Top 3 Gamification Ideas To Level-Up Your Referral Programs

(Gamified Referral Programs)

Gamification is the latest trend in marketing to improve and increase user engagements, and thus, to solve the problem of customer churn. 
Gamifying your referral system can vastly improve your engagement metrics. A gamified referral system can incorporate several key techniques of gamification, like leaderboards, points, progress bars, rewarding beginners' luck, and many more. These gamification techniques will ensure that your users spend more time exploring your referral programs and also they are more passionate about spreading the word to their friends and family. 
The current times have seen an unprecedented rise in the number of internet users, and even so, there are several benefits to the increasing number of netizens. It is now becoming extremely important for upcoming startups and digital businesses to find the right design approach to keep their users immersed in the experiences that they have built. 
Short viral videos, messages that disappear after you open them once, and fifteen-minute summaries of novels are just some of the many examples of how we are moving in a direction where we consume shorter and shorter forms of content. And therefore, the marketing and the product teams are looking at content that is explosive to and will get the users hooked on to their app or web platform instantly. 
Video games always had the unique ability to create fully immersive experiences for the player(s). Even a simple platformer game like Mario became an instant classic due to the epic narrative that is created and thus engaged the players. 
Several brands including, Woot! (the e-commerce platform), Duolingo (the language learning app), Habitica (the task management app), and Forest (the productivity-boosting app), all use several game-like engagements to improve and increase the user engagement metrics which also help them to solve their problem of customer churn.

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(All the ways in which Duolingo gamifies)

But before we dive deeper into how gamified referral systems work and take a look at the several gamification techniques that you can use for your app or web platform. Let us start this journey by first understanding what gamification is and why it is so popular now.

What Is Gamification And Why Is it So Popular Now? 

Jane McGonigal’s powerful Ted talk on how games can create a substantial positive effect in the real world has moved all of us who have watched the full video.

The current popularity of gamification is due to its incredible ability to improve and increase user engagements. Adding a gamification layer on top of your app or web platform has proven to increase the energy and intensity levels of user participation. Over 50% of mobile app users have claimed that they would pay more attention to their behavior and actions if the app has game-like features.

(The Future of Gamification)

But Why Add Gamification To Referral Systems?

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(this is how any typical referral system works)

Referral systems are a fantastic way to make sure that your users are also passionate advocates for your mission. When you add a referral program to your app or web platform, you automatically create an urge in your users to spread the word to get some rewards. 
Referral systems use the concept of positive reinforcement to encourage people in taking part. Positive reinforcement is the process of encouraging or establishing a pattern of behavior by offering a reward when the behavior is exhibited.  
The best way to influence customer behavior with positive reinforcement is by using a ‘continuous’ reinforcement schedule with loyalty rewards. This is where the user is rewarded each time they complete a specified action, as opposed to being rewarded at fixed intervals (ie. every month or every year).
The goal gradient effect is another fancy human behavioral science term that people use to explain how the referral system works. It means the closer someone is to reach a goal, the more effort they will put into achieving it. 
But the most important reason why referral systems work is the fundamental human tendency to avoid loss. As a species, we are extremely scared of losing the things that we love and possess, even if it is a referral coupon that will expire soon if not used. We will always do things that will help us avoid loss, and it is this fundamental human tendency that most referral systems play on. 
Adding gamified experiences to your referral program will create an organic addiction that is powerful enough to sustain user motivation through the various in-app journeys. The people take a greater interest in something where the stakes are clearly defined and the end goal is right in front of them. Gamification allows us to create such experiences that put the human first and create engaging experiences for humans which will ultimately help your business increase the customer LTV.
In this next segment, we will take a deeper look at some of the other gamification techniques that you can use to gamify your referral system. 

Key Gamification Techniques For Your Referrals Program 

Here are some of the best gamification techniques you can use for your next referral program: 

  • Leaderboards - Adding the visual leaderboard so that the most dedicated users have a strong source of motivation. They can share the leaderboard on social media and brag about their efforts. Not only add, but a leaderboard that is updated in real-time will also drive intense competition in the community with people trying to get to the top of the leaderboard by referring your app or web platform to more and more people. Ultimately increasing your reach and the success of your referral program. 
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(Tesla has a leaderboard for its drivers which shows which person saved the maximum CO2 in a calendar year)

  • Milestone Rewards - Adding a progress bar goes a long way towards driving user motivation on app and web platforms. You can turn your referrals into a goal that will then motivate your users to finish it. The key component of any milestone is the visual indicator. A progress bar or ring is what provides the visual stimulus and drives user motivation. 
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(LinkedIn uses a progress bar to motivative you to complete your profile so that you can get better connections)

  • Contests, Raffles and Draws - Building a raffle or a contest around your gamified referral program allows you to add scarcity and unpredictability to your program. Scarcity is a really powerful driver of human motivation. And it can take your referral program to the next level. 
(Google-Pay is offering multiple rewards with a theme centered around IPL cricket. The limited nature of this campaign is what makes it so successful)

The Final remarks

In this blog, we have looked at the fundamentals of gamification as well as how one can use these techniques of gamification to improve the referral program for one's app or web platform. 
We have seen how gamification, by creating addictive and immersive engagements, can drive user motivation.
And finally, we also looked at a few key gamification techniques that are a must for creating a well-designed gamified referral program. If you have an app or a web platform, looking to boost your reach with a referral program, and gamification is interesting to you. You should check out the rest of our Website
We are CustomerGlu, A User gamification platform. We have built a SaaS tool that will enable you to add such game-like engagements at any stage of your app or web platform. 
At CustomerGlu, we have hundreds of gamified templates for you to choose from. Our easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder allows you to create a perfectly personalized gamification experience for your app or web platform. 

You Can Simply Book A Free Demo Here -
Make sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for daily updates from the world of gamification. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q. How to run a referral program?
A successful referral program starts with a clearly defined goal. You must have clarity of what metrics you are trying to improve before you can start a referral program. Determine what is a good fit for your company, list all possible customer referral sources, and identify channels to host your referral program. 

What is a referral program?
A referral program is simply a method of incentivizing and rewarding customers who tell the world about your product or service. A referral is a huge compliment and one of the most reliable ways to get your company in front of new customers. Profits rise as a result of referrals while keeping the costs low.

Q. How to implement referral program in mobile apps?
A. You can create an immersive referral program for your mobile app by adding gamification to it. Gamifiying your referral program will help you create meaningful user engagements that will also drive motivation. 

Q. How to run a successful referral program?
A successful referral program is one that manages to get hold of the user’s attention. You need to ensure that people take note of your goals with the program so they can then refer it to their friends. Adding game-like features will ensure users stay motivated and immerse themselves in the experience fully.

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