This post was requested by Megan, but I have been planning to tell you guys about some of these programs for a while now. I hope you join me in some of these so we can talk about them!!!
First, the obvious:
If you really, really love a brand, be sure to follow them on Twitter or Facebook, as there is actually a decent chance of winning a giveaway on there. I don't normally do this, but I have seen people I know from different forums win HUGE hauls. I did win the contest on Julep's blog, but I would have never won that one without all of you awesome people.
You can enter blog giveaways, which, depending on the size of the blog, you might or might not have a decent chance of winning. I have won one ever (from Suzanne at bebehblog!!!), but I will never forget Lacey's post where she spent 2 hours entering blog contests and won a bunch of cool things. You could also follow sites that list a bunch of giveaways, like this one, if you want to become a professional contest enterer.
Stuff I know about, but I don't actually do, and am therefore not personally endorsing:
You should follow Danielle (LePooke) on YouTube. She is actually doing a free stuff series right now, and I haven't had time to investigate them on my own. Go watch her videos on Swagbucks, Viggle, and Gift Cards. The last one looks REALLY COOL, and since we have such an awesome community of friends, I think we could definitely make it worth our while. Or I could like, tradesies for Candy Crush favors...you need a ticket? SEND ME A $6 SEPHORA GIFT CARD AND I'LL HELP YOU, SUCKAH!
Megan mentioned she does Crowdtap...I just haven't gotten into it yet, so I have nothing to say. Plus I feel like I am already spamming you guys enough with the other similar programs I have joined, so I am not really looking to add anything new.
I recently signed up for MyPoints but I'm probably quitting because they send me too many emails.
Programs I have joined but haven't seen enough activity yet to endorse:
I am an allure beauty enthusiast and a Vogue Insider. I have only been part of these two for a few months and therefore don't have much to say about either at this point in time. Both programs claim that you get to test new products, but so far I have just seen surveys from each, with a chance to win for completing the survey. Given their affiliations, I will likely remain a member indefinitely just to be on the mailing list so I know about cool things like the allure box.
I also joined the Pink Panel around the same time, and I have also only gotten one survey from them so it's too soon for me to know much about it.
Programs I actually participate in and would recommend:
I recently joined Bzzagent, and I am loving it!!! I am already in two campaigns - Tigi Bedhead and Dr. Scholl's for her. My mom also joined after me and is already in a campaign. This program is intended to create word of mouth buzz around different products, and seems to reward activities like talking about it with your friends and handing out coupons/samples just as heavily as using your personal blog or youtube channel to talk about the products. For example, I think you only need to complete 2 of 8 activities on your campaign checklist, and 3 of the options don't involve social media. They are also clear that any bzz counts, positive or negative. This program seems REALLY well run, customer service got back to me in a matter of minutes, and the website is easy to navigate. Highly recommended!
I have been in the Influenster program for much longer, and I have had as many Bzz campaigns in the past 3 weeks as I have in the past year in Influenster (I got the Mom VoxBox in June and I am currently in a PalmOlive Soft Touch campaign - they have yet to send me makeup). However, I hear some people complaining that Bzzagent hates them and Influester loves them, so maybe it's just whatever demographic is appealing. Influenster is very similar to Bzzagent, but I feel like you have to whore yourself out a bit more. Or maybe they are better at sucking me into using alllllll of my social media channels than Bzzagent is? That's probably it...I am Influenster's redheaded stepchild who just wants some makeup love, so I will do anything to try to impress them (to no avail). I feel like I spend a lot more time answering surveys, writing reviews, posting pics, etc. for Influester with the exact same result as Bzzagent. I should also note that I wrote to tell them one of my PalmOlive bottles was broken, and they didn't send me a replacement. They have also completely ignored all emails from me begging to give me the Beauty Queen badge instead of the random stuff they assigned to me. So yeah. Bzzagent > Influester, for me. But if you think you'd have better luck, I'd be happy to send you an invite! I still have all 5.
The last program I want to recommend is the one I am most excited about - the L'Oreal Consumer Testing Program. This program is AMAZING. You sign up at the link above, and fill out a bunch of surveys to see if you are the right demographic for a study. If you live close to the Solon OH or Clark NJ facilities, you can get into the product evaluation center and do studies in person. Otherwise you are eligible to test products at home. I do the in person one - I am going to talk more about my experience in a separate post. If you do the online one, you need to check back in on a regular basis, because the studies fill up fast. DO NOT rely on Loreal to email you, or you'll never get into anything. The best way to know if there are surveys is to stalk the Makeuptalk thread here. You can also check out the pictures of what kind of compensation people were getting - this one is for a 10 week study, so they sent like $400 worth of goodies! People have indicated that you need to have patience when doing the home studies. It might seem like you get kicked out a bunch, but eventually you will be the right demographic for something and you will qualify. Did you guys know how many brands L'Oreal owns??? Lancome, Kiehl's, Urban Decay, Maybelline, Vichy, Matrix, Redken, Garnier, The Body Shop, Clarisonic...probably a ton more I don't even know! So I definitely think that if you do nothing else, you should do this so we can all enjoy cool free L'Oreal stuff together.
Do any of these sound interesting to you? Do programs like Bzzagent and Influenster annoy you, or do you just do what I do and assume that person just likes free shit and move on? And who all wants to join the gift card thingie with me? I'm in if you're in!!!