Any kind of marketing strategy relies on a balance. Whether it’s budgets, channels, promotions or how you interact with your audience.
Where the disconnect can occur is balancing user experience with player experience.
The two are related but markedly different and, as such, need to be approached in different ways.
Both need to be a major consideration when putting together any kind of gaming experience. It won’t matter how engaging your player experience is if the user experience is poor.
Equally the best user experience in the world won’t hide glitchy or unrewarding games.
The challenge comes from understanding the roles both of these elements play and how to get the most out of them.
In an industry like sports betting and gaming, to attract and retain customers, both of these components need to be right.
Moreover, they play a part in a much bigger strategy to grow the player base and increase retention.
User experience is how the user interacts with your website. Depending on what your website offers and how you want them to interact with it, the user experience changes.
Essentially it is a mix of design and user journey.
The page layout, the load time of the sight, visuals, and menus all play a part in creating a great user experience.
If navigation isn’t intuitive or the login/create account button isn’t clear players will get frustrated.
With such fierce competition in the SBG space, you need to do everything you can to create a fun and engaging user experience.
There are four main things to consider:
What do you want the players to do?
This is essential. You need to have a very clear idea of what actions you want your audience to take.
Players creating an account and making a deposit are the two key drivers. Therefore your user experience needs to be geared towards those goals.
There are two elements to this. The first is strong visual calls to action. Make it obvious to players what they need to do to start playing. Sign up and make a deposit.
The second is to make the sign-up and deposit processes as easy as possible. The easier the sign-up process is, the more likely players are to complete it.
How will you meet player expectations?
This is something a lot of SBG providers have been very slow to react to. Player expectations are changing. Placing a bet or playing a game isn’t enough and increasingly players want more value from the provider they play with.
Built into your user experience needs to be a robust mechanism to reward players beyond payouts. These rewards can take many forms – and can be as simple as keeping them updated when their team is playing.
Regardless, be under no illusion, if you don’t meet your players’ expectations they will simply go somewhere else. They are, after all, not lacking in choice.
What are industry best practices?
There are, of course, best practices within website design and the wider marketing industry. However, it’s also important to balance these with what works best in your industry.
Buyer behaviour is not one size fits all. The way the average player interacts with an SBG website might not be the same as when they use an eCommerce website.
These important differences need to be built into the user experience.
What are industry performance averages?
In addition to knowing your own platform’s performance, you need to understand what the industry averages are.
This point of comparison will give you a clear indication of how well your platform is performing. If you’re wildly adrift of industry averages then improvements need to be made.
Use your website and player data to analyse where the issues lie. If website traffic is up but sign-ups are down, the user experience isn’t good enough.
If sign-ups and initial deposits are strong but then taper off, your player experience needs work.
Bringing it all together
Once you’ve worked through these steps you will have a much clearer picture of what you need to achieve. More importantly, you will have an idea of what your players expect from you and how close to the mark you are.
You’ll then be in a great position to build a user experience that players will find enjoyable and intuitive. It will also serve to drive players towards your identified objectives.
The player experience is more than just the games or betting information you provide. It’s part of it but it goes much deeper.
While the games players can enjoy or events they can bet on are important, this isn’t what creates the player experience.
Player Experience and Player Data
The player experience is heavily influenced by player data. Or specifically the player data you hold.
By leveraging your first-party player data you’re able to create a unique player experience.
More specifically a multi-channel player experience.
Remember, customer expectations are changing and – more to the point – increasing.
That means it’s not enough for you to simply provide engaging games with good payouts. Or up to date betting information.
To offer users the kind of player experience they want, you need to understand the data they’re giving you.
Your platform will have everything you need to know about your players. From basic demographic information through to their preferred game or team.
You’ll know how much they deposit and how frequently they win or lose.
Using a customer data platform you can unify all of this information into a single customer view. From there you can segment your players into specific groups to communicate games or events that will be of most interest to them.
Applying your player data to your website or app means you can create a unique online experience. Each customer will see games or events that reflect their player profile.
You can adjust their player experience by using machine learning to recommend games or sporting events that are similar to their preferences.
This can increase revenue by creating a rewarding, personalised experience for your players.
Once you have access to your player data, you can create a valuable player experience across all your channels.
Generic emails just let players know what games are available or what matches are on. There is no personalisation and therefore limited value.
By leveraging your player data you can tailor communications to your players’ tastes. So rather than a scattergun of match fixtures, you can tailor emails to include just the teams they follow. Across multiple sports.
Players who enjoy online gaming can receive emails letting them know about new games that reflect their interests.
Because your CDP is a platform you can integrate all your data sources into, your communications can become increasingly sophisticated.
Using push notifications, you can update players on the matches they have bets on and any change in odds. This can drive engagement and incremental revenue growth.
The technology can also be aptly applied to lapsed customers. Using the data you have on them, you can create personalised communications to entice them back.
Focusing on games or fixtures they have historically engaged with, coupled with aggressive offers, can re-engage churned players.
The very best player experience focuses on and is built around player loyalty. In such a competitive space as sports betting and gaming, loyalty is hard-won.
However, by using your player data to learn what your repeat players enjoy and engage with, you can nurture their loyalty.
You can utilise some of the tactics that enticed them to your platform in the first place. Free spins, bonus deposits and similar will all keep your players engaged.
The more personalised these become the greater the response. Moreover, if your loyalty programme was gamified, you’re adding in an element that you already know they respond well to.
Levelling up, league tables and high-value prizes for your most loyal players – tailored to their interests – will keep them coming back for more.
While some incentives will need to be based around engagement, you can easily build in deposits, bets placed and games played. Even winning streaks can play a part. The competitive nature of your players will encourage them to place bets and drive revenue.
The Whole Package
User experience and player experience, while addressing different elements of the user journey, are both essential.
You cannot have one without the other if you want to attract and retain players on your platform.
However, it has to be supported by segmented player data and a robust approach to communication and value add.
Focussing solely on revenue generation won’t work without giving something back to your players. You don’t have to, of course, but without it, you’re not giving them any reason to stick around.
Sports betting and gaming is a red ocean industry that’s getting redder by the day. You can’t afford to be just like everyone else. Because all it takes is for one of your competitors to be more aggressive than you can match and you’ve got a problem.
To learn more about how a customer data platform can enhance your player experience and create unique, personalised communications, get in touch with us today, to request a demo.
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.