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How to use incentive campaigns in your digital strategy

Customer acquisition costs have increased by 50% in the last five years, creating new challenges for businesses of all sizes when building a cost-effective strategy. The average cost of a retail lead is $34, but the average conversion rate sits at only 3%.

A key reason behind the increasing acquisition cost is the amount of digital competition, forcing businesses to spend more as they attempt to be seen by customers. As 81% of consumers research online before making big purchases, brands need to find new ways of engaging them before they go elsewhere.

Incentive campaigns have emerged as a cost-effective strategy for increasing conversion rates and retention. This post will explain how an incentive campaign can help you stand out from the crowd in a competitive customer market.

What are incentive campaigns?

Incentive marketing campaigns make use of motivational devices like competitions, games, special offers, and other promotions to boost the sale of products and services. For example, when West & Willow added a free shipping incentive to their website, large orders for custom art trebled as they resonated with the target audience.

There are several different types of incentive campaigns, such as instant wins, giveaways, text to win, and trivia. Using the ready-to-deploy solutions from Messangi, brands can trigger competition, challenge skills, and knowledge in exchange for offers and rewards tailored to your business or industry.  

Incentive programmes are becoming somewhat of a customer expectation in the modern digital era. Around 60% of buyers search for promo codes before buying anything online, so why not offer them upfront and create the customer experience they demand?

Benefits of incentive campaigns

There are four top benefits to incentive marketing and campaigns. 

Increasing sales and profit

Although you might feel that giving something away or offering discounts will lose you money at face value, the potential increase in customer acquisition stimulates business growth and revenue. For existing customers, relevant incentives promote loyalty, and loyal customers offer 23% more revenue and profitability than average customers.

Creating relationships

Incentive campaigns are an excellent way to engage with your customers on an emotional level. Offers like below from Birchbox can help you retain loyal customers while generating positive word of mouth feedback for your business.

Instant win incentives can quickly build an emotional bond with the customer. The customer feels closer to the brand through immediate gratification and creates a sense of urgency that you don’t get with standard marketing campaigns.

Changing buyer behaviour

When buyers know they are incentivized to achieve a target or make a purchase, they are more inclined to change their buying behaviour. Most humans desire external rewards in different aspects of their lives, known as the “incentive theory.”

When customers know a reward is at stake, they are more likely to adapt their behaviour. That could be either short-term or long-term gains. For example, free shipping on your first order is a good short-term strategy for acquisition, but incentive campaigns that consider the second, third and fourth order are more sustainable in the long term. 

Brands should understand their audience and run appropriate incentives that engage them and change their buying behaviours for the better.


Incentive campaigns have the added benefit of motivating internal teams as well as the customer Incentive programs can include rewards for the top-selling sales associates, encouraging them to drive your business growth. The benefit here is that staff are driven to perform well while focusing on every customer to push conversions through the incentives. It’s a win-win situation for the brand and customer.

The impact on brand perception

Research shows that offering incentives increases the likelihood of positive review writing. Another survey shows that 56% of respondents say that receiving a personalized incentive would improve their consideration of the brand. 

Take Amazon Prime as an example. Although it started as an offer for free and faster delivery, the scheme now offers subscribers access to TV subscriptions, cloud platforms, access to books and magazines, early access to sales and Amazon Fresh. The initial incentive of free delivery has incentivized customers to buy into the products, and now many wouldn’t be able to live without it. 

Picking the right incentives at the right time gives customers a perception that they can’t afford not to be affiliated with a brand. 

What are interactive campaigns?

Messangi takes incentive campaigns to a new level through interactions that create a quality customer experience. As preference continues to move to mobile over desktop devices, there are plenty of ways for brands to take advantage of unique incentives. For example, you could use interactive trivia or scratch and reveal games through your mobile web or app to offer prizes to engage users.

Interactive incentives drive users through a personal content journey and make them feel like every experience with your business is valuable and useful to them. Brands can hold customer attention through interactivity and deliver messages most effectively.



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