Gamification in Emails: The Most Interesting New Kid on the Block

Looking for something new to try in your emails?

Something beyond images, GIFs, cinemagraphs, and videos? Something even more unique?

PRESENTING GAMIFICATION…the most interesting new kid on the email marketing block!

..But do you know a secret?

Though gamification is deemed “new”, it is an old tactic that was used by club Nintendo years back wherein they used to reward points for email reads and click-throughs. On that illumination, let’s revive the concept yet again with a fresh perspective.

It isn’t anything new to add fun elements in the digital world to enhance user experience and gamification is a perfect example of encouraging reward-based engagement.

Check out this example of gamification employed by Gmail.

The user is more likely to follow the steps in order to achieve that reward of “100% setup complete”.

The same concept can be applied in your email marketing strategy too.

Let’s start with why you should give a try to gamification in emails!

Perquisites of Gamification in Emails

  • Enhanced engagement of agile as well as inactive subscribers
  • Building reputation as a fun company
  • Encouraging more email conversions and better ROI
  • Knowing more about your audience
  • Delighting the subscribers with design and functionality
  • Driving the desired subscriber behavior
  • Amplifying the existing user experience
  • Establishing deeper customer loyalty and satisfaction through playful interaction

How to Smarten Up Your Email Campaigns with Gaming Mechanics?

Take a behavior-based approach if you wish to tread on the path of gamification. You are likely to get more subscriber engagement, better visits on your website, and more newsletter subscriptions by incorporating game mechanics in your email campaigns. Offer rewards to user actions to tempt the subscribers to invite their friends and make them curious to know more about you.

To put it simply, determine the motivators that can drive the desired behavior from your subscribers and design a gamification strategy accordingly. Your gamification email should not only fascinate your subscribers but also create awareness among them.

Gamification Ideas for Emails

1. Reward Regimen

Exclusive titles, credits, social awards or discount coupons with QR-codes are great rewards to encourage active subscriber participation in the gamification email. It’s a great idea to have a reward system for subscribers who like, tweet, or share your email. Make sure that these rewards are attractive enough to lure them.

2. Scoreboard Strategy

Have a scoring system that keeps the subscribers hooked to the email. Alternatively, you can allow the subscribers to earn points for clicking around the email with something interesting at the other end of the click.

Take a look at this email by EmailMonks.

It cleverly arouses curiosity in the minds of the subscribers regarding what lies at the other end of the click.

Try it for yourself!

3. Propel Pay-off

Brands can employ gamification to drive the end-result of conversions and hold the subscriber’s attention. It can prove to be an extremely successful email campaign, if done right.

Here’s an example from Taco Bell wherein they have included an interesting board game “How Fast Can You Meet Your Friends”.

Check out how they have used gamification to drive more people at their restaurant outlet.

4. Quirky Quizzes

How about some exciting quiz questions right in the email with the result promoting your product or services?

See how Channel 4 leverages gamification in their Valentine’s Day email and promotes the relevant shows based on the answers given by the subscribers.

Note: If you are unable to view the gamified email with the quirky questionnaire, click HERE.

Applications of Gamification in Emails

1. Occasion Email Marketing

Holidays are a great time to try your hand at gamification. Easter, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and New Year have immense opportunities for successful gamification in email marketing.

2. Surveys

You can incorporate game mechanics in your emails to entice the subscribers to take surveys and get necessary feedback to improve your services.

3. Customer Loyalty Programs

Gamification paves the way for long-term customer engagement when used in customer loyalty email programs. It can drive more referrals and word-of-mouth publicity too for the brand.


The best results for gamified emails are seen in Apple Mail and iPhone Native App. Make sure you include a “View in Browser” link so that your subscribers can enjoy the gaming experience you wish to deliver in the inbox.

Wrapping Up

Are you ready to add value to your business by a GAMIFIED marketing approach and put a sense of enjoyment in your emails?

If you’re still unsure about how it will be accepted by your subscriber list, you can try testing a few elements of gamification in your emails first. If it demonstrates a worthwhile response and gets you the desired results, you can have it in your emails every once in a while.

Author : Kevin George

This article originally appeared on Email Monks Blog

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