Three Ways to Engage Your Audience With Scratch Cards

Do you remember loving direct mail scratch cards as a kid?

You’d grab the nearest penny, and scratch the play area until you were covered in a glittery mess.

Most of the time you didn’t win, but you didn’t care. It was good, old fashioned fun!

Fast forward to today – interactive content capable of generating that level of excitement is an email marketers dream!

And while studies show that interactivity boosts click rates up to 300% and 88% of marketers say interactive content is effective at differentiating their brand, it’s still an approach that is highly underutilized.

With such undeniable results, why are reveal marketing solutions like scratch cards still largely ignored?

Maybe because they seem too expensive or complicated to create.

But the truth is, with a small budget, some creativity and the right tools, you can create interactive email gold with minimal effort!

Ready to learn more about the world of reveal marketing and scratch cards?

Let’s get started!

The Psychology Behind It All

Operant conditioning is a term used in marketing to describe when campaigns are so compelling that they actually modify the recipients’ behavior.

Basically, when a behavior is rewarded it will be repeated.

Translate this process to email marketing and you can see that when a contact earns a hidden discount in return for interacting with a scratch card, they learn that your messages are worth engaging  with and continue to do so!

So, not only are scratch cards fun but the psychology behind them makes for an incredibly effective email marketing approach.

Sounds easy enough, right?!

Well, let’s make it even easier! Here are 3 styles of scratch cards to consider for your next email campaign:

1. Reveal a Secret Message

Calling all FOMO sufferers! Scratch cards are enough to make a victim of curiosity fly over the edge with anticipation.

Revealing a secret message is a surefire way to skyrocket participation while creating excitement around a new product, a flash sale, or a holiday special:

By asking an email recipient to perform a specific action in exchange for a reward, you are building a relationship very quickly, and one with a high reward for the targeted customer.

This reward system will make them want to loyally open your future emails.

An excellent scratch card will be followed by a big reveal, and then a compelling call to action.

Like this one:


Some CTA examples that work great for scratch cards include:

  • Claim Your Discount
  • Redeem Now
  • Yours, Today!
  • Instant Savings
  • Get Your Reward

If you want to learn more about writing great CTAs, check out this article on improving your click rate with irresistible CTAs.

2. Unlock an Instant Discount

As you can imagine, interactive content receives dramatically higher customer engagement than a static message.

Reveal content, like scratch cards, also fosters greater brand loyalty. Because who doesn’t love a surprise discount?

Instant discount scratch cards often utilize the ‘Near Miss Theory, which makes losing feel like winning through the art of gameplay, failure to reach a goal, and our innate desire to be successful.

If you put out a scratch card offering ‘up to 80% off’ and your customer scratches a 10% discount, they are more likely to try again next time, hoping for a more substantial win.

Voila! Brand interaction and loyalty.

You don’t need a Ph.D. in Psychology to know that ‘Near Miss’ marketing is highly effective. When there is a loss at stake, people will react more often that when you make a passive ask in your email marketing efforts.

The results of this campaign for Prize Candle, for instance, resulted in a 96% completion rate of the scratch-it, along with an incredible 60% increase in revenue over previous campaigns.

Now those are some numbers we can get behind!

3. Tease with a Special Activity

Blame human nature, but it’s the truth – we really dislike things that are unfinished. Remember the adult coloring book craze?

Activity-based scratch cards use the same sort of psychology.

Take this interactive email example from BistroMD, which boosted their conversion rate by a whopping 20X!

Or this one from Alpha Industries who 22X’d their email sign-ups and saw a 12%
 jump in website traffic.

What would you do with a boost like that?!

So, How Else Can You Embrace Reveal Marketing?

Scratch cards are also an excellent choice for:

  • Special event invitations like a grand opening
  • A welcome email with a newcomer discount
  • An exciting (drum roll please) new product reveal

Heck, with services like Zembula, you can build reveal marketing content with scratch, peel, zip, tear, pull, and slide activities!

Plus, when it comes to interactive content, you’re not just limited to reveal marketing styles.

Click through and check out more ways to make your content pop with interactive emails!

We can’t wait to see the clever ideas you come up with!

Kristen Dahlberg

Content ManagerSendlane
As a member of the Sendlane content marketing team, Kristen focuses on everything from organization to content curation and process improvement. She enjoys variety and the challenge of learning the best way to accomplish each new goal.

Outside of work, Kristen spends as much time as possible at the beach, soaking up the San Diego sunshine!