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Ready to run your first competition? In this particular 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 fastest 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 enties, 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.


This is important to ensure the competition runs in the specific timezone, this can be completely independent from the default timezone you setup in your Settings.

We use Javascript to check the users 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 basic HTML for formatting, you can also include links, headers, paragraphs or line breaks to format things as you need. You can also include links:

<a href="">Beardbrand Case Study</a>

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

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

If you want to hide that part of the widget then tick this box.

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 on the widget that allows you to use it for events if you are getting users to enter from shared Wifi or shared devices.

This includes:

  • Automatically logs users out based on activity or page refresh
  • Reduced fraud filter settings to allow entries from the same IP or device

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 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.

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 entries to specific countries (not cities) using this setting.

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

Country Restricted Example

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

Spanish Example

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). When adding text with quotes use \". 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:

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>"

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 requirement then you can select from multiple options on this dropdown. We support both UK & US formatted DOB.

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

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):

Login First Example Competition

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." You will see this being used on the Automatic Action.

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.

Email Only

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

Not Using Require Login

This is the default behaviour of the widget, all the login options will be selected. The entrant will see these displayed at the top of the contest:

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.

Competition Subscriptions & Promotion Emails

We give users the option to opt-in to a special subscriber list that you can promote to when you create a new contest. This option is only available on the business plan. Average subscriber rate is anywhere up to 30% of entrants.

You can send this email using the Promote tab once you've setup your contest:

Promotion emails are smart, they won't send to any users that have already entered the contest.

Custom User Details Fields

You can control what extra details you collect from users during signup on the Business plan. Please note that this additional data does not currently sync with mail providers.

View Custom Fields Configurations

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 means the user must complete all the mandatory actions. It's just a prerequisite to unlocking your non-mandatory ones.

In this example, you'll see there's 2 mandatory 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 you set your competition up on.

You can see in the example below that we have 5 total entries with 2 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.

4. Prize

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

We work based on quantity of winners, not quantity of Prizes. For example if you have a competition with 20 unique winners, then ensure you have a quantity of 20 added.

Winners will get drawn in order, so this will easily allow you to award 1st Prize, 5th Prize etc.

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.

Just Adding a Prize Name

Prize Name & Description

Using Prize Images

Once you upgrade to Pro 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

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.

YouTube Video

We recently added the ability to include a YouTube video in the 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.

YouTube Example Competition

Name + YouTube Video + Description

Includes the name of the prize above your YouTube video & the description below.

Name + Twitch Live Stream + Description

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

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 against anyone that views 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)


This will fire a "Signed Up" conversion for all users the enter the campaign.

Post-Entry Webhook

The Post Entry Webhook allows you to send all entry data from the Competition to your own endpoint.

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

Gleam Post-Entry Webhook 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 

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

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