Become a Quiz Whiz - and Enjoy Increased
by Marcia Yudkin
The phenomenal success of ABC
TV's "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?"
demonstrates the pervasive appeal of questions
with delayed answers. Creating a TV program to
promote your business wouldn't be a bad idea.
But you can achieve the same kind of magnetic
effect and channel its popularity into sales
without multimedia production expenses. How?
With a creative, fun-to-take quiz.
Recently I noticed two
university presses - not normally cutting-edge
marketers - deploying this technique in their
print ads. The University of Chicago Press ran
an ad with literary quotes in bubbles. "Who
Said That?" To find out, readers had to buy
the book or visit the book's web site. Likewise,
the University of California Press included in a
book ad an invitation to test one's copyediting
skills at a certain web address.
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Dangling a quiz as a hook in a
print ad is only one way to evoke curiosity that
increases sales. You could include quiz
questions in your print or e-mail newsletter.
You could feature them on a postcard sent to
either regular or prospective clients. You could
enclose them with invoices to tempt customers to
visit your new Web site. You could mail them to
trade show attendees, promising gifts for those
who stop by your booth at the show to check
their answers. You could ask the questions in a
radio ad, or provide them free to DJ's who agree
to mention your web address. The possibilities
are limited only by your ingenuity.
Quizzes don't always invite
readers or listeners to test their savvy.
Besides trivia and "Do you know?"
queries, you could devise a lineup of questions
designed to raise awareness. For example, a real
estate agency could create a questionnaire
called "Should You Sell Your House
Yourself?" It would ask so-called "Fisbos"
("For Sale By Owner" types) to rate
themselves on how well they understand real
estate and legal terminology, how much time
they're prepared to spend showing the house, how
shrewd they are at negotiations and so on. Along
with the answer for each question, the Fisbos
would learn more about the risk associated with
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A third type of quiz invites
readers to uncover the extent of a need. For
instance, a printer could provide a checkoff of
circumstances where the scoring reveals whether
a business should shift to digital printing. A
plastic surgeon could produce a set of questions
and a scoring system for whether or not it's
time for a face lift. As with the previous type
of quiz, the questions must appear factual in
nature and not loaded to steer all quiz takers
to one conclusion.
As for quiz formats, I've seen
successful true-and-false, multiple-choice,
fill-in-the-blank variations. On the web, you
can have the answer to each question appear in a
little pop-up screen, give the user a
"submit" button to learn his or her
score and interpretation or link to a page
containing answers. Happy asking!
University of Chicago Press quiz
University of California Press quiz
for non-profit organization
using popup answers
scoring sent by email
offering the answers farther down the page
with unusual scoring system
with complicated scoring
#1 – multiple choice, seems to work with
#2 - multiple choice quiz with a popup
screen for each answer
#3 - another multiple-choice quiz maker
instructions on constructing many kinds of
generator - this for-fee service makes it
super-easy to construct a needs-assessment quiz
2004, 2007 Marcia Yudkin. All rights reserved.