“Engaged consumers have a significant impact on your bottom line,” says Alex Gault, vice president of sales and marketing, DeepMarkit. “According to Gallup, brands that successfully engage their customers realize 63 percent lower customer attrition and 55 percent higher share of wallet.” And a prime way to engage customers is by using games that reward them for playing – and shopping — with you.
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“By offering rewards to players as they achieve milestones within your game, you’ll encourage engagement, generating high conversation rates,” says Gault. “Competition is also a powerful driver of engagement, [with] scoring and leaderboard ranking [further] increase[ing] engagement.”
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Here are seven ways your business can use gamification to drive engagement and increase revenue.
1. Attract new customers with contests, giveaways and rewards
To attract new customers to your business, offer them a first-time buyer reward, say a 10 or 20 percent discount on their first order, if they sign up or join your list. You can also offer rewards for referring new customers, increasing the reward for additional referrals.
Another way to attract new customers is to hold a contest or sweepstakes that requires entrants to provide their name and email address in order to play.
2. Use games to educate customers
For example, “imagine you’re a bank that’s looking to acquire new customers,” says John Findlay, cofounder, Launchfire. “Rather than creating ads that talk about how your bank [or financial service business] is different, create a [free] online game that challenges players to build a financial empire by making good investment decisions.”
To foster engagement, “nest branded messaging and relevant advice into [the] game so players learn more about your offering[s] as they play.” To further encourage engagement – and get players to open an account – offer some kind of “reward,” say free checking for a year, or a $100 savings bond for “winning” the game.
3. Promote a new product or service with a fun, informative game
“For example, a sports retailer might run a racing style game to promote their new running shoes,” says Findlay. “In the game they could offer advice about the right type of shoe for long distance running. Players could then apply that advice in the game to ‘run faster,’ earn more points and win.”
4. Reward (and retain) customers by having them earn points for shopping with you
“Instead of relying on [just] loyalty points to retain customers, use gamification elements to make it fun to engage with your [brand],” says Findlay. “For example, you could create a scavenger hunt style game where members have to find the daily deal. If they find it they earn an exclusive offer, like a coupon [or] extra loyalty points.”
You can also reward customers by giving them points for the more or more often they buy. For example, OpenTable, the restaurant reservation service, offers members a $20 gift certificate for collecting 2,000 dining points.
Another way to use gamification to retain customers is by “offering big-ticket items like paid trips or event tickets [for points],” says Dwayne Spradlin, CEO, Buzz Points. “Hosting a sweepstakes allows anyone who uses [your] product [or] service or is a member to be rewarded for their loyalty…
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