Gamification 101: Sounds like Fun but it's Serious Business

July 11, 2018

Businesses need to collect email addresses but consumers are not always willing to provide them. Well, what if you make it fun?

By adding exciting and interactive game elements into your day-to-day marketing operations, you can significantly grow your business by increasing email sign-ups and boosting your sales, customer satisfaction, loyalty and more.

What is Gamification?

Gamification is a design process that motivates participation, engagement and loyalty by integrating gaming mechanics in non-gaming situations such as marketing. Gamification adds value for the audience by making the interaction fun and interesting.

For marketers, gamification is a great way to stand out from the crowd and take advantage of that emotional rush of playing and winning to sell a product or service. There are two general ways to use gamification: implicitly and explicitly.

Explicit Gamification
  • A strategy that uses applications that are obviously game-like. Users understand that they are playing a game and usually need to opt-in.
  • A popular example if McDonald's annual Monopoly game. Everyone knows they are playing a game but the main purpose is to get people to return and purchase more.
Implicit Gamification
  • A design technique that shows no signs of an actual game but capitalizes on human psychology and the user experience to motivate users through competition and the completion of tasks.
  • Implicit game design elements include leaderboards, progress bars, rewards, etc.

Gamification Mechanics

Gamification is based on certain game mechanics that have been proven to motivate and engage users to complete a desired action. A few are outlined below:

Mechanic Example(s) Description
Rewards Physical or digital prizes, points and badges. Provides instant gratification, a sense of achievement and incentivizes users to act.
Status Leaderboards Shows people how they compare to others and how the rank -- bringing out their competitive nature.
Purpose Donations Creates meaning for the reason they're taking action. A motivator for philanthropists.

Gamification is a great way to satisfy the fundamental human desire to compete, demonstrate skills and gain a sense of accomplishment. These traits encourage users to participate and share with their friends, especially when they are obtaining something of value in exchange — which can also help make your campaign go viral.

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Social Campaigns Leaderboard

How will Gamification Grow my Business?

Whether you use explicit, implicit or a combination of both techniques, the success of your strategy depends on the purpose and goals of your project – whether that’s growing your email list or driving your conversion rates with rewards. Gamification works because it influences human behaviour.

It's in the numbers
  • Gamification grows customer activity online by an average of 68%.
  • Gamification boosts social sharing by up to 22%.
  • Gamification improves registration conversion rates by up to 50%.
  • 27% of Millennials continued to participate in loyalty programs that featured a competitive game or implicit game mechanics.

Using gamification can increase the amount of time a consumer spends with your brand – this goes a long way toward influencing purchase decisions in the future. When you gamify high-value interactions with your audience, you can boost your conversion rates which drives more sales and creates deeper loyalty.  Overall, with higher customer satisfaction you’ll receive a better return on investment.

If you want to engage with your audience, you need to include an engaging element in your marketing.

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