4 Gamified Promotions to Shake Up Your Market

by | April 22, 2023 | Blog

If you’re pursuing a sales growth strategy, there’s a variety of routes you could take, from short-term promotions to long-term incentive programs. Today, let’s talk about one of our favorites: gamification.

Whether you’re focused on breaking into a new market or shaking up your current market, a gamified promotion is your friend. These are short-term promotions that build excitement and competitive spirit among participants, and they’re not just great for sales growth—at their most successful, a promotion can lead to greater brand awareness, valuable data collection, more invigorated sales personnel, and more loyal customers. Plus—well, they’re just really fun.

If that all sounds too good to be true, just bear with us. Here are four gamification promotions that are proven market shakers.

1. A Game of Skill or Bracket-Based Promotion

Recently, one of our favorite types of promotions to run has been a bracket competition. Touchpoint Games is a marketing and gamification platform that we partner with to help customers incorporate sports brackets into their marketing strategy. These types of promotions don’t just stoke excitement for stat-loving sports fans—they create a sense of community that builds loyalty across your customer base.

One of our clients, and electrical distributor, ran a “Pick Six” challenge with Touchpoint Games during pro football season in order to drive contractor engagement and capture mindshare for their brand. Throughout the season, participants would pick teams they expected to win their games and were awarded points for choosing correctly.

The participant with the most points at the end of the season would win an all-inclusive resort stay, with smaller prizes awarded on a weekly basis. The promotion was a huge success—engagement with the platform even persisted past the end of the contest.

For the past few years, we’ve even been using Touchpoint games to run one of these promotions for our own business partners and clients during the NCAA’s men’s basketball tournament. Every year, our previous participants are even more excited to come back to it than before. Bracket campaigns aren’t just about the excitement of the season—they have the power to strengthen relationships with your channel partners year after year.

Touchpoint Game’s platform is also ingenious because it allows you to ask important questions along the way. Participants who answer them get bonus points and rise in the rankings. These questions can lead to pivotal business intelligence for your company. The analysis of HMI’s promotion can be found here.

2. Travel Giveaway Promotion

If there’s one thing we love to talk about here, it’s the value of non-cash rewards. In the incentive business, there’s no better top prize than an all-expenses-paid vacation to a luxury hotel, so it’s no surprise that travel giveaway promotions end up being so successful.

Take the “Get In, Getaway” promotion  run by Eaton Lighting,  a lighting manufacturer. The promotion was aimed primarily at counter salespeople within Eaton’s distribution channels, but it also rewarded their MFG reps for helping communicate the program to those salespeople.

As a reward for selling more of Eaton’s products, salespeople not only received chances to win prizes in a biweekly spin-to-win game, but they were also entered into a monthly grand prize sweepstakes to win a luxury vacation. MFG reps received the same prizes that the salespeople they enrolled won.

Frequent spin-to-win games or grand-prize sweepstakes on their own are often very successful but combining the two gives participants the chance to feel valued and rewarded on multiple levels.

The promotion was massively successful—not only in keeping Eaton top of mind for their channel partners, but also in helping Eaton learn about who these channel partners were. With over 2,400 counter salespeople enrolled, Eaton came away with a much clearer sense of who was selling their product than they’d previously had. Most importantly, there was the sales growth element: the program’s total ROI ended up over 750 percent.

3. Merchandise Giveaway Promotion

While travel opportunities are always a popular choice, sometimes a well-chosen merchandise giveaway can have an equally successful impact—if not more so. One national plumbing manufacturer wanted to better understand and communicate with the end users of their products—a concern shared across the manufacturing industry. To help bridge that gap, they ran a massively successful sweepstakes aimed at contractors.

The structure was simple, but the grand prize was remarkable. For every invoice a contractor submitted for one of their products, contractors were entered into a drawing for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Like with Eaton’s campaign, along the way participants had the chance to win smaller Harley-Davidson branded prizes in periodic drawings.

The program had some of the highest engagement we’ve ever seen, with a 91.7 percent clickthrough rate on promotional emails. (For context, the industry average clickthrough rate on incentive program emails is around 20 percent.) Partnering with an iconic and influential brand like Harley-Davidson undoubtedly contributed to the widespread appeal for this promotion, leading to the manufacturer gaining profiling data for over 2,700 new end-users. They clearly knew who their audience was and what would motivate them.

4. Experience Giveaway Promotion

As we’ve seen so far, promotions are often used to achieve goals around sales growth or improving channel knowledge. But recognizing and reinforcing loyalty is also possible—if you’re thinking about how to show gratitude to your top performing customers, consider an experience giveaway promotion.

In order to show appreciation for their channel partners’ resilience and continued loyalty throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Pure Storage, a technology provider, designed a VIP program that rewarded participants with luxury merchandise and experience opportunities.

Among these was a sweepstakes that offered the winner a choice of several once-in-a-lifetime experiences like a tour across the Italian countryside or a trip to the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Entries to the sweepstakes were awarded for engaging in certain preferred activities with Pure Storage, such as responding to surveys and answering emails. The program secured Pure Storage’s place in participants’ minds as a genuine and valuable business partner, setting up a continually strong relationship in the future.


Whether you’re after sales growth, customer loyalty and retention, or gathering data insights, gamified promotions help build excitement around your brand and push participants to interact with your company on an extra level.

Need more incentive insights? Check out these related articles.

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