This time of year, people like to reflect on what they’re grateful for – be it family, friends, or the many servings of stuffing they’re about to consume.
Game developers have one more item to add to the “grateful” list – they thank their lucky stars for the users who love their app, play it often, talk about it online, and contribute to a thriving community.
To help you say “thanks” to your players, here are a few quick ways to share appreciation over the holidays or anytime you want to celebrate your users.
Regularly refreshing your IAPs not only provides an unexpected reward for users, it can also lead to a big bump in holiday revenue. Take mobile game Tiny Zoo from Tinyco: They see success from releasing new characters each week. Revenue from its appropriately named “Cash Cow” character reached $50,000. Be sure to always tell users about your new holiday items through social media, email campaigns, and notifications. Over time, giving users a reason to come back may also lead to higher retention rates.
2- Release a free item.
Even better than a new IAP is a free IAP (though, perhaps an oxymoron). Offering a gift at no expense, whether it’s a bonus storefront item or a character upgrade, is a surprise-and-delight tactic that creates happiness in the moment and builds brand loyalty over time. Even better, have the user watch a video ad for that free IAP and earn additional ad revenue.
3- Use social to share your gratitude.
Glu Mobile once said that they spend far less on UA than their competitors by focusing on free content and social media virality. Social media can be an incredible way to build an audience for your app and get people amped up about new features. For example, Zombie Catchers shares download milestones by posting images that feature characters from the game. (Tip: Posting images on Facebook is proven to generate 53% more likes than other types of updates.)
4- Send a notification with no expectation. Sometimes, it’s the simple gestures that make the most impact. Send a notification on Thanksgiving day (or any occasion relevant to your users) expressing gratitude or holiday wishes.
5- Offer merchandise discounts on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Some apps will sell for discounted rates on Cyber Monday. Take part in the spending holiday by offering a special discount on your in-app goods. It’s a smart way to be part of the huge surge in mobile commerce as well as giving a little love to users.
6 – Reward top community members.
Are some of your users heavy spenders or always talking about you online? Now’s the time to say thanks. Ask for their address (Twitter DMs are an easy way to do this if the person is a tweeter) and send along a special gift. Even for online games, offline tactics can make the most impact.
7- Release a holiday update.
Popular game Subway Surfers has released holiday versions several years running with themed graphics and music, like Subway Surfers: Holiday in 2012. Adding a new level or seasonal elements to the gameplay can keep things fresh and inviting.
8- Ask them what they’re thankful for.
As you look for ways to engage users, don’t forget to ask them for feedback, too. Use social media to run a survey or contest that collects success stories or even ideas for improvements. Listening to their input (and making improvements to the product) is the most genuine thank you of all.
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