What’s the best way to convert free-to-play gamers into paying customers?
That’s the billion dollar question facing game publishers these days, but mobile games studio Magmic thinks they’re on the right road after teaming with business engine PlayHaven on a highly-targeted marketing campaign that saw revenue jump 30-percent thanks to the number of free users moving to the paid version of their Phase 10 app.
“The key to migrating free players to a paid version of the same game is understanding what motivates your player,” says Kasey Galang, director of product marketing, PlayHaven. “For instance, some of your players might really dislike seeing ads while others might want access to more challenging content. Once a developer understands these motivations, they then need to craft the appropriate incentive, promote it to the right players, and test its effectiveness in migrating players from free to paid.
“The PlayHaven platform allows game developers to test messaging and then optimize according to what is working. Utilizing cross-promotions to understand player motivation, Magmic discovered that the majority of their players were either motivated by a more complex version of the free game or by an ad-free gaming experience. After discovering what was working, they intelligently targeted their players with relevant messaging with stellar results.”
Results that included a +100-percent conversion rate from pre-ad cross promotions versus post-ad cross promotions.
[contextly_sidebar id=”ade71eef4e65b112292879d69d3c90cb”]“PlayHaven offers a free service that helps mobile devs/publishers increase their conversion rates, engage with players, and now with their push notifications beta, retain their users,” says Magmic’s product manager, Mike Mason. “On top of this they help you monetize users that would otherwise never convert (with in app ads).
“As a PM, PlayHaven is an invaluable toolset we can hand off to marketing and let them run with. When we release a new title there are still a slue of assumptions we have to test in market and validate, we use PlayHaven to do this.”
According to Mason, PlayHaven also plays a critical role in helping product marketing managers understand their audience in relation to how they interact with content.
“We used PlayHaven placements to understand what round a player had just completed, and whether he/she completed her phase,” says Mason. “When someone completes their phase in a round there is a general feeling of satisfaction that you can play off of.
“In the case study we chose three types of messaging and rotated those messages to comparable cohorts.”
The messaging types included:
1. Promoting better features in the paid SKU
2. Complimented the players skill level when the player completed their phase
3. Challenged the player’s ability to go further by upgrading to the more complex, paid version of the game.
Message three saw the highest conversion rate, including +200 more users out of every 100,000 impressions versus the “complimenting” ad.
Adds Mason: “This campaign told us a lot about the mentality of a Phase 10 player.”
And to PlayHaven, it’s the perfect case study of how they can help game developers worldwide help better monetize their games.
“It’s a really interesting industry, mobile services for apps. There are a lot of players providing a lot of necessary services for developers, but very few who want to build a comprehensive platform to help developers manage business side of their games,” says Galang. “We spend a lot of time listening to our developers to better understand their biggest pain points. When we started building our platform, developers wanted an easier way communicate with their players in game. Over time, as the market has gotten more competitive and crowded with service providers, developers demanded smarter tools that could also help engage and monetize their players. So, we built a platform that we think is the most comprehensive in the market. We help developers acquire the right players, engage and monetize them in game with content units like Announcements, Ads, and Virtual Good Promotions, and then re-engage them outside the game with Push Notifications. And of course, it’s one SDK and one dashboard for quick integration and iteration — helping to alleviate a massive pain point for developers.
“We’re continuously listening to and learning from developers about ways we can improve our product to help them better monetize their games and convert non-spenders into spenders.
“We’ve been working on our platform over the last three years and have introduced valuable tools like user segmentation, which allows game developers to customize the players experience in the game based on the actions they’ve taken. The key to successful monetization is understanding who your players are and giving them the content and in-game experience that they value.”