Rewards have always been a critical part of human history. From people doling out extra pieces of bread to garner more crowds to companies giving rewards and incentives to entice consumers, we are all familiar with and inexplicably drawn toward rewards. Rewards are quite literally and figuratively baked into our biology. When we get a reward, our brain activates special pathways and releases dopamine (the 'happy' hormone), with a further demand to seek out more rewarding stimuli.

Now, unless you are Steve Jobs, you need something other than your product or value proposition to drive engagement, attract more consumers and stand out among competitors.

Research indicates that:

→ A well-designed rewards program can target—and attract—valuable customer segments. At the same time, it can save the company money by discouraging those customers who would prove to be less valuable.

→ Top-performing loyalty programs can boost revenue from customers who redeem points by 15 to 25 percent annually.

72 percent of adults online belong to at least one loyalty program and those enrolled in loyalty programs report that they belong to nine, on average.

These are mind-boggling statistics that can’t be ignored.

Let’s first try and understand what is meant by engagement.

Customer engagement can be interpreted in several different ways. While some might associate customer engagement with CTRs, others relate it with customer education KPIs, meetings accepted, webinar registrations or MAU(Monthly Active Usage), and a few with the holy grail of Customer LifeTime Value (CLTV).

Regardless of your metrics, you need customers to spend precious time with you.

But how does an organization do that without tiring the user, especially when attention spans are less and calls to action are more? “Buy this”, “Click here”, “Check this out”, and the list of things leading to digital fatigue goes on.

Spoiler alert: Most people never check them out. This hurts CTRs, and ultimately, revenues.

Not using a ton of fancy words like “Funnel Conversions” or “Minimising Drop-off rates” but what remains is the fact that consumers are spoilt for choice today and they need and expect organisations to do better.

How digital rewards and incentives help create demand

The digital world is about online advertisements vying for the customer’s attention without providing any upfront benefits. If you want to turn things around, make it all about delivering value to the consumer.

Let’s think about this scenario:

You or your marketing team come up with a great digital campaign. You launch the campaign across several digital channels, and it raises your impressions but not your CTRs.

Could you ask for valuable time from your users without providing any upfront value? Consumers will immediately think, “if I click on this ad, will I be buying this product?”

Consumers who click on the advertisement might evaluate their decision to go forward with the purchase and decide against it.

Introducing digital rewards in your campaign significantly reduces this risk. It helps grab attention, drive engagement, and make the customers feel valued.

That’s just not it, rewards can do a lot more and here are a few more benefits to drive the point:

  • Rewards make your consumers feel valued: This is an established fact that strategic rewards like exclusive access to discounted items, special events for members, or other similar campaigns should be an invaluable part of your marketing and sales campaigns. They provide a reason for continued engagement from your client's perspective. Needless to say, they demonstrate that your business values its prospects and customers and allows you to showcase the same.
  • Rewards surprises and delights them: Who doesn't love surprises? Be it physical gifts or gift cards or freebies, or benefits. It’s always a treat to receive “something extra”.

4 Digital Reward Ideas that Help Marketers to Drive Engagement for Demand Generation Campaigns

Let’s look at a few use cases for digital reward ideas for generating demand:

Use Case 1: Events & Webinars

How to host incentivized webinars for your intended audiences.

An example could be: "We know you value your coffee break. Register for our webinar on Oct 22 at 4 pm; your coffee is on us. Get a $10 Starbucks gift card with your registration email. It’s our way of saying we value your time.

Reasons you should consider doing this:

  • Increases consumer participation and engagement, resulting in a better understanding of your products.
  • Drives better lead generation and result in these webinars driving more sign-ups.
  • Further, the delivery emails provide a great opportunity for pushing more content and CTAs and cross-sell or up-sell opportunities.
  • Consumers are more than happy to part with their data and opinions when compensated well.
  • It helps to convert prospects to paying users.

Use Case 2: Surveys and Feedback

How to reward potential clients and customers for participating in surveys and providing valuable feedback.

A great example could be: Give us feedback on our most recent update to receive an instant $10 gift card.

Reasons you should consider doing this:

  • Brand Reputation - This comes automatically when you value your customers and reward them for their engagement.
  • As is evident from the previous example, I am willing to bet among a fixed set of people, a lot many would have participated in the amazon survey rather than disney+’s survey. Just asking consumers to spend their time which rewards only you, is not a great strategy.
  • A lot of people receive a lot of surveys and requests for feedback from various organizations. Incorporating digital rewards helps yours stand out and garner maximum responses.

Use Case 3: ABM(Account-Based Marketing) Campaigns

Digital rewards can be a great way to accelerate your ABM campaigns and reach out to the right people. Digital rewards also help to form long-lasting relationships.

How you can lift your ABM program with rewards:

Demand gen campaign idea: "I wanted to thank you for introducing me to [person X] at your organization. Sending you a $20 gift voucher to show my genuine appreciation."

Reasons you should consider doing this:

  • Digital rewards are a terrific way to let someone know you value their time if you already have a customer in mind.
  • Digital incentives are an effective strategy to get past the gatekeeper or get introductions with the right decision-makers.

Gift ideas:

  • $20 Gift card to any popular online store, corporate swag, personalized gifts, etc.

Use Case 4: Lead Generation

How to reward prospects for attending a product demo or inquiring about your service.

Your sales team, your marketing team, and you know this by heart. Lead generation is at the heart of any successful business. Incorporating digital rewards helps to generate better quantity and quality of leads.

Reasons you should consider doing this:

  • A great way to launch your buyer’s journey and let people know you value their time.
  • Helps your product team get great and accurate feedback.
  • Like the incentivized webinars, the follow-up email can be used for more calls to action.

Key Takeaways

  1. When Designing your engagement programs, keep your consumers’ happiness in mind: Rewards are associated with sentiments.
  2. Consumers are giving you something precious: their time- it makes sense that they be duly compensated for it.
  3. The market is saturated with marketing campaigns and noise: You need to do something special to stand out.
  4. Rewards and Incentives will help create demand: Use them in your Events and Webinars, Surveys and Feedback, Account Based Marketing campaigns, Customer appreciation, Lead Generation, Sales Promotions and Channel incentives.

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Neha Surana

Neha Surana

I help businesses in spreading delight to their customers at Xoxoday. When I’m not working as a content manager, I love doodling, painting, and cooking.