According to the Conversion portal, the gambling market increased by €4.3 billion in 2018, and its volume would grow by €3.9 billion in 2019. It means that the industry competition will become even higher. Therefore, it is quite important for online casino owners not only to attract new gambler, but also to retain the current ones. Well, what methods are the most efficient in this regard?
Tools for Retaining Online Casino Clients
The high-return gambling industry allures new companies interested in the expansion of their audience to the market. To attract and retain customers, online casino owners develop comprehensive marketing strategies allowing to fulfill players’ demands. One widens a range of casino offers, provides maximum transparency of transactions and access security, as well as adds new ways of withdrawals and major loyalty programs.
There are several efficient and, most significantly, legal tools that help to engage clients and encourage them to return to the resource again and again.
Christina Thakor-Rankin, a Leading Gaming Advisor at 1710 Gaming Ltd. and expert in betting, gaming, and gambling industries with 25 years of experience, has shared her opinion of how gambling online resources can retain steady clients.
Christina Thakor-Rankin will become a speaker at the Prague iGaming Affiliate Conference – event about affiliate marketing in online gambling by the company Smile-Expo, which will take place in the Czech Republic on April 18. The conference will gather top marketers, gambling sphere experts, affiite programs representatives and online casinos operators.
Special Offers, bonuses and loyalty programs
Appealing special offers include non-deposit games, registration bonuses, and cashback in case of losing. Such prizes and bonuses should be optimized for both new clients and regular visitors. Also, it is important to remember about loyalty programs with well-defined rules.
Christina Thakor-Rankin believes that exclusive customer specific deals and offers, and loyalty programs that offer a proper reward are the most efficient tools to retain online casino customers.
“We now live in a world where customers are always looking for the next thing. Being aware of this means we can stay a step ahead by making sure that we keep developing what we do.”
The reason for exclusive customer specific deals and offers is simply to mirror what customers get from other digital service and product providers, believes Christina. According to the expert, it refers to recommendations based upon historic activity, and it works for casinos and gambling sites.
Loyalty programs which really do reward regular customers with something meaningful are also important. Christina explains that it could be points which can be converted to cash or rewards in the form of gifts.
“For example, one of the casinos I use sends a small box of chocolates or a voucher on St Valentines’ Day or my birthday. Another one rewards regular logins with random free cash, spins or gift drops.”
However, expert shares that she probably wouldn’t advocate traditional deposit bonuses, as regulators are starting to take action on this and it’s a little bit boring.
Constant Product Expansion
The more diverse and high-quality games the platform provides, the more players the resource will get.
The specialist is sure that the first thing to attract players is always product, as if a product is no good, clients won’t stay.
“As an industry we’ve struggled with the next generation of players (the Millennials), and logic says that if we miss them, we will probably miss the next generation as well unless we start doing something about it now.”
Christina says that the problem seems to be that the new generation which has grown up in a fully interactive world does not seem to be so interested in a two-dimensional casino game. So, there has been some experimentation with VR and skill-based gambling to look at how we bridge the gap, but it should still be better developed.
“Until we get there, I think that more successful casinos will provide as much as possible to offer something for everyone and tailor products accordingly.”
Here the expert explains that some types of slots work better in different parts of the world, for example, fairy tale games work well in Europe but mean nothing to customers in emerging markets. At the same time, virtual sports are taking off in West Africa, but connectivity and cost of data mean it hasn’t gone online yet.
Push Notifications, Spam and Black SEO
Push notifications, special emails for registered clients, can inspire players for action and offer to place a bet.
Here, Christina believes that spam and black SEO are not as efficient as they used to be. She explains that customers are now far more aware of the tactics used by digital companies to push themselves up the rankings or get their products and services in front of them.
“It is not important if it is white hat or black hat, and improved spam filters help to ensure that even legitimate emails end up being blocked.”
The specialist says, it is only a matter of time before regulators step in, further reducing the effectiveness of traditional affiliate tactics.
“We also need to be aware that traditional SEO is now slowly but surely being superseded by voice – what used to be Google is fast becoming Alexa or Siri and this poses some interesting challenges but also some very interesting opportunities for new forms of affiliate activity.”
Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Analytics in Online Casinos
Talking about AI and big data, Christina mentions that knowledge is power.
“The more we know about our customers, the better we understand their behavior, their motivation, their preferences, so, the better we can serve them.”
AI and data science have already started to take on the role of an “affiliate” on some websites, explains the expert, talking about recommendations for purchases, products or content based upon customers’ activity.
Christina believes data science and machine learning are just taking the principles of customer segmentation and CRM and automating them on a bigger scale. “What will be key is how applications interface and interact with customers,” says Christina.
Role of Affiliate Marketing
“Affiliates as we think of them in the world of gambling are really a child of the internet,” explains Christina.
According to the expert, currently, we’ve gone from internet to mobile, voice and virtual and projected reality. There was also a huge shift in regulation: an open internet market has become more restricted. Christina says that keeping in mind the need to limit exposure to gaming content until age has been verified and a new generation whose interest in casino is lower than previous generations, we see that life for online casino affiliates gets much harder.
“That does not mean they don’t have a role to play – the question will be whether the role is that of an affiliate or of an advocate and influencer.”
At the Prague iGaming Affiliate Conference, Christina Thakor-Rankin will deliver a presentation on the topic: From Affiliate to Influencer – engaging the iGeneration.
Learn more about affiliate marketing from the experts.
Use the promo code SAVE30 and get 30% discount. The amount of tickets is limited.
Details about the event and registration are on the website.