Gamify your marketing opt-in

When you ask your customers to opt-in and give their preferences for personalized marketing, use a gamified experience that easily shows them how they’ll benefit

You’ve probably never had an interesting and engaging marketing opt-in experience.

Time to change that and skyrocket that opt-in rate.

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Tip type: New research (November 2020)

Gamify your personalized marketing opt-in

Impacted metrics: Customer lifetime value
Channels: UX | UI | Website/app | Ecommerce sales | Marketing communications | Customer opt-in

Recommendation

To increase the opt-in rate of customers to personalized marketing, show how you’ll use their data in a fun and engaging way:

  • Use a dynamic gamified experience instead of static text forms (e.g. an avatar for a fashion site, kitchen cabinets for online groceries)

  • Be clear about how you’ll use their data to benefit them (e.g. “with these details you will be the first to receive recommendations for items you’ll love”)

If a dynamic gamified experience is too complex to implement, you can start with images or a video.

(An example used in the study of a gamified opt-in for a fictional fashion retailer - Click to zoom in)

Effects

  • Personalized marketing opt-ins from customers help you drive purchases with relevant offers that are more likely to convert (e.g. a discount on an item they might like, a reminder that they have items in their shopping cart).

  • This study finds that using a gamified, fun-looking page when you ask customers to opt-in and/or share additional data makes it more likely that customers will follow through rather than skip it.

  • It works only if the gamification is relevant and accompanied by explanations of how the data will benefit the customer. Unrelated games won’t work.

  • The effect is strongest for customers who don’t know you well yet or haven’t had a great experience with you in the past. Customers who already know you and trust you will likely fill out the opt-in anyway.

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Why it works

  • An engaging-looking data opt-in makes us much more likely to start it instead of skipping it. Once we’ve started, we’re likely to finish it.

  • The visual and gamified experience makes it easier to process how we would benefit from sharing our data.

  • It likely works better than offering unrelated incentives (e.g. discount coupons for opting in) because it actively counteracts our doubts about whether we would actually benefit in the long-term from sharing our data.

Limitations

  • The research was conducted in a fictional fashion e-commerce setting. It’s highly likely that the effect can be generalized to other contents, but this was not tested.

  • We don’t know whether this gamified data collection experience affects how customers perceive a brand afterward.

  • This method may allow you to ask additional questions than you normally would during the data collection process. However, this was not tested.

Companies using this

  • Some personal shopping companies use ‘quizzes’ that resemble parts of this experience (e.g. Lookiero).

  • Very few companies seem to have adopted this technique.

Steps to implement

  • If you’re asking customers for additional data, think of how you can show them in a visual and engaging way how you will use it to personalize their experience. If you sell plants, you could ask them to recreate their garden. If you sell furniture, ask them to recreate their room.

  • If you’re just asking them to opt-in, give them an idea of what they will receive. If they’ll receive event invites, embed a trailer of a recent event. If you’ll send them limited offers, show pictures of previous limited edition products.

  • Use images to test if you’re heading in the right direction before building a complex dynamic experience. For example, show a picture of a room if you’re asking them to disclose their room size.

Study type

Lab experiments, Germany

Source

Bidler, M., Zimmermann, J., Schumann, J. H., & Widjaja, T. (November 2020). Increasing Consumers’ Willingness to Engage in Data Disclosure Processes through Relevance-Illustrating Game Elements. Journal of Retailing.

[Link to paper]

Affiliations

University of Passau, Germany

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Remember: Because of the groundbreaking nature of this paper, it could be disproven in the future (although this is rare). It also may not be generalizable to your situation. If it’s a risky change, always test it on a small scale before rolling it out widely.


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