How to add gamification to your website?

Playing games professionally, that’s what we’re talking about. By using the 5 reasons to use gamification and fun as the killer competence of tomorrow’s business leader we know that adding ‘jeu’ to business processes can have an incredible effect on your results.

One remaining question is the ‘how’?!

Add gamification to your website

We will try to answer this questions, by providing examples of gamification in three articles

  1. – Web sales & profile enrichment
  2. – Sales performance
  3. – Human resources (training and education

Let’s kick of with the first article; Web sales and profile enrichment. With examples of gradual engagement, the completeness meter, embedded profile enrichment and endorsements.

Gamification in web sales

When promoting your application / software online, it is very common to start with a landing page with product information and later on supplying information on how to use the product (the latter called ‘onboarding’ in web design).

An alternative to this approach is called gradual engagement. On uxbooth.com, Nathan Barry, author of Designing Web Applications, explains the process of gradual engagement;

Gradual engagement encourages visitors to become users immediately. Rather than presenting users with information about the product, it enables them to use the product right away, without signing in and without creating an account …at least not until they have had a chance to use the product and add some of their own data!

Barry explains this with the example of a translation app, where you start using the product instantly, while receiving handy tips along the way and getting you hooked at the same time.

Spotify shows how to use gradual engagement on their homepage. The first button you see is ‘start free trial’, on the next page you simply log in using your Facebook account and you’re all set. Once you have the free version of Spotify running, you will be further gradually engaged to upscale to a paid version of this music app.

Gamification to enrich profiles

The process of acquiring more data from web visitors is called profile enrichment. You can integrate this e.g. using a completeness meter or by building a campaign around it.

The completeness meter

The completeness meter, love it (when applying it on your web interface) or hate it (when you are at only 50% completeness of your profile and want to be at 100%). A powerful tool to use when you want to keep the user on track of completing a specific goal, or when you want to ensure that your users complete a set of minimum tasks that make up their presence. Read more on how and when to apply.

Google Plus added the same gaming mechanics:

Google Plus profile completeness

Profile strength

Recently, Linkedin has replaced the completeness meter with a profile ranking, Linkedin Profile Strength.

Profile strength on LinkedinAs described by Linkedin: ‘The Profile Strength meter is on the right side of your profile and gauges how robust your profile is. The strength will increase as you add more content.

Move your cursor over the circle in the box to view the next level of strength you can reach. You can click the Improve Your Profile Strength link for a guided tour that’ll guide you through adding content to your profile.’

Once at the level of All Star, you’re able to share your profile on Linkedin (for what it’s worth). The value of the profile strength causes some discussion on Linkedin itself.

Embedded in a campaign

Bol.com sells media, electronics and household amenities online. In order to get customers accustomed with their huge product assortment they created a personalized ‘tour’ in the world of Bol.com. During the virtual tour you could collect 5 bulbs, and along the way you could update your personal details.

View the campaign site (in Dutch, but visual enough to be understood by anyone).

De wereld van Bol.com

Endorsements

Linkedin makes use of gamification techniques wonderfully. Of course, they have the ‘x people viewed your profile’, which instigates the voyeur in every one, and the profile completeness / profile strength, but the most powerful technique of them all are the endorsements. Are they good? Well, personally I can’t add anything to this article from Andy Foote with the pro’s of Linkedin Endorsements. As Foote puts it:

‘Pure Genius! Endorsements are genius on a number of different levels.

Here are the obvious ones:

  1.  Quick – Endorsements are the quickest way to indicate you rate someone for a skill.
  2. Mass – You can endorse 30 people in 30 seconds. Batch skill likes.
  3. Visual – The result is a simple yet powerful visualization of a person’s varied skill set.

The less obvious ones:

Endorsements on Linkedin

  1.  SEO – Endorsements will be factored into search to improve LinkedIn SEO accuracy.
  2. Game – 99+ for ‘Project Management’, becomes a badge to be earned. I want more badges.
  3. Habit – We check in more often and we become compulsive about Notifications & Endorsements.
  4. Data – More user generated data to sell to LinkedIn clients, incl. recruiters who need to spot talent quickly.’

And finally; if you get over 99 endorsements for a skill you get to the next level, so feel free to endorse me on Linkedin… 😉
Which of the above gamification techniques would you like to add to your site?

About the author

Over the past few years Walter van der Scheer has been evangelizing marketing automation to advertising agencies, e-commerce companies and co-workers alike and has been building a team of determined sales professionals. He has made progress, but the road ahead is still very long. Walter shares his personal experiences and challenges along the road of changing the way that marketing is done, while trying to stick to the strategically chosen path. +

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