Building loyalty through gamification


Bringing together behavioural science and tech innovation, the team at VOL.AT (a local news site for Vorarlberg, western Austria) created a loyalty scheme, encouraging users to engage with its content by awarding them redeemable points, called Ländlepunkte, as they read articles.

Given how important it is to get users to log in, the project has surpassed expectations. “We used to have 3% of our users logged in,” says CEO of Russmedia Gerold Riedmann. “Now, about 30% of our repeat users are.” 

The loyalty scheme was created using techniques seen in gaming platforms to build a loyal base of users. Riedmann explains, “A extensive project like this wouldn’t have been possible without external backing. DNI funding offered us the chance to escape the zero price point trap.”

We used to have 3% of our users logged in. Now, about 30% of our repeat users are.

Gerold Riedmann

The technology is not restricted to this publisher and can be used on any website – it’s already being used by IKEA in Switzerland and supermarket chains. 

There are plans to expand the rewards scheme into a local currency, and then use GPS functionality to trigger mobile messages and nudge members to visit VOL.AT business partners for special offers or promotions. Ultimately, says Riedmann, the technology enables businesses to “make loyal customers out of fly-by web traffic.”

It’s been a 10-fold growth project for us and there are not a lot of those happening in our industry.

Gerold Riedmann - CEO AT RUSSMEDIA

Telling local stories

DNI Fund Report 2020

Explore this year's report to find out about projects that have been supported by the DNI Fund and the impact they’re having in newsrooms across Europe.
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