As a growth coach and strategic advisor for SaaS founders, I get hundreds of requests from founders to launch internet challenges/hackathons for their users.
While the interest in this growth tactic is increasing, there was no one centralized resource that could help SaaS marketers and founders research the best practices of launching an X-day challenge.
At the time of preparing this swipe file, this is the only resource available created specifically for SaaS companies.
So should you read this swipe file? Yes, if
- You are a software company trying to find a low-competition growth tactic,
- You want to get acquainted with internet challenges already launched by other SaaS companies,
- You want to learn from the experience and tactics of successful companies and create your own viral challenge,
- You want to build (or grow) your community of users and fans,
- You want to increase your brand awareness, generate leads, find new partners, and receive a ton of user-generated content.
What’s included in the swipe file?
- 25+ tips to help you create a viral challenge,
- 20+ challenge/marathon examples,
- 10+ niches.
Whether your software company operates in marketing, management, real estate or another niche, this is the only resource that can help your challenge go viral. Here is the full list of niches that we have covered:
- Email marketing,
- Lead generation,
- Customer service,
- Design (including photo and video editing),
- Text messaging,
- Business operations,
- Real estate
#1 AWeber, Email Marketing App
In 2019, AWeber launched the “7-Day Challenge to Jumpstart Your Email Marketing in 2020”.
The steps of the challenge were published as a post on their blog and each step required 10-30 minutes to complete. They were also posting each day of the challenge on social media so their followers could also learn about it.
At the end of each step, AWeber was sharing a resource for the participants and assigning a small homework assignment.
Here’s what the challenge schedule looked like:
Day 1: Choose your email template and brand it. (30 minutes)
Day 2: Customize your confirmation message. (15 minutes)
Day 3: Create a signup form. (30 minutes)
Day 4: Write your welcome email (30 minutes)
Day 5: Automate your welcome email. (10 minutes)
Day 6: Publish your form on your social media channels. (20 minutes)
Day 7: Share your sign-up form with your connections. (20 minutes)
Tip: Let your participants know how much time they need to invest each day.
#2 ClickFunnels, Lead Generation Platform
ClickFunnels’s 5 Day Lead Challenge was unique because the company’s CEO Russell Brunson was discussing each day’s topic in a video and introducing it to the participants.
Here’s an episode from his speech:
The challenge was also unique because ClickFunnels built a website dedicated to the challenge https://5dayleadchallenge.com/, and you can find all 5 videos and steps there. Besides, you can find the speech recordings on Russell Brunson’s Youtube channel.
Here’s what the challenge schedule looked like:
Day 1 – How to grow your list
Day 2 – How to create a lead magnet
Day 3 – How to create a lead funnel
Day 4 – Build a community of fans using email
Day 5 – How to get organic traffic to your funnel
Tip: Involve your company’s founder or CEO in your challenge to help it look more authoritative.
Tip 2: Create a website for your challenge to bring all resources, reviews, and materials together.
#3 Wiremo, Customer Review Platform
Wiremo launched a 7-day Customer Review Challenge promising at least 10 reviews if the eCommerce stores follow the instructions. To quality the participants, Wiremo set a few requirements:
Wiremo used email as a challenge platform and was sending emails with steps and tutorials for 7 days.
Here’s what the emails looked like:
Tip 1: Set clear and attainable expectations (e.g. at least 10 reviews in 7 days).
Tip 2: Attach supporting resources to each day of the challenge (increase traffic to your website and Youtube channel)
#4 OneThird, Food Waste Prevention Solutions
OneThird published their 30 Day Food Waste Challenge on the Resources section of their website and it’s available for everyone to start with.
OneThird published this free calendar and attached supporting links so people can complete each step with instructions. To increase awareness about the challenge and the company, OneThird is asking everyone to use a unique hashtag #30dayfoodwastechallenge and mention their profile on Instagram.
Each day of the challenge has been published on Instagram as well as a separate post.
Tip: Regard your challenge as a resource and make it easily available to your audience.
Tip 2: Publish your internet challenges publicly only when you have officially launched it and the first group of users has already completed it. Otherwise, everyone will see what’s coming next right from the beginning and no one will have a sense of anticipation.
#5 Obsidian Data, Compliance and Collaboration Tools
Obsidian Data organized a 7-day challenge for childcare directors and their educators with the aim of training them about Acecqa’s National Quality Framework. NQF components regulate how early childhood education and care should be organized in Australia.
Obsidian Data also created a Facebook group and sent a free handbook to the participants so they learn the policies of how to work with children.
Tip: Use your challenge to explain a complex document (or feature or idea) in a simple way.
#6 LevelJump, Outcome-based Enablement Solution
LevelJump launched a challenge that’s more like a mini-course teaching a skill. The value proposition of the challenge reads “Learn how to build outcome-based enablement programs that supercharge your revenue results.”
Every day their Marketing Manager sends an email with 10-15-minute videos included. If you want you can get access to all videos with one click and complete the challenge quicker.
As you can see below, each video is accompanied by a list of resources that will help sales professionals get more profound knowledge on the topic.
Here are the topics for the course:
- Revenue outcomes
- Changing habits
- Program + certifications
- Engage your managers
- When it all goes wrong
- What’s next?
Tip: Build your challenge in a video format and let a real person teach a mini-skill.
#7 Digesto, RSS-to-Email Application for Marketo
With this challenge, Digesto promises to help users engage their subscribers and automate their email newsletter process. However, unlike the previous examples, this one isn’t free and Digesto charges $99 for the 5-day challenge.
While the challenge is paid, Digesto doesn’t want everyone to join it and has a few questions for interested people.
Digesto sells not only the challenge but a package where multiple benefits are offered. Here they are:
- Five days of video coaching with Market experts
- Thirty days of live support and coaching from an MCE
- Nine master Marketo templates (emails and landing pages)
- Sixteen Digesto email templates
- One month Digesto subscription
- Attribution and reporting training
Tip 1: Qualify participants with questions.
Tip 2: Offer a package, not only a challenge.