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A Fresh Look at Loyalty Amplifiers [Webinar Recap]

Loyalty programs are great tools for brands to increase customer engagement and repeat purchases.

But with countless options available to consumers, it can be challenging for your brand to stand out from your competition and keep your customers engaged. You might have a loyalty strategy in place and that’s important. But you also need something to enhance your KPIs over time.  

And that’s where loyalty amplifiers enter the picture.

Many brands use loyalty amplifiers, which offer incentives for consumers to take specific actions like the chance to win something for signing up, or trivia or a game to assist with onboarding.

Loyalty amplifiers are a tried and true way to boost loyalty program engagement.

But there are some brands out there like McDonald’s, Victoria’s Secret, Hilton and more that are executing these in fresh and creative ways.

Learn how to use loyalty amplifiers to reach your loyalty program goals by watching this webinar.

In this ebbo™ webinar held on March 28, 2023, titled, “A Fresh Look at Loyalty Amplifiers: Creative Tactics to Reach Your Program Goals“, we took a deep dive into what these brands have done and why their amplifiers have been successful.

Kori Dahlberg, Senior Product Marketing Manager, ebbo; and Paul Wolfer, Senior Manager, B2B Marketing, break down these amplifiers, as well as share supporting findings from two recent consumer data studies.

See the full webinar recording here or read on for the most important takeaways.

Loyalty Program Engagement Challenges

A loyalty program is an important piece of the engagement puzzle. Most brands have them, but they’re becoming a dime a dozen. That’s because they work. But keeping your loyalty program members engaged can be a challenge over time.

The early excitement for new loyalty program members helps brands in the short term, but since many of these programs are similar, members often lose interest due to the same earning actions and rewards. 

As a result, brands need to think about ways to drive ongoing customer engagement and make their programs stand out from the competition.

To truly differentiate your loyalty program and get your members engaged regularly, consider using loyalty amplifiers because they’re a proven method to boost engagement.

What Are Loyalty Amplifiers?

Loyalty amplifiers are tried-and-true incentives that spark loyalty program engagement and help you achieve goals such as:

  • Driving new customer acquisition
  • Encouraging brand advocacy
  • Educating customers
  • Retaining loyal customers
  • Driving Sales
  • Encouraging point burn

From instant win games to sweepstakes, UGC contests, social media incentives, trivia and gift with purchase, loyalty amplifiers strategically incentivize consumers by engaging them across their buying journeys to keep them coming back for more.

Here are some stats to support that statement from our 2023 Loyalty Amplifiers Data Study:

  • Eighty-eight percent of consumers are likely to join your loyalty program if you offer them an incentive (e.g., the chance to win a prize, receive a discount or get bonus points).
  • Nearly 80% of consumers who belong to a brand’s loyalty program would likely download that brand’s app in exchange for an incentive.
  • In exchange for an incentive, 66% of consumers are likely to provide brands with more personal information and preferences to better personalize their loyalty program experience.
  • Nearly 80% of consumers are likely to purchase multiple specific products in exchange for a rebate.
  • Nearly 70% of consumers are likely to redeem smaller amounts of loyalty program points in exchange for rewards like the chance to win a prize, a customized digital product or a donation to a charity, instead of having to “save up” points for larger ticket rewards like free products or merchandise.

Loyalty amplifiers create value for your loyalty program members and lead to repeat engagement, retention and advocacy. But the key is doing them in fresh and creative ways.

Loyalty Amplifiers in Action From Top Brands

Here are some examples of major brands across verticals like retail, travel & hospitality and QSR that are looking at loyalty amplifiers in new ways — and making it fun for their loyalty members to participate.

Screenshots of the 19 Crimes Partners in Wine sweepstakes

19 Crimes: “Partners in Wine” Sweepstakes​


  • Member acquisition
  • Advocacy
  • Point burn

How it works:

  • Available to Infamous Insider members
  • Create a wine label for a chance to win a trip to Australia
  • One winner selected at random

Why it works:

  • Rich in brand equity
  • Drives member acquisition, participation in the program
  • Encourages point burn with options to create additional labels

19 Crimes has an interesting loyalty program called Infamous Insider Rewards.

It rewards members for lots of different activities, not just purchases, like giving 150 points for joining, offering a profile quiz to get a free custom t-shirt or awarding points for taking polls.

Points are a part of most loyalty programs, but one thing we know for sure from our new Loyalty Amplifiers Data Study is that 74% of consumers agree that loyalty program rewards often feel unattainable, they require making too many purchases, require too many points and take too long to earn.

And we know that’s detrimental to program engagement.

That’s where 19 Crimes really gets it right, by allowing members to redeem smaller quantities of points for unique rewards rather than only requiring large numbers of points for bigger ticket items. They have a balance.

19 Crimes certainly has given its members various ways to earn points, and one unique way to redeem a lower amount is through its label-maker activity. Infamous Insiders can redeem points to create custom wine labels that can then be added to a 19 Crimes bottle once printed. It’s a very cool move that is brand- and product-centric and gives its loyalty members a very achievable reward. 

And leaning into this wine label function within its Infamous Insider Platform, 19 Crimes leveraged an amplifier, the Partners in Wine sweepstakes, to help drive further member acquisition and program participation.

The 19 Crimes brand is based around the 19 crimes that could be punishable by transportation to Australia and the brand celebrates the convicts that were turned colonists.

The brand was used creatively in the naming, prizing and leveraging of the celebrity partnership between Martha Stewart and Snoop Dog (the faces of 19 Crimes).

This increases overall awareness of the loyalty program and the adoption of label-maker activity within the platform. It also helped with member acquisition because participants had to be a member or sign up to be an Infamous Insider to enter.

Screenshot showing Victoria's Secret Secret Santa instant win

Victoria’s Secret: “Secret Santa” Instant Win


  • Member acquisition
  • Increase sales
  • Increase brand advocacy

How it works:

  • Available to Victoria’s Secret VIP members
  • Members could play Santa and gift a free Secret Reward card to a friend (limited supply)
  • The lucky recipients received surprise emails inviting them to claim a reward from their Secret Santa, ranging from $10 to $500

Why it works:

  • Creatively positioned referral amplifier, tapping into seasonality and relevance
  • Gamified the distribution of “Secret Reward Card” offers
  • VIP member tier

Victoria’s Secret leveraged an instant win during the holiday season that would help them acquire more loyalty members, drive sales and promote advocacy. ​

This might not be surprising, but 78% of consumers would refer a brand’s loyalty program to friends and/or family in exchange for an incentive.​ What better way to gain more members than by getting current members to involve their friends and family?​

And Victoria’s Secret achieved that with an Instant Win amplifier. Victoria’s Secret inspired its VIP members to play Secret Santa for a chance to instantly win a gift card that could be gifted to a friend. ​And since prizes were limited, aspiring Santas had to act fast to send a reward.​

The lucky recipients received surprise emails inviting them to claim their rewards from their Secret Santa ranging from $10 to $500.​ ​This amplifier creatively used brand equity and tapped into the seasonal relevance around the holidays​.

Gift card redemptions helped drive incremental purchases while the clear and easy point of entry inspired advocacy with their current members and engaged new members with referral rewards.​

Screenshot showing the Hilton Honors Wowmakers promotion

Hilton Honors: “Wowmakers” UGC Contest


  • Member acquisition
  • Retention
  • Advocacy

How it works:

  • Professionals could nominate themselves or a fellow travel agent or meeting planner who created a “wow” moment — a time when they went above and beyond to deliver an amazing experience for a client​.
  • Ten winners were selected to attend one of five professional conferences designed to help them develop their businesses.
  • Each nominator received a Be My Guest certificate good for a one-night stay at a Hilton hotel​.

Why it works:

  • Recognized event planners/managers, which is a valuable customer segment​.
  • Through prizing, it helped them build skills to advance their careers​.
  • Created urgency – first X # of entrants earned 1,000 HH points: Needed to join Hilton Honors to redeem​.

Eighty-eight percent of consumers are likely to join your loyalty program if you offer them an incentive. This UGC amplifier inspired​ event or travel planning professionals to nominate themselves or a colleague for creating a “wow” moment — a time when they went above and beyond to deliver an amazing experience for a client. ​

Hilton picked 10 contest winners and rewarded them with an expense paid trip to attend 1 of 5 professional conferences designed to help them develop their event or travel planning businesses, and each nominator was rewarded a “Be My Guest” certificate good for a one-night stay at a Hilton hotel. ​

​In addition to encouraging Hilton Honors membership, the experiential nature of this campaign hit on advocacy and retention goals through member nominators and nominee participation and showcasing top service. It also shows how a loyalty amplifier can be used to target a specific audience or vertical.​

Screenshot showing McDonald's sweepstakes

McDonald’s: “McGold Card” aka “McDonald’s For Life” Sweepstakes


  • Member acquisition
  • App downloads and adoption
  • Increase sales

How it works:

  • Available to MyMcDonald’s Rewards members
  • Order through the app for a chance to win a McGold Card, plus three more to share with family and friends
  • BOGO deals available for certain sandwiches, $0.50 Double Cheeseburgers and more

Why it works:

  • Taps into McGold Card lore – it does exist!
  • Buzzworthy prizing that builds equity is an “instant get” and is repeatable
  • Reinforces McDonald’s tastes better when shared – win four cards for you and your crew

McDonald’s is a global icon with more than 38,000 stores worldwide.​ But it’s a relative newcomer when it comes to loyalty programs.​

This is a great example of how even a mega brand can benefit from loyalty amplifiers.​

One of the best ways to acquire more loyal members and get them engaged in your program is by downloading your app.​

And we found from our research that 88% of consumers who belong to a brand’s loyalty program would likely download that brand’s app in exchange for an incentive

​So, McDonald’s used a sweepstakes amplifier to help drive app downloads and adoption in addition to member acquisition and sales.​

​There was a legend for years of a card that gave its holder free McDonald’s anywhere and anytime. So, McDonald’s leveraged the lore and allowed rewards members to obtain a real card for McDonald’s for life through an amplifier sweepstakes — the McGold Card​.

The sweepstakes gave McDonald’s Rewards app users the chance to win a McGold card plus three more to share with friends and family.​

​This amplifier is another excellent example of the use of brand equity with a buzzworthy prize.​ It was a clear membership driver with enrollment to download the app and incentivized app adoption and incremental sales through additional entries earned with each in-app order. 

Screenshot showing Chipotle Buy the Dip promotion

Chipotle: “Buy the Dip” Instant Win


  • Member acquisition
  • Re-engagement
  • Awareness (cryptocurrency, National Avocado Day)

How it works:

  • Available to Chipotle Rewards members
  • Chance to win free crypto, 1-cent guac or 1-cent Queso Blanco
  • 15 seconds to “CLAIM” it or “SWAP” it for a chance at a different prize

Why it works:

  • Announced ability to accept crypto through the new Flexa partnership
  • Leaned heavily into the crypto theme through the name, creative, game and prizing
  • Creative mechanics, i.e., can “swap” prizes and can play daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST

Last summer, Chipotle launched a new interactive game called “Buy The Dip” – which was open only to rewards members​. Chipotle gave away more than $200,000 in free crypto to promote the fact it is accepting digital currency in partnership with Flexa​.

This announcement wasn’t only for new members, but it was also a great way to re-engage existing members.​ This interactive game experience gave Chipotle rewards members a chance to instantly win free crypto, 1-cent guac or 1-cent queso.​

​Because you had to be a rewards member to participate, the game started with logging into Chipotle Rewards or creating a new rewards account.​

​Players would reach a “How To Play” screen that provided instructions for the “Buy The Dip” game and then began the game which then showed an animated crypto chart with a moving line. ​Then players would click “But the Dip” to reveal if they won a prize and, if so, they could claim it or swap it for a different prize. ​

All players had three chances to win every day during the sweepstakes period. ​

​This interactive experience drove program awareness by leveraging current trends (cryptocurrency and their new partnership with Flexa with the crypto-themes reveal and prizing.​) Since it was limited to Chipotle rewards members, it helped increase member acquisition​. And by allowing for entries each day, it allowed members to re-engage throughout the sweepstake period. ​

It was fun because of the unique game interface/reveal with the crypto chart. While the chart had no bearing on whether a player would win or lose, it provided an exciting, branded element for the Instant Win reveal that gave the players a sense of influence. ​Forty-seven percent of consumers said a chance to win products from a brand would make them re-engage in a loyalty program.

Why Not Amplify Your Loyalty Program?

Ongoing loyalty program engagement is challenging and brands must consider how they can layer incentivization to keep their members’ attention in fun and exciting ways.

As you’ve seen with the brand examples we explored today, loyalty amplifiers are an effective way to do this as well as help to achieve specific loyalty objectives.

By using these tactics in fresh and creative ways with your brand, you can grab customers’ attention to inspire and achieve more engagement.

To learn more about loyalty amplifiers, watch the full webinar recording here.

If you’d like to discuss fresh and creative ways to layer loyalty amplifiers into your loyalty program, contact us here.


ebbo helps brands achieve their customer loyalty goals with full-service, end-to-end solutions and also creates original educational content straight from the experts to help loyalty marketers stay on the cutting edge of customer engagement.

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ebbo™ is an all-in-one loyalty company. With our data driven strategy, full-service approach, and the unwavering support of the people behind the platform, our dedicated team will work with you to understand your loyalty goals, innovate solutions and help you build customer engagement on repeat.

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