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What Are Player Retention Strategies?

Retaining players means retaining their interest. In a competitive space like sports betting and gaming providers, it’s incredibly hard to hold players’ interest, let alone their loyalty.

Aggressive introductory offers have players jumping from platform to platform. This is because the perceived value of the introductory offer is greater than sticking with one provider.

The problem with that is it fosters a player mindset that’s always looking for a deal, rather than value.

The hard part for any SBG provider out there is differentiating themselves without sacrificing the competitive edge.

However, promotions, free deposits and free spins can still be leveraged to attract customers. They are largely independent of retention strategies.

One is acquisition through creating a sense of urgency, FOMO and even exclusivity.

The other is about long-term value and relationship building.

Both are integral to nurturing your customers to engage with your business in the long term.

Unified Player Data

To retain customers you need to understand them. What they play, how often they play, deposits, wins/losses. All these data points help to create a unified player profile.

Without this insight, any strategy you put in place will fail. You need to be confident that your product, services, offers and other promotions work. Without the data, it’s all guesswork. Guesswork can lead to expensive mistakes.

And unhappy players.

Unifying your data into one place using a customer data platform allows you to build player profiles. 

These profiles will give you key information about each of your players and their behaviours on your platform.

From you here, you can segment your audience into more specific cohorts. These can be anything from your most loyal customers to those showing signs of problem gambling behaviour.

Regardless of the buckets you create, you are then in a position to communicate with your players more effectively. Purely because you know more about them and the kind of information they’d like to receive from you.

Despite the strong promotional drivers, most players would prefer to stay put rather than constantly look for offers.

Having all your data in a Single Customer View helps you to create a player experience that’s worth sticking around for.

Personalised Player Experiences

One of the most important player retention strategies is personalised player experiences. It’s just a case of pooling your disparate data sources into one place.

Consolidating your data into a customer data platform means you can create highly personalised and meaningful experiences. 

As opposed to a scattergun approach that bombards players about every game or race. While it could be argued that making players aware of all the games they can bet on or play drives engagement, the reality is it doesn’t.

Rather it drives engagement among those who have a high propensity for placing bets or playing games. It alienates the rest of your audience because the information isn’t relevant.

One of the main reasons players – or customers in other industries – churn is because they don’t see the business as relevant.

For a player to move from one SBG platform to another because they lack relevance is fairly damning. And so easily avoided. 

The Single Customer View allows you better understand your players’ preferences, which, in turn, allows you to tailor your communications.

Those players who are devoted F1 fans can receive highly personalised emails, SMS and push notifications. You can communicate when the races are happening, who has pole, what the odds are, etc. 

You can then nudge players with real-time updates including adjusted odds and any promotion or offer to encourage deposits.

All of this can readily be achieved by bringing all your player data together and segmenting it accordingly.

It’s just a case of analysing your player data and making those segmentations where it makes the most sense. And can deliver the most value.

Personalised Communications

At the heart of the player, experience is personalised communications. The ability to reach out to your players in a timely fashion is crucial to player retention.

With the right tool, you can create meaningful player journeys that nudge them towards taking action.

While SMS and email are obvious and worthwhile places to start, push notifications are highly effective too.

Using app push notifications you can let players know a game is due to start. You can tell them what the odds are, promotional offers on specific outcomes, and cash back on deposits.

As the action heats up you can create triggers for any players who haven’t deposited and build a sense of urgency. FOMO can be a powerful motivator so leverage this in your push notifications.

But fundamentally they need to be personalised. It’s not enough to know their name. The subject of the communication should be tailored to that customer. Personalised. It should also include information about a sport or game they are interested in. Relevant.

Finally, the communications should be in line with the game etc taking place. Timely.

If you can meet these three requirements your chances of player engagement and player retention increase.

Create a Rewarding Player Experience

Whether on a website or an app, your players want a great experience. Beyond winning, they want to have fun.

There are three components to this:

  • Players want to be recognised

A welcome-back message isn’t enough. When players log in they want to see some acknowledgement that you value their business.

Specifically congratulating them on their latest win. Or, if they haven’t been so lucky, give them a free €/$/£10 deposit to make them feel better. Although a token gesture, it will make a difference, and get players engaged.

  • Their experience needs to be unique

With a customer data platform, you can create a unique, engaging, experience for each of your players. You can show them the content that reflects their playing preferences. You can show them the latest games and current odds. If they’re a loyal player you could go so far as to offer them limited-time exclusive odds.

However you choose to approach it, the important thing is each player should see a dashboard personalised to their preferences, interests and needs. A customer data platform will help you do that.

  • They want to be rewarded

Player retention starts with players feeling like they’re getting something extra back.

A feeling that they’re more than just a number. That the relationship is more than transactional.

Bonuses can help here. You can use your customer data platform to segment your audience and track their behaviour. Use this to create an effective bonus strategy. 

The bonuses you offer are down to you but resist the urge for catch-all promotions. Free spins for a player that’s never played slot games is pointless.

However, giving a player a free €/$/£10 deposit to try them is a great way of engaging players in new ways.

Bonuses based on player behaviour are also an effective way of reducing churn. A limited-time offer of a generous free deposit may be just the thing a lapsed player needs to come back.

Player Retention and Loyalty

A loyalty programme is one of the most effective ways of improving player retention. This can be difficult in such a price and promotion lead industry. However, if you can offer enough value to your players then you make it easier for them to stay.

Offering your players rewards or incentives that increase over time is a great way to increase your player retention.

Most loyalty programmes rely on accruing points through spending money, such as supermarkets. However, you can leverage what you’re already great at; gamification.

Creating a tier system that allows players to ‘level-up’ resonates with your audience. Providing your rewards are varied and offer sufficient value, player retention will rise because the engagement will be there.

Rewards can vary between free spins or personalised products based on their favourite team or sport. You can even go as far as negotiating merchandising agreements with major clubs/teams to offer your customers exclusive products. 

You can even reward players for sharing their activity on social media, extending your reach.

This level of value add is enough to keep die-hard fans coming back for more. As player retention goes, delivering that much value would be game-changing.

Although with so little emphasis placed on player retention by a high proportion of sports betting and gaming providers, you have a real opportunity.

Providing you’re able to provide consistent, personalised, relevant and meaningful rewards, player retention will improve.

Give it a Spin

Player retention, given the right tools, can represent a major boost to your SBG business. In most instances increasing retention by just 5% can boost profits by as little as 25%. In some cases, it can be eight times that amount.

Leveraging your data with a customer data platform to engage with your players more effectively will transform your business.

To learn more, request a demo today and a member of our team can talk you through it.

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.

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