With the online gaming industry in full bloom, there’s one question on everyone’s minds: How do you successfully market your iGaming business in order to position yourself as a leader in this highly competitive industry?
A full-on marketing strategy should focus on acquiring new customers, retaining existing customers, while also encouraging the re-activation of disengaged customers who have stopped playing somewhere along the way.
Customer retention is just as important as customer acquisition, and given the fact that the cost of acquiring a customer is on the rise, it is becoming more important to develop solid customer retention strategies that allow you to keep your players hooked and coming back to you.
Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly used customer acquisition and retention strategies.
Online gaming companies use promotions to acquire new customers, retain existing ones and re-engage former players who have stopped playing. Promotions can be used when launching new games, to pique the players’ interest, by offering free plays or free spins, for instance.
There are different types of promotions generally used, but the most popular are:
– Bonuses, such as free spins (casino) or free bets (sports betting), various deposit bonuses such as welcome bonuses and reload bonuses, refer-a-friend bonuses, and other types of incentives that encourage players to sign up, deposit and play.
– Freeplay, allow players to play the games (typically poker and casino) for free/fun, without staking real money.
– Cashback promotions, which return a portion of losses.
– Frequent Player Points (FPP), loyalty programs that let players earn points for their activity on the gaming site, which in turn can be spent on various rewards.
Since customers are coming to expect promotions as part of the general offering and they are also becoming “savvier” when it comes to comparing offerings from different companies, this means that it is imperial that you make use of creative promotions and offer surprise promotions in order to trigger the desired behavioral change.
Take into account that the number of savvy high rollers is on the increase, and they make up the most part of the revenue, so you must know how to properly attract and retain top spenders. Offering full-time VIP services for your high rollers is one way to go, which means offering them privileges, including special deals, extra bonuses, free tickets for events and a dedicated VIP manager to look after their every need.
Promotions can also be used to cross-sell different products. For instance, players who start out playing slots or casino games may be offered promotions meant to encourage them to bet on sports. Cross selling is important because players who use multiple products stay loyal to the company and have an overall higher lifetime value.
Limited time in-game events
A great retention strategy is to provide in-game events that offer players rewards for completing certain tasks and encourage them to keep on playing. One such example is offering players ticket-based tournaments, which allow them to purchase tickets and participate in tournaments that are held during a certain period of time (24 to 48 hours) in play-for-fun mode.
Another idea is designing creative ideas for seasonal events (Easter, Christmas, World Cup, and the like) and offering daily or regular promotions (bonuses, free spins, etc.) with an increase in value as time goes by, in order to keep the user depositing and playing until they can receive the final promotion. These types of promotions attract new users and keep old ones coming back, provided that they are attractive enough for the player.
Sending push notifications
Push notifications should be fun, not spammy, and serve to remind players of a game they used to play or that something requires their attention. Sports betting and casino apps should definitely employ this clever strategy as a way to communicate and engage with existing players. Some gambling apps send customers push notifications reminding them of upcoming races or games and encouraging them to place a quick bet, based on the player’s gambling history. According to recent data, push notifications can increase engagement by 40% and drive retention up by 116%.
Employing in-game CRM systems
CRM or Customer Relationship Management allows online gaming companies to retain the best players and maximize returns on their marketing investments. It enables companies to establish closer relationships with their customers and treat players differently based on information collected regarding their spending patterns and general in-game preferences.
CRM systems are extremely valuable in online gaming because they can store and provide detailed information about player statistics, such as the time spent in a game window, average bet, wins and losses, or how far in the future the user projects betting on sporting events, which can be used to predict visit frequency and desired rewards, manage promotions and create personalized offers.
Affiliate marketing represents a partnership between an online gaming operator and a network of affiliates, with the affiliate promoting the operator using links, banners, or other types of content on their website and earning a commission.
Today, there are many types of iGaming affiliate marketing available, including:
– PPC advertising – ads are displayed above and to the side of organic search results for certain keywords;
– SEO – providing new, relevant content meant to improve a site’s ranking for specific keywords;
– Community affiliates – driving traffic to a certain website and engage players through online forum activity. They are also used to build and strengthen relationships with players and keep them coming back to your site;
– Bonus sites – building customer loyalty using incentivized sites where players receive gifts.
When it comes to affiliate marketing, the most important thing to remember is that content is king – you need to provide fresh, useful content that players enjoy reading. It’s also important to see the bigger picture and seek long-term partnerships with reputable sites.
Things to avoid: spam of any kind (email, forums) and black hat SEO techniques.
To conclude, we should remember that the smaller your online gaming business, the more you need to make clever use of various types of promotions to attract players and keep them coming back to your site.
However, instead of focusing solely on bonuses and other types of incentives, try to provide your players with a one-of-a-kind experience that they wouldn’t find anywhere else. This can only be achieved after you have studied your competition, have gained detailed knowledge about the particular market you are targeting, and have explored the market as a player yourself.
Online gaming businesses may also want to consider separating from the usual target market, consisting of young males with medium-high income, and focusing more on attracting the female audience by better catering to their needs.