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User engagement can be one of the main factors for a person to like or hate a platform. Consequently, companies nowadays are always on the lookout for innovative ways to keep their users engaged with their content in order to retain them and attract the attention of new potential customers. Digital marketing proposes a new solution: gamification. In this article, we will discuss the definition of gamification, and how it is used in the context of digital marketing to ensure user engagement.
In digital marketing, gamification is the process of providing dynamic and entertaining solutions by having elements integrated in a website, app, or email to provide the user with a diverse and engaging experience. While the user is using the service, a sense of eagerness to reach achievements and rewards is developed which triggers a feeling of excitement and competition keeping the user engaged with the content. The example can be given in educational platforms when the user gains badges or “titles” as they go through the content. The rewards, albeit meaningless outside the platform, extend the time the users spend on the website and improve their experience.
This last point discussed is but one of the many advantages gamification offers. This new Digital Marketing tool also helps improve email CTR and RPME. CTR stands for Click-Through Rate which is the percentage of recipients who click on one or more links included in an email. Most marketing campaigns nowadays are labeled as “spam messages” by users, and very few take the time to read the content, even less click on the links to discover the products or services. Through gamification, the user would be curious to know where this “game” or “interactive content” would lead them and if it is a link then they are more likely to click on it as they have already spent some time to generate it.
The other keyword, RPME, stands for Revenue-Per-Thousand-Emails and is a metric to check the total revenue generated in contrast to the number of emails sent in the marketing campaign. Users are more likely to spend on items they are curious about, and the process of gamification can help increase the user’s curiosity or interest in a product even if they had never heard about. The old marketing schema which relies on adverting a product by extensive exposure can help spread the word about it, but if the user were to be presented with the product as a reward of going through a certain process (as a discount on certain product or a coupon), psychologically it would appear more valuable to obtain.
Although we talked about the definition of gamification and some of its advantages, we have yet to define the main principles of this notion. Gamification principles are five-fold: the first element is to have an achievable task. A user should not be confused about the game they are playing. Moreover, the game should not be complex or too complicated so that it can be seen as a fun activity anyone can reach its end.
The second element is to have a clear goal. Anyone would be disappointed if they went through a game only to ask themselves halfway through “what is the point of doing this?”. By designing a short and flexible content, the users will be able to go through the entirety of the game without feeling bored and by staying engaged all the way till the end.
The third element is an engaging design. This is probably one of the key aspects of gamification, and marketing in general, which is a presentation that pleases the eye. Any company must have its own “brand” that distinguishes it from its competitors, and this branding should presented in emails (and marketing-related content in general) in a way to include images or GIFs rather than simple plain texts to promote a product with a goal of attracting user attention and keep their engagement throughout the process.
The fourth aspect is a fun process. The word “fun” can have many interpretations, the key element to know which one is the correct one in a given context is to have a market study for the target audience. By knowing one’s audience, the gamification process can be tailored to their needs leading to an increase in the conversion rates of the marketing campaign.
The fifth and last element of the process is to have a reward. The reward itself should be hidden, but the users should know that they will gain a valuable object by reaching the end of this game. This will keep the users excited and more eager to know what they will obtain.
The idea of gamification is implemented by different means, and it remains an area of creativity and innovation to concretize, but the most common forms are quizzes, wheel of fortune, badges, and titles.
In conclusion, the marketing field is always on the lookout for innovative methods of attracting clients and retaining user engagement, gamification is one of the latest innovations in the field. By increasing the average website session, audience engagement, as well as email metrics such as CTR and RPME, gamification allows marketing campaigns to be more profitable and increase the companies’ revenues. Moreover, the process of implementing this concept relies on creating an interactive content with an engaging design to allow the user to reach a well defined goal, that is a reward for solving a problem. This concept is subject to innovation and creativity in terms of implementation to keep the users excited and not be bored from the redundant experiences.
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