Who doesn't love games? The feeling of accomplishment when you defeat your friend in darts or get a 2/6 score in Wordle (that's pretty tough, though!) is incomparable. Nothing beats it.
Besides being a source of pleasure, games are also an effective marketing strategy. But did you know that email marketing is one of the channels where you can use the gamified experience to engage and interact with your audience?
Yes, gamification can keep the human brain engaged and appeals to their love for fun and competition. So, if you're not using email gamification, you are missing out on a lot!
It helps make your brand stand out, but it also helps generate revenue and healthier customer relationships. Let's take a deep dive into email gamification and discuss four types of gamified widgets you can use to capture your audience's attention with best practices.
Table of contents
What is email gamification?
Gamification is the process of including game mechanics into non-gaming realms such as emails so that you can drive more engagements.
Email gamification includes games such as spin the wheel, quizzes, or puzzles to encourage subscribers to engage with the email and unlock exciting rewards. A compelling email experience taps into a participant’s emotions and demonstrates, easily, the best activities an audience can complete that make an impact on mutually shared goals. As subscribers interact with a gamification program, they receive immediate feedback on performance and guided next steps towards new achievements.
Applications of email gamification
Here are some of the ways you can incorporate gamification in your email marketing campaigns:
Seasonal email campaigns can be a great time to use gamifying elements to bring enjoyment to your emails. For example, scratch cards for birthday coupons, Halloween scavenger hunts, quizzes, puzzles during Christmas, New year, etc.
You can encourage users to give feedback by incorporating game mechanics in your emails. For instance,
Customer loyalty programs
You can use gamification to promote your brand through customer loyalty programs. If users find your emails exciting, they might help you bring new leads through referral and word-of-mouth marketing.
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Benefits of email gamification
Here is how gamification in email marketing can benefit your business:
1. Helps in customer retention
When you develop occasional creative and innovative games to give subscribers something different than common promotions, they tend to engage more.
Personalizing gamified experiences based on the user's past interaction can appeal to them and thus, help with their retention.
2. Entice users to take action
Games appeal to the human being’s inherited love for fun, leveling up, and exciting offers. Puzzles and quests create curiosity and make users intrigued to solve them and unlock hidden rewards.
Such a fun experience is more likely to entice them to take action, thus driving conversions. Even data supports this - 60% of consumers said they would be more likely to buy from a brand if they enjoyed playing a game with it.
3. Generate higher revenue
Gamified email experience can bring in more revenue due to high engagements.
Stylus.ua, a leading online retailer in Ukraine, sends roulette or spin the wheel widget during the black Friday sale. Their strategy was to give discount codes to every user who opened all their email during the year. As a result, they saw a staggering 35% increase in their email marketing revenue.
4. Maintains customer relationship
Gamified experience lets users engage with your brand in a fun environment without making them feel like you are trying to sell. Such interaction helps users develop a positive association with your brand.
Besides, gamification brings out your brand's creative and fun personality, thus helping build healthy and long-lasting customer relationships.
6 gamification elements to add to your next email marketing campaign
Here are the 6 most interactive and exciting gamification widgets you can use to encapsulate your audience:
1. Spin the wheel
Wheel of fortune, spin the wheel, or Roulette is a classic game people love to play. As the wheel spins, your excitement goes up; your eyes are glued to the wheel to see what you’ve won.
Such curiosity makes a spin the wheel an effective gamification element that you can include in your emails. Pack your spin the wheel full of goodies, offers, and deals to propel users to play.
For example, the spin the wheel widget by Mailmodo is a perfect example. You can easily configure the rewards based on the target audience, email campaigns, and industry. The more targeted your rewards, the higher engagements and conversions you will see.
2. Word games in email
Word games are as challenging as they are enjoyable - you keep scratching your head but couldn't figure out the word while other times the words come so seamlessly to you. With gamification, you can bring this experience to the emails and compel users to engage and play.
One of the trending games you might have heard about is Wordle - a word game where you get 6 chances to predict the correct word of the day. You need to go to the browser to play the game, which might be a hassle.
So, Mailmodo brought Wordle in email, taking gamification to a whole new level. It allows users to play Wordle within their email and even shares it with friends or on social media.
Well, who doesn’t like a little challenge? Quizzes are a great gamifying element to develop a feeling of competition among your subscribers and encourage them to interact and get rewards.
This example by Mailmodo reflects an interactive quiz within the email. Users need to guess the answer and if they get all the answers correct they get an exciting discount code. Such a cool way to satiate users’ need to compete and also offer them rewards.
Encourage users to keep a check over their finance by adding a calculator to an email. With the AMP email framework, you can add calculators in email and compel users to get instant results regarding their insurance premium, monthly savings, and much more.
This insurance premium calculator by Mailmodo is a great example as it allows users to check their monthly spending and plan their budget accordingly.
5. Scratch cards
Scratch cards are widely used in lottery tickets - you might have bought one at least once in your life. These cards build up anticipation to discover the rewards hidden beneath.
You can use these scratch cards to promote your seasonal sale, rewards, or coupon codes. They seem fun to play with and give users something fun to try within the email. There are many approaches you can take while adding scratch cards to email.
For instance, this email by Bose is promoting their Black Friday sale using a single scratch card that reveals the discount users can get.
Source: Really Good Emails
Gwynnie Bee uses three scratch cards in their email. Each reveals different benefits users can get.
Source: Email Uplers
6. Scavenger hunts
Who doesn’t like a good little mystery to put on their Sherlock Holmes hat and just get on with it!
We certainly do!
You can add hunts and quests that take users on a mysterious journey to reach their destination and unlock the reward.
This email by Email Uplers is a great example of inviting users to play. The email offers a button to help users navigate the maze and reach their family home.
Email gamification best practices to follow
Here are our three recommended best practices you should follow while designing games within the email:
1. Always test before sending.
A lot of your effort and time has gone into creating an interactive and exciting game for your subscribers. To ensure that your effort pays off, you should test them before sending them.
Test your email for any rendering issue, and always add a fallback version. Besides, you should also check for responsiveness. Many ESPs have the preview feature to show how each email will look on different devices.
2. Have clear rules and direction
Users should know what they’re supposed to do when they open a gamification email. So, be very clear about the rules and direction so that users can have a smooth experience while playing the game.
3. Don’t overcomplicate the games.
The purpose of gamification is to give users something fun to interact with. So, games shouldn’t be too hard to play. It will only make users close the email and delete it if they are. To avoid that, make games with only one goal in mind and ensure they are easy to solve.
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Gamification in email opens a whole new world of opportunities for marketers to bring an interactive, fun experience within the email. Although email gamification requires considerable investment for design, creation, and execution, the benefits outweigh that - increased brand awareness, user engagement, and gaining loyal and repeat customers.
Try AMP emails if you are unsure about gamification in email but still want to create an interactive experience for your users. It is an exciting framework that brings a website-like experience to your emails. You can read about the use cases of AMP email to start your AMP journey today!
What you should do next
Hey there, thanks for reading till the end. Here are 3 ways we can help you grow your business:
Talk to an email expert. Need someone to take your email marketing to the next level? Mailmodo’s experts are here for you. Schedule a 30-minute email consultation. Don’t worry, it’s on the house. Book a meet here.
Send emails that bring higher conversions. Mailmodo is an ESP that helps you to create and send app-like interactive emails with forms, carts, calendars, games, and other widgets for higher conversions. Get started for free.
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