Jackpot Players Are a Valuable Resource; Expanding Their Activity to Instants Delivers Rich Rewards
Scope of Success
- Enormous Player Base to Leverage: More than 50% of Americans buy lottery tickets, yet few are aware of online interactive Instant games.
- Incentives Open New Worlds: Fully 22% of first-time depositors took advantage of a promotion they received in their first week to experience instant games highlighted in the promotion.
- From Curious to Loyal: About 50% of the former jackpot-only players continued to play instants with their own money after the free trial games were used up.
- Enduring Value: The value of instant players proved to be 10 times higher than the value of pure draw-based game (jackpot) players.
- Leverages Lottery Strengths: Expands value of portfolio and user base.
- Player-Centric: Motivates players with personalized incentives sent in optimal ways at optimal times.
- Ease of Use: Players click to take advantage incentives and enjoy new gaming experiences.
Huge Player Base to Leverage
Draw-based games are one of the most popular forms of gaming on the planet.
Attracted by jackpots reaching tens of millions of dollars and beyond, droves of people worldwide buy lottery tickets. In the US alone, where all but six of the 50 states operate regional games, lotto sales exceeded $110 billion in 2015 (Source: North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries). An even more telling statistic is that 50% – one out of every two Americans – buys lottery tickets (Gallup).
Players of Instant games have a much higher value than jackpot chasers, so attracting jackpot players to play instants online can be a major game changer for lotteries seeking significant growth.
Neogames, whose strategies for expanding player experiences to new verticals have been proven effective worldwide, demonstrated significant success in 2016 helping a key North American state lottery to encourage buyers of drawing tickets to experience Instant games. Many of these players became long-term active gamers.
Methodology: From Anonymous Retail Jackpot Customer to Loyal Online Instant Gamer
STEP ONE: From Anonymous Player to Known Depositor
When tapping the huge base of retail lottery players to grow the pool of Instant players, a key first step is to get them online. One successful approach for achieving this, outlined in the Neogames SPOTLIGHT on Digital Draw Games document, is to provide online versions of the highly popular retail (regional and nationwide) draw-based games. Convenient online access to familiar games and large jackpots motivates retail players to register to play on the Lottery website.
Converting anonymous players into known depositors gives the Lottery an opportunity to open fruitful dialogue, offer incentives, etc. Establishing a connection with the new online player the first week after registration is critically important and sets the tone for an ongoing bond.
STEP TWO: From Jackpot Player to Instant Game Player
The next step is to migrate these jackpot-only players to experience the lottery’s other attractive offerings – particularly Instants – to solidify the player acquisition and boost player value. This is done by means of attention-catching promotions including incentives such as free games.
The North American lottery emailed following banners to first-time depositors in the first week after they registered on the website:
Banners offering free instant games to first-time depositors
Success Highlights: High Retention Rate
During the period of the study, there were 72,000 first-time depositors. Of these, the vast majority (68%) made their first purchase on a jackpot game. Of that 68%, nearly a quarter (22%) took advantage of a promotion they received in the first week to place their next bet on one of the Instant Games highlighted in the promotion. All the players needed to do was to login and they could immediately begin to enjoy the free games.
As expected, many of these players continued to play Instants with their own money after the free games were done.
After 30 days, the study checked which vertical the players were primarily interested in (defined by the vertical that logged more than 75% of total bets). The findings were that about half of the former jackpot-only players continued to play Instants, with about a third of those sticking solely to Instants during that period.
As first-time depositors for draw-based games are generally jackpot seekers, they came to the lottery’s website only because a jackpot was high, but stayed and became more active than ever before because they discovered and enjoyed the Instant gaming experience. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that the average player value of Instant players who had crossed from being a jackpot player was 10 times higher than the value of pure jackpot players.
Drawing Conclusions: Two Verticals are Better than One
Diversification is a time-honored strategy for success – particularly when the business is expanding into a related market that leverages its strengths and customer base.
Many people who viewed the lottery through a jackpot-only lens were pleased to discover an entirely new (to them) vertical: online games that offer entertainment at low cost with low risk – yet at the same provide frequent, and sometimes even lucrative rewards.
Because people by nature tend to be conservative and hesitant to experience something new, the importance and effectiveness of direct communication (e.g. email, SMS) with incentives cannot be overstated.
In the study above, the lottery’s active player base of Instant games expanded significantly, providing meaningful short- as well as long-term gains for the lottery.
The lottery’s ability to offer a well-rounded a range of retail and online products with a user-centric omni-channel approach that best meets the needs and expectations of players over all touch points magnifies the inherent value of the lottery portfolio and its diverse types of players.
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