If I told you there’s a free way to generate excellent outcome testimonials from a large number of your product buyers, improve engagement, and extend long-term member retention, would you want to know what that is? Perfect, it’s something I learned from Sean Greeley.
Sean Greeley is one of the smartest marketers I know. He’s a longtime friend who owns Net Profit Explosion, Inc.: a coaching business serving fitness gyms in North America, the U.K., and Australia.
In 2010, Sean and I partnered together to launch a coaching program we called Metrics Mastermind. It was a coaching group and mastermind based on tracking and reporting your key performance indicators and financial numbers.
During that experience, Sean and I created a lot of products together. And he taught me an amazing strategy that he’d been using for many years.
Sean called it a “Tuition Reimbursement Contest.” I’ve used other names, like “Results Rewards,” “Implementation Contest,” and others. You can come up with a fancy name that will inspire your members. Let’s call this contest TRC for now.
Gamify to Improve Engagement
When something is fun, you are more likely to do it. If it looks like work, your members will do everything possible to avoid it. Let’s make everything you create and deliver more fun!
Offer a prize to the member who best implements the course you are delivering. If this is a course where all your members begin at the same time, perhaps through a product launch, then have a time frame for your contest that makes sense — perhaps two months. If this is a course you always offer, then offer a prize each month to the buyers for that month.
Consider offering a prize with a value that’s about equal to the investment for your course. That’s why it’s called a “Tuition Reimbursement Contest,” because Sean always offered the winner free tuition by sending them a check to refund their cost for the course.
Promoting the Contest
The key to making your contest work is promotion.
Include a slide in each module of your training. Promote via email with a message similar to the one below:
Submit your entry today for the Tuition Reimbursement Contest.
I’ll be reviewing your entry, choosing the best ones, and interviewing you for the contest finals. Whoever submits the entry with the best implementation results receives a complete tuition reimbursement on the class!
That’s right. I’m sending someone a check for $1,188.00. And you want to know the best part? Wait for it … it could be you!
I’m rewarding you for taking action. The best part of this contest is that YOU always win when you take action.
Complete these four brief survey questions now.
Collecting Your Contest Entries
This is where the real magic is. I couldn’t figure out why this contest idea had any merit until I saw the contest entry form and the first few submissions.
Here are the questions to include in your contest entry form.
- Your Full Name
- Give us your feedback on the quality of content and coaching provided in the course.
- What actions have you taken as a result of going through this course? What results have you achieved so far or do you anticipate to achieve? Please be as detailed and specific as possible …
- What could we do to continue improving the course and/or support provided to you in building your business?
- In your opinion, how does this course differ from other programs out there and what would you say to someone “on the fence” about investing their time and resources in going through this material?
When your member is completing these questions to win a contest, how eager are they going to be to give you the best possible outcomes? How forceful are they going to be to promote your course to someone “on the fence?”
This contest is a terrific testimonial machine. For courses where clients are joining on an ongoing basis, launch the contest each month. You can never have too much engagement or too many testimonials.
Use these testimonials in your product sales presentations and materials. Post stories of great outcomes on your social media site. And promote what members accomplish in their lives as a result of what you deliver.
More than anything, the contest demonstrates that you EXPECT your members to get results. It’s proven that kids get higher grades when their parents expect them to perform at a high level.
Awarding a Winner
Here’s an email I wrote in October 2011 to promote the winner of the implementation contest for the Info-Marketing Pyramid product I launched that year.
Here’s the email.
Executing three websites, a follow-up marketing campaign, and a direct mail campaign generated a brand-new coaching program with three clients paying $150.00 monthly, plus a fourth at $14,000.00 a year, for Dave Gagner as a result of his participation in the Info-Marketing Pyramid Program.
His action and results wins him the Info-Marketing Pyramid Quick Start Intensive Tuition Reimbursement Contest.
But you are a winner too.
You will receive my complete collection of 25 of … [Everyone who entered the contest got a prize to thank them for participating.]
Here are the two big takeaways from the winner announcement:
- Edify the winner by talking about what he or she accomplished as a result of taking your course.
- Give everyone who won some prize for participating, like a free product you offer, a ticket to one of your events, or a product from a sponsor or partner.
Launch Your Own Contest
Now it’s time to gamify what you deliver by launching an implementation contest for the first 30 days your members belong to your membership. Demonstrate that you expect each member to have a great outcome from what you deliver within your membership.
You’ll make implementation a lot more fun, help members through obstacles, get better outcomes for your members, and get a higher recurring revenue for you!