam widget on any campaign they will remain logged in for future contests. This is also true if the user has entered a competition previously on a different site or with a different company. No data is shared between accounts.

Creating a Competition

To create a competition you will first need to add a site. Each site has access to individual instances of our apps, you can also use the left menu to switch between sites.

Multiple sites have the following advantages: You can keep your data separated, ensure your campaigns are branded from that site & also allows you to have site specific integrations.

How to create a new competition:

  1. Navigate to the site you want to use
  2. Click on the competitions tab in the left navigation
  3. Click on the New Competition button on the top right

1. Competition Setup

Once you start a new competition you are taken to setup page, this is one of three tabs where you will configure your campaign:

Competition Name

This is a name that helps identify the competition. This will appear publicly in the entrant email, so please name something recognisable like "Gleam August Giveaway"

This name will also determine the URL that gets generated for your default landing page:

Start/End Date

Use our easy date picker to set custom start & end dates for your competition. Clicking the green time icon will allow more granular time settings by hours/minutes.

Start & end dates can be changed at any point during your contest. This means you can shorten or lengthen the duration if needed.


It is important to ensure the competition runs in your specified timezone, this can be completely independent from the default timezone you setup in your User Settings (by clicking your Name in the sidebar).

We use Javascript to check the user's current time settings when entering a competition.

Adding Custom Terms & Conditions

If you need to add terms & conditions to your competition you can add them here. Users will be able to read them from within the widget before entering your contest.

The terms & conditions use our WYSIWYG editor or basic HTML for formatting, you can also include links, headers, paragraphs or line breaks to format things as you need:

Which will look like this when a user clicks on them inside your competition:

You can link to your Terms & Conditions from any WYSIWYG editor by using the #terms anchor

Custom Styles

On the business plan you can add custom CSS to your competitions. You can use this to control almost any element inside the widget that you want, any styles added during campaign setup will affect this campaign only.

Hide X Ways to Enter

You can hide the row that shows the total number of ways to enter below the Prize image area with this checkbox:

Hide Total Entry Count

If you want to hide how many entries you contest has to the public then use this option.

Event Mode

Event Mode enables a special state for the widget that allows you to use it for events if you are getting users to enter from shared wifi, shared devices or internal corporate internet.

This mode:

  • Doesn't use Cookies to keep users logged into the widget
  • Automatically logs users out based on activity or if you simply refresh the page
  • Reduced fraud filter settings to allow entries from the same IP and device
  • Social Logins will have reduced functionality due to the lack of Cookies, so you should avoid these Actions

This mode should only be used if you are at a live event with users entering from the same device. It will have unintended and consequences (and probably annoy users) if you enable this on a standard web based campaign.

Fraud Filter

Gleam offers a built in automated Fraud Filter designed to invalidate suspicious entries in your campaign. This is all done automatically by analysing 20+ different entry attributes.

When the filter invalidates something you will see the status of that entry change to Invalid on your Actions tab, you have the chance to review these entries before drawing a winner.

Invalid actions do not appear in your reporting and end users will not ever be aware when their entries are invalidated.


We also use certain attributes to challenge certain users with a CAPTCHA. This option has a few modes for you to select:

Automatic: Our smart Fraud filter will automatically challenge users

Always: Always prompt users with a CAPTCHA

Never: Never prompt users with a CAPTCHA

Allowed Locations

By default your competition will be available to anyone in the world, you can restrict or allow entries from specific countries (not cities) using this setting.

If a user views a competition that is country restricted this is what they will see:

We use MaxMind to determine the country of the user. On rare occasions the MaxMind database can allocate IPs incorrectly, if that happens you can get users to test their IP here & submit a change request.

Supported Languages

We support 25+ languages out of the box. Choosing your preferred language here will ensure the widget is translated into that language (this also includes emails).

Note: We do not translate the default text in actions that require text input. Just those that have fixed text like Tweet on Twitter or Instagram Visit.

Widget Text Overrides

You are able to change any text within our widget. To change the text, simply add the key for the text and a value in quotes (it uses YAML layout). You only need to add overrides - don't paste the whole file in.

In the reference bundle, you see this:

unlock_heading_plural: "<i class='icon-lock'></i> Unlock %{count} more entries"
notify_other: "Notify me of other Competitions (optional)"

To change them, add this to the Widget Text Overrides:

unlock_heading_plural: "<i class='icon-lock'></i> You can get %{count} more entries"
notify_other: "Sign me up to the weekly comp email, thanks (optional)"

You can add HTML to the overrides easily enough, make sure you wrap it in double quotes:

unlock_heading_plural: "<i class=icon-lock></i> You can get %{count} more entries - <a href=''>I'm a link</a>"
notify_other: "<p style='font-size:10px'>Sign me up to the weekly comp email, thanks (optional) - <a href=''>I'm a link too</a></p>"

And here's what it looks like in the Gleam UI:

The full list of text that you can override is in this downloadable file:

View Text Overrides List

2. User Details

By default when a user enters one of your competitions we need to know who they are & capture some basic details. We place a huge importance on knowing who the user is, so you can contact them when they win (or market to them post-contest).

To do this we popup a form after the first action is completed:

If the entrant authenticates with a social network, then we'll prefill as much of the information above as the network will give us. For example, Facebook gives us their email address to prefill, Twitter doesn't.

On our Business plan you can also add additional custom fields to this form & also notify users that subscribe to your competition notifications.

Minimum Age

If you require that your entrants meet a minimum age then you can enter it in this field. We support both UK & US formatted DOB. Alternatively, entrants can declare their minimum age statement with a checkbox.

This will add an extra field onto the user details form:

Login With

You have a number of options to allow your contestants to login to the Gleam widget. These options are dependent on whether or not you use the Require login before actions option or not.


This is the default behaviour of the widget, the user is asked to login after they complete their first action and the default login options sit above the actions you have configured.

Require Login Before Actions

By default the widget will show all of the actions a user must complete. You may want to force the user to login or provide details first before they see how to enter.

You can see an example of this functionality below (ensure that you are logged out of the widget):

This feature can also be useful for minimising fraud, for example you could force all users to sign in via Facebook or Instagram.

Automatic Entry

When you switch on the login first functionality you will see the automatic entry option. Gleam is built in a way to award entries for completing actions. Since providing your details isn't really an action, you can enable this option to award an entry for logging into the contest.

When you select this option we create a bonus action that will automatically get added to your contest on save, this action gets automatically completed once the user logs in.

When the user logs in they will see the completed entry:

As a small tip you can change what text a user will see before and after an action is completed with this format "Text before action is completed // Text after action is completed." This will work for any action, not just this type.

Email Only

If you choose email as the only login option then your entrants will see the user details form to complete first.

Using Require Login

You have a number of different options when using require login with the login options.

Single Login Type

You can ask users to login with a single social network (i.e. Facebook or Instagram). This is particularly useful if your contest is focused on a single social network.

Multiple Login Types

If you choose multiple login types, then users will be able to select which one they prefer to login with, the widget will automatically resize the logins to fit however many you need:

Competition Subscriptions & Promotion Emails

We give you the option to build optional internal Competition subscriber list that you can promote to when you create a new contest. You can enable or disable this option by checking the Build Competition Subscriber List.

When users are entering your campaign they can optionally choose to check the Notify me of other Competitions (optional) box to give permissions for you to promote your new campaigns to them:

You can send an email to promote to these users via the Promote tab after you create a new campaign if you have the Business plan or higher.

Promotion emails are smart, they won't send to any users that have already entered the contest. They also contain unsubscribe links so users can opt-out at any time.

Custom User Details Fields

You can control what extra details you collect from users during signup on the Business plan or above.

Custom Fields Setup Docs

You can sync these fields to email providers via our Custom Fields Sync feature, they are also exposed via Webhooks for consumption.

3. How To Enter

Adding entry methods to your competition is the heart & soul of what you're trying to do. We currently support a range of entry methods that all have specific documentation.

Simply select one of the supported actions from the list:

You can easily reorder the actions by dragging & dropping:

We support the following actions:

Mandatory Actions

Whenever you make an action mandatory we ask users to complete it first before being able to access any non-mandatory actions.

Please note, this does not mean the user must complete all the mandatory actions. It's just a prerequisite to unlock your non-mandatory actions.

In this example, you'll see there are 2 mandatory actions:

Single Mandatory Actions Auto Expand

If you use a Mandatory Action on its own and that action has an expandable state then it will auto expand. This is particularly useful for actions like Subscribe to Newsletter.

Actions Required

You can use the Actions required option to lock certain actions until a designated number of other actions have been completed.

You can use this to encourage users to complete certain actions with the incentive of unlocking additional actions and entries.

In this example you must complete each available action in order to unlock the subsequent action:

Actions required is available to use for the following actions:

Daily Actions

Daily actions allow you to reset a particular action every day for a user to enter again. They reset at midnight on the timezone your Competition is set to.

You can see in the example below that we have 4 total entries with 3 that can be repeated daily:

Just remember that there's certain actions that can't be repeated, for example you can't ask a user to follow you on a social network more than once.

Entry Interval

Some actions give you the ability to specify an entry interval of: Single, Hourly, Daily, Unlimited

This is particularly useful for Photo Competitions or Secret Codes where you might want users to complete the action more than once.

This interval will also flow through to Automatic Imports, so if you select daily it will only import the first photo from that user each day.

Actions That Require Payment

In some countries, sweepstakes & giveaways are governed by No Purchase Necessary laws that prevent promoters from asking entrants to make a purchase or donation to gain contest entries, unless a free entry alternative is made available.

To comply with these laws, we recommend offering a free entry alternative for each paid action in your campaign. Note that if you are running a multinational campaign, the free entry alternatives will only appear to users in countries where a free alternative is required.

Gleam offers the free entry alternative option for the following actions:

You can activate the free entry alternatives for actions in your campaign that require users to compplete a purchase or donation by checking A purchase or donation is required for users to complete this Action when setting up the action.

Once enabled, free entry alternatives will appear in the Terms & Conditions section of your campaign. Entrants will need to fill a form with basic contact details to claim their free entry.

Free Entry Alternative form in the Gleam widget

Entries awarded for completing a free entry alternative are equal to the entries awarded for completing your action by making a payment.

For example, if you are offering 5 entries to users who purchase your product, 5 entries will also be awarded to entrants who complete your purchase action via the free entry alternative.

Countries With Free Entry Alternatives Enabled

Once enabled, the free entry alternative will be available to users in the following countries:

  • United States
  • India
  • Turkey
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Philippines
  • Argentina
  • Indonesia
  • Egypt
  • Russia

See more countries

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Bosnia Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brunei
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Congo, The Democratic Republic of the
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Guatamela
  • Guinaa
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Iceland
  • Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Korea, Republic of
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritious
  • Micronesia, Federated States of
  • Moldova, Republic of
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Qatar
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Sao Tome & Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Switzerland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania, United Republic of
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

To prevent users from manipulating the use of free entry alternatives when they don't reside in these countries, you may ask the entrant to produce a proof of residence upon winning.

4. Prize

Once you've added how you would like people to enter your Competition you need to add details of your prize.

Competitions work on the basis of number of winners, not quantity of prizes. For example, if you have a Competition with 20 unique winners, you will set the number of winners to 20.

Winners will be drawn in order, allowing you to award winners based on position, e.g. 1st prize, 5th prize etc.

Setup Multiple Prizes

If you are giving away multiple prizes you have the option of adding multiple prizes when setting up your Competition. This will allow you to draw individual winners for each specific prize when you are ready.

To add multiple prizes to your Competition you need to select the Multiple Prizes checkbox in the Prize tab of your Competition setup:

You can then add as many prizes as you want. Just enter the name and number of each prize, as well as how many winners will recieve each prize. You can also optionally include the value of each prize for your own record.

The total number of winners for your Competition will depend on the sum of winners in these fields.

For example, in the scenario pictured above, there will be 3 prizes and 5 winners in total. You will draw 3 winners for 3 units of Nintendo Switch, and 1 winner each for the PS5 and Xbox Series X prizes.

Learn more about the Winner drawing process below:

Drawing Winners For Your Competition

Compact Display Mode

How your prize gets displayed in the widget depends on how you set it up. On the free plan you are only able to add text to your Prize area.

Prize Name & Description

Using Prize Images

Once you upgrade to Hobby or above you will unlock a dropdown in the prize area that gives you more flexibility with layout options, plus also the option to add images & video.

Small Image + Prize Name & Description

Pro Tip: You can include basic HTML in your descriptions.

Feature Image

Using a feature image is the best way to get the most of the competition widget. It gives you the ability to brand it in a way that aligns with your own website style.

The ideal dimensions for this image are at least 1080px wide (for retina), you can choose whatever height you want.

If you want the image to work perfectly when someone Virally Shares on Facebook then use 1080px x 567px.

Feature Image + Description

This option puts the prize name & description below the feature image.

Name + Feature Image + Description

Choose this option to have the prize name before the image, then the description after.

Feature Image Slider

On Business plans and above you can upload up to 4 images to your Prize area in a slideshow format.

The slider is set to automatically switch between the Prize images or users are free to move backwards anf forwards using the forward/back arrows:

Your images should be the same dimensions for the slider to function properly. The recommended size is 1080 x 810px.

Feature Video

You can also add YouTube Videos, Livestreams & Wistia Videos in your Prize area. This means if you produce regular videos you can include a more interactive way to enter your contests. You could even have a tutorial on how to enter.


If you're a gamer you can now include a livestream in the prize area. Run ongoing competitions whilst people watch your stream.


If you use Vimeo to host your videos then you can also embed these in the prize area of your campaign by pasting in the Vimeo URL.


If you use Wistia for your business you can embed any of your videos in the prize area of your campaign by pasting in the Wistia hosted URL.

In order to use this feature you will need the full Wistia video URL, here's an example:

5. Post Entry

Default Post Entry Notification Email

Every user that enters your competition will receive a post entry email, we feel this is important to let them know:

  • That their entry was received
  • That there's additional ways to enter or gain entries they hadn't considered

If you select a language other than English this email will send to the user in your selected language.

Post entry emails can be disabled during setup, or you can use our platform to send custom emails instead.

Custom Emails

Business customers have the ability to send custom emails to users that enter a competition or redeem a reward. We have a nice WYSIWYG editor that you can use to build or preview the email.

There's also a bunch of tokens that you can use to dynamically replace data inside the email:


We give you the ability to test what the email will look like before your campaign goes live.

Post Entry Redirect

The Post Entry Redirect allows you to redirect users to a specified URL once all the actions in your Competition have been completed.

The Post Entry Redirect will ignore the Viral Share action as it has no completed state. So you should not use this and also have the Viral Share as the final action to complete in your campaign.

Pixel Tracking

Pixel Tracking allows you to fire tracking pixels from one of our supported providers.

We currently support:


This will allow you to fire an Adroll retargeting pixel when a user triggers an impression or view on the campaign.


The Facebook pixel has two options

  • On load: This will fire an Impression for all users that view the campaign (good for Retargeting or Custom Audiences)
  • Conversion: This will fire a Lead for all users that enter the campaign (good for tracking Conversions)

You may need to create a Custom Audience based on the Gleam data to track Facebook Conversions in your campaigns.

Google Ads

The Google Ads pixel has two options:

  • On load: This will fire an Impression for all users that view the campaign (good for Retargeting)
  • Conversion: This will fire a Conversion for all users that enter the campaign (good for tracking Conversions)


This will allow you to track if users have converted via a specific offer to enter your campaign.


This will fire a "Signed Up" conversion for all users that enter the campaign (by completing at least 1 Action).

You should setup a Single Event tag that tracks "Sign up" in order for Gleam to fire the pixel correctly.

Post-Entry Webhook

The Post Entry Webhook allows you to send all entry data from the Competition to your own endpoint, this option is available on Premium plans only.

Learn more about the type of data we send and the format below:

Webhook Setup Docs

Competition Installation

Now that you've finished setting up your campaign we have another guide on the various ways you can install it. Just jump to the next page below.

Installing Your Competition 

Competition Drafts

When you are setting up a Competition Gleam will autosave your progress as a draft. If you exit your Competition setup before you have successfully saved your campaign it will be saved as a draft so you don't lose your progress.

If you want to exit your Competition setup without saving your progress as a draft all you have to do is click the 'Cancel' button.

Accessing Your Competition Drafts

You can easily find your drafts in your Competitions dashboard under Draft Competitions.

You can click a draft to continue editing the campaign, or click Discard to delete the draft.

Tips & Tricks

We've created a few guides to help you get the most out of your competitions.

Get 15+ Tips For Running Your Competition

Copying a Previous Competition

If you run regular competitions with the same entry methods then we've made it easy to clone a previous competition, simply click the copy button in the top right of the competition you want to clone.

We copy most of the previous settings & entry methods. This means you just need to update with a new prize & edit your terms/conditions.

Promoting Your Contest

Building the foundations for a solid promotional strategy is a key part of running a successful contest. Luckily we've written a guide to help you :)

View Our Contest Promotion Guide