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Player Engagement: The Secret to Success in the Gaming Industry


Having sports fans regularly use their website or app for betting on their favorite disciplines and teams (whether those are NFL players or football teams) is something all betting brands want. But how exactly can you keep them coming for more, and keep their player engagement intact? There are thousands of other betting services that are vying for their attention. 

But there’s one way in which you can keep your players hooked – and this is player engagement. What is it, and how can you use it to its full benefit? We’ll share a few handful tips you can implement in your betting website or app to make your app users excited to use it. 

What is player engagement?

Player engagement is all about getting players deeply invested and returning for more. They want to spend more of their time (and money) on the product or service because they love how it works and what they can gain from using it. So when there are soccer matches or any other sports competition they want to bet on, their first idea is to open the website or app and place their bets. 

But what’s more, highly-engaged users can be amazing brand ambassadors. Just by sharing a screen from the game on their social media or recommending the app to their friends, they can bring new players to the app. And as a bonus, those users already have a great opinion about the brand – because if their friend is recommending it, then it must be good. 

What can influence player engagement?

Keeping customer satisfaction and engagement as high as possible isn’t an easy task nowadays though. Let’s be honest here, online users really got quite demanding. One poor experience and the users might drift towards another service, one that meets their needs better. 

Zipdo, for example, found that in 2021, 81.9% of users abandoned an app within the first 14 days after downloading!

The reasons why they decide to keep using a service or app or abandon it vary from user to user – but there are a few key elements that are very often influencing this decision.

Design and user experience

Imagine you’ve downloaded a new betting application, and right from the start, everything is so easy to understand. There’s also a beginner-friendly tutorial that shows you the way around and so you can quickly figure out where the features you want are and how you can use those. Finding and betting on your favorite soccer team only takes a few seconds. Everything in the app makes you feel right at home. 

That’s exactly the power of excellent design and UX – users feel comfortable using the application, and so they are more likely to keep using the app.

Personalization and customization

When smartphone owners start using a new betting service, they do it with a very specific goal in mind – for example, betting on what time their favorite professional athletes will have. And they expect that the service will give them a fully personalized and immersive experience.

63% of consumers even say that they will abandon companies that use inefficient personalization strategies. 

What they want is to get timely messages with only relevant and tailored to them content – such as a notification that the competition they are betting on will be starting in 30 minutes. To craft such high-targeted messages for them though, you will need plenty of customer data to create a detailed customer profile. 

That’s something Xtremepush can help you with. By leveraging the detailed customer analytics inside the platform, you could design messages that strike the right chord – and then send those to them when they are most likely to be active.

Gamification and rewards

You surely know the thrill of earning a badge you can share on your social media or receiving a virtual prize for completing in-app tasks. Don’t those make us want to spend more time (and money) on the app just to see what else we can unlock? 

These rewards and achievements are part of gamification – adding game elements to tasks to motivate players to keep going, achieve goals, and stay engaged. Plus, gamification elements are also a fantastic thing for promoting healthy competition among users – who doesn’t want to brag they got a rank than their friend?

Online community 

People want to belong somewhere and have someone with who they can regularly talk about their interests – that’s one of our basic needs. And having an online community is an incredible way to let people interact with other people who have similar interests. Talking with other players about recent matches or competitions, discussing betting strategies, or sharing their best tips helps create strong bonds between the users and the brand – and boost engagement as well. 

Top strategies to keep players engaged

The competition for user attention in the online sports betting industry is only getting fiercer with each year. Sports fans know it, and so they won’t settle for anything less than an exceptional user experience while they are using a betting website or mobile app. So how can you meet (and even exceed) those expectations so they would treat you as their go-to service whenever they want to make a bet? 

There are a few clever strategies you can use here: 

Seamless onboarding 

First impression matters – and that’s especially true for online users. Depending on their first impression of your service, they might either leave your website or uninstall the app without giving it a second thought or keep using it regularly. 

Here’s where a smooth and enjoyable onboarding process can help your new users feel comfortable and excited about the upcoming games right from the start. With beginner-friendly tutorials and tasks you can guide them through the basics, while exclusive limited-time offers can make them more likely to place their bets. A clever idea is also to send their way links to materials that can assist players who are just starting with online bets – for example, articles with best betting strategies for beginners.

Regular content updates

To keep the users excited, your brand should release fresh and relevant content to them regularly. This can include adding new games to your offer, adding new features to the website or app, hosting special events, or running special promotions for a limited time. You have to be careful here not to overwhelm your users with updates though – as then they will be confused and lost rather than thrilled with the updates. 


One of the main reasons why sports fans love online betting is that they get a far more personalized experience than they would ever get from traditional betting. And with having detailed customer data at your fingertips, giving them a tailored customer experience that is ideally matching their interests and thus makes the user feel special is easier than ever.

In-app rewards

And while we are on the topic of enhancing player engagement via personalization – you can use personalized rewards for this goal as well. For example, you can use the data you have from your customer data platform to find out what reward would delight your users the most and then send it to them after your players reach a specific activity or spending rank. 

For example, how about giving them a bonus for the next tennis match they will be betting on? Or maybe free credits for betting in store? Options are virtually endless.

Live streaming and real-time updates

Integrating live streaming of sports events and providing real-time updates on scores and odds can boost the excitement and engagement of your players. This feature will be especially powerful if you combine it with timely push-notiffications that will nudge your players into watching the event and making the bets. 

Social interaction

As we mentioned in the section above, allowing users to connect with their fellow betters and share their betting experiences on social media can make them feel like they are part of a larger community. Whether you decide on having an in-app chat where players can comment on the game in real-time or a dedicated social media group is up to you – you can use the wealth of customer data to pick which option your players would like the most. 

Don’t forget about encouraging them to share their bets or success stories on social media as well, with the help of social media share buttons.

How Xtremepush helped OddsChecker to increase its active userbase by 20% 

At XtremePush, we know just how crucial player engagement is in the sports betting industry – and we can boast that we helped quite a few clients figure out how exactly they can make their new and existing player base happier. 

One such client was OddsChecker, who, in 2018, reached out to Xtremepush as they wanted to enhance their digital marketing strategy and integrate all of their disjoined engagement channels together. Five years later and OddsChecker is still using Xtremepush features such as advanced data analysis, virtual journey planner, and multi-channel campaigns to keep their users delighted.

Xtremepush has had a really positive impact on our results. Just looking back at Cheltenham race this year, and then back to last year, we’ve seen a 20% increase in our active user base and an increase of 18% in bettors from pushing messaging.

Annabel Fairburn, CRM Manager

Do you want to see how Xtremepush works in practice? Then, how about scheduling a demo presentation with our team? With our help, you can turn your users into people who love your product – and are willing to tell others about it. 


Focusing on player engagement is what can make the gaming industry brands shine with their full potential. When they understand what their audience expects from them and how they can make them look forward to opening up the app and betting, brands can keep the players coming to them for years. And us at XtremePush will be happy to help you give your users the experience they deserve – just give us a call 🙂 


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