The competition for email inbox attention is at an all-time high these days, and there is nothing more important in today’s marketing mix than the effective use of email marketing for player development. The modern player demands personalized experiences, choice, a humanized tone, and most importantly, the ability to be heard and educated about your brand differentiators.
As a casino marketer, you want to accomplish things like increase wallet share, measure spend, communicate across channels, leverage data, and, most importantly, create an experience like no other for player development.
Let’s be clear, as a casino marketer, you have a tall order to fill, and you are not only competing for inbox attention from your competitors but every other brand flooding your player’s inbox with offers for attention.
Whether you send 50,000 or 500,000,000 emails a year, if you don’t have these three types of emails in your arsenal, you might as well pack it up and go home because the competition out there is #winning and about ready to steal your best and/or most promising players.
EMAIL TYPE 1: PLAYER WELCOMING SERIES
The modern player has a lot of choices when it comes to where they spend their time and their money to have a rewarding experience. With so many options available to them, the casinos that have a better chance of winning their players’ hearts, minds, and money need to digitally welcome their players through a series of emails and touches to reinforce their brand proposition and unique differentiators the competition.
As a casino marketer, it might seem obvious to you what sets you apart from others, but to the average player who is inundated with information all day, every day, it is not. Loyalty to a brand spans well beyond having a program because people today are fickle. A recent survey done by Acquia stated that almost 50% of consumers feel as if brands don’t meet their expectations.
Long gone are the days where you can just capture someone’s information and proceed to barrage them with offers and filler content that doesn’t deliver. Havas says that 60% of brand-created content is failing.
It is time to re-think how you welcome new players in the digital world, and it starts with using the data you have to create a player welcome series that adds value to them. This player welcome series should be at least 2-3 emails long with the behavior or non-behavior inside and outside of the inbox driving the next piece of content.
Let’s be clear here; there is no standard blueprint for this journey as each casino is unique in what they have to offer, so to create a high performing series, careful planning with a trusted vendor on a system built for unlocking casino data to develop, test and optimize messaging is vital.
EMAIL TYPE 2: PLAYER DEVELOPMENT JOURNEY
All casinos should have a Player Development (PD) program, with a team of people assisting in executing the program’s goals, but how does digitally connecting with players fit into that mix? More importantly, where does email fit into lower to mid-tier players that have tremendous upside potential. Marketing’s role in getting as many of the best players as possible involved has to be done strategically, and there is no better channel than email marketing.
A player development journey centered around email begins with your casino’s one true advantage: data. Actionable data around how players interact with your casino in terms of the games played, amenities such as spa usage, entertainment booked, or other “perks” offered are a few of the critical data points to be used. The goal is to leverage what you know about their likes and dislikes and use it to inspire, encourage and convert them to play, spa, or entertain more with you rather than a competitor.
An email player development journey can start as a simple thank you series with a bounceback offer to something more complex around games played with layering offers to incentivize greater play onsite, in-app, or online. If you have the data, use it as a strategic loyalty weapon.
Once again, there is no blueprint or best practice for a player development email journey. Your casino and its offerings are unique and the content, messaging, and creative needs to reflect that. It will start with mapping the current journey and finding gaps and places to optimize it using email.
EMAIL TYPE 3: PLAYER RETENTION CAMPAIGN(S)
It is easier to keep a player than to acquire a new one, but the only way to do that is to recognize when that player’s interest or engagement begins to decline. Email plays a vital role in a player retention campaign. It should be carefully planned out, especially if other channels such as SMS, outbound calling, or social media are in the mix.
Depending on your brand’s tone or value proposition, email retention campaigns can take the form of incentive-based, fear of missing out (FOMO), survey, new happenings, or the ol’ “we miss you” message that seems to work well with some companies. No matter what tone/type you choose, the concept of having some retention-based emails, is essential because the modern player wants you to know them and connect with you differently than ever before.
There are no silver bullets when it comes to email retention campaigns for your players. Your brand and your player need to help shape what you send. If you struggle with what and how to do retention, there is always testing that can be done to zero on what will work for your player. You might be surprised about what works, so don’t pigeonhole yourself with what you feel will work; focus on what might work and test to see if it wins.
DON’T GAMBLE WITH YOUR EMAIL PROGRAM
As a casino, your world looks much different than it did 21 months ago, and so does the modern player. There are marketers at each of your competitors who use email marketing as a strategic and personalized weapon in their marketing arsenal. They know that the traditional email marketing program is not going to cut it in 2022 and beyond, and they are not for once going to gamble with how it’s always been done.
You have a choice: do what you have always done and gamble with the outcome or create a path for success using these three types of email to increase your odds at winning.