Gleam Giveaway Widget

Date Fri, March 7 2014
gleam giveaways

gleam giveaways

I hope this is a helpful review if you’re a blogger and giveaway host like myself. Giveaways can be a lot of work. In fact, group giveaways are even more work, and I’ve love if you’d take the time to complete that survey if you’ve organized a group event and haven’t yet filled out the survey.

I’ve been playing with a new giveaway tool lately, Gleam. You saw it on my giveaways for Giant Microbes and The Petter. I received an email about Gleam and decided to try it out. I was immediately attracted to it because, well, Gleam is an attractive. One of the reasons I don’t use Rafflecopter — besides the fact that it never worked for me initially — is how freakin’ ugly it is. I just Pair that with the limited options of free Rafflecopter, and it’s just not worth it.

Giveaway Tools is always unattractive, but visitors respond to it positively so I caved and switched to that from PromSimple. But I figured I would try Gleam because it’s so pretty and maybe, just maybe, it would work as nicely behind the scenes as it appears to from my point of view.


Registering with Gleam was simple. Logging in is simple,and you can connect your Facebook account, which I did.  One thing that I like is the ability to add different sites and control them from within your control panel of the same account. I don’t know if other giveaway tools offer this. They may but I noticed with Gleam because it’s a little more obvious.

Gleam control Panel

Gleam control Panel

Logging in brings you the competitions tab, where you can see existing ones and make a new one.  When you have current giveaways, you see stats about entries and entrants.

Create Your Giveaway

It’s easy to create a new giveaway. The form on the first page allows you to set locations, dates, names and specify options such as:

  • Don’t send confirmation emails
  • Hide ‘X Ways to Enter’ heading
  • Hide total entry count
  • Hide ‘Login with…’
  • Automatically invalidate entries from suspected

Some of those options are self-explanatory, but not all of them are. Confirmation emails go out to entrants and encourage them to enter again. I can see how this would be useful, but I turn off the option because I know that the majority of giveaway entrants on Reviews by Cole enter many of them, and I personally wouldn’t want to receive dozens of those emails. However, if you do enter a giveaway with this option, you can unsubscribe. You can enable people to log in with Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or Instragram accounts, which requires authorization from the specific service.

Entry Types

The “How to Enter” tab lets you set up specific entries, and Gleam has more than any other tool I’ve used hands down. They’reorganized by social network or activity. So when you click any specific site/activity, you may get a menu to add specific actions. “Blog” includes the options to subscribe to RSS, write a post or comment on a blog post. The options include:

  • Blog
  • Questions
  • Bonus
  • Visit a page
  • Viral share
  • Newsletter subscription
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google +1
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
  • Custom
  • Youtube
  • Watch a video

The options mean that almost all of the entry types I like to use are accounted for, including pinning, RSS or sharing a Facebook photo. Gleam feels all-inclusive. Each section is color-coordinated but you can change colors with custom CSS. Like PromoSimple and Giveaway Tools, you can drag and drop entries to change their position in your giveaway widget.

gleam giveaway entries

gleam giveaway entries

There’s a third tab for specifying prize information.  You choose name, quantity and upload an image. Before you can do this, you’ll need to Like Gleam on Facebook, but I’m fine with this. It’s a simple “price” to pay for a feature that you would have to pay for with other services. You’ll need to list two prizes, as far as I can tell, for giveaways with multiple winners.

After creating the giveaway, you can view or edit. One thing I would like to see Gleam do is a live preview of giveaways like PromoSimple and Giveaway Promote allows. As a giveaway host, I can’t see it how my visitors will unless I log in and do a fake entry that I have to delete.

Editing Giveaways

From the dashboard, you’ll see options to view and edit your giveaway. Viewing simply shows you stats, entries and code to install — you can add a tab to your Facebook page or site, which is nice — a Reporting tab that shows activity as a graph and the ability to promote or view winners. Promotion allows you to send a reminder email to entrants if you enabled that feature earlier.

In the Winners tab, I have the option to archive entries and pick a winner. Archiving entries could be useful if you could choose specific entries. Right now, it archives every entry. I suppose I could use this to test out a giveaway form under my own name, then archive them. You can draw a winner before the giveaway ends, but Gleam will remind you that it’s not over.

There’s a separate icon/link in the dashboard to edit, which brings you back to the tabs you saw when creating the giveaway. There’s an additional tab for install options after you save a giveaway. As a whole, I think the giveaway overview page should had an edit tab that brings up this page rather than placing both links on the dashboard, which causes confusion.

Misc Thoughts

Gleam allows you to copy giveaways when creating new ones, but you have to go to an existing giveaway overview page to get the copy option. An option to start fresh ro copy should really exist when you click “New.”

Gleam can be integrated in other tools, including, MailChimp, Google Analytics and Facebook. Advanced users may find these useful, but I think they’re geared more toward professional bloggers than me.

Gleam also allows you to set up reward systems. For liking your social page, you can provide downloads and digital rewards, but this is not what my readers are interested in, so I’ll leave it there.

Subscription Options

One of the unique features of gleam is the ability to see entrant info. For free accounts, you’ll see the three most recent users to enter, but paid accounts can see unlimited user data. The account breakdown is below:

gleam plans

gleam plans

The folks gave me business plan for one month for review purposes. Overall, I don’t need unlimited user data viewing, and I didn’t remove branding, which simply removed the backlink from the bottom of the widget. As you can see, there are two paid options. However, Gleam really gives you the most bang for your buck when it comes to free accounts.

Finally, Gleam has a referral system. If you refer users who purchase a business or pro account, you can earn actual cash — up to $20 per referral for pro accounts. Free referrals get you $5 that you can use toward upgrading your account but cannot cash out, however.

If you sign up for Gleam, I would appreciate if you would use my link. I do encourage you to sign up if you want more free options than Rafflecopter or any other service provide at the time.

Here’s a bonus for you people who have read this entire post. Let me know which giveaway platforms you like as creators and entrants!

6 Responses

  1. Susan Broughton November 10 2014 @ 5:20 am

    I would like to ask a question. I enter giveaways with the gleam and everything was fine. Then I recently added another twitter account because I had met my limit on one. Now the gleam will only access the full twitter not go to the other twitter even though I am logged out of the one and logged into the new one. I have tried relogging in on widgets that I try to enter and I can not get it to change over to the other twitter name. Any ideas on what I can do so I can continue to enter giveaways? I would appreciate any ideas you might have. Thanks

  2. Cole November 10 2014 @ 5:31 am

    I’m sorry to hear about this, Susan. I have my Facebook and one twitter account connected. I assume you mean you met your following limit so created a second account? As far as I know, Gleam supports one of each account type, so you might want to make a SECOND gleam account (with a different email address) with the new Twitter. You’ll have to remember which giveaways you enter via which twitter account. AFAIK, Gleam has no control panel for giveaway entrants.

    you might also try untweeps to unfollow Twitter users on your full account:

    I’m sorry I couldn’t be more help.

  3. Michelle April 20 2015 @ 6:07 pm

    I have used both Gleam and Rafflecopter. I love the look of Gleam – looks more inviting, colorful and professional. However, after the contest is over, they HIDE THE EMAILS AND NAMES FROM YOU. YOU HAVE TO PAY THEM AT LEAST $39 TO GET IT. You’re able to download a useless csv list with hidden values.

    If that was made clear up front, I would have never used them.

    Raffecopter isn’t as nice an interface, but their free version allows you to download a csv file with the entrants names and emails for FREE.

  4. Cole April 20 2015 @ 6:10 pm

    I can understand that. I don’t have a new to download that information (I would never add anyone to a mailing list without express permission), but some people do. As a giveaway entrant, Gleam has become my favorite, too. It’s SO easy to use!

  5. Mums&Dads March 21 2017 @ 12:49 pm

    Susan, what you need to do is un-associate your old twitter and connect your new twitter. I don’t understend the details (didn’t do it myself), but on Gleam website, in FAQ (scroll to the bottom of the page) there is very detailed instruction. And if you still have trouble, contact them, they will help. I asked some questions on chat, when I was setting up my 1st competition. They’re very nice and helpful.

    2 everybody:
    What do you do with old competitions? Remove entirely, use this page for something else (another competition from the same sponsor) or keep it? If you keep it, do you remove Gleam widget?

  6. Cole March 21 2017 @ 11:44 pm

    Thanks for the helpful reply! All my giveaways are on pages with unique URLS, so I don’t recycle them, but you could if you constantly wanted a giveaway in the rotation. Some people replace the widget with the winner’s name or keep it up so that it shows the name. I typically keep the widget up. I don’t frequently delete posts and some of them may be in combination with a review or other content.

One Ping

  1. 5 Things Every Giveaway Entrant Needs to Know | Reviews by Cole July 2 2015 @ 10:10 am

Leave a Reply

Domain Name Registration from Namecheap