Even if you don’t recognize its name, you’re probably familiar with the concept of gamification. From language-learning sites like Duolingo to the fitness app Nike Run Club, achievement-hunting features are a popular and effective engagement tool. On top of that, your sales efforts can also benefit from the injection of game elements into your content.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to gamification in marketing and how it can help you drive conversions. Then, we’ll cover three methods for using it to create a next-level customer experience. Let’s get started!
An Introduction to Gamification in Marketing
Gamification is the process of applying game design elements to non-game scenarios. This can look like a leaderboard of top commenters on social media. Another example is a bank awarding achievements for financial progress. While the definition is broad, most gamifying elements focus on fun forms of customer engagement.
This strategy has been successfully applied to a variety of industries. Even a small amount of competitive spirit can be an incredible driving force. That’s because gamification encourages users to engage with your brand, which can in turn increase its equity.
Adding game elements can boost your sales, too. A recent study showed that this kind of incentivization helps companies build relationships with customers, leading to improved customer loyalty. Even small interactive experiences can be an effective way to foster positive views of your brand.
How to Use Gamification to Take Your Marketing to the Next Level (3 Key Methods)
Fortunately, you have plenty of options to choose from if you’re looking to gamify your marketing campaigns. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different methods or use more than one approach. Each audience is different and may respond better to certain game elements.
1. Create ‘Scratch-to-Win’ Promotions
Your consumers are probably already familiar with scratch-off cards. Commonly used for lotteries, this format has an air of exciting possibility. You can tap into these feelings by presenting discounts or sales via a scratchcard interface.
Such promotions are particularly effective as customers must interact with your site to receive the benefits. Rather than a blanket discount code available to all visitors, the interaction and individuality of scratch-offs can make users feel like they’ve won a special prize.
The interface doesn’t have to be specifically a scratch-off, either. Any format where users will interact with your site in an unpredictable and positive manner can enable you to reap the same rewards. For example, the popular e-commerce site Wish offers a daily Blitz Buy opportunity to users who ‘spin’ a wheel:
Small interactions like these that emulate games of chance can be a compelling visitor hook. If you’re looking for a way to engage people in your promotions and encourage them to explore your site, this is an efficient approach to accomplish both goals.
2. Establish a Rewards System
Rewards systems are a popular gamification method. The process begins when a user creates a profile. Under those credentials, customers can accrue points by completing certain site-specific actions. These can include making purchases, posting comments, leaving reviews, and more depending on your goals.
You may choose to simply award points as a symbolic recognition of your most active visitors. However, you should also consider setting up an exchange system where customers can trade points in for perks. One site that uses this redemption approach is the online consignment store thredUP:
Registered users earn points through actions such as purchases and visits. Once the user has earned enough, they can redeem their points to claim benefits like discounts and free shipping. The desire to rack up rewards can encourage customer loyalty and more frequent visits.
If you’re interested in cultivating a dedicated user base, a rewards system like this might be an effective solution for your site. You might also want to consider trying out a premium loyalty program to double-down on the payoff.
3. Offer Engaging Quizzes
Personalization can be a powerful marketing tool. By offering interactive quizzes related to your brand, you can provide customers with a straightforward method to access individualized content based on their feedback.
You might choose to provide quizzes that don’t serve a larger purpose beyond a fun way to pass the time. However, you can optimize the experience to help suggest relevant products to your users. This can provide a fun connection to your site while also collecting data to improve your targeted marketing efforts.
The running superstore Fit2Run, for example, offers a short quiz that assesses the taker’s running style. Upon completion, visitors are taken to a page featuring shoes tailored to their needs based on their answers:
On top of being an easy delivery mechanism for customized results, quizzes can also help make customers feel more invested in their search. Providing results via email can grow your mailing list as well.
If you’re looking to learn more about your audience or provide a more personalized customer experience, consider investing in a quick quiz for your visitors. A few simple questions can have an impressive impact.
Engaging your audience is one of the cornerstones of successful marketing. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult. You can use gamification to add a new layer to the customer experience while also boosting your sales.
What’s your favorite way to gamify your marketing campaigns? Let us know in the comments section below!
Featured image credit: Elizaveta Maximova via Pixabay.