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Filled Diaper Bags Incent Expecting Couples to Attend and Complete a Relationship Workshop for Ozarks Marriage Matters

The Challenge: Persuade Disadvantaged Couples to Attend a Lengthy Educational Event
The right promotion can do more than incent event participation; it can also incent event completion. The team at Ozarks Marriage Matters, a non-profit strengthening marriages and reducing the divorce rate in the Ozarks, incented participation for its eight-hour, grant-funded “Hitched (or not) and Hatching” program that equips expecting couples—married or not—with relationship tools. The program was sponsored by the Forest Institute’s Operation Us and the Junior League of Springfield, whose volunteer members also helped run the classes.
The Solution: Give Gender-Neutral Diaper Bags Filled to the Brim with Baby Products
The grant required that couples receive at least eight hours of education, not an easy task when the demographic is economically challenged and has historically had negative schooling experiences. Mindful of their audience, the Ozarks team incented couples to come—and stay—by giving gender-neutral diaper bags overflowing with baby products. The idea was to emblazon pre-class promotional materials with pictures of fully-stocked bags to incent couples to come, but to give the bags at the end of the session to incent them to stay.
The Result: Diaper Bags Fill Workshop to Capacity and Reward Couples for Staying
The Ozarks team reports success, both for their grant-funded organization and for the people of the Ozarks. Pre-promoting the bags filled the workshop to capacity and enticed couples to stay as, during class, they accumulated stickers to exchange for the bags at the end of the day—only couples with full sticker sets were eligible. The team is pleased that the bags overcame participation reluctance and rewarded attending couples, who left feeling good about what they had accomplished for themselves and their children.

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