Why Email Marketing’s Crucial to Gamification

Recently we talked about gamification becoming a popular marketing tactic.

Recently we talked about gamification becoming a popular marketing tactic. We introduced this concept with some fun games we found in emails. But now it’s time to turn our eyes to the more complicated games popping up everywhere.

While it may seem crazy to create a game that forces your audience to regularly take time out to participate, these games work. People can’t get enough of playing to earn points, win awards, challenge others and show off their skills. Some big brands are jumping on this bandwagon, and you can too, thanks to many new platforms that allow you to easily manage these types of games.

The benefit of long-term games is pretty obvious: they keep people involved with your company. But, that sounds similar to email marketing campaign goals, right? Well, as with social media, gamification and email marketing go hand-in-hand. We’ll take a look at why that is and how companies are using email with these new games.

Why Email is Still Important

When people start playing your game, they’ll be concerned about:

1.How to play it
2.How to do well at it
3.How well they are doing compared to others

This is where your email campaign comes in. You can answer all of these questions with follow ups and newsletters that cover:

  • Explanation of rules
  • Leader boards and awards
  • New challenges
  • Tips for getting ahead

However, if you have something like a loyalty club, you might not have the need to share too many tips. If that’s the case, just make it an option to get extra tips that subscribers can choose to receive. For example, here is the RecycleBank form:

This form allows subscribers to receive consistent updates and tips, or just opt for the monthly newsletter. This way, subscriber aren’t receiving information they don’t want or need. Hint: You can set this up by creating a list selection field in your AWeber web form.

First Things First: Welcome Game Players!

Regardless of what your game is, you want to welcome new players and make sure they know what’s going on and how to get information they need.

Nike+ decided to turn getting fit into a game that benefits them and their customers. Here’s the welcome email from Nike+:

Notice how Nike:

  • Welcomes you to their game
  • Explains how you can set goals and track your progress
  • Mentions you can share your victories with others

Helping Players Along

People might sign up and then forget about the game. Or, they may not realize all the games open to them. Or maybe they’re stuck and need your help. That’s where the rest of your emails come in.

Take a look at Nike’s next email:

This email focuses on how you can participate in specific Nike+ events and introduces products that can help you along the way.

Ready To Start Gamifying Your Business?

As we mentioned earlier, there are services that specialize in helping you do that: Bunchball, Badgeville, BigDoor and Zoop!r, to name a few. Get started on this up-and-coming trend, and don’t forget your email campaign!


  1. Ayaz

    9/25/2012 1:41 am

    Hello Chrystal!

    Very interesting scenario you have discussing here and I love the idea. But, for many creating games is not an easy task but for marketing point of view its been great value.

    Thanks for sharing great idea 🙂

  2. Martin Ward

    9/26/2012 2:45 pm

    Excellent and, for us, timely article. We were just talking about how we might use games and fun items as well as great products to keep people coming back to our new site. We’re going to start looking at those games platforms right away. Thanks 🙂

  3. Toni Wertz

    9/26/2012 8:51 pm

    Gaming looks to be very helpful to me but I see a lot about you having to have html knowledge. I have none how can I still do this to help grow my email list
    (facebook) ?

  4. Crystal Gouldey

    9/27/2012 8:00 am

    Toni – I linked to several sites at the end of the post that can assist you with building a game. It’s a growing industry, so you can probably shop around. Gamification is something that the more you invest in it, the higher the return. You could start with something small on social media, but definitely check out what options you have with some of these gaming platforms.