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Gamification Email Marketing: The Fun Way to Boost Revenue

Saffa Faisal

Are your emails failing to attract your subscribers? Have you tried every trick in the book and still experienced low engagement? Well, you might need to gamify your emails then. 

Gamification email marketing is the coolest trend that you can adopt today. But is it really worth your time or just a fad? Well, one company witnessed 35% more revenue when it included roulette in its holiday email campaign. 

Since now you know that email gamification works, let’s get straight to business. This article explains everything you need to know about gamifying emails for high engagement and revenue. 

What Is Gamification Email Marketing?

Gamification email marketing is the use of game elements within emails to persuade subscribers to complete tasks, like download an ebook, register for an event, or purchase a limited edition product.

Why Should You Go For Gamification in Emails?

If you’re still questioning whether to adopt gamification email marketing or not, the following points will help you make a decision. You should go for email gamification if; 

  • You want to boost subscriber engagement quickly. 
  • Your audience mainly consists of millennials and Gen Z. 
  • You want to create hype before launching a collection, outlet, or promotions, etc. 
  • You want your emails to stand out amongst your competitors. 
  • You’re looking to create positive word of mouth and user-generated content. 
  • You want to increase revenue. 

Why Shouldn’t You Go For Gamification in Emails?

Gamifying emails are not for everyone. We suggest you shouldn’t go for gamification email marketing if; 

  • Your audience consists mainly of Gen X and boomers. 
  • You’re not sure about the email providers your subscribers use. 
  • You want to make emails accessible for everyone. 

6 Ways to Gamify Your Emails With Examples 

If you’re still reading, you’ve made your mind to design attractive emails using gamification elements. Let me just say you’re on the right track, my friend. The below points explain different ways through which you can gamify emails.  

1. Wheel of fortune 

Call it a roulette, spin the wheel, or wheel of fortune; this is one easy and effective way to gamify your emails. Your subscribers would just have to click on a button, causing the wheel to spin and stop to reveal at a prize. 

We suggest using this during the holiday season when you’re offering a number of promotions, especially in your Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails.  

The below email from GAP checks all the right boxes. 

Example of a wheel of fortune email 

2. Quiz 

One gamification email idea that is extremely easy to implement is adding quizzes or trivia questions. Everyone loves the feeling of accomplishment, and when they’re rewarded for their right answers, it creates loyalty and encourages sharing. 

Make sure to keep the quiz relevant to your brand or a coming holiday. Keep the questions easy to answer so that more and more people can participate and win. Quizzes are best to use when introducing a new collection or during special events. 

The following email template from Unlayer lets you create a quiz gamification email in a matter of minutes. Apart from being white-labeled and fully customizable, this template is tested to render well on all devices. 

Quiz email template from Unlayer 

3. Scratch cards

Remember scratching grocery store coupons for a prize? Take that and integrate it into email marketing. With scratch cards in emails, your subscribers can move their curser or finger to reveal a discount. The design of such emails instantly stands out and leads to high engagement. 

This email gamification element is best for when offering discounts or prizes. You can even use them for giveaways or offering rewards to loyal customers. The below email from Forever 21 offers scratch cards for its Black Friday email

Scratch card email example

4. Scavenger hunt 

You can bring playfulness to your emails by adding quests or scavenger hunts. There are multiple ways to do it: you can leave hints in your emails, your website/social media channels, or both. Whatever it may be, make sure the email design is highly attractive, so it encourages your subscribers to play. 

Scavenger hunts are great for cross-channel engagement, which is why we suggest using them in a teaser campaign. 

The below Easter Egg quest template from Unlayer features a vibrant design and a click-worthy call-to-action button. 

Easter scavenger hunt email template from Unlayer 

5. Puzzle 

Like quizzes, puzzles are great for bringing your subscribers’ thinking skills into action. Most people can’t resist solving a puzzle, which is why you should include it in your emails for high engagement. Be it a riddle, crossword puzzle, or a jigsaw, make sure it is not too complex to solve. 

For high-engaging puzzle emails, make sure to offer attractive prizes like free delivery, discount codes, front row passes, etc., to encourage participation. The below email from Email on Acid is exactly what we’re talking about. 

Puzzle email example 

6. Slot machine 

How many of us have dreamt of winning a jackpot? Chances are, the majority of your subscribers have. Use this to your advantage by featuring a slot machine within your emails. All your audience needs to do is pull the lever and enjoy the prize, provided luck is on their side. 

For such an email, we suggest keeping the content minimal and letting the design do all the talking. The below email from Pizza Hut is too good to resist. 

Slot machine email example

5 Email Gamification Best Practices to Follow 

Are you full of ideas about gamifying your emails? We thought so too. Before you start designing, pay attention to the below best practices. They might be the reason behind your gamification email marketing campaign becoming a success. 

Test emails before sending 

You’ve put in the effort during the ideation phase, and your designers have spent a sizeable time creating the email. But all of this hard work will go to waste if the email doesn’t render properly on your subscribers’ email clients. Yikes, you don’t want this to happen to you. 

Take our word and test your gamification emails before sending them. We suggest using the features of an email marketing software, or you can take the traditional route - test your email on a bunch of different email addresses. You must also create a fallback email in case your email doesn’t load properly.

If you’re using Unlayer, be rest assured since our gamification email templates have already been tested beforehand to display well across all devices. 

Don’t make it too complicated

Your goal with gamification email marketing is to increase engagement and hence, boost revenues. If your quizzes or puzzles are too difficult to solve, your emails will fail to achieve the targets you’ve set. 

Keep your games simple and easy to play so that the maximum number of subscribers engage with your emails. 

Measure the campaign’s results

Remember when we said gamification email marketing might not be for everyone? With any email marketing strategy, it’s always wise to test if it works for you or not. 

You can A/B test your emails. Send the same email content, but one with gamification and the other one simple to two halves of your subscriber base. You can then monitor which email receives a more positive response. 

You can also measure your gamification email campaign’s success by tracking email marketing metrics. Monitor whether your gamification emails are receiving a higher click and conversion rate as opposed to previous emails. 

Ensure brand personality is consistent 

Your brand personality is an asset; never let it depreciate. With any email marketing tactic that you apply, you must ensure it goes well with the brand persona that you’ve spent so much time and money developing.

From the types of gamification elements to the overall color palette, everything must be guided by what your brand stands for. 

Don’t overdo it 

Gamification email marketing is fun, but that doesn’t mean you overdo it. If you do, you’re going to lose its charm, and it’ll be just another email for your subscribers. We suggest reserving gamification emails for holidays, product launches, or sale seasons. 


Gamification email marketing is the hottest trend these days for generating high engagement and revenue. Follow the tips in this article to the tee and prepare yourself for a powerful email campaign

Email Templates That Convert Crazy Good

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