Engage, Motivate, Sell

Use gamification to draw people in to what you’re offering, whether that be for list-building efforts, a consultation, a webinar or sales of a new product or service.

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What is Gamification?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” In other words, gamification is the application of game thinking and game elements to non-game contexts.

Examples of gamification in business include:

  • A point card at your local coffee shop that rewards customers after they buy a certain number of coffees.
  • A fitness app that tracks progress and offers users rewards for reaching their goals.
  • Gaming apps like Angry Birds or Farmville where users compete for points that they can use to buy things within the game.
  • Stamp systems at museums, zoos and other attractions that encourage customers to see every part by rewarding them with stamps.
  • Environmental efficiency incentive programs that reward consumers with cash or other prizes when they save energy or perform tasks that help the environment.
  • Consumer review sites such as Yelp.
  • Corporate programs that reward employees for sharing company information on social media.

If you’ve used any of the above, you already have some experience with gamification.

As a business owner, your goal is to increase the number of potential customers while keeping existing clients. It’s much less expensive and much easier to retain the customers you already have than to use resources looking for new ones.

Most small businesses use advertising platforms like email, newsletters, content marketing, social media, webinars, and other strategies to keep their audiences engaged. In each of these methods, the business owner asks their client to do something in return. The customer must invest their time in reading your blog, opening your emails, downloading reports, etc. You can add gamification to your marketing plan to make all of these ‘requests’ far more interesting for your audience.

Why Gamify?

Gamification adds an element of fun to your sales and marketing, which enhances your engagement with your clients and customers. Studies have shown that implementing gaming elements increases website metrics such as number of unique visitors, amount of time spent on site, depth of visits, and conversions. Your marketing becomes part of your audience’s entertainment, and this entices your prospects to revisit.

Gamification also decreases your audience’s awareness of the fact that you’re marketing to them.  The pushiness that people often feel in a sales situation disappears and the customer doesn’t feel that you’re trying to pressure them to buy more.

Because gamification often deals with rewards for certain behaviors, it gives your prospects an incentive to become active customers. They want to collect all of the points and earn their stars. When a person’s natural ambition to achieve their goal starts to dwindle, the game elements can help sustain motivation.

But the principles of gamification go beyond having fun. It appeals to many aspects of human nature, including our drive in competitions, the impulse to achieve, our desire to do good for others, and the spirit of community and collaboration.

Gamification can increase loyalty to your brand. If you’re offering products, services or value that are similar to your competitors, the game aspect can be the one unique attribute that differentiates and keeps a person coming back.

Finally, game elements increase the likelihood that something will go viral. The Angry Birds phenomenon is a good example of this.

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