Sharon Magen provided his view on mobile advertising during his session at Casual Connect Eastern Europe 2014. He says, “With mobile devices, advertising is getting more personal.”
Magen first broke into the gaming industry a few years ago to do performance marketing to large gaming and casino companies. Since then, the industry has not only grown exponentially, but it has become increasingly competitive as publishers get more sophisticated and eat up companies who can’t keep up with the times. “These days, having a good game is not enough,” Magen says. “You need to be able to understand user acquisition, be an expert on monetization, and have a strong retention and engagement plan.”
Luckily, Appoxee has the answer for companies seeking to strengthen their engagement and retention capabilities. The company provides a robust mobile marketing automation platform to engage with and retain mobile game users. Magen notes that gamers can be fickle and are “always looking to try the next hottest thing” — resulting in somewhere around 80 percent of apps being used only once and then forgotten about. Therefore, keeping gamers happily engaged is key to success for any gaming app.
Magen says that Appoxee makes it easy for companies to implement push notification and in-app messages campaigns, which increases engagement from active users and can “win back dormant users from the dead.” He also notes that this helps to offset some of the huge rising acquisition costs these days. These push notification campaigns allow companies to communicate with their gamers when they are not actively using the game and can function as a way to get them back or make them play more often.
Using Push Notifications
Effectively utilizing push notification campaigns can be a delicate business, though. “It’s all about the right message to the right user at the right time,” Magen says. “The trick is to send the most relevant message to each person without risking uninstall.” For instance, if a gamer hasn’t used the game in six months, you would probably not want to send him a message offering him a new sword. However, a message reminding him of a major game update could get him back to check the app.
Magen notes that push notifications are counterproductive when used incorrectly — such as when messages target the wrong person, are sent too frequently, have no value (i.e. “please come play!”), or are sent out at inopportune times such as when the player is sleeping. Rather, push notifications are most effective in two major cases: 1) Getting dormant users back into the app and 2) increasing the lifetime value of existing users. Magen notes that Appoxee has seen 80 percent of users drop an app within a month, but has had great success in bringing a large percentage of those users back. Likewise, they’ve managed to increase the lifetime value of existing users by up to three times.
An Effective Campaign
Magen says the best push campaigns include elements of personalization, segmentation, and automation. He notes that people ignore or delete generic messages and communications, but personalizing messages with relevant user information (such as their name or game level) can boost click through rates by 30-40 percent. “Segmenting your users by key demographics and behaviors and offering different types of offers to appeal to them is key,” he says. “Automating the messages to be delivered on defined triggers means you can reach your users at the right moments in your gameplay funnel.”
The best way to see if a push notification is working effectively by looking at certain analytic metrics. For instance, a company can look at the activation rates, open rates, and uninstall/push-disabled rates to gauge the effectiveness of a campaign and see what’s working and what’s not.
The bottom line though is that push notification campaigns work. “I have been working with many game publishers and we have done enough tests to see that utilizing push is well worth the effort,” Magen says. “By not utilizing push at all, you are sure to get a high percentage of your users forgetting about your app quickly and going dormant, leaving a huge source of revenue untapped and forcing you to acquire more and more new users to fill the gap. In addition, we have seen how push campaigns to active users can more than double their lifetime value.”
While companies will benefit from the services Appoxee has to offer, Appoxee has also proved to be a perfect fit for Magen who enjoys the science behind game monetization. “Now at Appoxee, I’m continuing to help not just gaming apps but all apps boost their engagement, retention, and revenues.”