What Marketers Can Learn From a Gaming Company’s Email Tactics

Angela Cheong
Dec. 28, 2012 by Angela Cheong

Weekly Email Marketing News Digest

Don’t you just love the holiday season? There’s always something new to celebrate. Now that Christmas is over, we’re all gearing up to ring in the new year in just four days!

And as always, at the beginning of a new year, it seems apt to reflect upon your hits and misses and overall individual or company performance. In line with that sentiment, here are a couple of tools to measure your annual email usage statistics.

Know Your Gmail Stats using Gmail Meter

With over 425 million active Gmail users in June 2012, Gmail is arguably one of the leading providers (if not THE leading provider) of free webmail. The Gmail Meter, developed by Romain Vialard, a Google Apps Script Top Contributor, provides users with basic email statistics to better understand their email usage. These include:

  • Volume Statistics
  • Daily Traffic
  • Traffic Pattern
  • Email Categories
  • Time Before First Response
  • Word Count
  • Thread Lengths
  • Top Senders & Recipients

Contactually Launches A Year-End Email Report Card That Goes Deeper Than Google’s Gmail Meter Report

The title says it all.

For a deeper more insightful look at your email usage statistics, get a personalised email report card from Contactually. Interesting metrics include:

  • Email Mood
  • Popular Subject Lines
  • Popular Words
  • Subject Line Length

With the amount of spam and direct marketing messages that one receives every day, it’s hard to see how someone can get a good grade on metrics such as unresponded emails and email totals. Nevertheless, it’s an entertaining and beautifully rendered report card for one’s own amusement – as well as an excellent way to gain brand awareness in the marketplace.

What Marketers Can Learn From a Gaming Company’s Email Tactics

When it comes to gaming, email is key to gamer retention, increasing customer lifetime value as well as brand recall. MarketingProf’s advice to gaming companies is to provide disclosure and value for gamers when requesting for their email. Here are the recommended guidelines for lead nurturing and enhanced customer service:

  • Request for an email early in the gaming process together with details on what players can expect to receive through email – tip & tricks, tutorials, discounts.
  • Provide players with a value-add of some kind immediately after they sign up through their email address. For example, when I signed up for Blizzard Entertainment’s popular MMORPG game World of Warcraft, I was immediately provided with a free downloadable online guide to the game through email.
  • Use of event triggered emails for more effective brand engagement instead of weekly updates. Has the player just conquered Diablo III? Invite them to start playing Starcraft with a free trial.
  • Use analytics to determine the playing habits of individual subscribers, followed by appropriate tailoring of the messages. For example, gamers who play frequently probably wouldn’t mind receiving weekly email updates from your company, but not those who have not played in a while. For these players, reactivation messages with gifts when they resume game play would be more effective.
  • Give players control of the messages they receive – let them set the terms and grounds for communication with a preference center. If they opted in to certain types of communication, they’ll be more likely to appreciate those emails from your brand.

The article also calls for branding consistency by ensuring players who have signed up for a specific game are getting emails from the game they signed up for and not the parent company. I have to say, I’m not sure I entirely agree with this one though. While I am a huge fan of brand consistency, I’ll admit that email cross-selling under the parent company’s name has worked on me. If I am interested in Dragons of Altantis from Kabam for example, I’m also likely to be interested in a 50% offer on Kingdoms of Camelot.

Now? Really? Spamhaus Blacklists Retailers for Typos

Major retailers like Gap and Gilt have found themselves on email blacklists this year – simply for typing errors in subscriber’s email addresses. Such errors typically occur during point-of-sale where customers opt for paperless receipts to be sent to their inbox. Up to 60% of a sender’s email may not make it into inboxes when placed on such blacklists. With the festive season being a prime opportunity for retailers to increase their sales and maximize customer lifetime value, the timing couldn’t be worse.  Its impact on these retailers could be akin to Google’s Florida algorithm update in 2003 right before the holiday season, which left many holiday retailers scrambling.

Why mobile email templates need to disappear

We’ve been highlighting stories about designing for the mobile recently, and with good reason. Consider the incredible escalation in the adoption of mobile devices as seen in John Pinson’s The Internet’s Growing Faster Than You Thought and the fact that 35% of all emails are now viewed on mobile devices.

It’s no longer possible for designers to design specifically for each and every new mobile device that is launched, yet it is imperative to ensure that a companies emails are optimized for the mobile. Hence, here are three tips for mobile design:

  • Use a one column design
  • Simplify call to actions due to lack of screen real estate
  • Use media queries

 Gaming emails aside, there’s plenty you can do with your transactional email to keep subscribers coming back for more. Optimize your transactional email today with the help of the Transactional Messaging Best Practices eBook.

Transactional Messaging Best Practices

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