Anyone who works in educational technology (EdTech) knows how many plates you need to keep spinning at once.

From developing engaging content and continuously meeting evolving participant needs, to developing an effective marketing pipeline, EdTech companies need a robust suite of tools to stay relevant and competitive. And this suite of EdTech tools should include an easy way to incentivize and maintain engagement. 

Specifically, courseware providers need a simple option to integrate awards into their educational app. With the right software integrations, they can then offer real-time rewards like digital gift cards and prepaid cards—without their students ever having to leave their platform. 

One company doing just that is also making big waves in the financial literacy world. 

Zogo is a financial education platform with a popular standalone mobile app that users love. 

And there’s a reason why Zogo enjoys a 4.8 rating with over 48k reviews in the Apple App Store: they’ve paired their innovative educational products with a fun reward system for their learners. 


We sat down with Zogo’s Head of Operations Jenna Adrian to learn more about how the right reward structure helps them drive engagement and keep retention high. 

“It's very intuitive,” she says of partnering with Giftbit. “It's complex enough that it fits all of our needs, but it's also simplified enough that we get very few questions about it.”

Keep reading to learn how Zogo’s team is able to spend less time spinning those plates, and more time sustaining a dynamic, interactive educational journey. We’ll also include step-by-step instructions so you can implement the same tools that Zogo has, as well as more ideas and strategies for EdTech companies. 

Gamification in EdTech: why it matters

Zogo’s flagship product is a standalone mobile app with over 800+ lessons on financial topics. And—critically—they offer embedded rewards as one of their key selling points. 

Namely, Zogo users earn virtual ‘Pineapples’ when they engage with the app and complete courses. The platform will even host fun ‘Pineapple Parties’ where users can earn more rewards to boost their balance. 

These Pineapples can then be exchanged for gift cards, prepaid cards (like prepaid Visa and MastercardⓇ), and charity donations—all of which are powered by Giftbit. 

Between top-notch educational content and top-notch digital rewards, it’s clear to see why with Zogo, ‘never before has education been so rewarding.’

Of course, Zogo isn’t the first online academy to turn to gamification. But they’re at the forefront of pairing the right rewards with the right content to power their mission and serve their community better. 

Interactive content is great, but Zogo’s main mission is to democratize financial literacy—not to make a fun app. The fun app is simply a byproduct of using modern tools to drive engagement. 

“Zogo's mission overall is improving people's lives through financial education,” says Jenna.  “And Giftbit allows us to entice users and keep them on the app to do that.” 

The way Jenna sees it, even when students are primarily motivated by Pineapples, “the knowledge that they are receiving and the lessons they have to learn in order to get there are invaluable.”

Impact on enrollment

Educational services of all kinds are turning to rewards and incentives for many reasons, not the least of which is to boost their enrollment numbers. 

“When we look at financial literacy, there is a component of being rewarded with the knowledge that you're receiving,” says Jenna. Having gift cards made available through Giftbit allows them to “to take that first leap.”

In other words, knowing there’s actual rewards attached to an app is certainly a great reason to sign up. 

Impact on engagement

That said, where Zogo really sees the most benefits of their Pineapples is when it comes to engagement. Having rewards that their users actually want is one of their key selling features. 

“Once you get into the platform and the product of Zogo itself, you see more of that ROI,” says Jenna. “It keeps it fresh.”

So it’s no surprise that Zogo users like Tara regularly provide feedback like, “I love this app. I get to learn and get paid while doing it. Couldn’t ask for more!”

Likewise, Zogo user Shatimah M. says “such a nice and simple app, yet rich in info on what matters. And it even rewards for learning!”

Impact on retention

Retaining your students is one of the most critical things you can do for the long term success of your online course, and here, too, digital incentives have a role to play. 

Ultimately, even when you’re excited to learn, we all know that feeling of wanting to slack off and take the easy road. Meanwhile, offering incentives on your training portal will make it even more exciting to learn, and even more likely for your users to stick around. 

“It keeps people coming back to know that there's also a monetary reward at the end of that tunnel,” says Jenna. “Everybody is happy to have something to work towards.”

Impact on growth

When evaluating EdTech tools, look for software that works for your needs but that will also be able to grow with you. You don’t just want a reward and incentive provider, but a partner, too. 

“We’re constantly looking for ways to diversify rewards, whether that is different gift card offerings or how we're allowing users to redeem those Pineapples,” says Jenna. “Giftbit allows us to continue to grow and build in all these other areas, knowing that it's a constant and it works really well. It contributes to our user retention and it allows us to expand on that in other ways, knowing that we’ll still always have it.”

Gamification in EdTech: what tools you need

edtech student taking notes while engaged with his laptop

To maximize your EdTech platform and make your programs more engaging, you need a simple way to embed rewards and incentives. For most use cases, the best way to accomplish this will be with rewards and incentive software that is easy to integrate with your existing app.

Look for a tool that makes this process as easy as possible for you and your students. They’re coming to your platform to learn new skills—but their existing digital literacy skills should be sufficient to navigate your courses and rewards.  

For example, Jenna reports that Zogo users find it very easy to claim their rewards, citing this as a big driver behind their high retention rates. 

Partnering with the right incentives also ensures you’ll be taking care of your students’ data security and privacy (one less plate to keep spinning!). 

You’ll also want to offer an extensive selection of rewards that people actually want. Increasingly, that means you need to offer digital gift cards to popular brands (like Amazon, Starbucks, Apple, Google, Nike, and Xbox), along with charity options, and, ideally, prepaid cards. Providing your audience with a diverse selection of rewards ensures there’s something for everyone. 

“The experience has been great and the diversification of rewards is great,” Jenna says about working with Giftbit. 


So primarily, you want an easy way to offer the right rewards, with a great rewards catalog. 

From there, choosing the right incentive software for your educational platform often comes down to two factors: easy API integration, and easy and reliable reporting. 

Zogo’s favorite EdTech tools: Frictionless API integration …

Giftbit works so well within Zogo’s educational app for one main reason: seamless API integration. Our gift card API is what allows other companies and platforms to embed our straightforward rewards system directly into their app’s framework. 

In Zogo’s case, this means they’re able to provide instant gratification to students in the form of in-app Pineapples. 

And the integration is not only frictionless but also customizable, so that Zogo can tailor their reward mechanisms to fit the specific needs of their users and partners. 

It’s now been over four years since Zogo embedded the Giftbit RESTful API, and it’s been running smoothly in the background ever since. 

“Setting everything up with the API and just getting our users onto it—it was fairly seamless,” says Jenna. “We didn't have any hiccups with maintaining the account or getting any data that we needed on our end. And the user-related issues have always been low. It’s hard to imagine a world without Giftbit!”

Meanwhile, Jenna and her team are also supported by Sofia Baltasar, their dedicated Customer Service Representative (whom Jenna calls a ‘rockstar’ and rates ‘12 out of 10’). They also have ready access to reliable support—not that they’ve needed it much. 

In fact, she had a hard time remembering when was the last time she needed to access support. “This was so long ago because that's how frequently we use it!” she remembers.  

If you’d like to replicate Zogo’s success, we’ll detail exactly how to integrate Giftbit’s API into your own platform further below. 

… And solid reporting

If the API is what makes for a great user experience for Zogo students, it’s the reporting features in Giftbit that make life easy for their business team. 

“Everything is easily accessible through the portal,” says Jenna. “We've had incredible account management support and the team has been great getting us to where we need to be … the platform itself is very functional. We're very happy with the reporting, which is huge.”

Like anyone in the admin side of EdTech knows, being able to see your stats and how the product is performing is essential. Not surprisingly, Jenna also says she tracks these numbers closely, and loves how easy the process is with Giftbit. 

“We definitely track things very closely and the reporting is fantastic for that,” she says.

How to integrate an incentive tool into your educational app

Giftbit has been an essential partner in Zogo’s rapid success. By making it easy to embed a reward system directly into their educational app, Zogo is able to keep users happy and engaged, and they’re able to scale their reward structure as needed. 

“I really don't know how we would make it work if we didn't have it,” says Jenna.  

Specifically, Giftbit handles all the rewarding in the app directly. When they’re ready to redeem their Pineapples, users are given a variety of rewards options to choose from—and once they’ve made their selection, they’re presented with their gift card or prepaid card of choice. 

Our API also provides brand information, such as the gift card image, description, and legal disclaimers, so you can always keep the options up-to-date. 

And it’s incredibly easy for other EdTech companies to have this too: Giftbit’s reward API is the easiest going, so your developers and/or UX/UI team can get it up and running quickly. 

Once you’ve created your free Giftbit web app account, here’s the steps you’ll need to follow to set up a system like Zogo’s:

  1. Using the /brands endpoint, your development & UI Teams can build the look and feel of your reward marketplace using Giftbit’s provided assets and collateral.
  2. Determine how you would like your rewards delivered to your users, then use the appropriate endpoint for your preferred method.
  3. Development teams will need to manage the point experience within your own app (i.e., adding points when accrued by user actions, assigning point value towards gift card value, removing available points once the order is placed,etc).
  4. Testing can be done through our testing environment with non-live funds to ensure that your API connection is working properly before sending real rewards!🙌
  5. When a user selects and confirms their choice within your app, Giftbit will serve them up their reward, which they can use immediately.💳🎁🚀
The Giftbit API is designed to be developer-friendly, but if they’ve got any questions, your team should be able to find the answer between our robust Help Center and dedicated support. 

SMS, too

All Zogo rewards take place within their app, but those aren’t the only options available for the API. 

For example, if you already use a tool like Twillio to manage all your course communications and updates, then there’s no need to change your communication workflow. 

Instead, you can take advantage of Giftbit links, which let you download redeemable rewards you can share via text, email, social DM, or directly on your platform. You’ll just order your links using your API integration, and then use Twillio (or your preferred tool) to text these to your recipients. 

Questions about how the API might work with your app? Chat with our friendly Sales and Onboarding team for more information!

No-code ways to use Giftbit for your online classroom, too

Zogo uses an embedded API to use Giftbit rewards. But there are other ways to take advantage of Giftbit’s extensive rewards catalog without having to get a developer involved. 

Like we’ve covered, Giftbit links can be shared in a variety of formats, and you can also use our gift card platform directly. 

Or if you’d like to bring in some of that extra automation without needing to use extra coding, then you can easily connect over 2000 apps to Giftbit via Zapier. This type of integration lets you maximize the apps you’re already using, like Airtable, HubSpot, SurveyMonkey, Google Sheets, or Typeform. 

To get started, you just create a Zapier account (it’s free to start). Then with a few clicks you’ll get your automations flowing, no coding skills required. 

Here are some effective simple ways other Giftbit clients use this feature to keep their EdTech programs productive and profitable. 

Option #1: Incentivize enrollment with digital gift cards on signup

Zogo doesn’t use rewards specifically to drive enrollment in their online courses, but many other platforms choose to go this route. 

For example, if your team uses HubSpot to monitor sign-ups, you could boost enrollment by rewarding each new student with a gift card upon registration.

To set this up in Zapier, your process would look something like this:

Set the trigger

  • In Zapier, choose Hubspot as the trigger app
  • Select New Contact Property Change as the event
  • Log into HubSpot and select the contact trigger

Set the action

  • In Zapier, choose Giftbit as the action app
  • Select Send Reward as the event
  • Log into Giftbit and select the reward template to trigger

Test and activate

  • Test your Zap to see if the automation works correctly (Zapier will show you the results in real-time)
  • When you’re satisfied with the test, activate your Zap and what those new signups roll in 🎉

Option #2: Incentivize enrollment with early bird offers

Similarly, you might want to drive up your enrollment numbers by offering timed rewards—i.e., ‘Early bird’ promotions. 

Let’s assume you’re working with courses built within Tovuti, although you’ll be able to create similar workflows for other Learning Management Systems (LMS). Here’s how to entice more people to sign up, now:

Set the trigger

  • In Zapier, choose Tovuti as the trigger app
  • Select Event Registration as the event
  • Log into Tovuti and select the event trigger

Set the action

  • In Zapier, choose Giftbit as the action app
  • Select Send Reward as the event
  • Log into Giftbit and select the reward template to trigger

Test and activate

  • Test your Zap to see if the automation works correctly (Zapier will show you the results in real-time)
  • When you’re satisfied with the test, activate your Zap and what those early bird signups roll in 🎉

Option #3: Incentivize enrollment by getting more online reviews

Another way to create a marketing growth loop is to incentivize more users to leave reviews. 

For example, you might want to thank current and past registrants who leave a G2 Crowd review with a $25 choice reward. This process can also be automated with a Giftbit and Zapier integration. Here’s how:

Set the trigger

  • In Zapier, choose G2 Crowd as the trigger app
  • Select New Review as the event
  • Log into G2 Crowd and select the review trigger

Set the action

  • In Zapier, choose Giftbit as the action app
  • Select Send Reward as the event
  • Log into Giftbit and select the reward template to trigger

Test and activate

  • Test your Zap to see if the automation works correctly (Zapier will show you the results in real-time)
  • When you’re satisfied with the test, activate your Zap and what those online reviews roll in 🎉

Of course, there are other options for other types of review sites. For example, if you track new testimonials in Airtable, you would follow this process to trigger rewards. In fact, it’s this process that allowed OpenPhone to double their customer reviews. 

Ultimately, Giftbit's seamless integration and robust reporting capabilities make it an indispensable partner for EdTech platforms like Zogo. By enhancing user engagement with accessible rewards and ensuring easy management for developers, Giftbit can help online learning programs of all shapes and sizes to deliver on their promises of making learning more fun and rewarding.