Many of us scroll past ads in our newsfeed, delete emails, or even run to the bathroom during commercial breaks.
As consumers, we’re constantly bombarded with advertisements and calls-to-action. This is the challenge of marketing: campaigns are everywhere.
And, if campaigns are everywhere, they can be easier to tune out and ignore.
In fact, social click-through rates on ads went from 2.6% in late 2018 to 2% in late 2019, a sure sign that social media users have advertising fatigue.
Ultimately, marketers need to try increasingly new and innovative approaches to grab consumers' attention. Marketers work hard daily to create the exception: a message that can't be ignored.
Here, we're going to dive into one innovative strategy that could help marketers' stand out in 2020: digital rewards.
Digital Rewards: The Secret Weapon for Standing Out
Digital rewards are e-gift cards, either from retailers or virtual Visa/Mastercards that can be delivered in an instant via a link or email. These virtual rewards can help you stand out against competitors.
More often than not, marketers ask for consumer’s attention without much upfront benefit. Every time consumers see marketing campaigns, they make a decision within seconds — and it often follows the logic of, “if I click this Facebook ad, am I really going to buy this product?” They risk spending valuable time evaluating a purchase, but then ultimately decide not to. Digital rewards minimize that risk by creating tangible upfront value.
In addition, digital rewards are a kind gesture that lets a prospective customer know you value their time. It’s a way of recognizing their engagement and saying “thank you” for their attention. Gift giving is a classic way that humans show warmth and appreciation for others.
Digital rewards enable you to tap into this age-old societal practice and modernize it for the virtual era. By sending personalized digital rewards, you create human connections despite physical distance.
Because digital rewards are a lesser-known tool, you may be wondering how to incorporate them into your current marketing strategy. Below are eight ways to boost marketing campaigns with digital rewards to accelerate engagement and maximize campaign ROI.
Digital Rewards Strategies and Examples
1. Host incentivized webinars for your target audience.
What this looks like: "Attend our live webinar for a $10 thank you gift!"
Why you should do it: Incentivized webinars make it easier for consumers to evaluate your product. Additionally, the upfront value excites consumers and makes these webinars much more effective at lead generation than typical webinars.
Plus, the reward delivery email can be prime real estate to feature follow-up content and calls-to-action. Consumers tend to be more willing to provide data in exchange for coupons, loyalty points, or rewards, making it a powerful tool in accelerating the buyer’s journey.
2. Compensate prospects and customers for taking surveys and sharing feedback.
What this looks like: "Tell us how you’re liking our latest update for a $15 reward."
Why you should do it: Brand goodwill will come naturally when your consumers feel that you value their time and feedback. Simply saying you appreciate their feedback doesn’t do much to motivate a survey response. Digital rewards create motivation so you can worry less about representative bias and get the answers you need.
In other words, you don’t have to worry about feedback from people who only love or hate your product. You want to capture everyone’s feelings, and digital rewards can motivate the otherwise neutral crowd. With accurate data, your company will have the insights to adapt swiftly to shifting consumer preferences. Most importantly, your consumers will know you truly value what they have to say.
3. Leverage rewards within your ABM program.
What this looks like: Asking for a meeting with a key contact and sending a $25 reward as a thank you for their time.
Why you should do it: If you know you want a customer, digital rewards are a great way to show you appreciate their time. Digital rewards can be a powerful tool to fast track an ABM campaign and get the attention of the right people. Everyone loves receiving gifts, and digital rewards can be the perfect gift for relationship building.
4. Create a referral marketing program to turn your customers into brand advocates.
What this looks like: “Get a $10 reward when you refer a friend. When your friend makes their first purchase, they will also get a $10 reward as a welcome from our team.”
Why you should do it: An effective referral marketing program turns your customers into your second sales team. A University of Chicago study found that non-cash incentives are 24% more effective at boosting performance than cash incentives. Digital rewards for referrals can be an effective lead generation tool that also establishes brand loyalty and goodwill with existing customers.
5. Boost your brand’s online reputation by rewarding customers for writing a review.
What this looks like: "Write a review of our software on Yelp or TrustPilot for a $5 reward."
Why you should do it: Thanking customers for providing feedback builds brand goodwill. Their reviews will help you leverage word-of-mouth marketing and tap into new audiences who may be shopping for a product like yours.
6. Establish customer appreciation programs.
What this looks like: "Thanks for being a loyal customer! Here’s a $10 reward for lunch on us."
Why you should do it: Customer appreciation programs establish brand goodwill, increase customer satisfaction, and develop long-term loyalty. Recognize and celebrate customer achievements and milestones with digital rewards. These happy customers will be more likely to engage in positive word-of-mouth marketing for your brand.
7. Reward prospects for attending a product demo.
What this looks like: "Join a brief 15-min demo for a $5 reward."
Why you should do it: Digital rewards show people you appreciate their time right away. Pairing them with demos helps jumpstart the buyer’s journey and get your Product team the feedback they need to ensure a great product. Like the incentivized webinar, use the follow-up reward email to your advantage by offering more content and calls-to-action.
8. Host a giveaway as a reward for promoting your product or service on social media.
What this looks like: "Post about us on your Instagram to win a $20 reward!"
Why you should do it: Digital rewards can help your brand kick off an influencer marketing campaign without the transactional pressure cash creates. Plus, showing prospects you value their time and social audiences with a reward creates a positive relationship and can help your brand reach new audiences.
However, you don't want to give $20 to everyone who posts about you on their social pages — it could result in thousands of lost revenue without much to gain.
Instead, host a giveaway where the first 100 posters will receive a reward in exchange for re-sharing your post on their story and tagging a friend in the comments. That way, everyone feels as if they have a legitimate chance to win, and you still have dollars left in your marketing budget!
With the right incentives management platform, you can easily automate these limits and avoid any budget disasters.
There's lots of ideas above for you to consider, but here’s the good news: you’re probably already executing most of these ideas in some capacity, so just take a step back and see how you can add digital rewards into your current marketing strategy.
Digital rewards are easy to set up and a quick addition to your marketing toolbox, making them a nifty trick to keep handy when you need a boost. An extra bonus is you can easily integrate digital rewards into your HubSpot workflows. "Request to connect" our Rybbon digital rewards app found within the HubSpot Marketplace. Experiment with digital rewards in your next campaign and let the results speak for itself!