Alma Causey
Alma Causey 30 July 2019
Categories Mobile

Some of the Most Effective User Retention Strategies for Mobile Games

The mobile gaming industry is growing at a rapid pace. And why wouldn’t it? Have you created a mobile game? Here are some effective user retention strategies you can employ!

The mobile gaming industry is growing at a rapid pace. And why wouldn’t it? As per Statista, there are 4.68 billion mobile phone users in the world. Fifty percent of these phone users are smartphone users, which are further predicted to increase by a billion in the next five years!

When it comes to mobile media use, mobile games have been contributing the most to its growth. Globally, the industry generated over 35.6 billion dollar revenue in 2016. This showcases the immense potential of developing mobile games in today’s world.

Customize your notifications

Your mobile game isn’t the only app present on a user’s phone. You are competing for their time and attention. Therefore, merely ensuring a high download rate for your mobile game won’t seal the deal. You must also ensure that you remind users to play your game. And what is a better way to do so than notifications.

Notifications are an excellent way to communicate lucrative and essential information about your app to your user. However, there is a fine line between communicating and being annoying. Nowadays, users have become increasingly sensitive to apps that are incessant with their notifications.

To avoid having your notifications turned off (or worse, getting uninstalled), offer customized notifications. A personalized message with the user’s name and content that is relevant to the user will help in retaining them.

For instance, let’s say a given user has progressed to a certain point in the game. In your notification, you can refer to their progress and let them know of the urgency of continuing the game. This is likely to be read by users, rather than notifications that are standard and impersonal.

At the same time, you must offer your customers the chance to customize their notification preferences. Let them snooze their notifications. This way, you can avoid users turning off the notifications entirely and also remove the responsibility of the user to respond right away.

Also, allow your users to decide which type of notification they want to see. For instance, let’s say your game is about farming. Let your user determine if they want to know that their crops are ready to be harvested. Or, if they would rather just know about urgent matters like when to water their crops.

Continuously innovate and add on to the game

One of the biggest reasons why it is difficult to retain users is because people tend to get bored quite easily. None of us like monotony and repetition. And games that don’t feature any updates in the storyline tend to get very boring very quickly.

If you wish to retain your users in the long-run, you need to learn to constantly innovate and add on to the storyline of your game. Now, this is easier said than done. After all, there is only so much you can add on to a game, right?

This is why it is preferred that you create a platform with a plethora of games, rather than just focusing on one. This is what gaming platforms like Unlimited Gamez Mo do. Here, you pay a small subscription fee to access a variety of games. The good thing about such platforms is that since there are so many games to play, it is highly unlikely that your users will get bored soon.

All in all, the key is to either update the game or to add interesting storyline, characters or events. If you can’t do so, create a platform of games rather than a single one. Whichever path you choose to take, the bottom line is to ensure that your users don’t get bored.

Give rewards for user progress

Marketing research conducted by Joseph Nunes and Xavier Dredes was documented as “The Endowed Progress Effect: How Artificial Advancement Increases Effort.” The study illustrated how merely having a sense of progress can increase the commitment of people to a process.

In the research, two types of loyalty stamp cards were given to users. One offered a free item after eight paid purchases. Other offered the free item after ten purchases. The latter stamp card had two stamps already marked.

 When you think about it, this meant that the two loyalty cards offered the same incentive to the user. However, the latter stamp card had da 50 percent higher completion rate than the former one! This illustrated a key insight into consumer behavior- people prefer committing to processes where progress has occurred.

You can use this insight to retain users for your mobile game effectively. How so? Well, you can offer your players incentives in a way that makes them feel that they have progressed in the game. Do so even if the said players have just begun playing.

For instance, you can offer your users gifts or points after a short-timer. The rewards can be used to progress further in the game. Slowly increase the duration of the timer. This way, users will remain invested in the game to seek rewards.

Slowly, they will get immersed in the game itself, and the reward won’t matter that much. This is the loyalty stage where you need to reach. After this stage, retaining users is much easier than before. This is what branded games wish to achieve when they enter the industry.

Final thoughts

A successful mobile game is not one that gets a lot of downloads. Instead, it is one which features a high retention rate. It is those who stay after the initial hype of your game dies down, that matter. These are the users that drive your profits. Make sure to increase this user base by using the right retention strategy. Can you think of other ways to retain users for your mobile game? Let us know!

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