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Acquire & Retain Users with Gamification: 5 Strategies & How Goama Can Help

With more and more apps entering the digital space, competing to acquire and retain users have become more intense. To retain user attention, an increasing number of apps have resorted to gamification. By incorporating elements of games into an app, app owners stand a greater chance of keeping users interested and invested in the app at hand.

5 Ways to Acquire Users Through Gamification

  1. Drive action: Motivate users to undertake some kind of action on a regular basis. If individuals actually have to take an action, they are more likely to pay attention to the content of an app. An effective example of driving action would be Facebook’s notifications on memories – older posts from the same dates in past years. By asking users to share older posts, the platform doesn’t just cause them to take action, but also formulate an emotional connection on the basis of nostalgia. Another example would be how the language learning app Memrise notifies their users that they are on a rampage for a certain number of days (if they complete daily lessons for those days), and that they shouldn’t stop. This generates a sense of personal accomplishment and motivates users to keep going back and making progress.

  2. Offer rewards with an element of uncertainty: The brain’s reward system is closely linked to dopamine. Neuroscientific studies suggest that a variable rewards system triggers dopamine secretion. Essentially, people’s attention and motivation is commanded not so much by the actual moment of reward/pleasure, but rather the expectation and anticipation of reward. When you gamify an app, there are multiple ways to leverage this instinct. It could be something as simple as showing the number of unread messages waiting for a user. It could even be displaying how many people viewed a profile (people love to feel seen and heard). Think of how headlines work these days. Successful articles, like the ones on BuzzFeed, offer a gist of the article with eye-catching, usually long headlines that capture attention and build anticipation. Some examples – This Girl Matched On Tinder With An Olympic Athlete And Here’s What Happened Next or 19 Things Only Women Who Lift Weights Will Understand. It doesn’t give away the story, but it creates curiosity and leads people to click and engage. Essentially, don’t start with offering obvious rewards (badges, points, actual money/products). Try to tease and interest them first. Make them want it.

  3. Incentivize user participation: The coding app SoloLearn encourages users to participate by giving them points/XP for every lesson they complete and every exercise they correctly solve. These points can be used to unlock more practice exercises (important for complete beginners). Users can also participate in coding projects/contests where they can display their work, communicate with other coders, and get their names on a leaderboard based on their performance. These elements improve engagement by incentivizing users to keep crossing hurdles and progressing. It gives them a sense of accomplishment, which keeps them coming back to the app to get more of the same feeling.

  4. Use visual and sonic appeal: The Duolingo app uses cute animated pictures, videos, gifs, and upbeat sounds to help users learn. When you gamify an app, literally make it a game. Engage the eyes, ears and curiosity of your user. Above all, make it fun. With a million distractions at hand, no one will bother to interact with your content if it is not attractive.

  5. Utilize existing trends: The Pink Nation app asks shoppers to pick products and decide if they “want” or “need” the clothes in each day’s showcase. Users have to swipe right or left, Tinder-style, to indicate their interest or lack thereof. In this case, to gamify is to tap into an already popular user action. By now, swiping is a common occurrence in most people’s lives. Incorporating it into a new app brings familiarity and ease to the user journey. Much like Tinder, Pink Nation is easy and fun – essential elements of gamification.

How Goama accelerates the innovation efforts in this space

Goama’s turnkey solution offers a plug and play platform that creates unparalleled gamified experiences that enable business partners to build sustainable and engaged online communities. Goama has worked with leading super apps and brands in more than 24 countries to help them drive user engagement, increase revenue streams, and acquire new users.

Goama’s offering extends to brands with customized games on its tournament platform to drive lasting brand engagement that is easily scaled across digital mediums. This creates a paradigm shift in advertising, providing more opportunities for brands to build meaningful experiences for their audiences on their channels or through Goama’s partners.

Goama in the Philippines

As we continue to grow our presence in the Philippines - we are actively working to partner with the leading Investment Teams - Leading Digital Assets in the Philippines and the smartest and best talent to join our efforts for the Manila expansion.

We are also looking forward to onboarding our local Philippines Head to join the Goama Global team and spearhead the growth of the Philippines market.

  • In Q4 we will look at defining our strategy for market entry to the Philippines.

  • In Q1 2022 we will engage a strategic investor who knows the ins and outs of the Philippines market and access to the different Digital Properties available.

  • In Q2 2022 we are looking forward to having a deployed team, investor and more than 2 revenue-generating customers in the Philippines.



Wazir Aziz is the Head of Marketing at Goama.

Goama is part of our Batch 2 Global Innovation Alliance Program in Manila.

At Plug and Play’s Global Innovation Alliance Program accelerator we match large corporations with top-tier startups that are changing the world as we know it. Together, they’ll build the cities of the future. Join our platform today.


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