The Five Do’s Of Mobile In-Game Marketing


Mobile games industry is a battlefield in all ways. With the first battle won - a battle for user’s attention and downloads - comes the understanding there’s a whole war yet to come. To win this war and monetize players, marketing teams need to choose the right tactics, keeping in mind a totality of different factors: player types, player spend patterns, gameplay, etc.

Knowing the do’s of mobile in-game marketing can save you a great deal of time, effort and money.

# 1 - In the right place, at the right time

Mobile game players are a timid sort, especially those who fall within a non-paying segment. You will only have a few shots at converting them; to succeed, your offer must hit the bull’s eye in terms of time and gameplay.

Finding the right time to address players with your promo is difficult, but possible. Fortunately, you can monitor player data to know the “schedule” and find a perfect moment. Though there’s no certainty about the best day(s) of the week, one of the deltaDNA studies revealed the best hours: mobile gamers tend to spend most actively at night.  

Considering timing in gameplay terms, players are most susceptible to making in-app purchases at the moment of need. Such as when they’ve just lost a mission or got stuck on a level. Choosing the right point in gameplay to serve your offer depends greatly on the player type you’re targeting.

# 2 - Divide and rule

Generalized approach to monetizing players would be a crime today; there’s so many information about users you can collect, analyze and arm yourself with. Dishing out same offers to everyone in your game isn’t an option, segmenting is a must unless you want to increase churn rates. Players are too sensitive to receiving irrelevant offers and will most likely prefer to get rid of the source (i.e. your game) in that case.

Segment your users and create offers to cover the needs within each segment. Socializers might fall for vanity items, such as avatars or character skins; access to bonus locations might be a honeypot for explorers, etc.

# 3 - It is never too early

Did you know that almost half of the players (40%) leave after the first session? Knowing that you may not have a second chance, would you consider placing a huge reward in front of them shortly after they first launch it? Don’t be afraid of giving away at early stages of gameplay: one of the pillars of high retention is regular - weekly and daily - rewarding. A retained user means a more valuable user.

# 4 - All in good measure

Before it’s too late, we should warn you about the danger of being overly generous. A player who gets too many freebies will become unmotivated to pay and deaf to all your “best” offers.  So give away carefully, as it may impact your game’s economy and revenues. After all, making games is not only about fun, it’s also business.

And one tiny tip about pricing: use the widely known “decoy effect” while putting the price tags on your packs. As we all are relative pricers, we judge about a thing’s value comparing it with values of other things. Say, you have a small 5 coins pack of $1 and a big 60 coins pack of $10, of which most people will probably prefer the first one. Once you add a middle 40 coins pack intentionally overpriced at $9, the majority will stick with the big pack - for an extra $1 they’ll get 20 (!) coins more.

# 5 - Better late than never

Rephrasing the popular expression, an in-app purchase is a dish best served cold. Unlike rewards, the offers work better when pushed out later. Let player familiarize himself with gameplay, start enjoying it and get a sense of achievement before throwing your marketing message at him. It was established that players who pay later in the game eventually turn out to pay more over their lifetime.  

Follow these rules and watch them work to your benefit.
Got some of your own? Feel free to share them in comments.
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Posted by Renatus on October 13, 2017