Gamification in emails: ins and outs, stats and examples

9 min

Gamification has been a part of our lives since childhood, and it continues to be relevant even as we grow older. Marketers in various industries use game mechanics to increase user engagement, boost sales and improve brand loyalty, and email marketing is no exception. In this article, we’ll highlight the advantages of email gamification, showcase the core principles of an effective email gamification strategy, and provide useful real-life email examples to inspire you.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

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Benefits of email gamification

Before delving into specific real-life examples of gamification in email marketing, it’s important to first understand the potential benefits that incorporating gamification tactics into your email marketing can bring.

One of the most significant advantages of email gamification is increased engagement. When you make your emails fun and interactive, you’re more likely to hold your subscribers’ attention, and they’re more likely to interact with your content. This increased engagement can result in higher open rates, click-through rates, and conversions.

Source: Email by PizzaHut

Another benefit of gamification in email marketing is the ability to collect valuable data and insights. When you include interactive elements in your emails, such as quizzes, surveys, or games, you can collect valuable information about your subscribers, such as their interests, preferences, and habits. 

Email marketing gamification can also help build brand loyalty. When you create fun and engaging experiences for your subscribers, you’re helping to establish a strong emotional connection with them. This emotional connection can be instrumental in building a loyal following and promoting brand advocacy.

Learn more about the benefits of email gamification from the Founder of Stripo – Dmitry Kudrenko – himself, already available on our marketing podcast:

If you are not sure if you should implement gamification in your next email marketing campaign, check out our statistics below!

  • email gamification can increase your open rates by 30%;
  • using interactive content and game mechanics can increase the average value of purchases by 15%;
  • on average, gamified email marketing campaigns have 48% higher user engagement
  • gamification elements help boost email conversion rates by 2.5%;
  • loyalty programs with gamification help in long-term customer engagement and increase the frequency of purchases by 3 times;
  • gamification elements dedicated to events or festivals significantly increase the revenue of your newsletters. Stylus, a well-known company in Ukraine, created a gamified newsletter for St. Patrick’s Day and thereby increased its revenue by 15%;

As you can see, the power of gamification is undeniable and can greatly increase the effectiveness of your emails. It’s time to dive into this topic a little more in detail and learn the best practices of email gamification.

Main traits of a good gamified email marketing campaign

By seeing the stats above, you’re already looking forward to the success of your email campaigns just by adding tic-tac-toe to your emails, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Gamification should be approached thoughtfully, so you should know the basics about games and how people play them. 

For your campaign to be successful, you need to create a game that has the following traits.

Achievable task

A quiz, a spinning wheel, a puzzle, a comparison, mazes — whatever task you propose to solve, you must know the measure of complexity when developing a game. Your subscribers won’t want to play a game as difficult as pulling Excalibur out of the stone, where only the worthy one can pass the test.

The game must be able to be completed by anyone, from young to old.

Clear goal

When creating the rules of the game, put yourself in the shoes of your email recipients and look at your game through their eyes. Is the goal of the game clear? Are the rules straightforward, or is it better to simplify them? Do you need to shorten the game a little, giving fewer questions or tasks?

You must answer all these questions before your next gamified email marketing campaign.

Engaging design

Whatever game you come up with, its design should be bright and memorable. Your subscribers should have their eyes light up the first time they open the email in anticipation of a fun game. So take care of bright colors, catchy fonts, and the overall visual design of your email games.

Source: Email from Yespo

Fun gameplay

If your game is boring, your subscribers will simply drop it halfway. Yes, there will be some who will go to the end in anticipation of a reward, but this will negatively affect your metrics. When creating games for your email newsletters, make sure they are interesting and fun.

Your subscribers shouldn’t be counting the minutes until the game is over and shouldn’t regret the time spent playing it.

Great reward

We all love to be rewarded for our efforts. So reward your subscribers generously. Every newsletter game you create should give them something for completing it. In addition, your audience should understand that something awaits them at the end but shouldn’t know what exactly. The intrigue will increase the desire to complete the game and make the gameplay more fun.

These pillars of successful email gamification serve as the foundation for improving metrics, generating profits, and ensuring user satisfaction.

One email or a series of emails?

While thinking about the concept of your email game, you should decide whether it will be a single game or a multi-stage quest with several tasks over the course of a series of emails.

However, which is better to use? Both methods are quite effective ways to actively engage with the audience. Stripo conducted 2 tests of gamified emails. The first test focused on single games in emails, while the second involved a whole series of emails with several different games.

The single email featured a simple game where subscribers had to click on the item they liked the most in the image. Once opened, a text with a prediction for the next year appeared. This email campaign generated twice as many clicks as the control campaign without the game.

Source: A full guide on gamification in email marketing from Stripo

The second test included a series of three emails that included:

  • quiz;
  • rebus;
  • crossword.

A series of emails also brought significant results. Hundreds of subscribers would inquire about how they could implement gamification in their email marketing. Some even confessed to entering wrong answers on purpose to see what would happen next.

Source: A full guide on gamification in email marketing from Stripo

Both ways of gamification have the right to life, and the choice depends on your needs, resources, and the time you are willing to spend on creating email games.

Examples of gamified emails

So, we figured out all the nuances, and it’s time to get some inspiration to create your own email games. We will cover both single-game emails and a series of gamified emails.

Single emails


A quiz is one of the simplest forms of games you can think of and is pretty easy to implement in an email. Even without the support of AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) you can simply create questions and invite the recipient to answer them on a separate page of the website.

Editor’s note

AMP emails are a relatively new way of creating email content that allows for faster loading, more engaging and interactive content, and a better overall user experience. They are created using AMP HTML, a subset of HTML, which enables emails to include dynamic content and live data, making them feel more like web pages than traditional static emails.

Source: Email from Yespo

Decision tree

Another option of a simple game where you lead recipients through a series of questions, the answers to which will lead them to one of several product or service options. After that, you can send the user to the product page by clicking on the result.

Source: Email from Yespo

True or false

Test the knowledge of your subscribers with this simple game.

Source: Email from Yespo

Spin the wheel

Allow users to try their luck with a regular GIF and a button with a link to a random prize.

Source: A full guide on gamification in email marketing from Stripo


Who doesn’t like puzzles? Challenge your subscribers with a simple brain teaser!. Let them write the answers in an email form, after which you will choose the winners and give them prizes.

Source: Email template from Stripo

Scratch cards

Want to add more intrigue? Invite subscribers to choose one of several secret prizes. By using scratch cards in your emails, users can click on one of multiple buttons and get redirected to the prize page.

Source: Email from Forever 21


Remember how we all went through interesting mazes on the backs of cereal boxes as children? This interest in mazes is still in all of us, so why not use it in your email newsletter?

Source: Email from Yespo

“Where’s Wally” 

Another blast from the past. The concept is simple: an image is provided, and the recipient has to find a hidden character or object. Reward your most attentive subscribers with a prize! 

Source: Email from M&M’s

Series of emails

Promo code parts

Play puzzle games with your subscribers. However, instead of putting the picture together, invite them to put together a promo code for a discount. Each of your emails will contain part of the promo code so that you can use any number of emails depending on the length of the promotional code.

Source: Email from Yespo

Multi-step riddle

Another great option for email series games is a good old riddle. You can choose anything (relevant to your industry) and invite your subscribers to solve the mystery in exchange for a promo code. How can you use a series of emails here?

Give them new clues and hints in every email! You can encourage cross-channel engagement by creating a special hashtag for your game. This can turn into a whole scavenger hunt as you are limited only by your imagination.

Email from Megasport

Wrapping up

By incorporating gamification into your email marketing strategy, you have the opportunity to tap into a powerful tool that can greatly improve the performance of your newsletters and overall engagement with your audience. The key is to carefully implement this approach, taking into consideration all the elements and best practices that make gamification successful. 

Once you’ve done so, you’ll start to see the impact for yourself, as your audience becomes more engaged and you start to see a return on your investment. 

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Bonus: Learn how to use gamification to build your email list faster!

Anton Diduh
Anton Diduh
A content creator from Stripo that strives to explain everything about email marketing in simple words.