The Power of Quarterly Contests to Increase Referrals, Testimonials, and Reviews

Quarterly Contests

Quarterly contests can be an effective way to consistently improve your health and wellness marketing strategy for your business.

The goal of a quarterly contest is to provide a fun way to engage your customers and team around the acquisition of key pieces of social proof.

As I said in a previous blog post, social proof is the psychology that says if somebody else is using a product or service and getting results I will get results also.

quarterly contestsThere are several types of social proof that are crucial for a health and wellness business they include:

  • Online Reviews
  • Video Testimonials
  • Whiteboard Pictures
  • Facebook Shares, Likes, and Check-In’s (If You Have a Physical Location)

This type of social proof will dramatically improve the amount of business you receive online but will also improve your conversion of referrals.

When someone is considering your business because a friend or family member has recommended you one of the first things they do in today’s digital world is Google you (or look you up on Amazon if you have a physical product). This is when your online reputation becomes crucial. If you have positive social proof it is going to dramatically increase the likelihood of converting that referral to a paying customer.

So a quarterly contest is a great way to both increase your clients or customers now and later by increasing your social proof.

Here’s how to do it.

Creating a Quarterly Contest

The first step is to make up your mind to do it and discuss it with your team in order to get them excited about how much fun it’s going to be.

The energy that you and your team bring to this contest will determine whether or not it is successful.

You want to have several weeks to brainstorm and plan for the launch of the contest.

Some of the specific aspects of the contest to brainstorm with your team include:

  • Prize or prizes
  • Giveaways
  • Raffle or Different Type of Contest
  • Activities and Rewards Associated
  • Internal Promotions
  • External Promotions
  • Digital Promotions
  • Theme
  • Who Is Responsible for What


One of the really fun parts of doing a quarterly contest is having a grand prize or a grand prize and several other smaller prizes for the winners of the contest. If your contest has a theme you can try to unite your prizes with your theme or you can just give away some big-ticket items that you believe your clients or customers would be excited to win.

Here are some ideas:

  • Three or Four Day Cruise for Two
  • A Weekend at a Bed and Breakfast
  • Platinum TV
  • iPad
  • Year-Long Gym Membership
  • Three Months of Free Groceries from a Natural Grocery Store
  • Tickets to a Concert
  • Tickets to a Sporting Event
  • Movie Tickets
  • Restaurant Gift Cards
  • Health Food Store Gift Cards
  • Custom Pillow
  • Books

Whether you choose just one grand prize or a grand prize with a few smaller prizes the key is choosing prizes that your patients would be excited about and you and your team will know that better than anyone else.

Giveaways During Your Quarterly Contests

Along with raffle prizes you may also want to have some giveaways along the way during the contest. These can help keep people engaged for the full three months you are running the contest. This could be a weekly giveaway for a free massage or free appointment or bottle of supplements or whatever. The key again is to give something that is exciting to your clients or customers. You would frequently give this to the client or customer who accumulated the most raffle tickets or entries that week.

Raffle and Rewards

A raffle is usually the best format for this type of quarterly contest. In order to do the raffle you just need some raffle tickets and a large glass container to keep the raffle tickets in at your front desk in order to continue to remind people about the quarterly contest. You also will want to display your prizes in a prominent location in your office to keep the buzz going. You should assign a different amount of raffle tickets to different activities that patients would do during the quarter.

For instance:

  • 10 Tickets = Referral of Friend or Family Member
  • 8 Tickets = Bringing a Friend to a Class
  • 7 Tickets = Video Testimonial/Whiteboard Picture
  • 5 Tickets = Google Review
  • 4 Tickets = Facebook, Yelp, Health Grades, or Rate MDs Review
  • 3 Tickets = Facebook Check-In
  • 2 Tickets = Sharing a Facebook Post
  • 1 Ticket = Liking Our Facebook Page

If you do not have a physical location and you can do a similar type of raffle using a digital format to accumulate entries into the contest.

Internal Promotions

To promote this event internally you will want to create some key pieces of promotional material including:

  • Posters
  • Flyers
  • Postcards
  • Signs

You want to make sure that everyone involved with your business knows that this contest is happening. So you and your team should be talking consistently about the contest with every client or customer on every visit to your physical location or website.

You should also have posters, counter signs, and flyers around the business talking about the contest and the ways to accumulate entries. You can also send out a mailing to your patients with a postcard describing the contest.

External Promotions

Although this is primarily an internal promotional event you can certainly promote it externally as well including putting up posters on local bulletin boards or talking about this during community events you are doing including talks, screenings etc.

Digital Promotions

Digital promotion can be very effective for a quarterly contest. You want to focus your emails on prizes. Giveaway prizes, grand prizes, etc. You can send out a series of email blasts about once every other week for the first six weeks and then once a week for the second five weeks and then three email blasts in the last week to get as many entries as possible and during that last week before the big grand prize is given away. You would want to do a similar type of posting schedule to Facebook utilizing a flyer type picture that you can consistently post promoting the event on Facebook and other social networks such as Instagram, Pinterest etc.

If you do a consistent monthly email newsletter as we recommend you would also want to promote the contest within your newsletter every month during the quarter.


Some health and wellness businesses like to have a theme for each quarter and have their contest correspond with their theme.

For instance, some themes that I know have then done successfully include:

  • Nutrition
  • Fitness
  • Stress Management
  • Condition Specific: Multiple Sclerosis, Migraines, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Etc.

If you choose to do a theme then you can have all of your giveaways and prizes focused around that particular theme and you can also have events that are scheduled throughout the quarter related to that theme including in-office classes, walks, or other applicable events related to specific conditions such as having your team and patients participate in a Memory Walk for Alzheimer’s, etc.

Quarterly Contests: Who Is Responsible for What

The last and most important aspect of doing a fantastic quarterly contest is to have different members of your team take ownership of different aspects of the contest. Once you have brainstormed and laid out a plan for the contest each member of your team should have different responsibilities in order to execute the plan.

Some offices will do quarterly contests every quarter. Others will only do this once a year. But if you have never done a quarterly contest I highly recommend you plan and execute one to see how your business responds as it may be a game-changer for you when it comes to increasing your referrals and social proof which will have an impact on your business for years to come.

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