Increasing Loyalty with Non-Transactional Earn Opportunities

Jun 25, 2024

In today’s competitive market, keeping consumers engaged is challenging. Traditional transactional rewards are no longer enough to foster long-term loyalty and increase customer lifetime value. With so many shopping options, brands must stay top of mind even when customers aren’t purchasing. Shifting the focus from transactions to meaningful engagement between purchases can deepen relationships, enable personalization, and boost loyalty.

In the 2024 Kobie Consumer Research shows that 59% of members would enjoy gamified non-transactional earn opportunities at least once a month.

Non-transactional earn opportunities refer to ways customers can earn points or rewards without making a purchase. These methods leverage various customer behaviors and interactions, encouraging engagement through alternative means. By offering NTE opportunities, brands can create a more dynamic and engaging loyalty program that keeps customers involved and invested in the brand.

NTE unlocks growth opportunities in programs. Here’s how:

  1. Fostering Emotional Connections: Non-transactional earn fosters emotional connections by acknowledging members beyond their monetary value to the brand. Members feel a sense of appreciation when recognized for actions beyond purchases, leading to a stronger emotional bond.
  2. Encourages Holistic Engagement: Loyalty extends beyond transactions, encouraging members to engage with the brand on multiple levels and fostering a deeper connection beyond the point of sale.
  3. Improves Customer Insight: NTE provides valuable insights into member preferences, behaviors, and interests, enabling more targeted marketing and personalized experiences. Members engaged in non-transactional activities are more likely to stay loyal, leading to increased retention and greater customer lifetime value for the brand.
  4. Increases Customer Lifetime Value: Members engaged in NTE are more likely to stay loyal, leading to increased retention and greater customer lifetime value.

NTE is good for program growth… but what do consumers say about it? Well, according to the 2024 Kobie Consumer Research study, members are looking for opportunities to earn within a program in between transactions.

  • Surprise Opportunities: 59% stated that surprise opportunities to earn would cause them to engage outside of transactions.
  • Member Panels: 46% would enjoy being part of a member panel to earn more with a program.
  • Unlocking Special Benefits: 41% want to unlock access to special benefits and features of the program by engaging in between transactions.

What are the key pillars and considerations when incorporating NTE into a loyalty program? A successful NTE strategy should:

  1. Reduce Time Between Interactions: Shortening the interval between customer interactions keeps the brand top-of-mind and maintains engagement.
  2. Create Upsell Opportunities: NTE activities can create additional opportunities to upsell by keeping customers engaged and thinking about the brand.
  3. Deliver Meaningfully: Use surprise and delights, badges, gamification, and other engaging methods to deliver NTE opportunities in a meaningful way.
  4. Reduce Reliance on Discounts: Providing non-transactional earn opportunities can reduce the need for frequent discounts or promotions.
  5. Collect Rich Data: NTE allows for the collection of richer data points that can be used to personalize the member experience.
  6. Align with Customer Lifecycle: Ensure NTE activities are aligned with the customer lifecycle and delivered to the appropriate segments.
  7. Create Emotional Loyalty: Deepen the member relationship beyond transactions to create lasting emotional loyalty.

Incorporating NTE opportunities into your loyalty program can significantly enhance member engagement and satisfaction. By offering diverse and creative ways for customers to interact with your brand, you foster a deeper connection and encourage long-term loyalty.

Connect with Kobie today to learn more about how to implement these strategies to stay ahead in the competitive landscape and build a more dynamic relationship with your customers.


Marie DeLeo is a Director of Strategic Consulting at Kobie Marketing, playing a pivotal role in developing innovative loyalty programs for her clients grounded in data-driven insights. Marie has spent her career dedicated to creating consumer-centric marketing and loyalty experiences that not only enhance customer retention but also drive revenue through profitable customer behavior.