10 Powerful Gamification Ideas to Boost Engagement

Looking to amp up engagement in your loyalty program? You’ve come to the right place.


We’re giving you 10 powerful gamification ideas that will keep your customers hooked and eager for more. Let’s get started!


1 - Progress Bars

Ever noticed those satisfaction levels rise when you can visualise progress as you complete tasks or reach milestones? That’s the simple but effective magic of progress bars. They provide a visual representation of advancement, motivating users to keep pushing forward. 

Take for instance productivity apps like Trello or Asana, where progress bars track task completion, keeping users engaged and focused. 


If you want to increase the likelihood that your customers will stick around and stay highly engaged, consider incorporating progress bars into your loyalty program or app. 


Starbucks loyalty program showcasing progress bars


💡 Tip: Ensure your progress bars are eye-catching and easy to follow. Break down larger goals into smaller milestones to maintain momentum and prevent users from feeling overwhelmed.


2 - Badges and Certificates

Who doesn’t love a shiny badge or certificate to show off their accomplishments? Incorporating badges and certificates into your platforms rewards users for their achievements and encourages continued participation.


Think of platforms like LinkedIn, where badges and certificates validate a user’s skill and expertise, earning them recognition. 


Or, consider how Biscuit uses badges in their popular dog-walking app as another way for users to earn points and complete specific activities. 


Badges available in the Biscuit Rewards app


💡 Tip: Personalise badges to reflect specific accomplishments or milestones relevant to your loyalty program. Consider offering bonus rewards or discounts for users who collect a certain number of badges.


3 - Checklists

Sometimes you need a to-do list to keep focused and maintain momentum. Checklists can guide users through tasks and help them ensure nothing gets missed. 


Whether it’s a to-do list in the account set-up stage or a completion checklist as part of a learning module, users find great satisfaction in ticking items off and getting clarity on next steps.


Acorns' user setup checklist

💡 Tip: Make your checklists interactive by allowing users to tick off completed items in real-time. Include additional resources, information, or helpful tips with each task to make the process easier.

4 - Leaderboards

Even your most laid-back customers have a competitive spirit. Leaderboards tap into our innate desire to outperform others and claim the top spot.


Whether it’s showcasing the top customers in your loyalty program or highlighting the most active users on social media, leaderboards can fuel friendly competition and motivate quieter customers to step up their game. 


I thought I ran a lot and then I checked the leaderboard : r/Strava
Strava leaderboard


💡 Tip: Implement leaderboards with caution to avoid discouraging less active users. Consider segmenting leaderboards based on user demographics or preferences to ensure relevance and inclusivity.

5 - Points, levels and tiers

Elevate user engagement by implementing a points-based system that unlocks new levels or tiers as users progress. A tiered approach provides a sense of achievement and status, enticing users to climb the ranks and unlock exclusive rewards or privileges along the way. 

Want to learn more about Tiered Loyalty?
Check out our guide: How To Create an Effective Tiered Loyalty Program



💡 Tip: Clearly communicate the benefits associated with each level or tier to motivate users to strive for advancement. Offer occasional promotions or bonuses to accelerate progress and help users along the way.

6 - Spin to Win

Add an element of excitement and playfulness with a spin-to-win feature that gives users a chance to win prizes. Whether it’s a daily spin for bonus points or a reward wheel for your most valuable customers, this interactive element adds a fun twist to user engagement


Nectar Spin To Win - Where Are My Points? - Britain's Coupon Kid
Nectar's popular ‘Spin to Win’ game


💡 Tip: Experiment with different reward probabilities and prize distributions to maintain user interest. It shouldn’t be too easy to too hard to get rewards. Consider offering exclusive prizes or experiences that are only available through the spin-to-win feature to make it really enticing. 

7 - Surprise rewards

Who doesn’t love an unexpected reward? Surprise rewards inject an element of unpredictability and delight into the user experience, keeping users engaged and eager to discover more.


Whether it’s a random bonus item in a game or an unexpected discount for loyal customers, surprise rewards create moments that leave a lasting impression. 


💡 Tip: Personalise surprise rewards based on user preferences and behaviors to enhance their impact. Remember that not all rewards are created equal - your health-conscious customers might not find value in a discount for a fast-food restaurant, but they would appreciate a voucher for a gym membership or healthy meal delivery service. Use data analytics to identify opportune moments for surprise rewards and maximize their effectiveness.


8 - Tasks and Challenges

Encourage user participation and skill development with tasks and challenges and offer rewards upon completion.

A fitness app could prompt users to complete daily movement or an educational platform could give users subject-specific trivia. 


Pokemon GO Party Challenges
Popular game Pokemon GO sets users lots of tasks and challenges throughout gameplay


💡 Tip: Design tasks and challenges that align with your brand values and objectives to reinforce engagement. Offer incentives such as bonus points, discounts, or exclusive content to motivate users to participate actively.

9 - Real games

If you want to really make use of gamification, you can integrate full-fledged games that entertain, educate or incentivise users to keep coming back for more. 


It could be a trivia game to reinforce learning objectives or a gamified training simulation to enhance skills. Real games offer an immersive experience that can captivate and motivate users.


JustPlay: Earn Money or Donate - Apps on Google Play
The JustPlay app rewards gaming enthusiasts with loyalty coins for engagement with games, allowing them to earn real rewards or donate to charities based on their gameplay.


💡 Tip: Collaborate with game developers or design agencies to create custom games tailored to your brand and audience. 

10 - Streaks

Keep the momentum going strong with streaks that reward users for consistent engagement over time. Whether it’s logging daily activity in a habit-tracking app or maintaining weekly engagement, streaks harness the power of consistency to drive long-term loyalty and behaviour change. 


How I Tricked Myself Into Meditating | by Jake Knapp | Make Time | Medium
Meditation app Headspace uses streaks to encourage continual progress and engagement


💡 Tip: Celebrate users' streak milestones with personalised messages or exclusive rewards to acknowledge their dedication. Use push notifications or email reminders to encourage users to maintain their streaks and stay engaged with your loyalty program.


Integrating these gamification strategies into your loyalty program turns it into an exciting and immersive experience that encourages repeat engagement. You'll nurture a loyal customer community and set the stage for lasting success by utilising principles like motivation, rewards, and healthy competition. Embrace the potential of gamification – and watch as your engagement metrics skyrocket!


Feel free to have a chat with one of our loyalty experts to explore gamified loyalty mechanics. 

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Helen Walker

Helen Walker

Senior Content Marketing Executive

Helen is our Senior Content Marketing Executive. She shares valuable information about the Future of Loyalty and will keep you up to date on the latest industry insights...

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Digital Loyalty
Customer Retention
Customer Engagement
Customer Satisfaction