5 Reasons to Stop Using Your Email to Enter Sweepstakes

Are You Using the Right Email to Enter Sweepstakes?

One of the best pieces of sweepstakes advice that I've ever received, and one that I'm always sure to pass on to other people, is to create a separate email address to use only for sweepstakes entry. Free email addresses are common and easy to set up these days, and taking the time to do this simple task can save you a lot of trouble down the road. Here are five good reasons to use a dedicated email address for your sweepstakes entries.

You'll Reduce Spam at your Main Email Address

Image of a hand holding an email from a pile of spam.
Using a sweepstakes email can help you tell the difference between wins and spam. Image (c) Tim Robberts / Getty Images

Even if you follow my tips about reducing spam from sweepstakes, entering sweepstakes comes with a certain amount of extra mail. Entry confirmations, newsletters, win notifications, and the occasional spam mail that sneaks in will all add up over time.

Using a separate email for sweepstakes entry will help you keep your main email address uncluttered. And if your email address starts getting overwhelming, you can always switch to a new one without having to notify all your friends and family members.

You Can Treat Your Sweepstakes Email Differently

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You Can Inspect the Emails You Get at a Dedicated Address More Carefully. Philippe TURPIN / Getty Images

Having a separate email address for sweepstakes entry lets you differentiate how you respond to emails. For example, you can turn off spam filters for your dedicated sweepstakes email because they block emails that contain words like "free," "win," and "prize." You can see how that would make finding email prize notifications difficult!

I also unsubscribe from unwanted email in my sweepstakes email account. Why? Because most of the mail in that account comes from legitimate companies, not from spammers. When I unsubscribe, they really take me off their lists. 

Reduce the Chances of Overlooking Win Notifications

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Seeing a Win Notification Too Late Is So Frustrating!. Hero Images / Getty Images

Finding out that you've won a prize, but it's too late to claim it, is such an awful feeling. Receiving your prize notifications at a dedicated email address makes it much easier to find those win notices before it's too late.

When mail comes to your sweepstakes email address, you know that there's a legitimate chance that it contains a win notification. You can check each mail carefully to make sure you don't miss a win.

On the other hand, it saves a lot of time to know that you don't have to scrutinize the mail in your regular email address so closely, since it's unlikely that a win notice will arrive there.

Catch Sweepstakes Scams More Easily

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Having a Dedicated Email Address for Sweepstakes Can Protect You from Scams. Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

Unfortunately, many sweepstakes scams try to convince people that they have won prizes for the sole purpose of conning them out of money. But having a dedicated sweepstakes email can help protect you. How?

Whenever you receive something that looks like a win notification at your regular email address, you'll know that it's more likely to be a fake, since that's not the address you use to enter sweepstakes. You can simply delete those emails or report them to the authorities.

This reduces the chances that you would fall for a sweepstakes scam.

Dispose of Your Sweepstakes Email if It Gets Cluttered

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Emails Getting Overwhelming? Just Switch Your Sweepstakes Address. Johnlund/TomPenpark / Getty Images

When I was new to sweeping, I entered a certain million-dollar giveaway  and immediately started receiving dozens upon dozens of emails. Every day, my account was totally flooded with junk mail as a result of this one bad sweep. So what did I do? I stopped using that free account and simply got another one.

This would have been a catastrophe if it had happened with my regular email address. I've had that address for a long time, and I still occasionally get emails from old friends and acquaintances that I haven't heard from in years. Having a separate, disposable sweepstakes email address that I could simply shut down was a real help in managing that spam.