Gamification Strategies to make Onboarding Fun and Memorable


  1. Drive users to exhibit the desired behavior by completing the onboarding steps that may include registration, Updating their profile, Making their first purchase, etc.
  2. Create awareness among users about the App/Website value proposition
  3. Make users understand the application’s features and functions and understand each feature’s purpose.
  4. In the shortest time possible, make the users discover value from your App or Website.


  • Do not overwhelm your users with a one-time tutorial that tries to explain everything about your App/Website. Generally, users will skip this and try to explore on their own(We all believe in exploring things on our own as it makes us feel good and excited).
  • Personalize the onboarding by showing what is relevant to them via contextual nudges based on your user’s past and current stage (Though we all love to explore things on our own contextual help always comes in handy).
  • Make the onboarding experience fun for your users as per the occasion like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Diwali, etc.
  • Based on the source from which users download your mobile App or open your website, create an onboarding experience that connects their journey to the message which drove them to your digital product.
  • Set Up a 5 Day onboarding push journey that will send one push per day to new users with small and useful info about the App’s value proposition. The idea here is to chunk the training into smaller components and train the users with one benefit at a time. First, 5 days are very crucial to create an impact.
  • Be data-driven. Continuously refine the onboarding experience based on conversion metrics by experimenting with different ways of presenting the contextual nudge. Use Static images, Interactive tutorials, Carousels, Small videos( Not more than 20 seconds), Screen tips, etc.
  • For users at their later stages of your App usage journey: Attract their attention to unused features that might benefit them based on the past features they used.

“When we train users one step at a time, the impact of that training is much higher, and users retain that information for a longer time.”


  • For first-time users shown information about how to register via an Interactive tutorial. For users navigating the right path and exhibiting the desired behavior, do not show information about what they are already doing.
  • If a user taps on your Facebook ad and downloads your mobile App, present a personalized onboarding tour with information matching what they have seen on your Facebook Ad. Similarly, your Google Ad users will have a different onboarding experience if the Ad content is different.
  • Users get a push notification every day with one key benefit they get using the App.
  • Users are shown contextual nudges during their journey of using your App or Website.

Approach #2: Exploring the App should be made like Hunting for a Treasure


  • Create a quest where exploring the App or website is like hunting for a treasure. In general, even if you show tutorials or videos to provide contextual in-app guidance, users generally explore only a few features. If you make the onboarding experience more like hunting for a hidden treasure, users are more likely to explore the entire App while searching for the treasure.
  • If your business model is to give a coupon to drive users to make their first purchase, make your users spend time and effort to win those discounts or coupons.

“If we get a sense of achievement after using a product, we generally feel more connected to that product.”


  • The moment a user downloads and opens the App/Web, show them information about the treasure hunt contest. The contest will be to find a hidden treasure every day for 3 successive days.
  • Hide the treasure under a button or on a particular screen in the App. Treasure can be like an In-app message that will have a “fortune cookie” or an “Easter Egg” or a hint to win a “Discount coupon,” etc.
  • During the first 3 days, users will get a push notification and an email reminding them to find the treasure.
  • Users have to open the App, browse through different features and functions of the App in search of the hidden treasure. While browsing, guide users with In-app contextual tutorials and screen tips to help users navigate the right path to find the treasure.
  • Users who find the treasure on all the 3 days need to be rewarded with a coupon for their first purchase or provide early access to certain features or given a Badge, etc.

By doing this, we make users navigate the entire App in a fun way, and users feel that they have earned the reward.

Approach #3: Learning about the App has never been so fun


  • Every company expects its customers to understand all the features and functionalities of their App/Website and use them.
  • The onboarding strategy should consider two main things:
  • Early value discovery to its customers
  • Make customers understand all the features and functions in the App/Website.


  • Even after showing contextual help or driving users to explore features via treasure hunt, it is always important to validate your user’s learning, acknowledge and reward their efforts.
  • Make your customers participate in Trivia during the initial onboarding days. The Quiz should contain less than 4 questions about the App feature or functionality.
  • Based on the Quiz responses, show them a leader board with scores.
  • Present these quizzes every alternative day with questions about different features and functions.
  • Based on the customer’s score on the leaderboard, reward them with coupons, discounts, early access to new features, etc.

“Validate your user’s understanding about your App/ Website value proposition, Acknowledge and reward for their effort.”

User Experience:

  • As the user continues to get onboarded, they will see information about the Trivia Quest and the opportunity to win exciting prizes.
  • Customers will receive a push notification and an email on the quiz day, and when they open the application, they will see the Quiz.
  • Based on customer’s answers in the Quiz, they see their score on the leaderboard and get a surprise gift based on the score.
  • Continue this during the first 7 to 10 days of Application usage.

Approach #4: Digital Trophies and Reward Points


  • This approach has a two-part strategy.
  • Surprise and motivate users with visual status symbols
  • Reward users when they exhibit the desired behavior
  • Surprise and Motivate
  • As the user continues to learn about each feature, reward their progress with visible status symbols (BADGES) to instill a sense of achievement among your users on your platform
  • Encourage them to share their achievement with the broader user base.
  • Incentivize users based on the badges they earn, like early access to a feature, additional discounts while purchasing, upgrade in membership.

Reward Behavior

  • Reward users with a virtual currency like points or coins every time they exhibit the desired behavior like visit the App, Purchase, refer a friend, completes a task, etc.
  • Allow users to redeem rewards for goodies and purchases.

Badges and Reward points make users see the value they have created in your App or website, and switching to an alternate product will be considered as losing all they have earned so far.”

User Experience:

  • Create a prominently visible section inside your application to show users the Badges and Reward Points they have earned and are yet to earn.
  • Surprise users with these digital trophies and points for their behavior
  • Educate users on how close they are to win a reward and the reward benefits.
  • Timely reminders to create the fear of missing out on a reward if they fail to come back to the App or exhibit the desired behavior.
  • Motivate users to win more digital trophies by telling them how other users are getting benefits from having them

Approach #5: Creating a sense of accomplishment

This approach is more suitable for e-commerce Apps and websites.


  • This approach has a three-part strategy.
  • Do not give the user a discount immediately after downloading the App or opening your website.
  • Exit Intent is a crucial part of the user journey.
  • Social influence is one more important aspect of purchase decisions.

Upfront Discounts

  • Giving an upfront discount to drive faster first purchases may seem to work to an extent, but still, most users do not feel the urge to purchase as this discount is not something the user is earning plus is a blanket discount for anyone who comes as a new user.
  • If the plan is to give a 30% discount on the first purchase, show the user that they get a 10% discount if they purchase now, or they have an opportunity to win up to 30% discount if they exhibit the desired behavior such as register, Add at least one product with a higher value in the cart or refer a friend or subscribe to the newsletter or follow a social channel, etc.
  • Every time the user performs the desired behavior, his discount percentage increases. They can avail of the discount or continue to the next requested action to win more discount percentage.
  • This will make users feel that they are earning this discount rather than the brand giving it away.

Exit Intent

  • Most of the users who companies acquire exit the website without registering or purchasing, or exhibiting any desired behaviors.
  • The exit-intent where the user is trying to go out of the site without performing the desired behavior needs to be understood and handled gracefully.
  • At the exit-intent try to understand why they are leaving or showing something that they cannot ignore.
  • When a user shows the exit-intent, one of the popular engagement techniques is to conduct a one-question survey through which you try to capture the reason for their exit. One more way is to show a mini-game like Spin the wheel or card shuffle or slots asking users to play and win a chance to earn a discount.

Social influence

  • We all get influenced by ratings of a product, reviews, word of mouth.
  • During the first purchase, ensures that you show messages that reinforce users’ confidence. Messages that typically work include how many users purchased a product in the last week from your App or website and how their experience was.

“We all want to achieve and feel a sense of accomplishment, and we all have a social influence. If our strategy considers these aspects during the first purchase, then success is assured.”

User Experience:

  • When a user downloads the App or opens the website, they will see an In-app message showing the discount coupon with buttons to claim or earn more. When the user clicks on earn more, they will see the behavior they need to exhibit to achieve a higher discount. This will continue until the user reaches the company’s maximum discount.
  • When a user tries to close the browser window/tab without purchasing or registering, show a spin the wheel game and ask him to play and get a chance to win an offer.
  • When a user starts exploring products on your application and is spending more than the usual time(get this data from your analytics)to decide, show a message about how many users purchased that product from your site/App in the last week, their experience(Of course only if the number and the net promoter scores are high.)

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