The popularity of free-to-play or F2P mobile games can never be denied. The free-to-play hit over $12 in revenue since 2020 in the United States alone is expected to hit more in the next few years. F2P is also an attractive business model for mobile games. However, monetization can be challenging. This is linked to having healthier strategies for user engagement, particularly in terms of your mobile game players. To convert free games to loyal and paying customers, identifying the preferences and needs across gaming app users’ lifecycle is needed. The following are five effective user engagement strategies for mobile games:
If you want to make an awesome impression with your users, onboarding is a great strategy for you. Then the onboarding phase happens when users are at higher risks for churn. It has been found out that about 75% of new users leave an app during the first week of download, and the number is higher when it comes to mobile games. Make sure to make the process easier and comfortable for your users.
As soon as they download your app, send them an automated notification welcoming your users to the community. Consider adding links to tutorials that will easily walk them through the features of the game and instructions on how to navigate the application. Give them a picture of what you can offer through sample contents or a small bonus of the in-game currency. You can also offer a guide on the initial phase of the game.
If you notice that they are starting to lose interest and attention, send them a notification to encourage them to keep going. User engagement can take different forms, such as freebies, habit-building reminders to let them keep playing, an invitation to share their activities, or anything that will inspire or motivate them to use your app even more.
As soon as you establish an ingrained and strong habit of app usage among your users, do everything to keep things going like this. If you have successfully built a high-quality game, the habit of playing this game must also build itself. But with the churn levels of mobile games higher than other mobile applications, you’ll certainly need an additional boost of encouragement. You need to ensure that your user engagement tactic is on top of the game. The fastest and most effective way to do this is to design a comprehensive mobile push campaign. Engage your players thrice or four times a day using content that will captivate their attention and interest.
The notifications will serve as reminders to open the app regularly. If they do this, playing your gaming app will automatically become their habit. You can also make use of notifications as gameplay extensions. Send gamers invitations to come back to the app for a raid or a quest. You can also send them a challenge from friends in the gaming community. Fuel their competitive spirit, and you can do this by showing their scores higher than their rival.
No player will stay with your game for long if it is just a typical gameplay stream. You must provide them with milestones that they’ll be willing to work hard for. Milestones can trigger a dopamine rush, and this will encourage them to continue playing. Reward them every time they defeat their enemies or if their skills leveled up. Give them rewards every time a series of tasks are completed. You can also consider sending an in-app message the moment they have completed an action. This is a good way of congratulating them. Never send an empty congratulations. Send rewards to make gaming more engaging and enjoyable. Offer them a new skill or stronger sword that would allow them to access new areas of the game. A highly targeted tactic of personalized milestone engagement would make users feel good for making some progress in your game instead of treading water. Make sure to send users milestone rewards they deserve through push notifications.
The final objective in all F2P games is converting free players to paying clients. There are two major tactics for this. One is micro-purchases, and the other strategy is high-tier gameplay subscription. In the earlier years of free-to-play games, developers only depend on about 2.2% of the gamers making up most of the revenues of mobile games. But strategies on monetization have evolved over time, and almost everybody who established long-term relationships with mobile games ended up as paying customers to a certain extent. Invite users through in-app messaging or push messaging to buy skins, in-game currency, new lives, and aesthetic customizations for avatars.
Another favorite monetization method is inviting users to the premium gameplay tier. This was employed famously by Fortnite, giving players Battle Pass subscriptions that players can purchase for in-game currency. Battle Pass is an invitation to VIP gameplay and pushes notifications to serve as invitations.
There are instances that players won’t stick with your game. The good thing is that there are tools that you can use, such as push notifications to reverse churn. The most recommended strategy is beating churn before this happens. This simply means targeting those at-risk players whose app opens and whose gaming time starts dropping off. Entice them by giving bonus content, special discounts, and free in-game currency.
If they’re completely churned, don’t stop there. If gamers have the app, you’ll be able to communicate with them through push notifications. Remind gamers why they’ve downloaded the game in the first place. Allow them to experience something unique or something that would make them interested in opening the game once again. Ask for feedback with links to the in-app portal. If they aren’t satisfied with your game for some reason, there are surely things that you can do to resolve this matter.
If you’re a game marketer, you need to know your target audience and figure out actions that you want them to take. Game localization can help you with that. This is also a key to building positive connections and user engagement. Game localization also plays an essential role in pushing your game to the next level despite challenges such as COVID-19.