By Chris Willmott 20/04 Updated: 20/04 15:35
A SOLIULL entrepreneur is hoping to beat the recession by giving money away.
Web developer Chris Holbrook, 33, set up the Free Postcode Lottery site last April after a friend reacted with delight at winning £10 on the National Lottery.
And he has been giving away £10 a day ever since - with that figure doubling to £20 on the site's anniversary earlier this month.
Users register their postcode free of charge and if the site's daily postcode matches theirs, they have 24 hours to collect the cash, otherwise it is rolled over to the following day.
The site has received 18,000 entries in its first year and over 5,000 of these people return on a daily basis to see if their luck is in. It’s this daily traffic that generates the revenue that Chris can then give away.
But, according to Chris, it wasn’t always so easy: “The first six months were dire," he said.
"I was giving cash away every day and making next to nothing, only to receive emails accusing me of being a con artist.
"I was about to pack it in when the site caught the attention of an internet entrepreneur who taught me how to monetise the site's traffic more effectively.
"Six months on, I’ve broken even and can afford to double the prize money. I’m hoping this pattern can continue into the future.”
The site owes much of its success to clever usage of social media to help spread the message.
Chris, who now lives in London, added: “When dealing with such small figures it doesn’t make sense to pay for advertising.
"Returning users are encouraged to help the website grow by posting to Facebook, Google+, and tweeting when they register or win.
"Users can accrue a bonus that is added to their winnings by referring friends.
"We regularly give away extra prizes to those who have been the most loyal to the site.”
Free entry to FreePostcodeLottery.com is available to anyone in the UK who is over 18.
The winnings are usually paid on the same day via PayPal. The site offers a daily email reminder service to help users to remember to check if they have won and never shares details or sends unsolicited emails
To sign up visit www.freepostcodelottery.com.
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