Sallie Mae's "Good Things Come to Those Who Plan" contest had multiple objectives:
According to "How America Pays for College 2015," the national study conducted by Sallie Mae and Ipsos, nearly all (97%) of American families believe that college is an important investment in their child's future, but only two in five families have created a plan to pay for it. The study also showed that students in families who do have a plan are more likely to pursue a bachelor's degree, and they borrow 40 percent less than students in families without a plan.
Sallie Mae's intent with this contest was to help demystify the planning-for-college process and show students and families how easy it is to get started. With a plan in place, it's easier to talk about costs, explore options, and make college happen.
Key elements of our strategy were to:
We employed the following tactics:
The contest met its objectives and was, by all measures, a huge success.
The goal was to generate 5,000 entries, with a "stretch" goal of 7,500 entries. In actuality, more than 15,000 entries were received.
The contest reached more than 2 million people on social media, and there were more than 1,000 engagements, e.g., likes, comments, shares, etc.)
The contest generated 3,000 registrations for Sallie Mae's college planning tools, and 257 student loan applications, significant increases from the average monthly volume generated by social media.
As of December 17, 2015, there have been 5,385 video views on Facebook. The videos effectively captured the emotional reactions of each winner, conveyed Sallie Mae's commitment to helping families plan for college, and reinforced Sallie Mae's brand promise to help families make college happen.
In June 2015, the month after we announced the contest winners, we reached 245 million impressions of "Plan for College" topics via news media coverage, nearly five times higher than the 51.4 million "Plan for College" news media impressions generated in June 2014. We attributed most of this increase to the "Good Things Come to Those Who Plan" contest. We received especially good coverage from the NBC and Fox affiliates in Jupiter, Florida.
We added the email addresses for all of the 15,000+ contest entrants to our database for use in future customer and prospect marketing activities.
Perhaps the ultimate proof of the contest's success is the company's decision to repeat it, beginning in January 2017.
Fill out the form below and we'll work on connecting you to the entry creator!