The following article is a guest blog written by our friends at LeadFamly:

Email marketing is a trusted relationship between a brand and its audience. It’s a bit like dating.

In exchange for an email address, that person trusts you’ll deliver quality content or offerings into their inbox. The number of email users will grow to 4.4 billion in 2023, which is up from 3.7 billion users measured in 2017. 

The volume of emails is increasing exponentially. 281 billion emails were sent and received each day last year. This is projected to increase to 347 billion emails sent and received each day by 2022. This shows a great opportunity to attract new eyes to your audience. 

Email marketing has an incredibly high ROI, especially when it’s done thoughtfully. In fact, email marketing has the highest ROI of all marketing channels. If we consider the pure volume of emails sent, it makes sense that marketers need to be focused on executing the best email strategy they can. 

That’s where gamification comes in. 


3 ways gamification can improve the ROI of email marketing

1. Engage

Use gamification to interact with your audience in a fresh way. A recent survey on shopping habits shows that most shoppers (83%) visit between four and nine grocery chains within a year. Earlier this year, ALDI Denmark wanted to create a fun interaction with their current audience. Gamification is a way to engage with the intention of staying top-of-mind. 

ALDI Denmark created a cool summer-themed Spot The Difference game and emailed it out to their subscriber list. The campaign ran for just 10 days, and it was a hit. The average engagement time was 90 seconds 😲 and over 74% of players converted. The conversion metric for this game was their subscriber list visiting their website, playing the game, and entering the competition to win the grand prize. 

Takeaway: Gamification can be used to activate existing customers and create a fun experience for them.

Presented 3 key ways (i.e. engage, exchange, re-engage) to improve ROI of email marketing by using gamification strategy

2. Exchange  

If push marketing includes ads and trade shows, then gamification falls under the pull category. It pulls visitors into a brand’s universe and gets their attention. Because it’s not push marketing, then the average person doesn’t have the same ‘wall’ up that they do for the average of 4,000-10,000 ads they see on a daily basis. 

For retailers, there’s an added incentive to improving the shopping experience. There is research to back this up: Smarter HQ’s recent Privacy and Personalization Report found that 90% of consumers are willing to share their behavioral data if additional benefits are provided that make shopping cheaper or easier. So, if you provide benefits like vouchers or fun interactions with gamification, then you also have the chance to learn more about your audience. We say this is also a win-win.  

Takeaway: Gamification can create trust between a brand and its audience. In turn, the audience will be more willing to share their data, which will help the brand personalize experiences and emails more. 

3. Re-engage  

Email marketing can be used as a follow-up to a campaign. While this is already a common practice, we’ve seen a fresh idea recently. An online retailer creates easy and quick engagements where participants play a luck game and enter to win a prize. A week or two later, the ‘losers’ receive an email letting them know that they haven’t won, but that they get a special voucher to use on the retailer’s webshop. 

Takeaway: Gamification can help create opportunities for brands to re-engage or reach back out to their audience. 


Marketers need to remember that the average person spends only 11 seconds reading an email. When we consider gamification as the catalyst that gets people to spend 7x* to 8x times that, it’s easy to see that gamification done well can only improve the brand-audience relationship. 

As we like to say at LeadFamly, game on! 

*In December of 2018, customers saw an average engagement on 70 seconds on Christmas Advent Calendars.

Sara R. Moulton from LeadFamly, the author of this article Gamification: The Smart Strategy Of How To Increase The ROI Of Email Marketing

Author: Sara R. Moulton, LeadFamly