Puzzle Marketing: The Powerful Interactive Technique Your Competitors Aren’t Using

Discover the power of puzzle marketing in engaging customers and boosting brand recall with interactive puzzles and games.

By Will Blunt ・4 min read
Business & Marketing Strategy
Campaign & Contest Ideas
Customer Data & Engagement

Have you ever burned hours trying to crack the code of a Sudoku puzzle or unhook the unhookable metal loops?That’s the power of games for catching and holding someone’s attention.When it comes to marketing, online interactive games have become a popular technique for brands of all shapes and sizes. Some examples are website Easter egg hunts, scratch and win giveaways, quizzes, instant win reels, guessing games, and marketing puzzles.This brings me to today’s topic - puzzle marketing.

What is puzzle marketing?

Puzzles are one of many interactive games you can use to engage with customers and improve your brand recall. Puzzle marketing encourages your audience to solve a problem, such as an interactive jigsaw puzzle, crossword, or brain teaser, as a way of holding their attention on your website or landing page.Beyond holding their attention you are attempting to increase brand recognition and collect leads using the puzzle as a barrier to something they desire - such as a prize or coupon code.

Why use puzzle marketing?

There are two primary reasons that brands use puzzle marketing to engage with prospects and customers:

  • Brand awareness and recall. Research shows that solving a simple problem or puzzle can significantly increase someone’s familiarity with a brand. They create an almost false sense of attachment to the business associated with the puzzle. Naturally, keeping someone on a landing page (or social post) for longer, as a puzzle does, is going to aid with memory retention of your brand anyway.
  • Lead generation. As with any form of interactive marketing, lead generation is high on the priority list. Due to the addictive nature of puzzles, they are a great way to capture a prospect’s undivided attention and have them complete an action. For example, you could run a giveaway where the entrants need to complete a puzzle for the chance to win. Once they’ve completed the puzzle, they then fill in their contact details to confirm the entry. The positive feeling they have from solving the puzzle increases the chance that they’ll complete the form.

Puzzles are a fun way to interact with your customers without talking to them. The trick is to make the puzzle challenging but not impossible and incentivize its completion with a prize. The more engaging your puzzle is, the more likely people will tell their friends about it, fill in your contact form, remember your brand, and purchase something from your business when the next opportunity arises.

How do you run a puzzle marketing campaign?

Creating an interactive puzzle campaign sounds complicated, right? Well, luckily, it’s not as hard as it looks.Thanks to SaaS platforms like ShortStack, you can have your very own puzzle campaign up and running in three easy steps. Here’s how:

Step 1 - Choose the type of puzzle

Marketing puzzles come in many different shapes and sizes. They can vary in style, delivery time, incentives, and several other variables. Depending on your goal for the campaign and the interests of your target audience, the puzzle you choose will be different.Some examples of marketing puzzles include basic jigsaws, word scrambles, crosswords, trivia quizzes, and visual comparisons such as spot-the-difference puzzles.ChuChuTV Nursery Rhymes use puzzles on Instagram for their comment to win contests with great success:


ChuChuTV Nursery Rhymes Social Media Puzzle

Step 2 - Build your assets

Once you’ve decided which type of puzzle to use in your campaign, it’s time to get the assets ready.While the example above of the comment to win the contest is isolated to social media, we recommend running your contests with a landing page so that participants visit your website and you can turn them into leads. Of course, for a simpler social media contest when you are just trying to grow followers, you won’t need all of these assets!But if you do go down the landing page path, you’ll also need an email follow-up sequence and some creative imagery for social media promotion.Here are some things to consider when building your campaign assets:

  • Create a landing page with minimal distractions, a clear value proposition, and consistent branding. ShortStack’s templates make this super easy - there is even a “Puzzle Game” template that you can customize for your brand:

ShortStack's Puzzle Game Template[button size='medium' style='white' text='View and Create Your Own' icon='' icon_color='' link='' target='_blank' color='' hover_color='' border_color='' hover_border_color='' background_color='' hover_background_color='' font_style='' font_weight='' text_align='' margin='0 0 10px']

  • Align all your social media creative, banner ads, and email promotion copy with the landing page for a linear customer experience.
  • Write an automated email follow-up sequence to engage with prospects after they have completed the quiz, further establish credibility, and improve brand recognition.

These assets are the crux of your campaign and will inevitably determine how successful it is in achieving your goals.

Step 3 - Promote your campaign

Even if you’ve created the most exciting puzzle of all time with the perfect landing page and follow-up sequence, it all means very little if your customers don’t see it. That’s why promoting your campaign is just as important as the preparation steps.There are numerous ways to promote a marketing puzzle, but here are the most tried and true:

  • Email broadcasts - Utilize your current database to promote the puzzle campaign with a series of targeted emails.
  • Social media posts - Leverage your social media audience to raise awareness for the campaign. How you approach this will depend on your targets, but a good mix of different content types - video, static images, text - usually does the trick.
  • Paid advertising - It’s hard to get traction for a puzzle campaign without paid ads. Facebook ads are a good fit, and you can run them to a warm or cold audience to extend your reach.
  • Partnerships - Working with influencers or complementary brands can significantly amplify the audience you expose the campaign to.

Use a combination of these promotion tactics to get the best results.


When you think of a puzzle, using it as a marketing tool probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But in reality, it has all the makings of the perfect interactive campaign.We have an innate desire to solve problems and when a simple one sits in front of us on a screen, that desire takes over. This results in additional time engaging with your brand and subconsciously remembering it.The beauty is, not many companies are using puzzle marketing so there is an opportunity for you to stand out over your competitors. It’s also not as hard as it sounds to get a puzzle up and running, especially with ShortStack’s pre-built landing page templates.

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About the author

By Will Blunt ・4 min read

Will Blunt is the founder of Sidekick Digital by Will Blunt - B2B Marketing Expert - Sidekick Digital, a publishing business that launches, manages, and grows brands with content marketing.

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