Gamification in Email Marketing

Gamification In Email 3840X1700


30 June 2020 by Team ITG

You see it more and more. Game elements online. Gamification in email marketing increases the engagement of your customers. Think for instance of a survey in an email, a test-your-knowledge quiz or a scratch card. In this blog we briefly explain why and how you can use gamification in your email marketing.

Why use Gamification in email marketing?

People don't like to be bored. Adding fun game elements to daily routines can make tedious recurring chores, like vacuuming, more bearable. You can also use this technique in your email marketing. This way, an email or a complete flow becomes super interesting, and your contacts become more engaged.

Increase your base

You can increase your base in many ways, but what about retaining your current base? Gamification keeps your base growing because you have a more loyal base with less turnover. Gaming elements in your email can surprise subscribers, even after they have been with you for a while.

Create excitement

A standard email about an upcoming event can be transformed into an exciting email game. This creates buzz words for the event and increases engagement. Our email colleague Litmus provided a great example of how they applied Gamification in email marketing to their event.

Make it fun

A game is often based on the balance between motivation and reward. However, some games can also be purely for fun. Think of catching a bauble in the run-up to Christmas to create awareness for holiday shopping. It can be as simple as that sometimes.

The basis of a game

When you remove the genre differences and the technological complexity, all games have four characteristics: a goal, rules, feedback, and voluntary participation. In short:

  • Goal
    The goal is the outcome that players are working towards. This can be a specific goal or finding the solution to a problem. It should be challenging but not impossible. If a player reaches the goal, it means victory!
  • Rules
    Removing the most accessible paths to success forces players to explore options they otherwise wouldn't have tried. This gives players a reason and permission to be creative. Players want to be challenged - but not too much. Rules should include restrictions to encourage creativity, not frustrate it.
  • Feedback
    Feedback means nothing more than sharing the status or progress towards the goal. For example, badges, medals, or a progress bar. This way, the player knows where they stand and can see their own progress. This also makes players less likely to quit because they can see how far they've come.
  • Voluntary participation
    Participation in any game should be voluntary, but a game must be attractive enough for a player to want to join in. The goal must be clear and attractive, that the rules prevent the player from getting frustrated and that they can always see their progress. Finally, a player must be able to quit the game anytime. We're not trying to mimic a Saw film here.

What next?

The possibilities of a game are endless. With Gamification, you don't always have to apply a complete game in your email marketing. By applying one of these elements, you are already using Gamification. Here are a few possibilities.

  • Instant reward
    People want an immediate reward, not a delayed one. Think of an email in which your subscribers can scratch off a code. They can use this code immediately to get a discount, a free product or free shipping.
  • Quizzes
    People like to test their own knowledge. Therefore, a quiz is a simple but effective example of Gamification in email marketing. You can immediately promote your product, allowing you to collect more data on your contact. Consider, for instance, asking for preferences in your email (yes you can) and showing a product that perfectly matches them based on the choices. Apart from interactivity and a game in your email, you will also have received more information about your subscribers!

The winner takes it all

Gamification can significantly increase the engagement of your subscribers for a product or event. Some forms of Gamification will even allow you to find out more about your subscribers. Do you have an excellent idea for Gamification in your email marketing, or do you want to know more about your subscribers through Gamification? No problem, our email strategists will help you on your way!


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