Boosting player retention is building player engagement and the perceived value they get from using your platform.

If they don’t see the value in what you offer it won’t matter how strong your offering is, they won’t engage with you. They’ll just take the introductory offer and then move on to the next provider.

The challenge is keeping your players engaged, and that can be harder than you think. Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes has been downloaded over 78 million times but has a retention rate of just 4.5%.

Considering the devoted fanbase of Star Wars, you would expect player retention to be much higher, proving the point.

It takes a lot to hold a player’s interest in a marketplace saturated with choice. And the example is deliberate to highlight how hard it can be to hold on to an already deeply engaged audience.

Most other forms of entertainment and gaming don’t have that to lean on.

But that makes your player retention strategy all the more important. Because if Luke Skywalker has his work cut out for him, then so do you.

Unify your Data

Before you can even attempt to engage with your audience you need to know what to say.

At present, your relationship with your players is highly transactional. They make deposits and play the game.

They have very little – if any – contact with you. Therefore players have little emotional attachment to the games they play or you as a business. 

As long as they keep making deposits and you keep providing games they like to play everyone’s happy.

Except they’re not. Players generally dislike the cold, commercial nature of the relationship. And overall expectations from online users are increasing across all markets.

Similarly, you’re not happy because you’re struggling to retain players, consequently paying more on acquisition. 

But you’re struggling because you don’t know how to engage an audience you know little about.

Except you do.

Your first-party data has everything you need to engage with your players effectively. You just need to unify into one place.

Doing this manually is immensely time-consuming and costly and can become a full-time job on its own. Moreover, any insights are manually generated too.

Aside from the drain on capacity, the data will rapidly become out of date. By the time you’ve gleaned any insight of use, it’ll be too late to act on it.

A customer data platform – or even better, a customer data and engagement platform consolidates your data into one place. And you can access it all in real-time.

It gives you instant access to your entire player database and leverages it in a way that can drive value for you and your players.

Analyse your Data to Understand your Players

Once you’ve consolidated your data into your customer data and engagement platform you can start to gain insight.

There are a couple of key things to consider when understanding your players.

Why do Players Engage with you?

This is essential to engage with your players in a more personalised way. You need to understand what brought your players to you in the first place. And, just as importantly, why they stayed.

Without this understanding, it will be very difficult to create any kind of player retention strategy. 

Understanding what your players find the most fun or the most engaging about your platform can help you give them more of it.

Your customer data platform can give you that insight. The Single Customer View in your CPD will have data on what players played and for how long. It will also tell you how frequently they play that game and how much money they spend.

This last point is especially important. While there might be the opportunity to win money, how much a player is willing to spend on a particular game is a critical measure of enjoyment.

Equipped with this data you can provide your players with a personalised experience. You will be able to present them with the games they like to play as well as others of a similar type.

You can then promote these games to your players confident that they will respond favourably.

What are Player Expectations?

Off the back of this insight, you can glean what your players expect from an experience from you.

This also includes the communications you have with your players too. If, for example, a high proportion of your players are engaging with new games, it’s reasonable to assume they have an interest.

You can use your customer data and engagement platform to segment your audiences so they receive emails or notifications that new games are available.

Not just any new game, new games that match their player profile. Timely, relevant and personalised communications can make a significant difference to player retention.

This extends to all your communications. Whether you’re sending a push notification or an email, the more relevant it is the more likely players are to engage with it.

This is hardly surprising. Emails that seem generic rarely get read and, more often than not, get deleted or marked as spam.

Considering the historic relationship between you and your players, communications with low relevance will appear like little more than revenue generation.

This will damage existing trust in the relationship and increases the chance of player churn.

Communication that reflects their interests over your own is valuable. Leverage your customer data platform to create these hyper-personalised communications. 

Increasing player retention by just 5% can result in a huge uplift in revenue. Not just in the short term but you can grow customer lifetime value as a result.

Simply because engaged players are far less likely to go elsewhere.

Executing a Player Retention Strategy

Here’s the tricky part.

Consolidating your data into a Single Customer View is an important first step. As is analysing player behaviour and what your players want from you.

Now you need to bring it all together. 

Take the time to carefully plan out each of your player retention campaigns.

Each has to have a clear objective and have a specific segment of your player audience in mind. Remember, generic campaigns don’t work.

Your customer data platform gives you the ability to segment your audience into multiple buckets. That allows you to get pretty granular in terms of the communications they receive.

The more specific you can make your communications, the more positively your players will respond.

In addition to the type of campaign, you also need to consider the channels you’re going to use.

The challenge here is not all CDP/CDEPs are created equally. Some are sophisticated data warehouses that require third-party integrations to make use of the data you’ve unified.

This can be problematic as they won’t always do the things you need. Specifically, the ability to build a multichannel, multistage campaign won’t be possible. 

Purely because you’ll be forced to build campaigns on different platforms.

If you’re going to the trouble of unifying your data then unify your means of communication too.

This will help you to execute your player retention strategy to the greatest effect. 

Reporting and Iteration

Another essential element to your player retention campaigns is your ability to report on campaign performance and improve.

Real-time reporting will allow you to see what campaigns are working and which aren’t. Split testing can help you to refine your messaging and then you can make iterative adjustments as the data rolls in.

The ability to get this data in real-time is crucial to giving your players the experience they expect. Never lose sight of the fact it’s an incredibly crowded market and if you don’t meet their expectations, they’ll quickly find a company that will.

Some customer data platforms have artificial intelligence baked in which will give you a greater edge when making improvements to your campaigns.

Take advantage of this technology to refine your messages for maximum player retention.

Beginning your Player Retention Journey

Data unification, sophisticated multi-channel campaigns, multi-stage journey planning and hyper-personalised communications. It’s a lot to take on board. But it is the key to transforming your player retention strategy and increasing revenue.

To learn more about how a customer data platform – with engagement functionality – can transform your business and boost player retention, get in touch and request a demo.

About Xtremepush

Xtremepush is the world’s leading customer data and engagement data platform. We work with various top brands within the eCommerce industry. Schedule a personalised demo of our platform to learn more about how we can help your brand drive repeat customers and increase revenue.