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Luck of the Irish: Pot of Gold Referral Contest

Posted: February 17th, 2015

Hi there,

Robby Beard here with the first in a series of marketing newsletters we are going to be sending out giving all martial arts school owners some great ideas to generate new students.

First of all we want to thank everyone that ordered Dojo’s Valentine’s ad cards;  this year we received more orders than ever, which is a testament to how great of a promotion this is to advertise our schools.  If you have ever attended one of my seminars you might have heard me mention that at all times I have 7 promotions running at my school simultaneously, and this is very important in my opinion, because as great as any one singular promotion can be, it is very unlikely that it alone can keep your schools doors open.  By running multiple promotions at the same time common sense will tell us that we are increasing our odds for positive conversion of our promotions into leads and sign-ups.  One thing I always stress with my consulting clients is to to never judge the results of our marketing efforts by a single promotion. It is very common for example at my USA Karate schools to receive calls from our halloween promotions months after, and that really goes for all our promotions, but what IS important is that at all times we are working on promoting our schools and generating more monthly signups then cancellations.  We are always pleased when we have these big successful promotions, but we are also aware that most martial arts schools are not aware that really every month has potential for marketing, and today I want to share with you a promotion that has been very effective for me in the past which we are calling:

Luck of the Irish:  Lucky Pot of Gold Referral Contest

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday usually associated with green beer and street parties, but did you know it can be a great opportunity to signup new students?  I have created a referral contest that is very easy to execute, and is also a ton of fun for our students. I run a referral contest a month, I really find it one of the most effective ways to get new members is by making my existing ones advertise my schools, and rewarding their efforts with prizes and bonuses.  The result is a healthy competition between my students over who can refer the most students, which is a priceless form of advertising.

What you will need:

  1. Shamrock Paper Cut Outs
  2. Printing Dojo “Luck of the Irish Tear-Off Cards”
  3. A poster to post in your school advertising the contest
  4. A substantial prize for the winner of the contest, and some smaller ones for each referral returned from the Tear Off Card
  5. A wall :)

Printing Dojo’s Tear off cards for those of you who haven’t used them in the past, are basically 8.5” x 3.5” rack cards with a perforation to rip off a 3.5”x2” business card: One part is a 2 sided advertisement for your Martial Arts program with a special offer,  while the business card size tear off has fields on the back to fill out your prospects information. Here is the graphic we are using this year, it is fully customizable for your needs:
Tear8_5x3_5-stpatty-a  Tear8_5x3_5-stpatty-b

For the Luck of the Irish contest, what I do is give each one of my students 30 tearoffs;  They take them to school, church, to their friends and family, and when they have a friend interested in potentially joining our martial arts school, they fill out the prospect’s name, contact information on the back of the business card; tear it off, give their friend the flyer with the special offer, and bring us back to the school the business card with the prospect’s information.

For each lead they bring in, my student gets to write his/her name on a shamrock paper cut out, and tape it on a space on one of our mirrors i have reserved for the contest.   Whoever has the most Shamrock clovers with their name on it at the end of the contest is the winner!  I find my students especially the younger ones love to see their names on the wall.

I also do some additional bonus prizes:

-I post some Shamrock Clovers with a $ sign written on the front;  Behind it I will write out a prize such as:  “Free T- Shirt from Pro Shop”, or “10% off any item from Pro Shop”;  Every time one of the leads generated actually joins, my student gets to pick off a prize Shamrock from the wall.

-I also put a couple of Shamrocks with 3 dollar signs on them, and these have really good prizes on them behind them, such as $50 Gift Certificate to Best Buy.  The student gets to pick this off the wall when 3 of his friends join my school.

For my contest winner prize, I usually try to giveaway something substantial enough that my students will want to really work hard and bring back as many leads as possible.  For this contest we are giving away a Nintendo Wii U, but of course what you giveaway is up to you and what your budget allows.  A Nintendo Wii U is $299.  This prize will pay itself back after 2 months of a new signup, to me that is perfectly reasonable and my students literally flip out at the prospect of winning it!


-You can get the Shamrock Cut Outs at your local Dollar Store or Party Outlet;

-The Tear Off Cards are available at

-When you order the tear off cards a digital poster file will be provided to you

St Patrick’s Day is Tuesday March 17, we are announcing our winners Friday March 20.  The Tear off cards take 7 days to produce, and you want to make sure you have a couple of weeks to get them out so don’t hesitate and get everything ordered and lined up asap to get the most out of this great promotion!

2) Click the Facebook icon under the title of this article
3) When you place your order let us know you shared this post and we will apply discount to invoice, and Like YOUR page!

Feel free to write us back and ask any questions or share with me the results of your promotion, and happy marketing!  If you have any questions on any of the topics discussed, or if you are ready to take your own school to the next level, drop me an email to