How We Used Gamification to Make $250,000 in Just 6 Days (Case Study)

Yifat Cohen is a Google Plus expert and founder of Yifat Cohen Network.

YCN decided to launch the first ever hangout-a-thon. This was 10 days of consecutive ‘hangouts’ to promote Jon Benson’s Sellerator software.

Using gamification, YCN used reduced marketing costs, lowered affiliate commission payouts, increased viral reach and made $250,000 in just 6 days.

Pretty impressive!

Wait, how did they do it? 

Using our Captain Up plugin!

Have you thought about implementing gamification into your strategy, whether it be to engage users or motivate employees?

If not, I think its time you started doing so.

Lets have a look at how YCN did it.

YCN’s Method


YCN launched the first ever hangout-a-ton to promote Jon Benson’s Sellerator Software.

To do this, they created a new website to host all the hangouts in one place.

This go-to website generated engagement and allowed for personal interaction between the audience and Jon himself.

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Home page of the website

Each page on the website was specifically designed to optimize engagement. Lets take a look at this screen shot:

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When you look at the page, what really stands out to you?

Is it the positioning of the comment box? Is it the provided worksheets on the right hand side? or is it the friendly “don’t be shy – ask your questions here”?

Whatever it is, I think we can all agree it’s engaging.

By positioning the comments directly below the hangout, users can comment without losing sight of the presentation. This means they can watch the content while writing, instead of having to scroll to the bottom of the page to leave a comment.

This small detail is what will increase the chances of your users commenting and engaging with the video, as well as engaging with other users comments.

The worksheets on the right hand side “Leadpages Example” and “Mini Sales Letter Example” keep the users engaged during the hourly training period. It helps focus the users and gives them something practical to do while watching. This small addition to the lesson will prevent the viewers from getting bored and distracted.

Below these two worksheets you can see the “Add to Calendar” option. This helps users add the hangouts to their schedules in a simple and quick way. By adding the hangout they won’t miss any live training and they will feel more inclined to return.

Perhaps you are wondering to yourself “What do the users get in return for their time?”

Lets see!

Rewards, Rewards. Rewards

Let’s be honest, we all love to be rewarded.

YCN used this to their advantage and rewarded their users on a daily basis for sharing, commenting and engaging with the content.

It’s a win-win situation, so why not?!

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Here you can see that YCN were offering users the “Modality Marketing” E-book as a giveaway.

Having this reward in place encouraged users to engage, as they felt there was an end goal in sight. Something achievable, and something they could enjoy. Rewarding your users with free gifts helps boost their loyalty to you as a company. The very act of offering a gift, no matter what that gift may be, motivates people to perform better and longer. Rewards have positive effects on motivation and keep people focused for longer.

Let’s take a look at the results.


This campaign was a HUGE success. Increase in subscriptions, increase in views on their YouTube account, increase in followers on Google+….

I suppose the Captain Up plugin must be doing something right!


At the end of the day, this is what we care about. Without conversions there is no point in your business.

Jon put it perfectly: “Results in marketing is a metric called cash.”

Since the goal of the campaign was to sell a product, the last 5 hangouts were purely focused on selling and marketing.

The use of gamification increased the views for each hangout, therefore more people were listening to the offers, resulting in more people buying the product!

In just 5 days, from a small list of 13,000 people, they ended up with a 10% conversion rate and $250,000 worth of sales. Not bad, right!?

By using NOD3X (a social network analysis) in the last 4 days of the hangout-a-thon they saw 10% of sales arrived directly from Google+ which means organic, social share and cold traffic!

Social Shares and Viral Reach:


Captain Up caused a huge boost in their social shares. The users found the gamification aspect of the hangout-a-thon “addictive and fun”. They wanted to come back to the next hangout and enjoyed engaging with the content.

Here is one comment below from Rita Smith who took part in the hangout-a-thon:

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Using the Captain Up plugin, almost 130,000 actions were carried out on the site, and the website had 30,000 visitors. By adding Captain Up’s  social gaming layer people carried out more actions on the site. They felt more of a reason to stay and also more of a reason to return.

The Captain Up plugin turned out to be a lucrative strategy in getting social proof, shares, and third party edification.


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Engagement by the numbers:

In just one month the engagement levels on the site skyrocketed!

On average, each hangout received 150 Google+ comments, 10 Facebook comments, 3 WordPress comments as well as 1,200 YouTube views.
Lets break down the YouTube numbers a little more.

The number of YouTube views totaled 15,535. The ratio of video views per subscriber was 59.29 and in total 262 viewers actually subscribed to the new channel.

Now let’s break down the Google+ numbers.

Not only did they go from 0 followers to 188, they had 9,707 pageviews. The ratio of post views per user was 51.63.

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You may be thinking “great, so the campaign increased engagement, but then what?”

Well, that’s the best part!

Even after the hangout-a-thon was over, the engagement, viewership, and number of subscribers continued to grow!

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If you have ever put together any type of online event, I am sure you know that the hardest thing is to fill up the seats. Its incredibly hard to get people to take time away from their day to watch and participate live.

The engagement strategies that YCN implemented meant that everyday the audience were checking in to the website one hour before they went live. This substantially boosted the “time spent on site”.

If people were out and about they were able to join in live from wherever they were – whether it be from the car, from the library, or from work.

There was an astonishing 80% live retention rate throughout 90-180 minute hangouts.


YNC are proof that by being truly social, open and accessible with your audience, not only will you have the highest ROI and lowest marketing expenses, but you will build a loyal audience.

The loyal audience will act as your brand ambassadors, they will show up when you need them too, and they will spread your message to their audience and followers.

Having these brand ambassadors allow you to virally build your social media outlets.

As a result of YCN gamifying their engagement process, they increased their viral reach with no additional costs. They provided social signals on their site, meaning their content was easily sharable, and they increased “time on site,” which was beneficial for SEO purposes, while also increasing the live attendance and engagement. They Made Learning Fun!

YCN made a quarter of a million dollars in one week.

If that doesn’t persuade you to gamify your site with the Captain Up plugin, we don’t know what will.