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The Correlation Between Gamifying Engagement and Increased Profitability

By Jenna Knoblauch posted Jun 14, 2019 10:59 AM


There are numerous key performance indicators (KPIs) that we as Marketers need to pay attention to. Member engagement is one of our vital KPIs and measures important indicators for us, like efficacy of our nurture marketing campaign and membership renewal rates.

What does engagement look like, and how can you measure it?

Depending on your customer relationship management (CRM) or marketing automation systems, there are ways to track your audiences’ participation with you. For example, creating a login and accepting the terms and conditions on your website could be worth a certain point value, while downloading an ebook or tip sheet could be worth additional points. By tracking this engagement, you can create audience buckets to measure how you’re moving your audience to the next bucket of engagement. As audience engagement points rise, so does that audience members’ stickiness to your organization.

While it is important to attract net new members to your association, Harvard Business Review states, that acquiring a new member is anywhere from five to 25% more expensive than retaining an existing customer. If you are focused too heavily on attracting new members without prioritizing the retention of your existing members, consider research done by Frederik Reichheld of Bain & Company, which shows increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.

Gamifying Engagement

Gamifying has been a popular term in the Association world ever since the global phenomenon of PokemonGo launched in July of 2016. The concept of gamifying is to engage a person on their mobile device around a product or service.

As an organization, we launched a gamification effort in 2016 to track our contact’s behavior (engagement) with us, rewarding points based on certain activities and tracking them through the year. This has had positive benefits for our internal staff and for the audience themselves. The audience gets into the competitive spirit through the online leaderboard posted on our website. Top contributors are also presented with awards in front of peers at our annual fall conference. Some examples of ways a contact can earn engagement points include posting a blog, registering for a webinar or event, downloading content, or speaking at an event.

Internally, we focus efforts to increase a contact’s engagement points and have mapped out touch points at certain engagement levels, so we can go into renewal discussions more informed on how the contact used the membership benefits throughout the year. The stats are clear - engaged members renew at a higher percentage than those contacts who are unengaged.


Whether you choose to use gamification or not, focusing on the increased engagement of your existing customers proves to bring greater profitability by improving your renewal rates and decreasing the amount you need to invest to bring on new customers.


I encourage you to share your engagement success stories in the comments below.