Friday, January 15, 2010

Anatomy of a high ranking sweepstakes (and a low one)

Looking at two promotions on either end of the Rating Engine scale gives good insight into the advantages that the automated ratings give.

First let's look at "The Dollar General Fresh Start Sweeps", which is currently at the top of the rating list by a wide margin.  Actually one of the highest ratings in the history of the engine.  [The engine has been running since the summer of 2009]

What are the key factors?

First of all: number of prizes.  Holy Moly.  Over 20,000 prizes (Worth almost a half million dollars in total).

Second: duration.  Only about a month.  That's well over 600 prizes given away every day.

Third: traffic.  This site is showing very low traffic estimates.  So there are relatively few people competing each day for those 600 prizes.

That's a recipe for a really good chance of winning a prize.

Now one stipulation here that's an interesting point.  This is a sweepstakes, with a drawing after the end.  So even though your chances are great now, you still have the risk that a ton of people can play after you and reduce your chances before it gets to the drawing.  That's the big advantage of Instant Wins, you are playing against the current traffic, not the total traffic of the entire game period.

[Note, between the time we originally drafted this post until this morning, the traffic has already greatly increased.  It's still at the top of the ratings, but now just barely.]

Now compare this to "Game Z" [name withheld for politeness] with one of the worst ratings on the list.

This is a sweepstakes for one prize.

It runs for nearly eight months.  Prizes per day?  That comes to less than .005 as an average.

And it lives on a site that is getting HUMONGOUS amounts of traffic.

Rough estimate of traffic is about 3 orders of magnitude more than what we were seeing with Dollar General.  "Orders of magnitude" is a somewhat technical term, but for simplicity sake we'll call that about 1,000 times more.

Simplifying quite a bit for a rough estimate, you have 1,000 time more people per day competing for 130,000 times more prizes (on average per day).  So that's (shockingly) 130 million times better chance of winning a prize on Dollar General.

Yes, you read that right.  130 million times better chance of winning a prize.

Now, there are a lot of estimates in there.  The broadest is the site traffic.  It's certainly possible that "Game Z", although getting thousands of times more traffic per day is only getting hundreds, or even tens of times more actual game plays.

But even at "tens of times" more actual game plays, we're still looking at 1.3 million times better chance.

This, my friends, is the value of  Are you wasting your time on "Game Z"?

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