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Customer engagement · 

5 minutes

Cormac O'SullivanPiggy

Unlock Loyalty with Incentives for Engaged Customers

Businesses are no longer solely focused on acquiring new customers; they are investing time and resources in nurturing existing ones. Engaged customers are a goldmine - they are more likely to make repeat purchases, become brand advocates, and contribute positively to a company's bottom line. A proven strategy to enhance customer engagement is through offering incentives, so let's dive into exactly how that can look for your organization.

What is Customer Engagement?

Customer engagement is a measure of the degree to which a customer interacts with a brand, product, or service over time. It's not just about making a single purchase. It's about forming a long-term relationship characterized by frequent interactions, positive emotional experiences, and strong customer loyalty.

The Benefits of Offering Incentives to Engaged Customers

Offering incentives to engaged customers is not only a viable marketing strategy but also a key driver in business growth. Incentives play a vital role in encouraging repeat purchases, enhancing brand loyalty, and promoting word-of-mouth marketing. A 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company's profitability by 25% to 95%.

Encourages Repeat Purchases

Incentives can drive repeat purchases. When customers are rewarded for their loyalty, they feel appreciated and are more likely to continue doing business with the company.

Enhances Brand Loyalty

Offering incentives can significantly enhance brand loyalty. When customers are consistently rewarded, they develop a positive association with the brand, increasing their chances of sticking around.

Promotes Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Engaged customers who are incentivized are more likely to refer the brand to others. According to Nielsen, 83% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than other forms of advertising.

What Rewards Work Best for Engaging Customers?

Selecting the right rewards for your customer base is crucial in maintaining their interest and encouraging further engagement. Here are some popular and effective incentives:

Free Shipping

Offering free shipping is an effective way to incentivize customers to make a purchase. According to a study by the National Retail Federation, 75% of consumers expect delivery to be free even on orders under $50.

Discounts and Sales

Discounts and sales have always been a classic way of enticing customers. It's a straightforward strategy that works well, especially for customers who are price-sensitive.

Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs offer a way for businesses to reward customers for their continued support. By earning points or rewards, customers are motivated to continue engaging with the brand.

Referral Programs

Referral programs incentivize customers to share your brand with their network. Dropbox, for example, successfully used a referral program to grow their user base. For each friend a user referred, both the user and their friend received additional storage space at no extra cost. This referral program resulted in a 60% increase in signups.

Exclusive Access to New Products or Services

Offering loyal customers early access to new products or services can make them feel valued and special. This type of reward creates an element of exclusivity and encourages further engagement.

Example Incentives from Companies with Great Customer Engagement

Every company strives to keep its customers engaged, and the following examples showcase unique and successful incentives used by various brands to achieve this goal.

Amazon Prime: Early Access to Deals

Amazon Prime members enjoy a host of benefits, and one of the most attractive incentives is early access to Lightning Deals on Amazon. This allows Prime members to view and purchase select products 30 minutes before these deals are open to all customers. This perk creates a sense of exclusivity and urgency, encouraging engagement and repeat visits to the site. Early access to deals is a powerful incentive that keeps customers checking back frequently to see the new offers available to them.

Starbucks: Free Birthday Treats

Starbucks has a longstanding tradition of offering a free drink or food item to members of their rewards program on their birthday. This personal touch not only helps customers feel special but also encourages them to visit a Starbucks store on their special day. According to the Starbucks Rewards program, this simple gesture of recognition fosters a sense of connection with the brand.

Sephora: Beauty Insider Custom Makeovers

Sephora's Beauty Insider program takes personalization to a whole new level. The higher tier members – VIB and Rouge – receive complimentary custom makeovers. These personalized sessions allow customers to enjoy a professional beauty consultation tailored to their needs and preferences, enhancing their connection with the brand. As stated in the Beauty Insider benefits, this service significantly boosts customer engagement and promotes repeat purchases.

Dropbox: Additional Free Storage Space

Dropbox grew exponentially due to its referral program, where existing users received additional storage space for each new user they brought to the platform. As stated in this Dropbox case study, this simple incentive effectively turned Dropbox's own user base into a massive marketing force, significantly increasing customer engagement and expanding their user base.

Airbnb: Travel Credit Incentives

Airbnb offers its users travel credits whenever they refer a new user who completes a booking. This is a win-win situation as the existing user gets a discount on future bookings, and Airbnb acquires a new customer. According to Airbnb's referral program, this approach effectively keeps customers engaged and eager to share their experiences with others.

T-Mobile: T-Mobile Tuesdays

To appreciate and engage with their customers, T-Mobile introduced a weekly event called 'T-Mobile Tuesdays,' where they provide various perks and discounts. From free tacos and coffee to significant discounts on gas and movie tickets, these weekly surprises keep customers engaged and looking forward to what's coming next. As outlined on the T-Mobile Tuesday's page, this program is an innovative approach to customer engagement.

American Airlines: Exclusive Experiences for AAdvantage Members

American Airlines offers their AAdvantage members access to exclusive experiences through their AAdvantage Experiences program. Members can use their miles to bid on or buy a variety of experiences, like VIP access to concerts, Broadway shows, or even a private golf lesson with a pro. As per their Experiences page, this program keeps members engaged and continuously earning and using their miles.

By adopting unique and personalized incentives, these companies have not only improved their customer engagement but have also inspired customer loyalty. The secret to their success lies in understanding their customers' needs and preferences and creating an incentive that offers real value.

Reward Ideas to Boost Customer Engagement

Implementing an effective incentive program requires creativity and a deep understanding of your customer base. Here are some ideas to inspire your customer engagement strategy:

User-Generated Content Contests

Consider running a contest where customers can create content related to your product or service. This not only incentivizes customers to engage with your brand but also provides you with valuable user-generated content.

Personalized Offers

Using customer data to provide personalized offers can significantly enhance customer engagement. This could involve offering discounts on items they frequently purchase or access to services they often use.

Points-Based Incentive Programs

Creating a points-based incentive program can encourage customers to engage regularly with your brand. The more they interact, the more points they earn, which they can redeem for rewards.


Incentives for engaged customers are a powerful tool in a company's marketing arsenal. They drive customer engagement, foster brand loyalty, and contribute to business growth. By understanding your customers' needs and interests, you can tailor your incentives to provide value and strengthen your relationship with them. And remember, the best incentives are those that benefit both the customer and the company—creating a win-win scenario.

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