Proof That Email Marketing Can Increase Game Sales

by Justin Carroll

MailChimp's mascot with Mario's gold coins over his eyes. Is he dead?

Did you know that email is 40x better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter combined? Email marketing is effective. And I’ll prove it.

I’ve been yelling this for a long time, email marketing is extremely effective. But before we begin to unpack that I’d like us to keep in mind that the average game player is 31 years old.

What use are juicy email marketing statistics if they make no sense for selling games?

That said, let’s look at the evidence.

1. The average email user is 31 years old

Yes, the exact same age as the average gamer. It’s as if the stars have aligned and email marketing has been created solely for selling more games.

I expect those numbers will fluctuate 5 years or so in the next decade.

The age group we’re talking about here are called millennials, a demographic of people who grew up on the internet. When I went searching for correlating email marketing data for 31 year olds what I found was incredible.

People ages 25-35 prefer to be contacted by email from retailers a whopping 47% more than any other method of communication.

Social media only came in at 6%.

Another study in my research showed where only 10% of people preferred to be contacted by Facebook, 90% chose to receive email newsletters.

This proves that the magic age of 31 is more true, with far more importance, than we originally thought.

Source: MailChimp

2. Email is 40x more successful at acquiring new customers

First of all, mic drop. Second, this makes a lot of sense given the background of my first statistic.

Don’t get me wrong, social media, whatever the cool kids are using, is a fantastic way to both attract new players and build relationships.

But when it comes to selling more games email marketing wins that race every time.

There’s nothing quite like having your entire fanbase, people who’ve literally asked to hear from you, instantly available at the click of a button.

When you release your next game think about all the time and money you’ll spend to trying to drum up enough attention to impact your initial sales.

Wouldn’t you sleep better at night if you knew thousands of fans would come through for you no matter what – thousands of fans who anticipate your every move and sales you could rely on every time?

Source: McKinsey & Company

3. 81% of digital shoppers are likely to make a purchase from targeted emails

Game developers and publishers don’t often think of themselves like this, but at the end of the day, behind the story, characters and environments, you’re a business, a retailer even. And your games are products.

People browsing marketplaces like the App Store, Google Play or Steam are, well, shopping – they’re shopping for games to buy, even if buying is making in-app purchases.

And when shoppers were surveyed 81% of respondents said they were somewhat likely to make additional purchases online as a result of targeted emails.

Your subscribers like buying from you so long as you keep content relevant to their needs.

And let’s not forget they signed up to receive your emails. You never forced their hand or added them manually. No, they took an action, one that said, “Hey, I really like your products. And I’d like to stay informed about them.”

Source: Harris Interactive

4. Email marketing is 56% effective for retention

This is my personal favorite because it harkens back to my entire philosophy on video game marketing.

I’ll save you my long-winded philosophizing, but customer retention rate (CRR) is crucial to being successful in video games. And I’m not talking about CRR for your games, I’m talking about CRR for your company.

Don’t make the mistake of confusing the two.

Too many game developers and publishers are only looking at CRR from the perspective of their games, meaning how long a player stays with a game. But that’s a devastating business mistake. What you really want to look at, what successful game developers and publishers all look at, is how long a player stays with their company, that’s real CRR.

And here we find evidence that when it comes to digital marketing techniques email marketing is the most effective by 56%.

Furthermore, mobile ads, the money-suck vortex of video game marketing, are only 8% effective.

This is something to think about as you weigh the amount of money you might waste in paid advertising this year.

Source: eMarketer

5. Email yields a 94% return on investment

And last, but not least, the 500-pound gorilla of email marketing statistics, the one that matters most, return on investment (ROI).

Ok, so let’s say email marketing works like I say it does. You spend time and money setting it up, optimizing it for your audience, designing your emails and finally sending those emails out to your subscribers.

Then what?

How well does it work for all that effort?

The average ROI from email marketers across all their email marketing programs is 119%.

A study from the DMA even puts ROI from email marketing at (and I hope you’re sitting down) 4,300%.

No matter how you slice the data most email marketers are doubling their money and then some.

Even more fascinating was the companies who sent less than 100,000 emails per month (i.e. companies with less than 100,000 subscribers on their mailing list) and saw the most return at 139%.

That means no complaining you don’t have enough subscribers to make an impact.

This is the meat. For every marketing dollar you spend it’s important you see a return. And this proves email marketing can do that for you.

Source: MarketingSherpa


It’s very simple, email marketing works. This is proof.

Your cost of entry is time. MailChimp offers free email marketing for up to 2,000 subscribers (I’m not an affiliate). I’ve used both MailChimp and Aweber in the past. However, my personal choice is Drip.

In order for email marketing to be successful it has to be done well. Don’t just draft an email, send and expect your returns to shatter records. Simply get started by asking your players to subscribe on your website, personal interactions, social media, support systems and any other marketing channel within your reach.

Do that first. Then worry about what to do with them.

P.S. If you need to make a move towards email marketing, or if you already have and want my help to optimize your returns, email me today. No pun intended.