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Gamify emails. Why, how, & examples

gamify email

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Happy Valentine’s Day and post-Super Bowl week. Long waits at Longhorns tonight, long off-season for Eagles fans.

And since we’re on the topic of the big game, today’s feature looks at ways to use games to increase your email engagement. Gamification tactics like quizzes, breadcrumbing contests, and fresher ways to give discounts. 

GetResponse says a little gamifying goes a long way → open rates increased by 30%. Let’s see about it.

Gamify Emails – Why Bother?

The fact that BuzzFeed exists is both a tragedy and an opportunity. 

People like interacting with content. Not just reading it. 

In a moment, we’ll look at how BuzzFeed Quizzes pull readers in and their examples that can help you gather data + get subscribers to engage with your emails.

All industries — B2C, B2B, and SaaS businesses —can benefit from email gamification. ~Stripo

Email gamification musts:

  • Easy and fun
  • Have a payoff

Upcoming Opportunities

  • St. Patrick’s Day
  • The Masters Golf Tournament 
  • Tax Day (April 18th)

gamify emails

*Gamification shown to 3x ROI ~ Stripo

Recognize these Online Gamification Examples?

  1. True or False
  2. Where’s Waldo Photos
  3. Mad Lib Stories
  4. Decision Trees
  5. Wheel of Discount  GIF

‘Spin the wheel’ benefits I never considered? Great when a brand can’t offer everyone a giant discount. But can offer it to one out of 10, 20, or 100 users.

Deeper dive on gamification.

Gamify Emails with Breadcrumbing 

The breadcrumbing contest I mentioned earlier comes from the radio industry. Listen all day then call in when you hear the secret song. Or they drop hints you collect until you figure out a trivia answer then call in.

Perfect for weekly newsletters. Your consistent readers would collect partial discount codes over the course of 4 emails. At month’s end, they have the full code. 💡A reason to open each email.

Another option→ have readers dig through your past emails. A scavenger hunt to win a prize, discount, or a shoutout.

Like this – Go back to the previous edition of Inbox Hacking in your inbox. Reply to the email with “Today’s Hack” from that day. First person to reply, I’ll donate $25 to your favorite animal charity.😻 

Data Games

Back to those BuzzFeed Quizzes. They cover a ton of topics. Inbox Hackers are in various industries. Fitness, finance, marketing, on and on. 

BuzzFeed is full of idea seeds to help you gather data with quizzes of your own. 

Examples they have up:

💪🏼Check your wellness goals and we’ll give you tips to stick with them.

Super way to gain insights into subscribers and provide them with personalized health content.

💘Choose what Valentine’s day gifts you want to find out if you will or won’t have a Valentine this year.

Grabs attention with what’s top of mind for readers and could give you data on price ranges and gift categories. 

🧟How long will you last in the Apocalypse based on the foods you love?

This one plays off a hot trend – HBO’s The Last of Us, but could be used for almost any industry. This one happened to be food focused. 

Gamify the Look (if you can)

BuzzFeed’s Quizzes have big photos / graphics. Motion on mouse-rollover. Auto-jumps you to the next section after you click an answer.

The more game-like the better. But if you don’t have the time or resources to create top-notch game experiences, keep it simple. 

A text-based game works too – if it’s engaging and appealing to your unique audience. 

GetResponse’s riddle example.

Gamify Emails Wrap Up

gamify email

Gamification is just one more way to improve your email marketing through engagement. Without engagement, your deliverability suffers as ISPs see that no one’s replying or clicking on your emails.

This creates a vicious cycle as more emails slide into spam and promotion folders. More readers stop opening your campaigns and begin hitting “unsubscribe.” This puts you in a no-win situation.

Test out ways to gamify emails you’re already sending. Both promos and newsletters. 

See what’s trending on BuzzFeed. Sure, your IQ will plummet. But it’ll give you ideas for quizzes, which are, to me, the simplest form of games you can use to gamify emails. 

Don’t forget to consider demographics of your audience, which affects the types of games they will respond to. 

Bonus example: Rihanna’s fashion reign has been consistent since her 2005 music debut — which looks of hers do you love most? 

Disguised as a poll about Rihanna. What’s it really about? Finding out readers’ fashion preferences. Good info if your email campaigns involve women’s fashion.

Knowledge Base

Knowledge is power, but first some rat race motivation.

Remember marketing before 2020? 

Repeat purchases have saved many businesses (or could have)

List decay. Report from 5 billion emails sent.

A neuroscience breakdown of Super Bowl ad effectiveness. Alternate psycho-marketing analysis.

Send emails when people are in their inbox.

Sponsored by Inbox Mailers.

Imagine you pop open Gmail – you’ve gotta long list of emails to go through. Classic.

A few seconds later, a new email pops into your inbox. Exciting.

You’re probably way more likely to immediately open it instead of the long list of stale emails.

Inbox Mailers does just that. Rather than send an email blast to your entire list at once, you can send triggered emails when your subscriber is actually in their inbox.

This strategy can lead to open rates of 50% – 70% and improve overall deliverability. And, with better deliverability, you’ll see a higher sender score, better inbox placement rates, and an increase in your overall email metrics. Book a Free Demo.

Self Help 

The following is not a playbook!

Just a way to ease your mind when stats, facts, and exhibits A-Z overwhelm your brain.

And if you happen upon a new hardcover copy – it’s worth about 200 bucks btw.

How to Lie with Statistics (Kindle)

*Shout-out to Inbox Hacking Subscribers → 

Tobias (parts unknown🙂)

Mikey (parts unknown😎)

Facts and Stats

  • 68% of Americans aged 50+ don’t believe technology is designed with them in mind (AARP)
  • 71% of Americans aged 50+ say they use Facebook (12% use NO social media)
  • Of 5 billion emails sent, 16.74% were catch-all addresses (ZeroBounce)

*Pre Inbox Mailers Quote Circa 2001… “Sometimes I delete all my emails. All of them. Then have a smoke afterward.” 

Betty “Clean” Sweepe

EMAIL MARKETING: How to resuscitate “dead” email subscribers and bring them back into the purchase funnel. Inbox Mailers enables you to do this. They leverage a unique engagement trigger system that we have seen more than double open rates. Book a Free Demo.

Marketing Musings

Modern folks.

We get ahead of ourselves. Too cool for school.

Bells and whistles lure us away from old-school marketing that has worked for decades.

Agree? Disagree? Should we schedule a duel?

3 tactics that still work and we shouldn’t bury in a time capsule:

  1. Before & after photos 
  2. Direct mail (76% of people trust mailed ads. ~Marketing Sherpa)
  3. Radio ads

It’s easy to think modern tech killed off all the older marketing channels. 

Our own affinity for tech can blind us to what segments of our audiences see, hear, and do.

Get Hacking

Easy hack for today.

Pick a product or service to cross-sell to subscribers who purchase from you this month.

If you only sell one thing, then cross-sell via a partnership.

Reach out and make the offer to do so. Where to look for a partner? 

Start in your inbox. You must like those brands. They’re in your inbox🙂.

*Gamify emails with this AMP email post

3 standout quotes from marketing newsletters I saw recently:

  1. “Among salespeople, “powerless” communicators bring in 68% more revenue than “takers”—in large part because they ask more and better questions.” (Susan Cain)
  2. “If you can’t convince your CEO privacy is important for your organization, it’s never going to get off the ground.” (IT Brew)
  3. Actor Elijah Wood accused AMC of penalizing lower-income moviegoers. (Wood lets avg. Joes have his NBA courtside seats?❌)

📝Please take survey below. There will be ice cream afterward… somewhere.