I haven't done a giveaway, but It seems fair to me to only include those that follow the rules. Then at least you know they actually read the post and aren't JUST trying to get as many free things as possible.
I get so many entries that I don't have the time to go through each one and delete their entry if they don't follow the rules. I usually choose a winner and verify their entry. If they didn't follow the rules, I pick another winner, repeat process......
Almost all contests run that way. If you don't follow the entry rules, you don't get an entry. I remember reading somewhere that the Pillsbury Bake Off rejects over half it's entrants right off the bat because they don't follow the entry guidelines.
Usually I let everyone's comments go through if it isn't spam. I choose a winner with the random number, then I verify everything is correct including checking their ip address to make sure they aren't entering a hundred times under different emails. Yesterday we picked a winner, and the comment that came up had just initials for their name, but I thought I saw them on other entries for other contests we held. Just for fun I went back and check and sure enough they had an entry on everyone of our contests. While I didn't pick the entry because of the name, I was kind of happy that it went to someone who has been on the site before. Sometimes it works out. However, if they put - I want this and don't follow the rules, I generate another number.
Yep. That's fair. AND easy. It's the one's that involve copying/pasting stuff into posts and sidebars, earning entry points for subscribing, etc. that are too much work for me! It would also be nice if readers would only enter if they're really interested in the product. I loved your CD giveaway, Jen, but my kids are just not that into music (unfortunately)!
Here's how I do things: When the contest is over, I use random.org to pick a winner. When the winner is chosen, I then verify if they followed the rules. If they didn't, I just go to the second number and repeat the process until I have a true winner. :)
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