But not all emails are alike. It takes a formula to make sure they’re perfect for the audiences we’re targeting, and it also takes something a little extra to make sure we’ve got enough engagement.
Gamification marketing. Or, to be even more specific, gamifying outbound engagement through emails.
Let’s take a look at all the hows and whys, and start getting the best returns from our email marketing!
The Basics of Gamification Marketing
In marketing, we always put the needs and interests of our customers first. Gamification marketing follows the same line of thought, and then adds engagement.
Typically, gamification features are the following:
Getting rewards for points
Keeping score and leaderboards
Achievements and badges
We know these features from video games, but what do they do in (email) marketing?
They motivate (potential) customers to engage with our content.
Let’s think about a typical email: there’s some content, and then the readers are invited to take an action (e. g. share or buy).
What gamification marketing does is make engagement irresistible. If we’re getting points for every time we share content, we’ll be more likely to do it. And if buying a product gets us rewards in the long run, you can bet that’s what we’re going to do.
And if we’re competing?
Well, the world better get ready because we’re in this to win it.
We don’t have to look further from Google and Gmail motivating users to set up their Gmail profile:
Gamification at its smoothest
How Can We Use Email Gamification Marketing to Improve Outbound Engagement?
Now that we’ve cleared up what gamification is, and how sleek it can look, it’s time to talk strategies:
Adding Excitement with Gamification Marketing
Our email subscribers want to be excited about what we’re telling them. But if there’s nothing new and flashy to show, then the excitement won’t occur.
A great way to build excitement and improve outbound engagement (no matter the stage of the funnel that a subscriber is in) is by setting up contests and offering rewards for taking action.
Not to mention that rewarding customers is great at generating referrals.
Refer Friends, Get Points, Win Rewards
Taco Bell’s quirky email game
Gamified emails like the one Taco Bell sent out to their subscribers are a great way of motivating customers to refer their friends.
This particular email is set up as a choose-your-own-adventure game, and it works great!
It even reminds people that enjoying great food is best in company. So why not visit Taco Bell with a friend?
Making Surveys Fun with Gamification Marketing
There are very few customers who enjoy surveys in Google Forms that aren’t giving them any extra value. It’s always more likely we’ll hear from customers who weren’t satisfied.
That’s where gamification helps, too.
Survey gamification example by Feedier
If we incentivize customers with rewards and vouchers to participate in a survey that almost looks like a game, the next email survey we send out is going to get a much better response rate.
Promotion Based on Preferences
Finally, while emails shouldn’t be straight-up promotion 100% of the time, that doesn’t mean we can use email marketing to promote our products in a way that’s personalized to each customer’s preferences.
A great example of gamification marketing with emails is Channel 4’s fun quizzes:
Channel 4 keeps it personalized
Channel 4 could’ve just listed every new show that’s appropriate to Valentine’s Day, but they gamified the process and made it personal to each subscriber who filled out the questionnaire.
Instead of just displaying their catalog, Channel 4 used gamification marketing to not only acquaint their customers with their shows but to entertain them.
And that’s exactly how gamification marketing helps us get great results from each email we send.
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