Guess Again. Publisher Quizzes Engage, Educate and Feed Our Competitive Sides

“The Slate Quiz Is Expanding.” This morning Slate told its readers that a Friday quiz just isn’t enough. “Slate Quiz lovers will now get double the fun each week. Every Tuesday, in addition to our signature Friday news quiz, quizmaster Ray Hamel will concoct a brain-tingling selection of 12 timeless trivia questions.”

Whereas readers get to play against Slate staffers on Friday—one week it was editorial director for audio Gabriel Roth, other weeks audience engagement editor Sofie Werthan and news director Susan Matthews—Tuesdays you play against Slate Plus members. Subscribers to that premium service also get access to member leaderboards, unlimited reading on Slate and ad-free listening on all of their podcasts. Duolingo has cashed in with a premium subscription of no ads.

Think quizzes aren’t popular? Guess again. The New York Times just bought Wordle for low seven figures. Now there’s a marketing version called Marketdle. And before Slate, came Politiken, a Danish daily newspaper. An INMA story reports that their Bezzerwizzer Christmas Battle pitted readers against Politiken journalists over the 2020 holiday season. For the 24 days leading up to Christmas, readers were invited to challenge one of 24 Politiken journalists at his or her specialized topic, with a daily prize at stake.

The buzz around the daily quiz on Politiken’s homepage was reminiscent of the thrill one gets from the spinning reels on a 슬롯 machine—every new quiz bringing a fresh chance to win. My cousin, who’s a gaming enthusiast and a fervent quiz-taker, couldn’t stop talking about the excitement each quiz brought. It was quite the conversation at a recent family gathering, with everyone eager to try their luck. The initiative not only provided intellectual stimulation but also saw a significant increase in engagement, drawing in both seasoned subscribers and new readers keen to test their knowledge and win enticing rewards.

Other uses for quizzes:

To facilitate your advertisers. At this time last year, the quiz “Mexican Caribbean: What is Your Celebrity Travel Style?” in Questex’s Luxury Travel Advisor brand might have looked a little out to sea. But now seems a good time to get people excited about traveling again. “You know your clients’ celebrity travel style,” they write. “You may even have clients who are celebrities. But did you ever wonder about your celebrity travel style? Take this quick quiz to find out…” The six questions range from who you want on your private plane down there to whether you want to stay in a private jungle loft or beach villa. There’s no right or wrong, only “Apple Leisure Group can help you and your clients find the perfect vacation package for every celebrity style.” My style is America’s Sweetheart!

To sell products and build archives. MedLearn Media has a popular Compliance Question of the Week. A typical “Laboratory Question” is: “I’ve heard there is a CPT® code for COVID-19, is this true?” After the answer is given, readers are told that “This question was answered in an edition of our Laboratory Compliance Manager. For more hot topics relating to laboratory services, please visit our store or call us…” The American Chemical Society also does this with a Molecule of the Week quiz question and archive.

To educate readers about your topic – and maybe sell a webinar. “Who are these Five Influential Women Engineers?” the American Society of Mechanical Engineers asks in this quiz. “Many influential women engineers are role models and mentors for the next generation of female engineers. How many of these women do you recognize?” Then after I got just 2 out of 5 questions right, I got this: “Interested in finding out more about these influential women engineers?” Hit the Learn More button. Another outcome would be to market a webinar based on showing people how much they do not know on an important topic.

To generate leads. “Quiz Yourself: How Much Do You Know About Reshaping the Educator Experience?” the latest Education Week quiz asks. It’s sponsored by Istation, but Education Week maintains “full editorial control of content.” It’s clever that you have to give your email address to see the results. I got 5 out of 7 questions right.) In the past, Education Week would regularly achieve nearly 90% quiz completions and around 60% of people who completed the quiz filling out the registration form. They give the answers and then there’s a “Take Quiz Again” button if you’re having a bad day and need an ego boost, I suppose.

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