Jim Dahline works for SportNgin, a software/technology development company that creates applications for administrators, coaches, and managers of youth sports and amateur sports organizations. At SportNgin, their goal is to alleviate the gamut of administration activities of these administrators, coaches, and managers that are usually volunteers. They specifically build systems for payment processing, registration, website management, scoring , etcetera so these volunteer coaches/managers can spend more time working with athletes. SportNgin aims to educate sport volunteers on processes they need to know to keep their organization running smoothly.
A Quick Preview of the Podcast:
- How to market to difficult-to-reach prospects
- The 3 things you need to increase social reach and leads
- What to be aware of when running an online contest
To See These Tactics In Action:
To See The Transcript:
Tim: In some businesses, lead generation is a bit more difficult than others. Targeting the right prospects can involve a bit of detective work. Jim Dhaline and the folks over at Sport Ngin put their heads together to come up with a really simple, incredibly inexpensive way to find the right prospects, increase engagement and generate thousands of leads every single month. This is one of the simpler tactics I’ve seen and that’s one of the reasons I love it along with the fact that it just works. I’m Tim Page, the conversion educator here at LeadPages and this is ConversionCast.
Hey, Jim, welcome to ConversionCast.
Jim: Hey, Tim, how are you? Thanks for having me.
Tim: I’m doing great thanks and thanks for coming on the show. We’ve got a fun one to talk about today. It’s kind of – it’s going to come off to a lot of people as simple. They’re going to be like well yeah that’s simple but in your industry, you have something pretty unique going on and I think the reason why this has been so effective is something that we’ll be able to have a fun discussion around. So can you kind of share with us what were the results that this change has gotten for or that this addition has gotten for your business?
Jim: Well you know, we’re always trying to figure out how do we build our top of the funnel prospecting list. For us, we’re really working with and marketing to people who are volunteers, administrators, coaches of youth and amateur sports world. The challenge is that traditionally people can go out and either buy lists or they’ve got a really long history of our pervious customers. But our challenge is that you really can’t go out and say who are the people who are volunteers. Right?
Jim: So we’ve had to think a little bit differently in the way that we’ve done that. It’s very easy for people to say well let’s look to social media or let’s do these types of things and what we wanted to do is to not just go out and ask people to give us something about giving them back. So we started to build these monthly contests and promotions. Really what it boils down to is we find some really unique and creative kind of neat products that sports people overall would be interested in.
We just put out a – there’s a landing page shared by social media, Twitter and Facebook and say you know, share this, follow us and enter in your email to be qualified to win either a GoPro or we’ve given away a smart basketball or we’ve given away authentic jersey for the volunteer and for the youth may be an athlete or another person that they’re mentoring. We just do these on a monthly basis. They’re super fun. They’re very relatively low cost for the amount that people that [[0:02:43]] [indiscernible] type of funnel and people have a lot of fun with it. They’re oftentimes products that people talk about. They get some sharing and interacting with their brand. We’re able to then put in the awareness as well as starting to build our top of funnel database. So it’s been really cool.
Tim: Awesome and you know, on an average month, how many leads does one of these contests generate?
Jim: So I think we’re in our fourth one right now. We’ve never had one – it’s always in the thousands. I will say what we’ve learned is something like a GoPro for example which is really kind of neat and interesting to everybody will bring in more people than a smart basketball for example that we did which primarily will attract in some of the basketball audiences, which you know, really isn’t that bad especialy because now we’re starting to build in by sport and we’re starting to learn about it. But we saw I think four or five or six thousand people kind of come into our funnel from a GoPro over three or four weeks and a couple of thousand on some of the other ones. The jersey one that we’re running right now has had a lot of excitement as well. So we’ll see. We’ve got some neat ones that are coming down the product in the next few months. But it’s something that’s really it’s neat for us to see people get excited about it.
We’ve seen prospects and new people come in from large organizations with some small a whole bunch of different people so it’s something fun that we get to talk about and it’s really kind of neat ones we get to reach out to the winners obviously once a month to look forward to.
Tim: Yeah it’s a really cool kind of engagement tool, you know, as well to kind of hear what you’re giving away not only to generate the lead but then kind of to have that to talk about, to have them you know hopefully share that on social media so that their followers get to see oh what you know I won this cool thing and then to have –you know, potentially other people that they know hopefully want to may be join the next contest and get involved with their list. Because if somebody is volunteering or if somebody is a coach, you know chances are they know some other people that are coaches whether it’s the other coaches in that same league or whatever it is.
Tim: And it really generates kind of that not viral but that social sharing element.
Jim: Well that and it does become it. So you know, one of the things we always talk about was are people really going to be interested in sharing or retweeting or liking this knowing that more people are going to enter into this? Really we haven’t seen, at least anecdotally. We don’t believe that people talk to it and especially when the winner is shared, you know, we get their picture and we do a nice graphic. We put something together, put it out there and a lot of people then at that point start to reshare. We even see a lot of pickup from the winner announcements.
Tim: Oh yeah.
Jim: – I think one of the things we did learn was that not only do you have to do it, you have to let, you know, help guide the process. People are ready but they will say we’re giving it away, you have to be prepared to be able to do that. So be sure to watch your dates on the weekends but then also give them some tools to be able to share the experience.
Of course branding with the brands that we can generate that awareness and you know, get ready to go for the next month. We keep on going continually. There’s never a month off or we don’t even take a week out. It’s here the winner, here’s the next one let’s rock and roll.
Tim: yeah. I like that, I like that a lot. You know one thing I realize that we didn’t do is can you tell everybody a little bit about what Sport Ngin is all about and kind of what you do so that it makes sense?
Jim: Yeah for sure. You know we Sport Ngin is software and technology development company that puts together applications for the administrators, coaches, managers, the youth sports and amateur sports organizations. So at the end of the day, what we do is put those together. There’s an administrative burden that’s put on by these primarily volunteers whether it’s registration and inner processing or website or tournament scheduling and management scoring and mobile apps, the whole gamut of all those technology really helps them spend less time on paperwork and spreadsheets and the administrative and more time spending working with athletes so they can teach them all these skill developments inside their sports to become better athletes themselves. But there are a lot of bold athletes here so we believe that teamwork, humility, respect, discipline all of those attributes are a part of that athlete experience.
We think of those volunteers are heroes. A lot of those heroes are so far a part of a lot of our lives here so we want to make sure that that connection between the heroes and their athletes it’s much more one on one interaction versus someone worried about spreadsheets laid out on the floor.
Tim: [Laughs] Yeah that’s cool. It puts the personal element more at focus rather than the you know, backend business part of it.
Jim: Right you would be surprised at (a) how many organizations are still ran in using very kind of old technology just gets passed down right? You go to your year or may be your two years and then your kid may be moves on and someone else comes in. The amount of time that is taken out by some of these volunteers which you know, they were oftentimes were put in that position because they were at the right place and they were at the right person at the time. Not because they have got a long history of doing it. So we not only put together that software but we work with them to understand what is it like to be a registrant for example or how can you help put together a risk management program to keep kids safe. We want to help educate them and guide them down.
At some point we hope that they will decide when they need to make a p purchase it will be with us. Where all we want to really help out those volunteers who really are heroes.
Tim: Yeah that’s great. I love that. Okay. So one thing that I’m curious about is when you’re running these contests, you know first off just so that somebody listening could may be go and emulate this, you know what is – is it just based on a drawing? I mean do you pick a random name using some kind of software?
Jim: Yeah. We just completely randomize it. Yeah.
Jim: We got our rules Tim that you do have to kind of go into. It’s a world that I didn’t really understand that one of our marketing managers had come from a promotion company before. so I got a really good education on it. When you do these types of things, you know spend some time looking at what do you – what are your obligations in putting this together. Once you understand that, you know one of the things that you do have to do is you can provide a preferential. You can’t be you know, deciding ahead of time who’s the winner on that. So absolutely everyone just goes into we pull out a random name. we do reach out to them ahead of time to make sure that they’re legitimate and we can you know, get a picture and that kind of stuff.
So we did some [[0:09:28]] [indiscernible] amount of rules which are all part of it but we absolutely randomize it.
Tim: Yeah, that’s awesome. So the random element is good and are you basically just telling people that they’ve got to opt in and you’re collecting some basic information? I noticed that you had a few form fields. I was curious what are the form fields that you’re collecting for this?
Jim: Well we asked them to like us on Facebook and to follow us on Twitter and those are available to them and then we asked their first and last name and email address.
We do have to do some qualification for winners after that. but outside of that, that’s really all that people need to do to be able to participate in that. I don’t want you know I always have a long belief in marketing where if you’re asking me details that you absolutely don’t need to fulfill what our agreement is right now, there’s something sketchy to it and we don’t want to end up [[0:10:19]] [indiscernible]
Jim: –at all. So we know that we can communicate with them via email and that works and you know generally speaking when people do win, they realize that they have to give us an address and a name and we’ll worry about it at that point. We’re just – we’re assuming people are having fun. We know that people there’s going to be people who are just signing up for the promotion. We also know that the are people who are going to be interested in our products and at some point where we’re providing them may be an education guide or something that’s more in depth and we’ll ask for a little bit more information but there’s got to be something where you know we’re only going to ask them for some more data, some more information when we’re willing and able to give them a little bit more as well.
Tim: Yeah I would like that. Alright, so I guess the last question that I have is you know, just playing devil’s advocate a little bit, in doing contests a lot of people have mentioned that they tend to get a lot of folks that are not necessarily right for their audience. You know, they’re contexts but they’re not necessarily really marketable context. So what are your findings? I mean are you finding that most people are kind of within your realm of potential customers and if so kind of how are you or if not how are kind of determining who, what’s the right kind of prize and who to market to?
Jim: I think that overall you know, looking at the youths for amateur sports experience and there’s so many different sports out there. Majority of kids at some point or athletes of some level and I think that even people who today might not be a part of that world sometime in the future they will be. But I look at people as they graduate college 24, 25 they start to get in this world where either they’re previous athletes and are now becoming coaches or managers or administrators of an organization or they have start a family and within a few years are going to be called into volunteers on themselves.
So if they start to intervene and we start to learn about them and we see that they are starting to have some interests in some of the communications and information that we send out that over time, a majority of people who are interacting with us are going to either be an influencer or may be a decision maker or someone who will eventually be a buyer.
For those people who aren’t, you know, we – that’s okay. they’re probably you know what I mean, know somebody or when they’re a winner, and to go back to something we talked about a little bit earlier, we put together a nice little photo card with the winner, here’s the prize and we share that also. So may be that person isn’t going to be ever be a buyer from us but once they are excited and they share that they want it which everybody loves to do, there’s a whole web of people around them that start to see our brands.
So our brand is relatively new. The company changed 18 months ago to go Sport Ngin to adopt the name of our platform. We’re still working on that awareness. So the more and more that times goes on, the more and more benefits we’re seeing to this and now that investment that we make and that we’re just incredibly thrilled with the results that we’re seeing.
Tim: Yeah. I mean at just a few dollar cost per lead it’s pretty brilliant and that’s not even factoring in the social media aspect of it. So yeah I love this. This is a really cool strategy and I love the contest model. I think it’s something that is worth testing for just about anybody. So yeah Jim thanks so much for coming on the show and sharing this. we really appreciate it.
Jim: Hey man it was great. Tim, thanks a lot for having me.
Tim: Alright, that’s going to do it for another episode of ConversionCast. Now listen I know I mentioned this last week but a few people missed it. If you go over to ConversionCast.com right now, you will see this most recent episode posted. It will be right there on the top of the page. You will see a little image. It will say click here for more information. Click on that little button in the banner. Pop up optin form will appear which by the way is LeadBox. It’s a tool we have here at LeadPages. And in there you can enter your email address and download a guide to this episode. It’s going to break down the nitty-gritty details and give you a really cool sneak peek of exactly what Jim was talking about in this episode.
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Listen To Discover The Strategy SportNgin Repeatedly Uses To Get Thousands Of Leads Per Month