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Think about the last time you won something. How did it make you feel?
People have looked for gaming pleasure for years–it taps into our competitive human nature. Unexpected entertainment and winning something makes people feel good, increases their engagement, and makes the occasion more memorable. That’s why gamification in marketing is so effective and businesses are constantly searching for ways to include this element in their strategies.
What is gamification in marketing?
Gamification takes the essence of what makes games so alluring and integrates it into unexpected, non-game, online, and offline experiences.
But marketing gamification can vary in its scope and budget. Big brands like Nike and McDonald’s can spend thousands on developing new games, viral videos, or apps, but small business managers can rarely spend that much on these kinds of programs.
Luckily, there are other ways to add a gaming element to your marketing toolkit without the need to rob a bank. Today, we will focus on easier-to-adopt marketing gamification methods that marketers can implement themselves and see immediate results with.
Emails with gamification elements get 74% better engagement.Omnisend, 2021
Four Main Benefits of Gamification Marketing
1. Gamification increases customer engagement and sales
Older, middle-aged people, youngsters–all find the gaming experience exciting. Especially if you target young people, as gaming is synonymous for them. Gamified content is exactly what Gen Z is used to–easily-consumable, visual, and highly-addictive.
Augmented reality tricks, old-school lottery, or gamified loyalty programs can help you to get customers’ attention and have them perceive your brand with long-term positive feelings, resulting in better engagement and additional sales.
60% of consumers said they would be more likely to buy from a brand if they enjoyed playing a game with it.Digital marketing world forum, 2019
2. Collecting customer emails, phone numbers, and marketing consent becomes easier
With time, cutting through the ecommerce noise and collecting customers’ information for future marketing messages is becoming a challenge for marketers. Moreover, with anti-spam policies and GDPR regulations in action, merchants can’t send messages to people without having their consent.
Fun, gamified sign-up forms can help businesses build their lists more effectively. According to Omnisend yearly reports, an interactive Wheel of Fortune outperforms pop-ups and other usual sign-up forms by three times. That’s definitely something worth considering when planning list-building campaigns.
3. Gamification elements help to maintain customer relationships
Gamification in marketing provides an opportunity to reward customers for their loyalty and engagement, and share the brand’s message in a fun and compelling manner.
When you think about gamification techniques, the following examples shouldn’t slip out of your mind:
- Providing instant gratification with online lotteries, such as the wheel of fortune popup.
- Loyalty programs, allowing users to collect badges, points, receive rewards, etc.
- Showing personal attention with an interactive surprise for special occasions e.g., a gift box for birthday or membership anniversary
4. Increase brand awareness
The initial purpose of gamification is to provide a memorable experience that makes an appealing connection with customers, rather than increasing sales directly. However, positive feelings help the brand stay on top of customers’ minds, leading to increased customer retention, and additional sales.
Three tips before launching marketing gamification initiatives
Know your audience
Whether it’s a wheel of fortune or loyalty program, know your audience. You should segment it and offer benefits that would be relevant for that customer in particular. Remember, even giveaways and gifts can be perceived differently. What motivates one person can be boring or unimportant for others.
Read more about Customer Retention with Lifecycle-Based Segmentation.
Set the goal before the campaign
As with every new marketing activity, a gamification marketing campaign should have a goal. Set it before taking any action. It will help you to segment and determine your audience, length of the campaign, benefits you offer, etc.
Answering the following questions will give you a clear campaign direction:
- Do you want to collect more contact information or expand customer profiles with their preferences? (in the interactive sign-up form you won’t be able to ask all the questions you have to the customer. You have to pick what’s more important for you at the current stage: having their phone number for approaching them via SMS, or knowing their preferences in color/products/look.)
- Do you want to educate customers on your latest products? (free new product testers, a few new items to giveaway, or a small discount for the latest products might work as benefits for such a campaign)
- Do you want to create hype around the brand? (the most popular items of your brand will work better than anything else)
- Is increasing sales a primary goal? (be ready to offer a bundle discount, a discount code, or free shipping)
Create dedicated campaigns that have one purpose, such as attracting new customers, retaining current ones, and winning-back lapsed buyers. This will enable you to draft laser-focused messaging and offer the ideal benefits for specific target audience needs.
Keep it simple
Participating in your game should be entertaining and not require too much thought to figure out how it works. Look for easy ways to add gamification to your marketing and prepare easily-multiplied prizes. If the chance to win is meager or submitting the entry too complicated, your gamification efforts won’t generate the engagement and results you expect.
Other Examples of Gamification Marketing Campaigns
Ecommerce marketers find value in launching loyalty reward programs. Most of them are gamified by their nature.
Tools like Smile.io or LoyaltyLion might help you implement your ideas when thinking of a gamification strategy.
- 100% Pure has tripled their purchase frequency and earned 244K additional referral revenue by launching an omnichannel loyalty program.
- Topps increased their customer lifetime value by 48% and sales from top tier members by 35% by launching their loyalty award program.
So it’s definitely worth trying for any kind of ecommerce business.
Gamification Marketing: Wrap Up
People love games. An unexpected, playful approach to an ordinary discount, invitation to sign up, or refer a friend can positively impact your campaigns and other marketing efforts. Unbiased resources, our reports, and third-party case studies all show that these tactics help retain customers and increase sales. And the best thing? You don’t need a fat budget to implement them!