The Midway Minute rewards program is full of cool prizes from free baseball cards to Chicago icon stickers for your laptop and water bottle to the high-quality "Good Morning, Frents" mug that everyone loves once they receive it in the mail.
Even better, I'm currently running a Justin Fields jersey giveaway through 9/2 for one lucky referrer, one lucky new subscriber and one lucky paid subscriber.
But if I've learned anything over the last two years, it's that getting people to sign up for a newsletter can be tricky and not as easy as you think it would be.
That's why I'm here to help.
Five tips on earning Midway Minute swag fast
First things first: Most issues of Midway Minute should contain your personalized referral code. If you can't find it, you can always get it through the rewards page.
When I refer to your "link" or "code" in the following tips, this is what I'm talking about. Your friends need to sign up through this link for you to get credit.
1-on-1 communication is the best
You may think harnessing the power of your social media accounts is the best way to go. And you'd be right. It can pay off in big, big ways!
But trust me here: Nothing has a higher conversion rate than hitting your friends up individually with a personalized message on why they'll love Midway Minute.
- Know someone who's crazy about Chicago hoops? Text them your link.
- Have a Cub-loving aunt and an uncle who cheers for the Sox? Email them!
- Having a conversation in person with someone about the Bears? Text them your link, then tell them to sign up as you talk.
Pay attention to that last part: People tend to forget things so if you can close the deal while you're together, go for it! And if you emailed or texted, don't be afraid to follow up with a "hey, how are you liking the newsletter?" (All signups require double confirmation, so you might need that extra nudge.)
Post on social media
You may not use it much anymore, but Facebook is gold for referrals. My system tells me 2x as many new subscribers come from the platform as any other.
Don't sleep on LinkedIn and Instagram, though. Both are solid.
Twitter is great if you have a large following or one that is really plugged into Chicago sports. (If you consider yourself a full-fledged member of Sox Twitter, Cubs Twitter, Bears Twitter, Hawks Twitter or Bulls Twitter, you should post.)
I have no idea if Tik Tok works or not, but I'd love to see a Midway Minute-inspired dance get traction.
Wherever you choose to post your link, make sure your pitch demonstrates the value that you get out of Midway Minute. No one responds to a "sign up for this" message without knowing what's in it for them.
Recruit from your softball teams and tailgates
Think about where you gather in real life with other Chicago sports fans.
Off the top of my head, there's the weekly softball game, the beer league hockey dressing room, trivia nights at your local brewery and tailgates before Bears, Sox and Big Ten games.
These are all good spots to help spread the word about Midway Minute and knock off a handful of easy referrals. Use your best 1-on-1 skills or hit up the team's email thread or Facebook group.
Post on Reddit threads and Facebook groups
Think about where you gather on the Internet with other Chicago sports fans.
If you're on a Bulls subreddit or a big Hawks Facebook group or a Cubs message board, there might be an opportunity for you there.
If all else fails, turn to your company Slack
This might not be the best option for everyone, particularly if you're one of the relocated Chicago fans who use Midway Minute to keep track of things back home.
But if you work for a Chicago company like, say, Vienna Beef or the Chicago Bears and you know there are a lot of Chicago sports fans around your water cooler, Slack is definitely the way to go.
So there you have it!
Word of mouth remains my best way to find new readers and I'm super appreciative of every person you tell about Midway Minute.