Email 2.0: Making Email Cool Again – Part 5
Written by
Rajesh Jain
Rajesh Jain

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Email 2.0: Making Email Cool Again – Part 5

Published : April 4, 2024

The earlier Part 4 covered AMP (interactive emails) and Ems (Microcontent and Stories) as constituents of email innovations. In this part, we will discuss Atomic Rewards, the next innovation.

Atomic Rewards

Atomic Rewards bring gamification to emails. They are micro-incentives to help marketers get attention, drive engagement, nudge behavior, 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 Ems to reward streaks (continuous and consistent engagement).

Atomic Rewards will work best when offered across brands because no single brand can offer enough to make it exciting. Filling the email inbox with rewards 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.

Discover automic rewards- gamifying engagement with micro-incentives - Netcore Cloud

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 consumers earn for actions done in their engagement with brands. Initially, Mus are earned within microns: opening a micron, clicking a link, filling out a survey, or 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 the 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 Reward – The Solution to Attention Recession:

“Attention and engagement are upstream of transactions. Brands have focused on rewarding transactions either through their own loyalty programs 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 customer journeys, onsite and in-app experiences, and transactions. These Mu moments can be the secret to engineering profitable customers for life.”

Email2 – Energizing Engagement:

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 email’s subject line 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 that gamify engagement. The big idea behind Atomic Rewards is to get customers to pay attention and 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, which 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.”

Continued in Part 6

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Written By: Rajesh Jain
Rajesh Jain
Founder and Group MD, Netcore Cloud