Who doesn’t love a good and entertaining game that brightens up any day? Games give us a feeling of control, accomplishment, and fulfillment. They appeal to our never-ending love of competition and joy.
Do you want to evoke the same feelings in your subscribers to motivate them to cooperate with your business and boost brand awareness? Email gamification is just what you need to make it happen!
In this article, you will learn what gamification is all about, the key reasons to use it in your marketing campaign, the traits of a successful game, and ten email gamification examples for your inspiration.
What Is Email Gamification All About?
Email gamification is the process of equipping “non-gaming” tasks such as customer engagement with game design elements. Based on three crucial principles (engagement, competition, and award), fun games like quizzes and tests in your messages will make your brand more memorable and appealing to collaborate with.
From spinning a wheel for a discount to using an interactive quiz to congratulate recipients on holidays, gamification is a robust tool that will enrich your email marketing campaign and entertain customers. A good game in your message should engage users, offer a prize for their efforts, and bring some healthy competition.
If you are still wondering whether you require email gamification, here are some actual statistics to consider:
Top 5 Reasons to Use Email Gamification in Your Upcoming Marketing Campaign
1. Grow your mailing list
By providing recipients with something more special than regular promotion emails, you motivate them to forward these messages to their friends and spread the word about your brand. Even if these potential leads are not sure whether they need your services yet, such entertaining content may motivate them to learn more about your company and subscribe to your newsletter.
2. Enhance cross-channel engagement
You can generate traffic to other business channels by engaging games in your messages. For instance, offer your customers to participate in a quiz, share results on social media, and tag your company account to get a prize (early access to your new product, a discount code, or a certificate).
3. Skyrocket email open rates
Regular emails with promo codes got rather tedious, and recipients tend to ignore such messages even when a discount is good enough. Email gamification creates a feeling of curiosity and motivates subscribers to wait for a new message from your brand to find a new game inside.
4. Build stronger customer relationships
Winning a game makes recipients feel delighted and creates a strong emotional connection with your company. We recommend you offer games regularly to help customers associate your messages with a feeling of accomplishment.
5. Entertain your subscribers
The core purpose of games in emails is to entertain recipients without the hard sell. You show your subscribers you care by offering them something fun and interactive. As a result, your customers will spend more time with your content and become more loyal to your brand.
When to Use Email Gamification
Now that you understand how you can benefit from games in your marketing campaign let’s take a quick look at the most suitable situations to use them:
1. Holiday and seasonal campaigns
Brighten up your subscribers’ holiday by sending them entertaining and interactive emails with small gifts like a personal discount or free shipping. Whether it’s Christmas puzzles or scratch cards for birthday promo codes, gamified emails bring some joy to your audience.
Seasonal campaigns are not all about Easter and Christmas holidays, though. Here is how Boldking provided free shipping to celebrate International Men’s grooming week:
2. Email campaign reactivation
Gamification is a powerful tool to reengage your subscribers and evoke their interest in your services. Even if customers stopped cooperating with your company for a while, fun games in your emails can become one of the decisive factors in winning subscribers back.
Take a look at how you can spark an interest in your recipients with hidden tickets and an additional level of anticipation:
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- 3. Rewards program
Your subscribers are probably used to receiving typical promotional emails with a discount for the next order. Instead of writing a standard message like “Here is your promo code to get 10% off your future purchase, ” let them play a fun game to win their reward. Let your customers understand — the more they cooperate with your brand, the more rewards they acquire.
In this example, users have to solve a simple yet engaging puzzle to win their discount:
What Makes a Great Game?
There are some standard rules for successful games in your emails. According to Jane McGonigal’s classification in her “Reality Is Broken” bestseller, we have to look at things from two points of view: subscribers and brands. These groups have different demands for a successful game:
Traits of a Good Game From Recipients’ Perspective
A goal should be straightforward and achievable. Don’t ask your subscribers, “Why am I spending my time on this?” when playing a game. You can describe the goal in a few words: “Let’s help a kitten find a way home!”.
If you want to go for something more challenging than “Click on the gift box to reveal a special offer”, explain to your subscribers how they can achieve the goal. For instance, “Answer 5 questions in 20 seconds to get a discount for your next order!”.
Gamers love to compare their results with other participants. If you want to create an email sequence with a long-time game, enable users to check leaderboards and share their achievements on social media. Such a high score listing is a great way to stimulate rivalry, monitor users’ progress, and boost engagement.
Yes, most people like to play and win their rewards. But still, some users may not feel like playing and having fun. Don’t make your emails annoying and allow recipients to skip a game.
Traits of a Good Game From a Business Perspective
To set up a budget appropriately, it’s essential to understand how many resources you are ready to invest. How many hours your development team will spend? What revenues are expected in the future? Will this game be reusable enough?
Placing games in emails just for the sake of entertainment is an unwise idea. Your marketing specialists must analyze numerous metrics, like your open rate and overall CTOR, to understand if gamification was successful enough to continue spending resources on it.
The faster you launch your campaign, the quicker you can get the first results and insights to analyze. What’s more, it’s essential to enable your teammates to use gamification elements quickly.
Top 10 Email Gamification Examples for Your Inspiration
Now that you know everything about email gamification and how to use it to delight your subscribers, let’s take a look at 10 top-notch games in emails to find inspiration and spark creativity.
1. Interactive holiday card
That’s how 1973 Ltd congratulated their subscribers on Christmas. It’s a simple but pleasant mini-game where a user just has to click on a gift box to get a holiday card.
2. Product presentation
Besides entertainment, gamification is also a splendid tool to present your new product or service. BBC used game design elements in this email to draw subscribers’ attention to their documentary about endangered animals.
- 3. Immediate rewards
The key idea of games in emails is to reward users right after they take a certain action. Here is an example of this approach used by Universal Orlando Resort.
- 4. Quests
A fun quest will draw attention to your company and enhance user engagement. Stripo created an Easter quest to provide recipients with a discount on the annual subscription.
5. Wheel of fortune
A true classic never goes out of style, right? A wheel of fortune is one of the most renowned games to provide discounts. What’s more, it’s easy to design and supported by most email clients.
6. Scratch cards
It’s a simple but effective gamification element to offer subscribers an instant reward. From discounts and certificates to free shipping and cash back, the only limit is your creativity.
Quizzes are a perfect way to entertain your subscribers and motivate them to share their results with friends. Madewell created a quick quiz with a personal outfit recommendation at the end.
8. This or that
Make your recipients feel special and valued by giving them a chance to share their preferences. When users choose an option they like, you can redirect them to your website to place an order.
9. Word games
If you want recipients to interact with your emails longer, equip your message with a word game. For instance, you can give users several attempts to guess the word of the day. We recommend you use words connected to your niche and the services you provide.
10. Gamified rewards program
If you have a multi-level loyalty program, make it look more achievable by showing it as a checklist to complete. By adding it to your emails, you will help subscribers understand what they need to do to achieve a higher level.
Empower Your Next Email Marketing Campaign With a Good Game
Email gamification is an effective tool to attract a wider audience, skyrocket your open rates, and build stronger customer relationships. Now you just have to think about your audience’s preferences and come up with a fun and engaging game for them. Are you ready to have some fun?