Many of the things I teach, I learned the hard way. I make the mistake, figure out a better way and share my knowledge with you, saving you time and energy.

One of my biggest entry mistakes when I started entering sweepstakes as a hobby was using my business email. As I owned my own company, it was also my main personal email. It was bad enough I was already mixing personal and business, but adding contesting on top of that just made my inbox a hot mess.

When I made the decision to separate my hobby from my personal/work email, I knew I had to have a plan, or I could lose out on prizes.

I began with getting a virtual email address (vs. one from my Internet provider or another company-based address). I changed my contact data within RoboForm (so when auto-filling forms, it would always have my new email address). I also gave myself a window of six months. Yes, a full six months to convert my hobby to my new email address.

Why that long?

Well, look at what you are entering today. When does any given promotion end? Some have very long entry periods. Then add on time for the drawing to occur, potential winner notification, etc. It is a sliding scale as most sweepstakes end shortly, so it would be only the odd potential win notification at the end of the 6-month time frame. (Plus I still had my work email so if one snuck through I would be ok.)

I left all the current sweeps I had saved with my ‘old’ email address (I was still using it for work) and began using the new one on any new sweepstakes I entered. Slowly, over time, more and more entries were made with the new email address until all the entries were ported over.

Over time, I even noticed the conversion with win notifications until I no longer had to check my work email for the words, “Congratulations, you may have won …”

I do not relish ever having to do it again.

Have you ever had to move your hobby to a new email address? If so, what did you do?