Email 2.0: Making Email Cool Again (Part 9)

Atomic Rewards

Atomic Rewards bring gamification to emails. They are micro-incentives to help marketers get attention, drive engagement, nudge behaviour and create habits. Think of Atomic Rewards as a loyalty program – linked with attention (time) rather than transactions (money). Atomic Rewards offer the perfect solution to Attention Recession; these rewards can be embedded in AMP-enabled emails or in Ems to reward streaks.

Atomic Rewards will work best when they are offered across brands because no single brand can offer enough to make it exciting. Rewards filling the email inbox is when we will get a mindset change from “delete” to “delight”. Atomic Rewards make perfect economic sense for brands – for a small cost, they can ensure the hotline to the customers stays active because if the customer becomes inactive or churns, the cost for the same attention will be many times higher via the adtech platforms.

Here are some of my past writings on Atomic Rewards (Microns are emails with rewards):

Microns and Loyalty: Gamifying and Rewarding Attention: “Adding elements of loyalty and gamification can make microns much more rewarding. Our attention has a lot of competition; if someone is willing to pay us for it, they have the potential to stand out. By disintermediating the media and ad platforms, brands can build a direct hotline to their customers, with the rewards working as magnets for visibility, engagement, actions and eventually, transactions.”

Imagining Mus: An Attention-Action Currency: “Mus are points that are earned by consumers for actions done in their engagement with brands. Initially, Mus are earned within microns: opening a micron, clicking a link, filling a survey, referrals to family and friends. Later, they could be extended beyond microns – clicking on SMSes or push notifications, downloading an app, completing a profile to share personal information with a brand, and so on. Mus are a transfer from a brand to consumers. Mus are thus earned by consumers. They can be spent on rewards or gifted to others. As the use of Mus expand, they can become currency – a medium of exchange.”

Stop Loss: The Power of Attention Messaging: “By ignoring the power of Attention Messaging, brands are missing a key chapter in their playbook. By spending almost 10X more on the acquisition of new customers than on retention and growth of existing customers, they are simply feeding the profit machines of the tech giants (Google, Facebook, Amazon). By not building deep relationships, they are leaving their customers open to being targeted and acquired by competition, thus leaving their own future vulnerable. Attention Messaging holds the secret for brands to create the twin moats of profits and monopoly.”

Atomic Rewards: The Solution to Attention Recession: “Attention and engagement are upstream of transactions. Brands have focused on rewarding transactions either through loyalty programs of their own or partnerships with credit card companies. But what has been missed (or ignored) is what comes before the transaction – our attention. This is where “atomic rewards” can be the game changer as the solution to attention recession…Attention and engagement need as much focus as marketers are doing with customer journeys, onsite and in-app experiences, and transactions. These Mu moments can be the secret to engineering profitable customers for life.”

Email2: Energising Engagement (Part 4): “Microns are emails (and can be any push message later) which have a micro-incentive for a micro-moment (an action to be performed by the recipient). These actions could be opening the email, clicking on a link, filling out a form in the email, answering a quiz, or just providing feedback. The subject line of the email uniquely identifies such an email, and the points earned are updated in the email footer. In my writings, I termed this concept of incentives as “Atomic Rewards” and called the points as “Mu” (µ). Microns are the carriers of Atomic Rewards. They are emails which gamify engagement…The big idea behind Atomic Rewards: to get customers to pay attention pay them for their attention. (Else one will pay Google and Facebook 100X more for them if they churn.)”

Constructing the µniverse: “µniverse exists in cyberspace. There is no single owner who decides, only rules that determine the actions. It is a two-sided marketplace, an exchange. It connects brands with their customers. Unlike the BigTech companies who play the role of intermediary and take a huge cut, µniverse simply enables a direct connection via its µ token as enabler.  It lies at the intersection of three worlds: gaming, loyalty, and crypto.”

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.