Online gaming is a lucrative industry that is continuing to record impressive growth in recent years. And, with this sensation, comes the need for gaming firms to connect with the players. Unavoidably, email marketing makes a considerable aspect of these campaigns.
Newzoo, a company that provides market research for the games industry, estimates that the worldwide games market will be valued at $86.1 billion in 2016. The company also projects that the number of participants will increase to 1.55 billion, an increase from 1.21 billion in 2013. Whereas conventional console and computer gaming still represents a significant portion of this, the iGaming industry is growing and its future looks much brighter.Player retention with email marketing
Therefore, with such a big market, efficient mass email marketing is required to engage with the gamers and lure them to respond to the call-to-action in the email. More importantly, the industry needs to adopt efficient strategies of sending millions of emails without being blacklisted or having emails going into spam, and effectively increasing inbox rate.
Here are 6 important tips on how to achieve success with email marketing in the online gaming industry:
Pre-determine your campaign’s goals
Prior to launching any email campaign, you need to identify its goals and targets so that you can make the most of your efforts. For example, you can start an email marketing campaign to entice more gamers to join your company or to increase your level of interaction with the players. Whichever your choice of campaign objectives, it is essential that you plan it and figure out its execution.
When pre-determining your campaign’s objectives, it is important to have your targeted audience in mind. Even though gaming may be open to every person, it certainly resonates well to some demographics better. If you understand the people you will be targeting, you will have gone half the journey. Therefore, do a thorough research to appreciate the needs of your audience. Further, you might also segment and have different objectives for every customer profile.
The behavior of your audience is also an important consideration when pre-determining your campaign goals. Whereas most of your audience may portray the same demographic, they might be at separate levels of engagement. As such, reading between the lines to understand their behavior is critical. For example, one recipient on your list may have not visited your gaming site for a while, so he or she would benefit from an incentive message. On the other hand, another may be entirely new, so would be better reached with a slightly different strategy.
One of the most difficult hurdles faced by the email marketers in the iGaming industry is how to avoid spam filters. When an increased number of people discovered the benefits of using email marketing and started to misuse it, email service providers came up with spam filters and constantly update them to ensure that junk and unsolicited emails do not arrive at their users’ inbox. Therefore, sending mass emails without being blacklisted or having emails go into spam is essential for attaining the objectives of your marketing efforts.
One of the most effective strategies you can use to evade being branded a spammer is to get the permission of the people who will be receiving your emails. If you have their consent, it will be less likely that they flag your emails as spam and complain about them, therefore the probability that your emails hitting the inbox of your recipients is much higher. Avoid scouring sites for publicly displayed email addresses. Instead, you can offer something useful to online gamers, such as sharing a code which they can use to access a game in return for their subscription into your email list.
You should desist from using spam trigger works like “free”, “prize”, “no obligation” when crafting your email messages. This is one of the oldest and mostly used way for spam filters to block emails. Even though such terms may be appropriate to your offering, using them may make you fall prey of the masquerading eyes of the email service providers.
If you want to send bulk emails and ensure they realize maximum delivery rates to the inbox, you can use innovative and powerfull tools like PowerMTA, specifically designed for mass mailing. With PowerMTA, you will be able to send very large volumes of email while conforming to the recipients spam policies. In addition, to avoid blacklisting from Internet Service Providers (ISPs), you could use feedback loops, which are programs provided by the ISPs to allow users to de-register complaints of spam initiated by email users.
Build your reputation
When it comes to realizing the goals of YOUR EMAIL marketing efforts, your reputation plays a critical role. The better your reputation, the more number of people will open your MESSAGES and follow the call-to-action in the email. Do your recipients know you? Are they expecting to receive an email from you? Do you offer quality, beneficial information to your email subscribers?Mass, personalized email marketing
To build your reputation, engage with your player community. As much as players like single-player titles and spending time alone playing their favorite games, this does not imply that they dislike participating in a community. If you can interact with your audience by discussing issues affecting the industry, then you can create a much stronger bond than by merely sending out mass sales messages.
Mixing it up can also assist you build reputation with your subscribers. ONLINE gamers, by their nature, normally desire something that is entertaining and unique. As such, you should not bore them with the same type of messages from Monday to Monday. Mix the all thing up with information here, tips there, personal messages, industry insights; things like that.
In successful email marketing, timing is key. If you send YOUR EMAILS at inappropriate times, it’s less likely to be noticed and WIN you the much-needed attention from your recipients. Although there is no rules casted in stone here, some very interesting patterns do exist. Correctly timing your emails may be a challenging task because times work differently for different people. It has been observed by most gaming companies that players have a habit of being night owls, so you can use this to appropriately schedule your emails. Nonetheless, it’s important you use testing and segmentation to determine the best times that work best for your campaigns.
Importantly, once you’ve established the right time for your campaign, be creative to make the most of your efforts. For instance, instead of always pleading with subscribers to try a new game or mode, you can try to provide an incentive for Game 1 if they manage to win two sessions of Game 2.
Your recipient is probably already receive tens of emails everyday, therefore convincing the latter to open the email and yield to the call-to-action in the content of the email is critical for the success of any email marketing effort. And, having a subject line that is precise, attractive, and curious is essential for achieving this.
People, particularly online gamers, tend to be curious by nature. Therefore, if the subject line sounds routine and not intriguing, there is likely to be low audience engagement. In the online gaming world, it’s not normally a voucher or a freebie that will lure subscribers to open an email and make that click-through – a helpful insight or an exclusive tip could also do the trick. For a poker player, an interview featuring a pro concerning his or her success secrets could yield amazing results.
An attractive subject line that promises recipients something in the content of the email is likely to achieve more success. If a subject line is lousy and ignites little interest, few individuals will be willing to take the next step of opening up the email. For example, a subject line that points recipients to the possibility of accessing hidden games can give good results, especially if you include a code that they can easily share.
Subject lines should be short and to the point, not more than 20 words. A short subject line implies a short email that will not consume all the time of the recipient. Longer messages are likely not to be opened. Your recipients do not have the time for that anyway!
Develop and maintain the email list
Having a suitable and well-researched email list for your campaign is critical for realizing the objectives of your marketing efforts. The email list could be composed of the individuals who have shown interest in the online gaming industry or have opted-in for your promotion efforts. If your email list contains subscribers from several different reputable IP addresses, it could be better at assisting you avoid being branded a spammer.
You need to have a powerful mailing software, as well as a powerful platform to enable you develop and maintain a good email list. Go for a platform that is easy to use and offers you the efficiency you need to make your campaign efforts successful. Furthermore, if you are just starting to send emails to a list of several subscribers, you should avoid harming your IP reputation among Internet Service Providers (ISPs) by warming your IP address through gradually increasing the number of emails you send. This is vital! Correctly warming up your IP address is essential for establishing a good email sending reputation as well as enhancing your engagement with the recipients.
It’s important to note that an email list is not a one-time thing. You need to spruce and maintain it based on the overriding circumstances. If you have a longer list, you should consider subdividing it into smaller segments, targeting various needs of the online gamers and personalizing the message. It will also do you a lot of less harm if after every three months you remove the subscribers in your list who never show any signs of engagement with your messages.
Emails should include an unsubscribe link to allow people who no longer wish to receive your messages to opt out without much hassle. In addition, always follow the stipulated email regulations detailed out in the CAN-SPAM Act to prevent them from going to junk folders.
When it comes to achieving success with email marketing in the online gaming industry, there is no gambling here and every aspect requires focus and efficiency. To fully tap into the growth of the iGaming industry, firms need to have an efficient email marketing strategy. A properly executed and good email marketing effort can increase the number of online gamers without compromising the stipulations of the email service providers. With appropriately pre-determined campaign goals, measures to avoid spamming, good reputation, correct email timing, effective subject line, and a good email list, players will be acquired and retained –even for life.