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How Halfbrick automated its in-game messaging to drive player engagement

How Halfbrick automated its in-game messaging to drive player engagement

Brendan O'Kane is the CEO and MD of digital marketing platform OtherLevels.

With more and more developers continually entering the mobile gaming space, competition is heating up - placing pressure on gaming companies to consistently deliver at the top of their 'game' or risk losing their most active players to newer market entrants.

Developers are responding to the pressure with innovation, investing in everything from virtual reality to wearable-tech gameplay and expanding their social media integrations.

They're also using data to analyse (and improve) the player experience:

  • Daily active users,
  • Number of installs,
  • Number of games played,
  • Time per session, and
  • Revenue per user

are just a few of the metrics they monitor to assess their performance.

At their core, however, all of their product development goals and KPIs circle back to one all-important objective: boosting player engagement levels.

Developers know that engagement is the engine driving retention, loyalty, and revenue across the mobile gaming sector.

Engagement is the engine driving retention, loyalty, and revenue across the mobile gaming sector.

The most impactful avenue for driving engagement and cultivating player insights is digital messaging, where leading developers like Halfbrick Studios are investing in new strategies designed to cultivate higher-quality data and drive stronger marketing results.

Rethinking messaging

In the mobile games space, consumers now expect games to be free-to-play, with the ability to purchases bonuses in-app or in-application advertising being the way source of revenue for the developer.

For this business strategy to work, encouraging players to continue to come back to play the game frequently is the key to success - and digital messaging helps do that.

Many games utilise some form of digital messaging, but few do so with a defined, engagement-focused strategy.

Some only utilize messaging to duplicate email marketing offers, while others use it only to announce new features or welcome new players.

Holistic approach

But those approaches neglect the ways messaging can drive measurable, attributable revenue results.

Halfbrick Studios, one of the world's leading gaming platforms, is working with OtherLevels to increase its customer LTV (lifetime value) and lower player acquisition costs by broadening the depth, quality, and variety of Halfbrick's communications with its 3 million daily active players.

The aim is to make overall engagement efforts more dynamic, more targeted, and ultimately more meaningful and actionable for individual users.

With an upgraded digital messaging strategy, another leading mobile games company earned a 4.5% uplift in deposits over a four-month period, saw a 75% increase in activity among active players, and seized a 300% increase in revenue per 1,000 push messages sent through an upgraded digital messaging strategy.

The key: Using digital messaging to have one-to-one conversations and drive stronger connections between the platform and its players at the individual level.

Serious about segmentation

With customers across every online industry increasingly expecting targeted offers personalised to their preferences, marketers can no longer treat their user base like a homogenous group and expect to see high-value results.

Pairing a multi-channel messaging strategy with data-powered player insights is the best way to keep today's mobile gamers engaged.

By utilising an upgraded marketing automation toolset, mobile gaming platforms can better understand their players' preferences at the user level and meet them, every time, to engage 100 percent of their base with each campaign.

Over time, that drives stronger lifetime value (and revenue) per player.

For Halfbrick Studios, the most notable outcomes thus far have resulted from two intertwined strategies:

  • Tweaking messaging language and tonality based on customer profile information; and
  • Using data-driven, real-time automation technology to optimise message delivery timing and channel selection.

Combined, those strategies enabled the game developer to meet each element of user preference: right message, right time, right channel - without applying manual effort to channel selection and timing.

Ultimately, innovation is crucial to future of the mobile gaming market, but smarter engagement strategies can help developers meet the pressure to deliver customers with high-impact experiences and offers that they'll actually interact with.

Pairing a multi-channel messaging strategy with data-powered player insights is the best way to keep today's mobile gamers engaged.


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