How Zizzi used an online board game to boost its email marketing

Emily Barley

The low cost of email marketing means it often becomes a simple numbers game - the more people an offer or promotion is sent to, the more likely that someone will open the email and click through to redeem. Restaurant chain Zizzi was sending out emails every week to the two million people who had signed up to receive them, but just 12% of recipients were opening them and only 1% were redeeming vouchers.

"If you're not planning a restaurant visit you're not going to open the email," marketing director Jo Fawcett, told the Technology for Marketing conference held in London in September 2016. "So it wasn't particularly effective."

Nor should it have been a surprise, added Mike Talbot, president and chief visionary at gamification agency 3radical - when people are checking their emails at various times during the day they aren't interested in hearing from an Italian restaurant. But companies like Zizzi continue communicating in the slim hope that they will catch members of their audience at the point where they want to eat pizza.