If you’re trying to start or grow an online course, then you know that having top-notch content, competitive prices, and a great learning platform is just one piece of the puzzle.


Just as important—but often even more challenging—is getting students to actually sign up and stick around for the long run.  

That’s why digital rewards are becoming one of the latest and most effective trends in educational technology. Imagine signing up for a course and immediately getting a gift card to your favorite shop. Such a pleasant surprise can turn potential students into enrolled ones, fast.

Instantaneous incentives like digital gift cards can be especially powerful in both boosting EdTech marketing efforts and improving overall subscriber experience. Indeed, they’re often the key to getting more learners and subscribers.  

Of course, for incentives to work their magic, then you need to have a strategy in place to use them. In this article, we’ll explore how to implement an effective incentive strategy to boost your online course enrollment. 

Like you might have guessed, this strategy will center around making rewards easier for you to manage, and easier for your learners to enjoy. 

Increase enrollment with flexible reward options

First up, rewards only work if they’re actually rewarding. In other words, rewards are only effective if people actually want them. 

So it’s not surprising that digital rewards are becoming more and more popular. They’re incredibly versatile, meaning you can easily tailor them to your recipients (and easily switch up your offerings, too). 

Even more important, they’re instantaneous. And studies show that instantaneous rewards are so desirable that people will opt for a smaller reward now, versus a larger reward later.  To choose the right learning and development incentives for your online training course, you’ll first want to decide where and when to use them. Common options include:

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  • Offering signup and/or early-bird bonuses 
  • Offering prizes and giveaways to new subscribers
  • Rewarding top students
  • Rewarding students for continued participation
  • Rewarding referrals and reviews
  • Rewarding community participation
  • Encouraging survey responses

From there, you can decide on both a budget for your rewards, as well as what types of rewards you’ll actually be offering. 

And don’t assume that incentives have to break the bank. Choose software that lets you send low-denomination gift cards. Even a $5 gift card can motivate a student to sign up or complete a module. It’s the thought that counts, which is why Giftbit even allows for $1 cards to Amazon and other brands. 

When budget is a concern, you might also consider a points-to-rewards system, which can be equally as rewarding. For example, one Giftbit client providing continuing education to Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) gives their learners points for completing certain education activities. 

And for those planning to spend larger volumes on their course incentive rewards program, you might be able to take advantage of partner-style pricing from Giftbit—chat with sales to learn more. 


Once you have your budget in hand, you’ll need to decide what gift cards to offer. Be sure to choose software that lets you tailor your incentives to your actual subscribers.  Teaching a crafting course? Offer gift cards to Michaels. Coding? How about gift cards for tech stores? This type of customization makes the incentive feel more personal and relevant.

Alternatively, you might want to offer your cohorts more variety. Amazon gift cards are incredibly popular, as are virtual prepaid cards from Visa and MastercardⓇ.

Giftbit also gives you the option to offer complete choice to any of the hundreds of brands and restaurants in our rewards catalog.

Even charity options are on the table. 


Increase enrollment with flexible software

Sending rewards needs to be straightforward, and your process here needs to ‘play nice’ with your existing workflows. Ultimately, your incentive strategy is going to be more trouble than it’s worth if it becomes a full time job to manage it. 

For this reason, you’ll need to find easy-to-use software to simplify this process. Ideally, this will include the ability to make team accounts, so that multiple people can access and send what they need, when they need to. 

Beyond this, you’ll want to decide how to deliver your rewards, whether that’s via email, SMS, or within your own platform. You might also want the option to send in bulk, which can be a big time saver. And of course, good automation features are always a plus. 

You’ll also want to determine where your cohorts are and where they’ll be accessing your rewards. Look for software that lets you deliver to both Canada and the US, and internationally. 

And perhaps most importantly, you’ll want to figure out a process that works with your existing systems and operations. 

For some programs, it might be simplest and easiest to use a gift card platform that lets you login and manage your account. 

But it might be easier than you might think to integrate this type of incentive software with your existing systems. 

For example, a simple Zapier integration lets you integrate Giftbit into your current workflows, completely code free. 

“In the past, we would manually purchase gift cards for our users,” says Giftbit client and Marketing Manager Alfredo S. “In just a few minutes, I was able to integrate our CRM with Giftbit via Zapier. Now all our team has to do is tag a user in our CRM and BOOM the card is sent automatically. Giftbit has saved me hours of time!”

Giftbit also offers a lightweight API integration that is incredibly easy to get up and running. Your developers and/or UX/UI team can use it to add completely customized rewards and incentives directly into your own app. It’s a great way to keep all your participants actively engaged within your platform.

Plus, there’s no cost to integrate with the Giftbit API, and your data is protected with our SOC 2 compliance. 

rewards catalog

Increase enrollment with the right communication strategy

Whether you’re marketing your online course or trying to optimize it, you need to be communicating clearly and often with both potential and current students. Good communication will keep your leads interested and your existing registrants engaged, helping to strengthen your brand and build a real community around your courses. 

This isn’t just about sending out need-to-know information; it's about creating conversations and connections. When you communicate well, you make everyone feel valued and part of something bigger. This in turn can turn a one-time student into a lifelong advocate for your program. 

Like we’ve covered, including digital rewards in some of your communications goes a long way toward attracting and engaging students in online learning. These rewards will work so much better if you’re able to customize them, so that they’re completely in line with your existing branding. 

For example, Giftbit gives you the option to create custom templates, so you can add a personal, branded touch to your rewards. Adding your course’s brand and voice to your message is a simple way to make it even more effective. 


And of course, if you are offering things like signup bonuses or course complete rewards, be sure to include all those details clearly in your marketing! 

Set yourself—and your students—up for success

Support is key to making any program work, especially when it comes to technology. That means you’ll need to choose software that isn’t just easy for you to use. It also needs to be easy for your learners to use. 

That’s why both our clients and our clients’ clients (i.e., your students!) are welcome to access our highly-rated, 24-hour support (along with Chatbots that are actually helpful). Plus, your Customer Success Manager will help ensure your program is successful from Day One. 

Meanwhile, our Customer Service Reps also keep our robust self-resources current and active, making sure they answer each new question that comes up. 


 I know that Giftbit cares about satisfying its customers and I believe they will continue to optimize the experience going forward.

They were super fast, helpful and resolved everything for me, free of charge, even when I made some mistakes that probably cost them some money.

Verified Reviewer


Remember, too, that ‘success’ shouldn’t be a guessing game when it comes to incorporating digital rewards into your eLearning platform. Choose software that actually lets you track how your reward program is doing. By checking details like who’s claiming their rewards and when, you can fine-tune your approach and keep enrollment numbers growing.

You’ll also want to keep everyone’s data safe—both yours, and your cohorts’. At Giftbit, we operate with the Privacy by Design approach, incorporating privacy into our technology and system by default. We’ve set our stringent security standards that surpass those of the industry, including:

  • SOC 2 compliant
  • PCI SAQ-D compliant processor
  • GDPR compliant processor
  • Encrypted financial data processor via Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-256)
  • Industry leader in cloud security and customer obligations in the AWS shared security model
  • ISO C Visa service provider
  • Multi-factor authenticator via account Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

“SOC 2 designation makes Giftbit easier to work with,” says Giftbit CEO, Leif Baradoy. “We’ve always been champions of security. SOC 2 makes it easier for our customers to answer questions from their security and compliance teams.”

Ultimately, all these tools are designed to ensure everyone has a smooth experience, setting your program up for success.

In a world where online education is becoming more popular (and therefore more competitive), standing out is key. From flexible reward options and software to personalized communication and top-tier support, Giftbit has everything you need to attract and retain students. 

Check our pricing now to see how easy and affordable it can be to create a rewarding experience for your students and set your EdTech courses up for success.