Office Hours | Online Challenges (Part 2)

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Office Hours | Online Challenges (Part 2)

Today’s episode is Part 2 of our quick overview of online challenges. (You can listen to Part 1 here.) Offering a challenge can work wonders for your email list, but only if that challenge truly appeals to your audience. You’ll want to be strategic at every step in the process.

Here are our tips for creating a successful email-based online challenge:

Find out what your audience wants. If you offer a 10-day core strength challenge but your readers are more interested in meditation, you’ll get far fewer new subscribers. Utilize polls, track your own stats to see which articles and other content users are reading, and start conversations on Facebook to test the waters before settling on a topic.

Make sure your challenge is unique. OK, it doesn’t have to be one-of-a-kind, but it certainly can’t be dime-a-dozen! Pick an angle, add a twist, and find a way to customize your offering.

Keep it short and make it doable. Length is key. Too short and you don’t get bankable buy-in from new readers, too long and participants lose interest. Most experts recommend seven to 10 days for an online challenge. Make your challenge meaty, but not overwhelming (aim for participant actions steps that take under 10-15 minutes per day).

Promote, promote, promote. Buy Facebook ads, post promos to Instagram, start a challenge-specific pin board, create a series of YouTube videos, post daily reminders to your blog, or commit to a daily Facebook Live broadcast. Tell everyone everywhere about the stellar challenge you’ve created, and (gently) nudge them to sign up.

Incorporate interactivity. It may be tempting to write every word of your content challenge ahead of time and then step back and watch it all unfold, but resist the urge to remove yourself. Online challenges that include a social or interactive component are far more popular and effective.

Don’t forget to follow up! Hopefully your challenge doubled or tripled your list, but don’t just congratulate yourself and move on. As we mentioned earlier, these folks are now primed to buy from you, so consider offering challenge participants a deal on one of your products or classes. If nothing else, prep and send a quick poll to find out what worked and what didn’t so you can tweak the challenge for its next round.



Jennifer Barcelos

Seattle, WA