A woman working with two young students in an ad representing Headspace's customer acquisition strategy for teachers.

How Engaging a Community Can Drive Customer Acquisition

Posted on Mar 6, 2020 · 5 min read

Headspace is an online company specializing in meditation, and it has a clear mission: to improve the health and happiness of the world. That’s a tall order, even for a company that already has subscribers in 190 countries and has been using traditional customer acquisition strategies to successfully engage them. 

To fulfill this mission, Headspace realized it had to do more than just market its meditation tools to customers who would benefit from them. It had to win over consumer tribes that were in a position to engage and influence others to adopt the tools, too.  

Lino Reveles Trujillo, social impact lead for Headspace, realized that teachers were an ideal group to pursue. Their jobs are stressful, so they needed relief. And they are in a perfect position to make an entire generation aware of the benefits of meditation. 

It was a smart strategy that had great potential. But he had to find the best way to implement it.

Acquire Teachers by Giving Them Your Support

Headspace decided to create a personalized offer for teachers that gave them free access to its meditation app. It also developed free resources they could use to integrate meditation into their classroom. This included toolkits, case studies, and a 5-week Daily Practice Guide.

Headspace began spreading word of the offer by building coalitions with school district superintendents. But it soon realized it needed to take its campaign directly to teachers to make a real impact. The company took a three-pronged approach that included:

  1. Leveraging both paid and organic social channels.
  2. Emailing their current members and encouraging them to “tell a teacher” about the offer.
  3. Working directly with education partners like Pure Edge that incorporated Headspace in their professional development for teachers.

To ensure that only teachers could redeem the personalized offer, Headspace used an identity marketing platform to implement it. Teachers would enter a minimal amount of personal data, and the platform used digital verification to instantly confirm their eligibility. 

More Subscribers and Less Fraud

The campaign worked. Headspace’s personalized offer to teachers brought in 25,000 new subscribers in three new markets. And using digital verification reduced fraud by 33% in the US and 41% internationally. The program helped Headspace engage a strong community of influencers without the fear of discount abuse. 

“Giving teachers our app for free allows us to thank them for their service and nurture an authentic brand relationship built on trust,” said Lino Reveles Trujillo, social impact lead for Headspace. “And using an identity marketing platform not only protects our margins, it keeps the offer truly exclusive, which underscores our commitment to teachers and makes the offer even more valuable in their eyes.”

Headspace's personalized offer to teachers brought in 25,000 new subscribers in three new markets.

The campaign worked. Headspace’s personalized offer to teachers brought in 25,000 new subscribers in three new markets. And using digital verification reduced fraud by 33% in the US and 41% internationally. The program helped Headspace engage a strong community of influencers without the fear of discount abuse. 

“Giving teachers our app for free allows us to thank them for their service and nurture an authentic brand relationship built on trust,” said Lino Reveles Trujillo, social impact lead for Headspace. “And using an identity marketing platform not only protects our margins, it keeps the offer truly exclusive, which underscores our commitment to teachers and makes the offer even more valuable in their eyes.”

Engaging Community Influencers Drives Customer Acquisition

Headspace’s campaign to win over teachers was successful for four reasons:

01 Cause Marketing Is a Powerful Differentiator

Teachers provide a valuable service to their communities, and brands that reward them generate tremendous goodwill. By supporting teachers, Headspace was able to leverage the power of cause marketing, which is a winning strategy:

02 Brands That Align with Their Consumer Tribes Win

Teachers are an ideal consumer tribe for Headspace because they care about people’s well-being in the same way the company does. Any brand can do the same thing by picking the right consumer tribe and creating a personalized offer that will resonate with them. The key is to authentically tap into that group’s unique needs, values, and attributes. 

For example, the military is a great consumer tribe for brands like American Giant and Purple that take pride in producing durable products that are fully “made in America.” And nurses, who have a stressful job but flexible schedules, are an ideal audience for CheapCaribbean, which offers discount vacations to exotic locales. 

03 Identity Marketing Triggers Incredible Word of Mouth

When Headspace gave teachers a personalized offer, it activated the social sharing that’s inherent in all consumer tribes. Research shows that 71% of teachers who receive a personalized offer will tell a colleague about it. And 96% of the military would share a personalized military offer with others in the military community. When brands harness the power of these connections, it amplifies their efforts.

04 Digital Verification Drives Success

Digital verification prevents fraud. This enables brands like Headspace to provide generous offers that attract high-value audiences without the fear of discount abuse. This security gives brands the confidence they need to go big with their marketing. 

Digital verification also keeps a personalized offer truly exclusive, which makes it even more attractive in the eyes of the consumer. And that’s just what brands need to win new customers, especially ones who can bring their communities with them.

71% of teachers who receive a personalized offer will tell a colleague about it.

Download the Infographic: 2019 Teacher Shopping Preferences and Statistics

Tony Coray by Tony Coray