Email Gamification: Bringing Fun Into Emails



Guest Writer

⏱ Reading Time: 8 minutes

In recent years, email gamification steadily held its position in the top list of eCommerce trends. And it’s not going to retire. Because gamification is a powerful tool to engage leads: it adds fun and vivid mood into sale strategies. The email communication channel has changed drastically since we first encountered it.

We call upon artificial intelligence to personalize communications so deep that emails look like they are really written personally. We embed videos, collect feedback, and do many other cool things in eCommerce mailings. Even the utilitarian triggered notifications are not supposed to be formally dull anymore. The set of email features is constantly expanding. According to that, email marketing itself is developing into complex art. It includes multiple practices of new trends implementation.

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We guess you are already familiar with lots of these methods and tricks. So you could notice the common concept behind them — all our efforts and creativity are intended to engage clients! Let’s explore the possibilities of gamification!

Two Basics of Gamification:

  1. Games for emails must be reusable, it’s a key condition to make emails return invested costs. One-time games are obviously not acceptable: spending weeks on development is a “mountain brought forth a mouse” situation in this case;
  2. All the games should be grouped by the mechanics they are based on. So we need a set of versatile solutions.

Multipurpose Game Mechanics

Having read the basics above you can notice that the latter principle clearly comes from the first one. Email marketing needs an opportunity to make reusable games. Or, at least, to make the creation process easier and faster. The solution is found: multipurpose game mechanics. 

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Game mechanics are not games, they are “templates” to build various games on their basis. Just like with email templates, we pick the required mechanics (or more precisely, gamified email template), fill it with our content, work on design and settings… And a new game is ready to impress our audience. 

Notice that all the new games will be unique: the principle may be the same but content and design are totally different.

Today we can use prebuilt gamified templates offered by top email builders. They really simplify the whole process. But mechanics are not a guarantee of 100% success. The thing that can help us there are parameters! Set and follow them! 


1. Sprinkle everything with a little fun!

Successful Game Parameters

We explored tons of gamified emails to find out the common rules of successful gamification! The matter is that we actually have two sets of parameters. Why? Because there are different groups: users and brands. And they have different requirements for a good game.

Successful Game From Users Perspective

1. A Goal

This is the result users will be striving for. The goal should be clear, catchy, and achievable.

2. Rules

A description of how to achieve the goal. Removing too easy ways we make participants explore original ways and show creative approaches.

3. Feedback

Keep players updated. People need to know how successfully they cope with the game. Add something like a progress bar or score table.

4. Character

A character that acts in all the campaigns makes games (and your brand voice in general) more entire and consistent.

5. Community

Let users compare their progress to other players’ ratings. If you run the long-time game arranged as a series, share the participant’s average score in the next email and compare it to others’ ratings.

6. Voluntary Participation

Yes, we want all our users to join and play. We know that most people like to play and win. But someone may be busy, tired, or in a bad mood. Therefore we cannot make participation obligatory, it’s unethical and rude. Add the option for those who want to skip: let people click and navigate to the shopping page on your site.

7. Discoveries

Let recipients discover what happens when another option is chosen. What if the character turns left, or moves right? What notification appears if the player won’t find all the eggs, or the contrary, find them all?
Add the factor of randomness.


2. Check out this randomness in full here

Successful Game From a Business Perspective

1. Development Costs

Now we proceed to the requirement from the authors’ point of view.
Regarding costs, this question isn’t simple. The evaluation depends on many factors and metrics. How many hours our team spends on game crafting? How reusable this game is supposed to be? Will it return invested money and what incomes are forecasted depending on time/resources invested in development?

2. Terms of Implementation

The faster game is developed and built into a new email campaign, the better. Main criteria of ready-made mechanics: it should contain the full set of necessary elements. The work of email marketers has to be simple — replace default visual elements with custom content, add text, work a bit with configurations/settings. And then embed, test, and send.

3. Measurability

Marketers need all the possible options to track, measure, and then analyze email campaign rates.

4. Independence

Well, it’s pretty good when your coders are so genius that they always can help you with any task like building sophisticated game mechanics. Though it’s much better when email marketers can craft a gamified newsletter without anyone’s assistance.

Btw, it makes the game really cheaper. Again, the game should be reusable.

5. Scalability

There should be an opportunity to use the mechanics for various businesses, industries, and spheres: B2C, B2B, etc. New games are generated just by adding respective visual/content elements.

Final Thoughts

Studies and research prove that gamification works great. It makes your brand viral. It boosts your ROI up to a fabulous 300%. But what is most important, your clients may relax and have some fun right in emails. It helps to build strong long-term relations.

So how to implement game elements in your business? Now it’s easier than before. Just find a modern template constructor tool that offers such templates, pick any pre-built one with already embedded game mechanics. And work a bit with design, content, and settings. That’s it!

Bringing fun into campaigns has never been as easy as today. It’s not a hardcore mission anymore. So don’t hesitate. Give it a try!

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Email Gamification: Bringing Fun Into Emails was last modified: February 3rd, 2022 by admin
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