Why Digital Rewards Are a Marketer‘s Secret Weapon in 2024

In today‘s oversaturated media landscape, 98% of consumers are tuning out ads and ignoring promotional messages that don‘t deliver immediate value. With organic social reach hovering around 2% and email CTRs averaging 2.6%, marketers must find novel ways to engage audiences and drive action.

Enter digital rewards – the secret weapon smart marketers are deploying to cut through the noise and incentivize desired behaviors. These instant, virtual gifts delivered via email or text are a cost-effective way to:

  • Capture attention by providing tangible value upfront
  • Show customer appreciation and build brand affinity
  • Gather zero-party data and feedback
  • Accelerate lead generation and conversions
  • Boost customer loyalty and advocacy

In short, digital rewards help you stand out from competitors and motivate consumers when attention is scarce.

Digital Reward Market Growth & Trends

The digital reward market is rapidly expanding as more brands recognize the benefits. The global digital gift card market is expected to grow from $258 billion in 2020 to $510 billion by 2025, a 14.6% CAGR. Key growth factors include:

  • Rising smartphone use and mobile payment adoption
  • Growing consumer preference for digital gifting
  • Increased marketing investment in loyalty and promotion
  • Demand for touchless rewards due to COVID-19

As the market accelerates, 57% of consumers say digital rewards are equally or more attractive than physical gifts. Millennials and Gen Z are especially responsive, with 67% interested in receiving digital gifts.

8 Ways to Boost Marketing Results with Digital Rewards

Now that you understand the ‘why‘ behind digital rewards, let‘s dive into the ‘how.‘ Here are 8 proven tactics to incorporate digital rewards into your marketing strategy for maximum impact and ROI.

1. Incentivized Lead Generation

Acquiring qualified leads is tough when 95% of buyers don‘t convert on their first website visit. Offering a digital reward in exchange for contact information is a powerful way to accelerate lead generation.

Instead of just asking prospects to "Sign up for our newsletter", sweeten the deal with "Get a $10 gift card when you subscribe." Suddenly you‘ve made it much more compelling to share an email address.

This tactic works wonders for gated content like white papers, reports, and webinars. In one case study, a B2B brand increased content downloads by 400% by offering $15 gift cards.

Tips for success:

  • Make sure the reward value aligns with the ask. A $5 gift card for a newsletter signup, $15 for a demo or sales call.
  • Promote the incentive everywhere – ads, landing pages, pop-ups, etc.
  • Include a clear CTA and minimize form fields for frictionless conversion.
  • Automate reward delivery to leads instantly after they share info.

2. Customer Feedback & Surveys

Gathering customer insights is critical, but response rates hover around 10-15% for most surveys. Offering a digital reward incentive can boost survey completion by 50% on average.

Compensating customers for their time and feedback has several benefits:

  • Shows you value their opinion, increasing brand affinity
  • Gathers more representative data (beyond lovers & haters)
  • Enables you to identify pain points and adapt quickly
  • Uncovers positive testimonials and product ideas

The key is making sure the survey is relevant and the reward is commensurate with the ask. A $5 gift card is plenty for a 5-min survey, while $25+ makes sense for a 30-min interview.

Tips for success:

  • Keep surveys short and focused on key business questions.
  • Make questions clear and easy to answer.
  • Avoid leading or biased wording.
  • Let customers choose their preferred gift card for the reward.
  • Follow up with a thank you and mention how you‘ll use the feedback.

3. Account-Based Marketing

ABM is all about providing personalized experiences to key accounts, but standing out is hard when every vendor is vying for attention. Sending a digital gift card is a great way to get your foot in the door.

Let‘s say you‘ve been trying to connect with a target account for months. Instead of sending another generic email, try this:

"Hi [Name], I know your time is valuable. I‘d love to treat you to a $25 lunch eGift card in exchange for 15 minutes to discuss how [Your Company] can help with [Pain Point]. Let me know if you‘re interested!"

This approach shows prospects that you respect their time and want to build a genuine relationship. Even if they don‘t convert right away, you‘ve made a memorable first impression.

Tips for success:

  • Personalize the outreach based on the account‘s industry, role, and pain points.
  • Make the ask specific and time-bound (15 min phone call, 30 min demo, etc.)
  • Give 2-3 gift card options so they can pick their favorite.
  • Have sales development reps manage 1:1 outreach for a human touch.
  • Track and optimize ABM gift card spend based on pipeline impact.

4. Customer Referral Programs

Referred customers are 4x more likely to convert and have a 16% higher lifetime value than non-referred customers. But asking advocates to make intros for free rarely works. Offering digital rewards for successful referrals gives your program a major boost.

Here‘s how it works:

  1. Customer shares a referral link with their network
  2. When a referee signs up/makes a purchase, the advocate gets a digital reward (e.g. $25 gift card)
  3. The referee also gets a reward as a welcome incentive (e.g. $10 gift card)

This two-sided reward structure motivates customers to make quality referrals and incentivizes their friends to act on the recommendation. It‘s a win-win-win for the advocate, their friend, and your brand.

Tips for success:

  • Make the referral process seamless with a shareable link or code
  • Offer a range of digital reward options
  • Set a minimum purchase threshold for reward eligibility
  • Promote the program in post-purchase emails, newsletters, and your app/website
  • Recognize top referrers with bonus rewards and shoutouts

5. Review Generation

91% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations, making them essential for building credibility and social proof. But getting customers to leave reviews is challenging when there‘s no immediate benefit.

Offering a small digital reward (e.g. $10 gift card) for writing a review is an easy way to increase review volume by 3-5x on average. You can promote this incentive via:

  • Post-purchase emails ("Leave a review for a $10 reward!")
  • SMS campaigns ("How was your recent purchase? Tell us and get $10!")
  • Website CTAs ("Love our product? Review it and get a gift card!")
  • Feedback surveys ("Thanks for your feedback! Post it as a review for a reward.")

Not only will you gather more ratings and testimonials, but you‘ll also identify your happiest customers for future nurturing and advocacy.

Tips for success:

  • Make sure the reward is a true gift, not a discount/credit for a future purchase
  • Give customers 30-90 days to leave the review before reward expiration
  • Don‘t limit rewards to only 4 or 5-star reviews – encourage honest feedback
  • Respond publicly to all reviews to show you‘re listening
  • Repurpose the best reviews in marketing copy and social proof

6. Event & Webinar Attendance

53% of marketers say webinars are the top-of-funnel format that generates the most high-quality leads. But attendance rates average just 30-40%. Offering a digital reward for joining your webinar or event live can increase attendance by 50% or more.

The key is making the reward value proportional to the time investment. A $10 gift card makes sense for a 30-min webinar, while $25-50 is appropriate for a multi-hour or full-day event. You can promote the incentive in your event emails, registration page, and reminders.

Tips for success:

  • Choose a reward that aligns with your audience‘s interests
  • Require attendees to stay for the full duration to qualify for the reward
  • Set a registration limit to control gift card spend
  • Send the digital reward immediately post-event with your follow-up materials
  • Gather feedback post-event to improve future gift card promotions

7. Social Media Contests

Running a social media contest is a great way to increase brand awareness, UGC, and follower growth. But you need an enticing prize to maximize engagement. Digital gift cards are the perfect option – they have broad appeal, are easy to fulfill, and feel more tangible than a discount code or branded swag.

Here‘s an example social contest:

"Snap a pic using [Product] and share it on Instagram with #[Brand]Rewards. 5 lucky winners will each receive a $100 gift card of their choice! Contest ends [Date]. See link in bio for rules."

This type of contest incentivizes customers to create and share content featuring your brand, expanding your organic reach. You can use a random generator to select winners and DM them their digital gift card reward.

Tips for success:

  • Make entry criteria clear and simple (Like, comment, share, use #hashtag, etc.)
  • Cross-promote the contest on all your social channels
  • Partner with relevant influencers to expand reach
  • Post regular updates on entry volume and winner announcements
  • Leverage UGC in future social and web content with credit to creators

8. Customer Loyalty & Winback

Acquiring a new customer is 5-25x more expensive than retaining an existing one. Digital rewards play a key role in making customers feel valued so they stay loyal and engaged.

Try surprising and delighting customers with digital gift cards for special occasions and milestones. For example:

  • 1-year anniversary ("Thanks for being an awesome customer! Here‘s $20 to celebrate.")
  • Birthday/holiday ("Enjoy a $15 gift on us for your special day!")
  • Completing a challenge ("Congrats on your 10th purchase! Here‘s a $50 bonus.")

You can also use digital rewards to win back customers who have lapsed. Send a reactivation campaign like: "We miss you! Here‘s a $10 gift card to shop with us again."

These unexpected gestures build goodwill and make customers feel appreciated, increasing their lifetime value and reducing churn.

Tips for success:

  • Set eligibility criteria for loyalty rewards (tenure, purchase frequency, etc.)
  • Let customers choose their preferred gift card brand
  • Include the reward redemption link in a personalized email or text
  • Pair the reward with other perks like free shipping or exclusive content
  • Measure CLV and retention rate of reward recipients vs control group

Choosing a Digital Rewards Platform

As you can see, digital rewards have endless applications for engaging customers and driving revenue. But managing manual gift card fulfillment is time-consuming and prone to error.

That‘s where digital reward platforms like Rybbon come in. Rybbon integrates directly with your CRM, marketing automation, and survey tools to:

  • Curate a catalog of 100+ popular gift card brands
  • Automate reward delivery triggers and limits
  • Capture recipient data for sales follow-up
  • Track campaign results and ROI
  • Protect against fraud with AI-powered security

Best of all, Rybbon seamlessly integrates with 50+ tools like HubSpot, Marketo, SurveyMonkey, and Talkable. It‘s trusted by leading brands like Salesforce, The Home Depot, and Vivint Solar.

Key Takeaways

Digital rewards are a powerful way for marketers to cut through the noise and incentivize action in an oversaturated media landscape. When used strategically, they can help you:

  • Accelerate lead generation and conversion
  • Gather customer insights and feedback
  • Drive referrals and UGC
  • Boost loyalty and retention

To maximize ROI, select digital rewards that align with your audience preferences and use an automated platform to streamline fulfillment. Most importantly, test and iterate to find the digital reward tactics that resonate best with your unique customer base.

Ready to get started with digital rewards? Visit Rybbon.net to create your free account and start supercharging your marketing campaigns today.