Home Blog How Gamification Can Increase Customer Retention for SaaS with Examples

How Gamification Can Increase Customer Retention for SaaS with Examples

July 28, 2022 Edwin Kooistra

User experience (UX) and retention are essential aspects of any software as a service (SaaS) business. UX is how a user interacts with and experiences a software application. Retention refers to the percentage of users who continue using your app after signing up.

Both UX and retention are important because they impact your SaaS business’s success. If you have a poor UX, users will likely not use your app or quickly abandon it. A low retention rate means that even if users start using your app, they’re not sticking around for long – which isn’t good for your bottom line.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to improve retention in your SaaS business. One approach is to use gamification. This guide explains how you can use gamification for your SaaS business.

What is Gamification in SaaS?

Gamification is the process of using game mechanics to engage and motivate users to achieve their goals. When used in a SaaS context, gamification can take many different forms.

For example, you could give users points for completing specific actions or allow them to level up as they use your app more. You could also give users badges or other rewards for reaching particular milestones.

Using gamification can effectively improve UX and retention because it makes using your app more fun and engaging. Additionally, it can help motivate users to keep using your app to continue earning rewards.

How Gamification can help your SaaS business?

Moreover, Saas businesses can use gamification to increase user engagement and loyalty. Gamification can also help with user acquisition, onboarding, and customer retention. The following are four benefits of gamification for saas businesses:

  1. Increased user engagement
  2. Improved loyalty
  3. Better user acquisition and onboarding
  4. Improved customer retention

1 – Increased user engagement

Gamification can help increase user engagement by making your product fun and engaging. When engaged, users are more likely to continue using your product and referring it to others.

2 – Improved loyalty

Improved loyalty is another benefit of gamification. Users who are engaged and having fun using your product are less likely to churn. This means they will stick around longer and be more likely to pay for premium features or upgrades.

3 – Better user acquisition and onboarding

Gamification can also help with onboarding new users. By making your product more fun and engaging, you can increase the likelihood that new users will stick around and continue using your product. Additionally, gamification can help you acquire new users by making your product more attractive to them in the first place.

4 – Improved customer retention

Finally, gamification can also improve customer retention. Customers who find value in your product will remain engaged and loyal, which means they are less likely to churn. Also, they will continue to refer your product to others, ultimately leading to more sales and revenue for your business.

How to use Gamification in SaaS?

Here’s how you can incorporate gamification techniques in your SaaS business:

  1. Know your audience
  2. Reward for completing specific tasks
  3. Make it user friendly
  4. Give badges
  5. Make it fun

1 – Know your audience

The first step to using gamification in SaaS is to know your audience. What kind of users do you want to attract? What are their needs and motivations? Once you understand your ideal customers, you can begin to design features that will appeal to them.

2 – Reward for completing specific tasks

One way to encourage users to engage with your product is to offer rewards for completing specific tasks.

For example, you could give users points or badges when completing a task or reaching a milestone. These rewards can be displayed on their profile page, motivating others to keep using the product.

3 – Make it user friendly

Another important aspect of gamification is making sure the product is user-friendly. Users should easily understand how to use the product and navigate its features. If a product is too complicated to use, users will be less likely to engage with it.

4 – Give badges

Badges are a great way to reward users for their accomplishments and show their progress. They also serve as motivation for others to keep using the product. You can design your badges or use existing ones that are popular among gamers.

5 – Make it fun

Last but not least, make sure the product is fun to use! Users who don’t enjoy using your product won’t stick around for long. Gamification can make a product more enjoyable by adding elements of competition, social interaction, and rewards.

10 Examples of SaaS Gamification that you can steal

As several successful SaaS businesses worldwide, here are the top ten SaaS companies nailing gamification every day:

  1. Keyhole
  2. Hubspot
  3. Kaizo
  4. Knudge.me
  5. Upviral
  6. Grammarly
  7. LinkedIn
  8. Netflix
  9. Notion
  10. Facebook

1 – Keyhole

Keyhole is a social media monitoring tool that uses gamification to keep its users engaged. The company offers points, badges, and leaderboards to users who complete specific tasks, such as conducting a search or adding new data to the system. This encourages users to keep using the tool and helps Keyhole track its most active and valuable users.

Badges are a great way to reward users for completing specific tasks or actions. Leaderboards help create a sense of competition and encourage users to keep using the tool. And points can be used as currency within the system to unlock new features or get discounts on products.

2 – Hubspot

Hubspot’s sales gamification app is an excellent example of how this can work. The app challenges salespeople to sell more products and services to customers and rewards them for doing so.

The rewards are based on points, which the salesperson can use to buy virtual goods (such as new avatars or badges) or real-world rewards (such as gift cards).

The app also allows salespeople to track their progress and see how they’re doing relative to their peers. This helps to keep them motivated and focused on hitting their targets.

So if you’re looking for a way to motivate your sales team, gamification is worth considering. And Hubspot’s app is an excellent example of how it can be done effectively.

3 – Kaizo

One example comes from Kaizo Sales, a sales acceleration platform. They gamify the sales process by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) and awarding points for activities contributing to closing a deal. Reps can then use these points to redeem prizes, like gift cards and electronics.

Kaizo works on AI to boost efficiency, overall productivity, and teamwork through engagement.

By tracking KPIs and awarding points for activities related to deal closure, reps are motivated to achieve their goals. The company’s use of AI provides recommendations on the best way to move deals through the funnel, further enhancing the reps’ success chances.

This system has helped Kaizo Sales increase their close rate by 20%. Not too shabby!

4 – Knudge.me

Knudge.me is an excellent SaaS gamification example because it takes a simple concept – quizzes – and turns it into a game.

Users can create and share their quizzes and compete with friends and others in the Knudge.me community. The more quizzes you take, the more points you earn, and the higher you climb up the leaderboard.

Not only is Knudge.me a fun way to learn new things, but it’s also an excellent way to increase engagement and loyalty among users. And that’s why it’s such a great example of SaaS gamification done right!

5 – Upviral

Upviral is a tool that helps you grow your business by creating and running referral campaigns. It’s a software as a service (SaaS) product, which means you can use it to create online marketing campaigns without having to install any software on your computer.

What differentiates Upviral from other marketing tools is that it uses gamification to make your campaigns more fun and engaging for your users.

For example, when someone refers a friend to your campaign, they can earn points or prizes. This encourages them to keep referring friends and makes your campaign more viral.

Upviral also has some other nifty features, like tracking where each referral came from and how much each referral is worth to your business. This helps you see which channels are the most effective for your campaign and optimize your marketing efforts.

Upviral created a system that gave users “points” for referring other people to sign up for their service. They also set up a leaderboard to show who earned the most points.

6 – Grammarly

Grammarly is an excellent example of a SaaS gamification you can steal for your business. They’ve created a system that encourages continued engagement by offering users points, badges, and level-ups for using their service.

Moreover, their leaderboard feature helps create a sense of competition and community among users. This keeps people coming back and drives word-of-mouth marketing for the company.

So if you’re looking to add some gamification elements to your SaaS business, check out Grammarly as a starting point. You can learn from their successes (and failures) to create a system that works best for you and your customers.

7 – LinkedIn

LinkedIn has been a pioneer in social media and, more recently, in gamification. The platform has introduced several features that encourage users to stay active and engaged with the site.

For example, LinkedIn Rewards is a program that awards points to users for completing certain activities, such as writing articles, connecting with other professionals, or sharing content. These points can then be redeemed for various prizes, such as free LinkedIn Premium subscriptions or gift cards.

Another example of gamification on LinkedIn is the platform’s “Endorsements” feature. This allows users to give each other virtual badges for skills listed on their profiles. Not only does this add an element of fun and competition to the site, it also allows users to quickly see which of their connections have expertise in certain areas.

These are just a few examples of how LinkedIn has used gamification to encourage its users to stay engaged with the site. By introducing elements of fun and competition, LinkedIn has been able to keep its users coming back for more. And with over 600 million members, it’s clear that this strategy is working.

8 – Netflix

Netflix has been a pioneer in online streaming services, and they have also been at the forefront of using gamification strategies to keep their users engaged.

One example is their use of badges and achievement systems. By awarding users badges for watching certain types of shows or movies or completing a set amount of content, Netflix encourages viewers to keep using their service. This not only keeps users coming back, but it also gets them talking about Netflix with their friends and family.

Another gamification strategy that Netflix employs is called the “staircase model.” This involves giving users more content as they watch more shows and movies. By doing this, users will feel like they are making progress and will be encouraged to keep watching. This strategy has been successful for Netflix, as it is one of the main reasons people continue to use their service.

Finally, Netflix also uses social media to gamify its service. By allowing users to connect with their friends and family on Facebook and Twitter, they can see what others are watching and recommend shows and movies. This helps keep users engaged with the service, as they are constantly exposed to new content they may be interested in.

9 – Notion

The Notion is an excellent example of how gamification can be used to improve productivity and engagement within a SaaS application. By allowing users to earn rewards for completing tasks, Notion encourages users to keep using the app and stay engaged.

One way that Notion uses gamification is through its Leaderboard feature. This feature allows users to see how they rank against other users in terms of productivity. Users are encouraged to compete with others to move up the leaderboard and earn more rewards.

Another way that Notion uses gamification is through its badge feature. Badges are awarded to users when they complete specific tasks or reach certain milestones. These badges serve as a visual representation of the user’s progress and achievements.

10 – Facebook

Facebook’s News Feed algorithm uses engagement data to determine which posts are shown to each user. The more a user engages with a post, the more likely it will be seen by that user in the future. This encourages users to like, comment on, and share content that they find interesting or valuable, resulting in a better experience for everyone involved.

Another way that Facebook gamifies its service is through its “Like” button. This simple feature allows users to show their approval of a post or status update with just one click. The more “Likes” a post has, the more likely it is to be seen by other users. This encourages users to create exciting and engaging content, resulting in a better experience for everyone involved.

Wrapping up

Gamification can be a powerful retention tool for your SaaS business. By implementing game mechanics into your product, you can keep users returning for more and increase customer loyalty. Check out the examples we’ve provided to get started and let us know if you need help getting set up. With the right tools, gamification can help take your SaaS business to the next level.

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Edwin Kooistra - Product Marketer & Founder

Technology can be a huge differentiator but leveraging emerging technologies can be challenging. After my degree in Business Information Technology I decided to work on the provider side of Technology, because I believe Technology providers play an important role in guiding enterprises on their digital journey. Besides helping tech businesses to optimize their growth and go-to-market strategies, I also like to write about the topic. I hope you find it useful!

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