[Updated on May 2022]
The world of online gaming is fiercely competitive, meaning that operators must provide the best user experiences to create a loyal player base for the long term. Customer retention is just as important as acquisition, especially when you consider the costs involved with acquiring new iGaming players in a highly competitive market.
In this article, we’ll explore strategies that operators can employ to attract more iGaming players and ensure they remain engaged for the longest possible time.
“How-to” strategies for player attraction and retention:
Through promotions such as free spins, tournaments, missions, or special bonuses, players can be informed of exciting features and have the incentive to take part. But, to master players’ engagement, it is important to know what motivates them in the first place.
- Bonuses granted according to user activities like cashback on losses need to be adequate to the personal wagering pattern. For example, if a player usually wagers a €5 bet, granting 10 free spins of €1 will not be attractive.
- The mechanism of tournaments and leaderboards that run for a week or weekend should be based on points from win-to-bet multipliers and not on bets or wins. In this way, players who join the tournament late can still have the chance to win by being lucky to get a big multiplier over their bet. This mechanism also flattens the bet size allowing each player to play with their comfortable wagering size (except if a minimum bet is defined).
- When granting a bonus as a trigger to user action(s) it is better to grant the bonus immediately in real-time to ensure the best player experience. It is discouraging for a person to complete the requirements for a bonus and then have to wait to receive the award.
Whatever promotions you end up choosing, you need to make sure that they are meaningful and not just there for the sake of it. Today’s players have never had more choices and will most likely be comparing your offering with the competition to see which has the best offers and promotions for new and returning players. To really stand out, you will need to be more creative, more generous, and more genuine in your approach to create a truer sense of value.
For instance, think about your high rollers that have a high source of income. They are likely to make up a considerable proportion of your revenue, so it’ll be in your interest to keep them engaged with your business. Competitors will likely be targeting them with special offers, so retaining top valued players be a priority. Consider giving them incentives and privileges that are separate from those offered to general iGaming players, such as tickets to events, special gifts, bigger more effective bonuses, and more dedicated customer service.
Promotional activities that involve cross-selling can also have a significant impact by raising awareness of your other products, platforms, and services. For example, if your business offers both online casino and sportsbook facilities to players, you’ll typically have two distinct sets of customers who prefer one or the other. By using cross-promotional strategies you can encourage them to explore other forms of iGaming to increase revenue streams and player retention.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms are tools used by many iGaming companies to retain their most important players to maximize long-term revenue and ROI on marketing investments. By creating deeper relationships between the business and players of all ages (including Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and even Boomers), you’ll be able to understand more about their needs, spending patterns, and preferences.
Building up a robust CRM system can make a real difference to your bottom line in the long run as it can be used to store and arrange various aspects of customer behavior, such as their game preferences, average bets, win rates, deposit amounts, and other datasets. Then, by aggregating and segmenting based on these different data sets, your team can go ahead and deliver promotions, offers, and relevant communications for more targeted and tailored experiences across the board.
Today’s technology allows progress from traditional communication channels such as email and SMS to push notifications and real-time engagement. This capability facilitates higher contextual and relevant personalized offers, resulting in more efficient retention.
Events are a powerful retention strategy that can be used to encourage players to keep on playing. By giving iGaming players special rewards based on completing certain tasks or reaching new milestones you can keep them engaged outside of the regular games they are already enjoying.
Events can come in many different forms depending on your marketing goals and branding. From offering ticket-based tournaments through to seasonal events such as Christmas, New Year, Halloween, and other important calendar moments, you can keep users interested and depositing all-year-round.
Achievements, leagues, and tournaments let users feel like they’re part of a community while also encouraging healthy competition, resulting in a genuine sense of accomplishment when specific goals are met.
Gamification’s positive psychological reinforcement provides players the joy of overcoming the system, completing a milestone, or even unlocking a special feature. Even a minor fanfare when they reach a specific number of bets or their registration anniversary might make them feel like they are a part of something and that the operator is paying attention to them.
Gamification in online gambling can foster stickiness (repeated visits and interactions), rewards, retention, loyalty, and can even train players on the usage of a specific product or platform. These tools typically include missions, tournaments, badges, levels, points, and community leaderboards.
In a sports and casino operation, between 5-10% of the players are betting on both products. Conducting retention activities like the above on both products at the same time guarantees a higher level of engagement. Traditionally, casino players enjoy enhanced gamification and engagement features, far more than sports bettors. Having a cross-product approach retains not only casino players and sports bettors separately, but also mutually.
All the above information, tips, and techniques must of course take responsible gambling into consideration so that bettors and players can remain safe from any overdoing. That’s why any player engagement activities must adhere to different regulations per market that observe responsible gambling.
The iGaming industry and available technologies are changing all the time, so it stands to reason that operators and their suppliers must change with it. With so much competition out there, retention has never been more important. By considering the above approaches you’ll stand a better chance of standing out amongst the competition. After all, attracting new iGaming players is just half the battle: keeping them is where the challenge lies.
Study your competition, get to know your customers, and don’t be afraid of exploring new ways of working. With decades of experience behind us, the team at Delasport is here to help you achieve the above.