Is Your Website Already Pre-Gamified?

Is Your Website Already Pre-Gamified?

Mar 15, 2012

If you are already “rewarding” visitor interactivity on your website with downloads like white papers and articles or chances to win prizes, then your website is already somewhat “gamified.”  You’ve embraced the concept, now you’re prepared to scale with true gaming mechanics and dynamics.  But before proceeding, the team at Girardbrewer.com  wants to help you better understand the context of Gamification’s overall fit within general marketing.

Website gamification is a form of “permission marketing,” a term popularized by author Seth Godin and used specifically in e-marketing. The undesirable opposite of permission marketing is “interruption marketing” (e.g., intrusive pop-ups).  Marketers obtain permission before advancing to the next step in the purchasing process.

Gamification can map the progress and flow associated with permission marketing.

Before deploying, develop a strategy and a plan.

Start with the desired results and outcomes—e.g., the maximum customer lifetime value extracted out of the visitor/user/player—and work back from there to “First Touch,” the visitor’s initial landing on the website home page.

Assume that you’re attracting prospects who use the Web to discover companies to put on their shortlists of preferred vendors, suppliers, partners, etc.  This means that they are landing with the intent to engage…and will do so if they’re sufficiently amused, coaxed, captivated.

“Onboarding” newcomers begins with providing “sticky” activities like short videos, tours and tutorials.  But, while tours explain how to do something, tutorials get visitors to take steps themselves toward account creation—the heart of interactivity.

Rely on the “three As”— Accommodation, Assimilation and Acceleration.  Use “warm-up levels” to provide basic information, show the visitor the ropes, and accelerate them into the flow of the site—give the user/player basic, actionable steps to complete.

Work out the path of interaction permissions.  Rather than simply seeking to capture attention, entice your prospect to do business with you by actually providing real value.  Because permission marketing often doesn’t result in a sale from the first touch, create a linking cascade of calls to action. Dole out the desired information a bit at a time in a progressing series of calls to action.

The first call might be to join your newsletter or subscribe to the RSS feed of your blog. Then those materials will have more direct calls to action—to contact you for business, order your product, or learn more about your offering.

Many successful Web sites have a call to action on each page that is designed to move prospects through a “conveyer” belt.

Be sure you’re only asking for information you need right then based on the relationship as it stands at that point.

Create as many links in the chain as you need to smoothly increase your prospects’ trust until they really want to do business with you. The great thing about tools like blogs and e-newsletters is that you can allow each prospective customer to take the time they need to become completely comfortable with you. In the long run, you’ll develop a loyal advocate who will be an invaluable ally in building your business.

And loyalty is the name of this game.

The fun is already built into your site…now it needs to be scaled and amplified—Gamified.

Having established a permission-based marketing standard on your website, you now can change your perception of your visitors from “Users” to “Players.”

Contact Digital Eye Media for information on how to Gamify Your Website: P: 657.229.8394; sales@digitaleyemedia.com.