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'Rush Right In' New Year's Resolution Challenge

Posted by Kate Seat on 12/1/14 3:30 AM
Topics: holidays, textbook rush, MBS Monthly Marketing Plans

Did you know that one of the best ways to keep a New Year’s resolution is to make it public? It’s true! Declaring your intention in front of an audience makes you feel accountable, so this year, encourage students to share their resolutions as they purchase their textbooks during Rush. We’ve devised an easy-to-execute giveaway and ways to let your customers know how your store can help them achieve their goals in 2015!

New Year, New (Used) Books, New You

New year, new books, new you: Resolution Reward Giveaway

You want your students to keep their resolutions, so give them motivation with great prizes that will help them succeed! When they come to your store to pick up their books for the new semester, they’ll have the chance to enter to win whatever willpower-boosting prize you select.

Download: “Rush Right In” marketing kit
Download the marketing kit
Download the Kit
  • Set a date: Since this event best coincides with Rush, choose a start date that works with your store’s timeline.
  • Establish the rules: Will you choose your winner randomly or by some predetermined criteria? What about picking the most creative or outlandish entry (voted on by your staff)? How many prizes will you award? Whatever you decide, make it clear to rule out any confusion. If you plan to post the entries, make sure students know that they will be public!
  • Pick some prizes: If you’ve opted for one larger prize at the end of the giveaway, choose the reward carefully. A bookstore gift certificate of any denomination would be great— and add incentive for those students who have resolved to save money in 2015. Or if your store has fitness trackers or workout gear, you could offer these to encourage the students who want to get in shape or lose weight. Ask local vendors of healthy treats like frozen yogurt if they can donate a gift certificate or even some coupons.
  • Promote the event: Use the free marketing materials we’ve provided to spread the word. Hang up posters around campus and get the conversation going on Facebook and Twitter. Let students know in advance if you will be displaying the entries somewhere in the store or tagging them on Facebook. Extra credit: We created a Pinterest board just for this marketing plan. Share all of the inspiring ideas we found — or repin them for a New Year’s board for your store!
  • Set it up: We’ve provided you with customizable entry slips so all you have to do is decorate a box (leftover holiday wrap in a metallic or neutral color would be perfect) and decide where to place it.
  • Select a winner: and let the world know: Post a picture of the winner (or winners) with their prize on your social media accounts and be sure to thank everyone who participated. Will you follow up later to see if people stuck to their resolutions? If so, ask them to post or comment in whatever time period you designate to let you know!
  • Assess the results: How many entries did you get? Were students receptive to the idea? If you plan on repeating the contest, decide what you would change.

Make the new year even better!

Did you know that the top resolutions remain the same every year? Most people want to do one (or all) of the following:

Get in Shape/Lose Weight
Save Money
Volunteer to Help Others
Manage Stress

Let your students know how you can help them achieve these goals with customizable posters, Web images and a coupon to encourage participation.

Download: “Make it Better” poster kit
Download the poster kit
Download the Kit

Get in shape: Create a display to highlight any items that help promote fitness. Include branded sweatpants and sweatshirts, t-shirts and water bottles. If your store has fitness trackers like those from Fitbit, this is a perfect opportunity to let your customers know. Offer a discount on specific items or bundle them together in a “Get Fit!” package. Is there a local event like a Resolution Run or program to encourage physical activity being offered by your school? Show your support with a coupon for participants. Don’t worry if events like these happen before school is back in session — you can still reward participants’ noble efforts with a coupon or other small treat.

Extra credit: Make an adrenaline-pumping playlist to share on a music streaming service like Spotify.

Save money: Show your students that your store is the place to save! We’ve created customizable Web images to share on Facebook to help you demonstrate the ways students can save when they purchase their course materials at your store. Does your store highlight price differences between options, like new versus used versus rental? Make sure your students know where you post this crucial information (on shelf tags, signage etc.)

Volunteer to help others: Enlist the help of student organizations or research national programs to come up with volunteer opportunities. Designate an area for sign-up sheets, flyers or information updates. If your school doesn’t have a volunteer fair, find out ways your store can help coordinate efforts throughout the year.

Manage stress: Unfortunately, stress can be a big part of school life. Why not devise an event that gives your students a chance to relax? Here are some possible activities your store could offer

    • Movie night: On a weekly or monthly basis, hold a screening of a comedy or a fun action movie. Offer some simple snacks to make it even better.
    • Pet day: If your store doesn’t have a furry mascot already, see if it’s possible to bring in some dogs or cats, either belonging to your staff members or from a local shelter. Many students feel homesick and having a chance to cuddle with a pet may make it better.
    • Yoga: Clear out some space and stretch it out! Ask for volunteers from local classes to demonstrate some basic moves that would work well in the confined space of a dorm room.
    • Arts & crafts: Something as simple as a coloring book and crayons can give students a much needed break. Or make it involved with a Pinterest-inspired DIY project: tie-dying or decoupage would be easy to set up, or choose an activity that would work for a school spirit or holiday theme.

New Year’s resolutions are a great excuse to start the year off in the right direction. Remember that these are just the beginning, though — with a little planning, you can inspire your students all year-round!

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