iGaming Retention 2023: Harnessing the Power of Player-driven Conversations

Operating in such a buoyant industry has provided iGaming brands with plenty of opportunity for growth and scaling up. However, in order to maintain this upwards trajectory, they must minimise churn levels and retain as many players as possible along the way. The larger you row, this gets increasingly difficult to achieve. Being able to give every player an equally personalised level of customer service, at scale, is a continual challenge for operators. 

This is why we caught up with John Foster, Head of B2B Sales at Enteractive to hear his thoughts on the importance of player-driven conversations, and their role in optimising player engagement in large volumes.

Operating in such a highly competitive market means that iGaming operators are continually battling to keep churn levels at a minimum and maximise player engagement. How can services provided by Enteractive help operators with this ongoing challenge?

“The churn rate of new players represents a significant loss of revenue for operators.

“At Enteractive, we understand the importance of personalised experiences in optimising player engagement. We go the extra mile by providing native-speaking agents for each market, using local numbers to make our calls, and tailoring our approach to the unique cultural differences of players in different regions. This two-way conversational approach consistently provides better results from these audience segments than digital outreach, such as email or SMS.

“Moreover, our teams are trained in responsible gambling and accredited by the G4 group, enabling us to address problem gambling issues as first responders on behalf of our operator clients.

“By taking a personalised and responsible approach, offering ease of integration, and delivering a solid return on investment, Enteractive adds value to the players’ brand experience with each conversation. In fact, our approach has historically outperformed digital efforts in successfully reactivating and converting churned audiences.”

What is a ‘Player Driven Conversation’ and why are they so important to the future success of the iGaming industry?

“Retention of customers in the iGaming industry is more challenging compared to other sectors. Standard retention approaches don’t always work well in iGaming, necessitating a greater effort to keep customers engaged.

“While churn is inevitable for many operators, those who prioritise customer care and engagement can use their retention methods as a point of differentiation.

“In jurisdictions with tightened regulations, offering big bonuses and incentives is increasingly difficult and costs more for operators. However, brands that prioritise consumer safety and employ a conversational approach can win customer loyalty without relying solely on bonuses, by making players feel heard and valued.

“Enteractive encourages operators to dive into their data and directly engage with customers. By understanding their needs and expectations, operators can exceed them, making players feel appreciated and cared for. This approach also helps identify at-risk players and intervene before they develop harmful gambling habits.”

On average, Enteractive interacts with over 12,000 players per day with previously disengaged customers. What has this high level of market research revealed to you about the key reasons for registration drop-offs? How can operators use this info to maximise their own customers’ FTDs?

“Through our market research, we’ve discovered that registered non-funded players (RNFs) constitute a significant segment that operators struggle to activate when registration stalls. These players don’t respond well to digital customer relationship management (CRM) practices, making Enteractive’s personal approach invaluable. By directly calling these players, we can address any issues they may have encountered during the sign-up process, ensuring they complete registration and start enjoying the gaming experience.  Over the last few years, this segment has increased in size, and now makes up some 30 percent of Enteractive’s activity for operators. 

“The initial interaction a player has with a gaming platform plays a critical role in determining the longevity of their engagement. Whether labelled as user experience, customer journey, or onboarding, this first contact must be intuitive, quick and free of technical disruptions. A seamless process can turn potential customers into loyal players.

“Lifetime Player Value (LPV or LTV) is a crucial metric for assessing the profitability and sustainability of a gaming business. LTV takes into account factors such as player acquisition costs, player retention rates, and the average revenue generated by each player over time.

“To improve LTV, operators must focus on keeping players engaged with their iGaming or sports betting offerings from the very beginning. This requires prioritising a personalised and human experience to ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction.”

Operators often don’t have the capacity to give all their customers the personalised, human experience at scale. This can often mean VIP players are prioritised and all other players are often overlooked. How can this be avoided? And why is it so important to engage all players?

“While digital CRM practices have become the norm for most operators, providing algorithm-led personalisation and scalable communication, they may not effectively reach all audience segments. Certain players may not respond well to digital outreach and require a more personalised interaction. Neglecting these players can lead to missed opportunities for revenue generation.

“Operators should avoid viewing their players as a single, homogeneous group and instead recognize them as distinct segments, each requiring a tailored communication strategy. 

“While VIP players may receive priority offers to maintain engagement, it’s equally crucial to have a solid strategy for engaging every player on their own terms. Considering each player’s individuality, rather than solely their financial contribution, is key to maintaining a robust revenue stream.

“Acknowledging the importance of every player, regardless of their spending level, is essential for long-term success in the iGaming industry. By engaging all players and making them feel heard and valued, operators can foster loyalty and maximise their overall customer base.”

Editors’ Note:

Through speaking with John, we have learned that Lifetime Player Value (LPV or LTV) is a crucial metric for assessing general success of an iGaming business. LTV takes into account factors such as player acquisition costs, player retention rates, and the average revenue generated by each player over time. 

The only way to drive this value higher, over a sustained period, will be through focusing on the player and keeping them engaged as individuals. 

John firmly believes this can only be achieved through prioritising a personalised and human experience, ensuring the highest level of customer satisfaction throughout the player journey.

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