User Retention – How To Keep Your Customers
By Thorsten BleichShare
A successful online gaming platform is like a well-oiled machine, with everything working in synergy. The design of your product needs to appeal to your audience; your marketing efforts need to be targeted, and your IT needs to be one step ahead of the bugs that inevitably crop up. But none of this matters if you can’t retain your users.
The importance of user retention is often overlooked, as many marketers don’t look past the almighty registration process. However, following a click through to a conversion is not the end of the process. To evaluate whether that click was worth it, you need to track that user’s lifetime value to see if they actually monetize, or if they just log-out and become another wasted statistic. Retaining users is much like filling a swimming pool. Now, imagine trying to fill that swimming pool with a leaky bucket. As you fill up your bucket, the same amount of water is leaking out the bottom. In short, it’s not very effective.
Running an online gaming website without a strong focus on retaining users is essentially the same thing. Your site might get 1000 new registrations per day, but if those users don’t return, you’re constantly wasting your marketing resources to get new ones. You need to focus on the ‘value’ of your users. When there is a high return rate, the value per user increases and should balance out your acquisition costs. When a user pays more, you can pay more for other users – and target quality non-incentivized traffic that has a higher potential to convert into paying users. When your users don’t return to your site, and they don’t monetize – you have to settle for cheap, irrelevant, incentivized traffic that probably won’t monetize very well either (essentially, you’re picking up that leaky bucket again). We have summarized a few techniques and ideas that will help you retain your uses and get the most value from them:
1. Convincing product. Your product is the most powerful tool you have to retain your users. You need to ensure that it looks amazing and has unique, interesting content to keep the user engaged. Remember, the minute your users get bored, is the minute they start tuning out!
2. Communication. Ensure that the communication channel between your product and your users is constantly flowing – but be smart about the way you contact them. Once upon a time, you’d simply send out a newsletter and that would be it. But today’s users are spamsavvy and these emails often end up in the junk mail folder. Try to incorporate direct communication into your product through messages and notifications. You should also send relevant discounts and special offers directly to their email inbox, but be careful not to spam them.
3. Giveaways. One of the beautiful things about online gaming is that once an object is produced, it costs nothing to reproduce over and over again. So share the love, and show your users how much you value them by sending regular gifts.
4. Friend updates. Tuning into the community needs of your users awakens their interest and gives them a reason to be engaged with your product. Keep them updated on their friend’s activities and suggest how they can grow their network.
5. Facebook. Apps are set to rule the internet, so to increase your relevance with your users – get integrated! Enable updates to be seen on Facebook newsfeeds so that your product is exposed to an extended audience as well. This will help you to drive in new traffic, while keeping your existing users engaged with your product.（Source：socialgamesobserver）