How To Use Gamification For Lead Generation

A lot of marketers and business owners can’t say the words ‘lead generation’ without a deep sigh. It’s challenging and often feels impossible in a saturated market. It’s like finding a way to start a relationship with a new customer: you just need a good, fun opening line.  

Lead generation is one of the most essential and vital parts of your sales funnel, but at the same time, one of the most annoying and challenging things to get right. But that’s looking at it the traditional way. Why not spice things up? In this article, we’ll show you three ways to gamify lead generation and tell you how it works. 

Why lead generation is hard

Let’s face it: lead generation feels pushy and rude. Traditional lead capture forms ask for your information before any kind of interaction has happened – no introduction, they don’t take you out for dinner first, nada. 

That makes it a close relative to cold calling, and nobody is a big fan of that nowadays. Consumers feel less and less inclined to give up their data and worry about privacy or getting flooded by annoying email offers that are useless to them. 

Think about how often you’ve gotten one of those pop-ups when visiting a website, asking for your email address to stay updated on everything they do. Why would you even want that? You don’t work there, so what’s in it for you? 

These pop-ups are the online equivalent of pushy store employees – the ones you try not to make eye contact with. It’s not a natural thing to do, just walking up to someone and asking for their contact information. Luckily, there’s a better way to do it.

A different approach in email marketing: have a ‘’conversation’’ to find out what people want to receive information on before asking them to sign up for something general. It’s a two-way street. Form by Typeform.

Lead generation, but make it fun

Still, you want to collect email addresses from relevant leads who you can then convert into customers. Those email addresses are valuable information, and you treat it like that: why would anyone just give that up without getting something in return?

This is where gamification comes to the stage. By making lead generation a more fun experience – in which you directly provide value – you balance the give-and-take equation. You add a game element and a prize to ordinary calls-to-action so people will actually engage with them.

In comes the power of reciprocity: when people receive something, they feel obligated to return the favor. In this case, you can offer something – right now – such as discounts, a prize, advice, a quick analysis or more, in return for an email address. Find the right bait, and they will bite.

Winning at lead generation – GIF by Giphy

Three ways to use gamification to capture leads

Sure, it’s all fun and games, but how can you – as a serious business owner – make use of gamification and still be taken seriously? We give you three ideas to implement gamification in your content strategy. Have some fun with it!

1: Quizzes

One of the easiest ways to gamify your lead generation effort is by creating a quiz. Take a look at BuzzFeed: 96 per cent of users complete their sponsored quizzes. With a large enough audience, that’s a huge amount of people giving you their email address to find out which Harry Potter character they are. 

The benefits of a quiz are that they are easy to make and are highly shareable. You can also immediately segment your new leads into different categories based on their answers, if needed, making personalized offers and content possible. 

What type of quiz you offer – either on social media or your website – is entirely up to you. Here are some popular formats for quizzes to help you get started:

  • Personality quiz – matched to a product line or certain category of products
  • Progress or knowledge quizzes – test their knowledge to identify gaps and give more information
  • Health or lifestyle assessment – get to know your audience and give advice in return
  • Website or business assessment – ask questions about their business to find out how you can help them even better

When building a quiz, keep in mind that it should have the feeling of a conversation. Incorporate human language and use visuals to make the quiz more appealing. Right away, the outcome of the quiz should be clear and triggering enough to start it.

Don’t go crazy on the number of questions: even though it feels like a game, the attention span of the average person won’t make it to questions number twenty. You want people to get to the result page quickly, where they can opt-in with their email address to see the results and possibly offers that match the results. Combine this with a discount code for a little extra push, and it’s the start of a great relationship.

2: Spin-to-Win

A spin-to-win is one of the oldest games that made it to digital versions. You click, spin the wheel, win a prize (or not) and give your email address to receive the prize. It’s a relatively simple pop-up to build with plenty of online tools available. But don’t be fooled: there’s a lot of psychological warfare behind this seemingly innocent wheel.

Most people won’t be able to resist clicking. What’s the worst that could happen – you get 20% off your next order? The psychology behind the spin-to-win is that if people “win” the discount, free delivery, gift card, or whatever you want to give, they are more likely to claim it.​ They’ll place an order or book an appointment, making it quite literally a win-win situation.

You can easily create these wheels with one of the many online tools available

3: Contests

Contests are a sneaky way to interact with your audience. A contest tickles their inquisitive and competitive side, all while persuading them to hand over their contact information to find out who the winner will be. You could give away a free product, coaching session or a gift card. Just keep in mind that the value of the prize is reasonable for the action that participants need to take. 

You could get off easy and just state that everyone who signs up for the newsletter has a chance to win. But that won’t necessarily bring in high-value leads. By attaching some kind of assignment or another form of interaction, you collect more info than just an email address. It is also a great way to collect user-generated content, hitting two birds with one stone. 

It’s time to reevaluate your current lead generation process and see where you can actually start giving back to your audience, instead of just asking. Gamified marketing is increasingly popular and powerful in many parts of the sales funnel, so why not start at the beginning?

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.