Many online giveaways require that you provide a valid e-mail address so they can easily contact you if you win. I would say you need to leave your e-mail address even if you also leave a link to your blog. My reasoning is that if the host has to track you down, they may just choose another winner so it’s not as much work for them. Whether that’s right or wrong, it’s a possibility.
On the other hand, leaving your e-mail in a comment opens the door for spammers to collect your e-mail address. One way to deter spambots (the little code robots spammers send out to collect data, similar to how search engines look for key words) is to type your e-mail without using the @ or . in the address. For example: bloggingbasics101 AT gmail DOT com. Just about everyone knows to change the AT to @ and the DOT to the .
If you do choose to leave a link to your blog instead of leaving your e-mail address, make sure your e-mail or contact information is clearly marked on your blog. It won’t do any good if the host actually clicks to your blog and still can’t find and easy way of contacting you.
I use Typepad for my blogs. When I receive a comment, I can automatically respond to specific commentators because they have had to type in their e-mail addresses in order to leave a comment. They don’t have to re-type their address in the body of the message because my host already includes it in the message.
So what do you think? How do you handle this with your own online giveaways and such?