Sports betting and iGaming is a multi-billion-dollar market. However, the sector faces a significant challenge as 25% of users abandon apps after a single use, forever. 

This makes player retention not just a goal but a necessity.
And gives food for thought to operators. Are we doing enough to retain our players? And, if not, what else can be done here?

Gamification is the answer – and a very versatile one. 

The 1.0 Approach to Player Retention: obsolete methods

Lifecycle marketing is crucial in SBG. However, isolated, traditional approaches often lead to inefficient strategies. 

For example, a sports betting app might send generic promotional emails that result in a mere 5-10% conversion rate. Or, they might run some promotions in-app, but without much context and far away from the right timing. 

It’s not like operators don’t do anything towards player retention. They simply might not keep up with the players demands when it comes to communication and offer. They might do enough to occasionally get users back to the app, but this might not be a sustainable and repeatable process.

In 2023 – and beyond – operators need to do more, and better. This leaves them with a few options, for example, sending a lot of special offers and discounts. 

While this DOES work on the players, it comes with two main disadvantages

  1. This might negatively affect profit margins and revenue as the operators need to spend money and resources on advertising and giving away some of the profit towards these deals. 
  2. Players are loyal only when they are given something. They don’t have a reason to come back to the app otherwise – they need to be incentivized. And, if the app relies on special deals when incentivizing players, it becomes apparent that they are tied to these special deals in business growth. 

All in all – it might not be the most sustainable method here. While it might make players attracted, it won’t keep them attracted unless it works 24/7. 

The traditional approach involves multiple steps: data extraction, analysis, and reimplementation. This cumbersome process can lead to a loss in potential revenue due to delayed actions. 

The 2.0 approach to Player Retention: Omnichannel Engagement Platform, with built-in CDP

Unified Omnichannel Engagement Platform with built-in CDP is revolutionizing the way operators manage player retention. 

By automating data collection, segmentation, and analysis, these platforms free up operators to focus on crafting more effective strategies rather than getting bogged down in data management. This means that operators can now concentrate on what truly matters: understanding player behavior and tailoring experiences that not only attract but also retain players.

More strategy, less management. But even this process now can be powered up. 

The 3.0 Approach to Player Retention: Omnichannel Engagement Platform, with built-in CDP + gamification

Daily, the average person is exposed to upwards of 10,000 promotional messages or branded items. Thousands!

In an era of informational chaos, operators understand now that retaining players requires more than just flashy promotions or one-time incentives. 

Loyalty in SBG involves turning a casual bettor into a brand advocate. Gamification serves as the ‘how’ to achieve this loyalty. 

And it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Gamification leverages psychological principles like reward loops and social validation. These elements not only make the gaming platform more engaging but also foster a sense of community among players, thereby increasing their emotional investment in the brand.

But the benefits are many:

Enhanced User Engagement

Gamification adds an extra layer of interactivity that keeps players hooked. Elements like rewards, badges, and leaderboards make the user experience more engaging, thereby increasing the likelihood of return visits.

Psychological Incentives

The use of gamification taps into basic psychological triggers such as the need for achievement and social recognition. This motivates players to continue interacting with the platform, thus improving retention rates.

Community Building

Gamification often includes social features like challenges, team quests, or leaderboards that encourage community interaction. A strong community can be a significant factor in retaining players, as it creates a sense of belonging.

Personalised Experience

Gamification allows for the tracking of user behaviour and preferences. This data can be used to offer a more personalised experience, which in turn makes the player feel valued and more likely to return.

Incremental Progression

The use of levels, points, or other progression metrics gives players a sense of accomplishment and a clear path forward. This incremental progression keeps players invested in the long term.

Enhanced Onboarding

Gamification can make the onboarding process more interactive and enjoyable, thereby reducing the initial friction that might otherwise discourage new users from continuing to engage with the platform.

Monetization Opportunities

Retained users are more likely to make in-app purchases or subscribe to premium features. Gamification can thus not only improve retention but also contribute to revenue generation.

Feedback Mechanism

Gamification provides immediate feedback through rewards or penalties, helping players understand what they’re doing right or wrong. This feedback loop keeps players engaged and continuously learning, which is key for long-term retention.


One of the strengths of gamification is its adaptability. It can be tailored to fit various types of content and audiences, making it a versatile tool for improving retention across different platforms and genres.

Competitive Advantage

In a saturated market, having a gamified experience can set a platform apart from competitors. It offers an additional value proposition that can be the deciding factor for users when choosing between similar services.

Gamification Examples

How do you implement gamification in a way that genuinely enhances the user experience? Below, we explore a range of gamification techniques, each seamlessly integrated with Omnichannel Engagement Platform, with built-in CDP to maximize impact on player retention.

#1 Reward Systems

  • How it Works: Players earn points, badges, or virtual currency for completing tasks, challenges, or simply engaging with the platform.
  • Unified Omnichannel Engagement Platform, with built-in CDP Integration: Real-time tracking of consecutive wins
  • Impact on Retention: These rewards act as positive reinforcement, encouraging players to continue their interaction with the game or platform.
  • Example: “Hot Streak” Badge for Consecutive Wins
  • Outcome: Players on a winning streak receive a ‘Hot Streak’ badge, which not only boosts their confidence, but also encourages them to place more bets. The badge could unlock special odds or bonuses, further incentivizing gameplay.

#2 Leaderboards

  • How it Works: Leaderboards showcase players’ rankings based on their scores, wins, or other metrics, fueling a competitive spirit.
  • Unified Omnichannel Engagement Platform, with built-in CDP Integration: Real-time updates of player rankings and scores.
  • Impact on Retention: The innate human desire for recognition and competition is tapped into, encouraging players to engage more to climb the ranks.
  • Example: “Top Scorer of the Week” title awarded to the highest-ranking player.
  • Outcome: Players strive to achieve the “Top Scorer of the Week” title, which could come with exclusive rewards or bonuses, thereby increasing engagement and playtime.

#3 Quests and Challenges

  • How it Works: Players are offered a variety of quests and challenges that they can complete within a set timeframe to earn rewards.
  • Unified Omnichannel Engagement Platform, with built-in CDP Integration:  Tracking of quest completion rates and player participation.
  • Impact on Retention: The time-sensitive nature of these quests adds a layer of urgency, compelling players to log in regularly.
  • Example: “Treasure Hunt Tuesdays” where players can find hidden treasures within the game.
  • Outcome: Players are more likely to log in on Tuesdays to participate in the treasure hunt, increasing mid-week engagement.

#4 Social Features

  • How it Works: Players can share their achievements on social media or collaborate with friends in-game.
  • Unified Omnichannel Engagement Platform, with built-in CDP Integration:  Monitoring of social shares and friend invites.
  • Impact on Retention: The social aspect makes the game more communal, encouraging players to return and play with friends.
  • Example: “Friendship Quests” that can only be completed with a friend.
  • Outcome: Players are incentivized to invite friends to play, expanding the user base and increasing engagement.

#5 Progress Tracking

  • How it Works: Features like progress bars or achievement milestones show players how far they’ve come.
  • Unified Omnichannel Engagement Platform, with built-in CDP Integration:  Real-time tracking of player milestones.
  • Impact on Retention: Visible progress markers motivate players to continue their journey within the game.
  • Example: “Level Up” rewards for reaching certain milestones.
  • Outcome: Players are encouraged to reach the next milestone for additional rewards, thereby extending gameplay.

#6 Personalisation

  • How it Works: Tailoring the game experience based on player behavior and preferences.
  • Unified Omnichannel Engagement Platform, with built-in CDP Integration:  Data analytics to offer personalised experiences.
  • Impact on Retention: Players feel a deeper connection to the game, increasing their likelihood to return.
  • Example: “Personalised Daily Challenges” based on player history.
  • Outcome: Players find the challenges more relevant and engaging, increasing daily log-ins.

#7 Onboarding Tutorials

  • How it Works: Interactive tutorials guide new players through the game mechanics.
  • Unified Omnichannel Engagement Platform, with built-in CDP Integration:  Tracking of tutorial completion and user drop-off rates.
  • Impact on Retention: A seamless onboarding experience ensures that players understand the game – and this impacts reducing early drop-offs.
  • Example: “Starter Pack” awarded upon completing the tutorial.
  • Outcome: New players are more likely to continue playing after receiving initial rewards.

#8 Feedback Loops

  • How it Works: Immediate cues like sounds or visuals indicate player actions’ outcomes.
  • Unified Omnichannel Engagement Platform, with built-in CDP Integration:  Real-time tracking of player reactions to feedback.
  • Impact on Retention: Players gain a better understanding of the game, making it more engaging.
  • Example: “Success Chime” for completing a challenge.
  • Outcome: Positive auditory feedback enhances player satisfaction and engagement.

#9 Achievement Systems

  • How it Works: Long-term goals or badges that players can aim for.
  • Unified Omnichannel Engagement Platform, with built-in CDP Integration:  Tracking of achievement unlocks and player progress.
  • Impact on Retention: Long-term goals keep players invested in the game for extended periods.
  • Example: “Master Explorer” badge for discovering all game locations.
  • Outcome: Players are motivated to explore the game fully, prolonging their engagement.

#10 Seasonal or Themed Events

  • How it Works: Time-limited events offer unique challenges and rewards.
  • Unified Omnichannel Engagement Platform, with built-in CDP Integration:  Monitoring of event participation and reward redemption.
  • Impact on Retention: Special events add a freshness factor, luring players back into the game.
  • Example: “Halloween Spookfest” with exclusive Halloween-themed rewards.
  • Outcome: Players are more likely to return to the game to participate in seasonal events, boosting engagement during those periods.

The Synergy of Gamification and Unified Omnichannel Engagement Platform, with built-in CDP 

The interaction between gamification and Unified Omnichannel Engagement Platform, with built-in CDP, is key for boosting player retention and loyalty. Real-time data analytics enable instant marketing adjustments, such as push notifications about live odds, increasing in-game betting. 

Gamification elements are seamlessly triggered based on this real-time data, enhancing the user experience. If you’re an SBG operator, investing in these integrated technologies is a strategic imperative for securing a future loyal player base. 

In essence, the marriage of gamification and Unified Omnichannel Engagement Platform, with built-in CDP is the future of sustainable and engaging player experiences in the SBG industry.

Click to download our guide to increasing eCommerce conversions and retention.