Gamification in Email Marketing: 5 Simple Interactive Emails to Boost Engagement

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Gamification in Email Marketing: 5 Simple Interactive Emails to Boost Engagement

Email marketing is a great way to maintain a long-term engagement with your customers and leads. However, when you have been doing it for quite some time, even the best strategy and the best emails can become less effective in engaging your list. This is when, as marketers, we need to take a step back and think about the ways we can make our strategy more creative and our emails more appealing. Here comes gamification and interactive emails. A growing trend inside the email marketing world that we all need to understand and seriously consider adding to our content strategy is how to gamify emails to shake things up. So, before we present to you 5 easy peasy interactive email ideas that you can have as an ace up your sleeve, let’s go back to the basics.

What is Gamification?

Gamification is a word that’s used to describe the process of adding game features and characteristics into nongame environments, like email, for example. Gamification is built on top of three principles: engagement, award, and competition. These are the three factors that inspire people to engage with our content and even share it with other people, giving us more leads to tackle.

Using gamification in your email strategy can bring up some really cool benefits like:

  1. Increase user engagement which can be translated into better click rates.
  2. Helps to grow brand awareness allowing you to rank higher in the consciousness of consumers and eventually become top of mind (or stay in that position if you have already achieved it).
  3. Helps to gather more information about your customers and leads.
  4. Makes the whole consumer journey more fun and your promos more appealing.
  5. It can be a great option to educate your customers about your products or brand

As you can see, gamification’s main objective isn’t to boost sales, but rather boost engagement. Before you close this article, have in mind that the goal of each email doesn’t necessarily need to be to sell. Email marketing also covers the need of nurturing your leads and customers and creating a relationship with them. Using gamification, you increase engagement, you grow your brand’s awareness and you have the opportunity to make your audience fall in love with your brand. All of these combined, provide the best scenario to boost sales and revenue. So don’t give up just yet on the gamification of email marketing. Here are some hard numbers you will like to know from DemandGen’s “State Of Interactive Content Marketing” report:

  • Only 70% of marketers believe static, or non-interactive, content engages visitors and is effective in educating them.
  • 88% of marketers said that interactive content is effective in differentiating their brand from their competitors.
  • 81% of marketers believe interactive content is more attention-grabbing than static and traditional content

What are interactive emails?

Interactive emails are content that does more than just ask your audience to click and visit your website. There’s nothing wrong with a classic “click here” kind of email, however, we leave in a world that craves interaction (an interaction that social media and videogames usually provide). Now, who’s to say email marketing can’t step into the gamification game?

However, doing complex email games, hunts or quizzes can be really time and resources consuming (as well as expensive). Not to mention the fact that some interactive content isn’t available in some inbox service providers. So, how can eCommerce store owners and entrepreneurs provide interactive content without investing too much (at least in the early trial stages)?

We present to you, 5 easy-peasy interactive emails that you can add to your strategy to boost engagement (and that will work in every single inbox).

5 interactive emails to boost engagement

1. Bring social media to email

As we talked about before, social media fulfills people’s craving for interaction. So it’s useful to look through TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook for inspiration!

Think about it, you probably have been engaged by a fun quiz or poll in one of those platforms at least once. They are really simple but can make a user feel special when we provide them the time and place to share information about themselves or about their preferences.

Take the following email as an example. It’s really simple, yet effective. You ask people what item they prefer, they choose one, you get the data and they are redirected to your website to make a purchase.

Interactive emails: social media formats to email

2. Make the most out of GIFs

A GIF is just a GIF until you use the correct CTA to make it interactive. The following email asks the recipients to take a screenshot to find their perfect crystal. You can transform this basic idea and make wonders for your own products.

Use GIFs

3. Give immediate rewards

Yes, getting a discount is always nice. But what if we make it a little playful? (and increase click rates in the meantime).

This children’s apparel brand showcase a blurry product gives a hint about it and asks the subscriber to guess which is the product of the month. If they guess correctly, they will get a special discount. This can be especially fun for those VIP customers and brand enthusiasts that have purchased from your store time and time again.

Interactive emails: games and immediate rewards

Another interesting approach can be seen in this email. Hide different discounts in different blocks. Your subscribers may click a bunch of times in order to find the better offer!

Hide discounts

4. How about a pop quiz

Educate your customers about what your brand stands for or about your products with pop-quizzes. You can either give them a discount if they answer correctly or make a “just for the fun of it” email, try both and see what works best for your list.

Interactive emails: pop quiz

5. Acquire data through surveys

Want to know what’s your list’s favorite product? Or if they are interested in a specific topic? Try a simple survey like the one in this email. This not only makes the email interactive but also helps you get to know better your list. Use a UTM link for each option and then you can create an “I like astrology” segment including people that clicked that option. This is just an example, you can adapt this interactive email idea and make it work for your brand.

Collect data: Surveys

Bonus idea: plan a scavenger hunt

With Easter just around the corner, you can start brainstorming ideas to make interactive emails for the season. Take a look at this creative strategy:

Interactive emails: Easter scavenger hunt

This time, the game took place both in email and on the website of this eCommerce store. But you can try to hide parts of a discount code in different emails and then ask your audience to look out for them and complete the promo code to get a special easter discount.

These are all interactive email ideas you can mold to fit your brand. Just remember: don’t make it too complicated, ensure the brand personality is consistent throughout all your emails, and measure the results of your interactive campaigns so you know what works and what doesn’t. Also, keep in mind that, even though interactive content is all the hype right now, you don’t need to make every single email an interactive one. So, pay attention to your regular campaigns, and make sure you are optimizing all your emails to get the best results.

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