Today, gamification is used everywhere, and consumers enjoy some form of gamification in various parts of their lives. As a result, more and more businesses are looking to integrate gamification into their marketing and sales strategies. According to the Harvard Business Review, loyalty leaders grow revenues about 2.5 times as fast as other companies in their industry.
When implemented well, a reward program that encourages sales through gamification can incentivize customers to become a lifelong follower of your brand. These programs increase consumer loyalty and build a sense of community among clients. According to Bond, 66% of customers will recommend a brand with a good loyalty program.
Building Customer Loyalty Through a Gamification Rewards Program
Contrary to its name, gamification is not about building games but a way to actively encourage customer interaction by applying game elements to your marketing strategies. Your goal is to make sales. You can reach your sales goals by providing reasons for current customers to come back while enticing new customers to your brand. The best way to accomplish this long-term is to make your rewards program entertaining and interactive.
To implement gamification properly, you need a constant flow of information between you and your clients. You provide your clients with a reason to come back, and they provide you with valuable metrics that can be used to influence behavior and actions that translate to more sales. The cycle of gamification should look something like this:
1. A potential customer provides you with their information.
2. The new information increases builds your members’ profiles.
3. Segment your customers to identify the specific needs of your clients.
4. Create marketing strategies that personalize offers and promotions around client needs.
5. Benefit from improved return on investment and an increased customer engagement which leads back to gathering more information from current and prospective clients.
6. Repeat cycle.
Why a Gamification Rewards Program Is So Effective
By nature, humans are competitive. Gamification works by taking advantage that competitive mindset and providing positive reinforcement with points, badges, or prizes that reward customers for their business. Combined with the natural aversion we have to losing gamification points (such as those that drop off after a certain period of inactivity), you can ensure customer retention.
The social element is the second aspect that makes a gamified experience compelling. When clients obtain awards, they may post their achievements to multiple social media accounts, showing off their swag to social contacts. This provides free advertising for your brand and can draw in more clients by boosting your brand reputation via positive word of mouth.
How Does a Gamified Experience Help My Brand?
In addition to creating customer loyalty, gamification provides valuable information on customer preferences, the user experience, and behavioral patterns. Marketing departments can use this information to sharpen their segmentation and targeting strategies to offer personalized offers and benefits.
As mentioned above, gamification can also energize your social media marketing efforts by generating positive brand mentions and new leads. Clients can earn points for every social media post that fits your criteria; as others join in through likes, reblogs, or comments, the client can earn even more points. Now you’ve created a cycle of posts leading to points that not only provides your brand with valuable information on that client but provides information on potential others who engage in the original post.
The constant flow of information benefits both the customers (through earned rewards) and your business (by maximizing your return on investment and customer engagement), all without additional money spent on advertising. Once you have a gamification strategy that tracks, analyzes, and deciphers user activity across multiple channels, you can start influencing behaviors and closing deals to meet your revenue goals.
Applying Gamification to Your Sales Strategy
You may still be asking, “what is an example of gamification?” or “how can gamification be used for my business?” While every business is different, there are a few easy ways you can leverage gamification in sales to your advantage:
Engage in Social Media
A lot of sales leaders fall short by not adding a social aspect to their marketing strategies. People want recognition for their achievements, so the more opportunities you provide clients to post on social media, the better your chances of participation and client retention.
Find the Difficulty Sweet Spot
Remember that people want a challenge but will give up if the challenge is too complicated or unattainable. Conversely, making things too easy detracts from the value of your point systems and may eat into your bottom line. Finding the right balance between hard and easy is key to successful gamification.
Reward New Clients
Studies have shown that when a program makes people start from scratch, they quickly lose interest. You’re more likely to keep your potential customers interested and engaged by providing start-up points or bonus points for signing up. You can also apply retroactive points to buyers for purchases made before their official sign-up.
Make Goals Clear and Consistent
Consumers are more likely to sign up and stay engaged when they understand the rules or how to participate. Make sure clients feel their goals are within reach.
Effective sales gamification ideas revolve around providing clients with “freebies” or surprise points. Some best gamification examples could be double points in May, or letting clients who reach 100,000 rewards in a year receive additional perks.
Remember that gamified loyalty programs are tools that marketing departments or your sales team can use to improve sales performance, employee engagement, and client retention, but only when used correctly. Simply adding a gaming element to current sales programs won’t necessarily work. Sales managers should deploy new strategies that implement gamification best practices to entice new clients and retain current client participation.
Bring in More Clients With AIR MILES Incentives
You’ve decided that a gamification rewards program is the perfect solution to bring in more clients and achieve more sales, but now what?
Creating and running your loyalty program can be a daunting and overwhelming experience. First, you’ll need to decide the type of program you want to implement, then figure out how the rewards system will work, sign up members, source and manage rewards, create a gamification strategy that keeps clients engaged, and finally advertise to ensure people know you have a program. All this takes both time and money to implement correctly and keep the program going.
Instead, you can save time, money, and avoid big challenges by adopting the AIR MILES® Reward Program. AIR MILES Incentives has made it possible for hundreds of eligible businesses across Canada to reward their customers for everyday purchases, and redeem their AIR MILES(R) Reward Miles from a wide selection ofoptions that suit their individual needs.
Obtain guidance from an experienced team member who can help you design reward incentives and integrate this established national reward program into your business effectively. With over 60 years of combined reward and loyalty program experience, you can have complete peace of mind that the AIR MILES Incentives team can help you reach your business objectives.