The majority of game developers just about create a marketing plan, so developing a game push notification strategy is just one step too far.
why should you?
There are two reasons: player retention and monetization.
The app stores have hundreds of thousands of games, with thousands coming onto the store every day. So the first biggest step for any developer is to develop and implement a marketing strategy which ensures people download your game. This is normally done with a mixture of social media and in/out of game promotional marketing. The business model for advertising is such that you pay for click throughs. This are a few steps away from players, so from click throughs we have viewing store page, then downloads, opening the application and finally players. Each step means less people.
Once that person has downloaded the game and playing it, then the developers monetization strategy kicks in. This is normally based on some game tunings and designing which we did back in the studio, some months ago. However, developing a strategy for a casual game which works for a 16 year old and a 96 year old is also
impossible, especially as an indie game developer.
New data from analytics firm App Annie shows the growing strength of freemium apps. Freemium app revenue has quadrupled over the last two years, and freemium apps now generate 69% of the world’s iOS app revenue and 75% of global Android app revenues. In contrast, the premium app market has shown little to no revenue growth over the same period. The average revenue per download for paid apps is higher on iPad than on iPhone in the Apple App Store in the U.S.: $4.04 versus $2.25, respectively.
However, its been proven that we need to get our players to around 60% through the game until we can truly monetization the game. This means we need to “nudge” them forward to get the full immersion of the game.
How do we nudge them forward?
dojit has been thinking about this and come up with a number of tools, the first two being, game treats and dojit-notify.
Game Treats are codes which a player enters to get something extra in the game. They can be communicated through the game or via push notifications, social media or via the web site. In fact any way the developer feels it best with their target demographic. http://developer.dojit.com/game-treats/
dojit-notify allows developers to create a series of recipes which when triggered sends players context aware notifications through the push notification services. Context aware notifications get higher rates of awareness and application usage, which increase player retention which drives revenue within the game .
The push notifications should be part of generating a community which your player can feel part of without constant series of notifications. Therefore it is important to plan who gets what and when and how this fits into the entire communication strategy for both the business and also the game.
In summary push notifications increase player retention which drives revenue. Using out of game notifications to bring players back to game after periods of time is important in maintaining and building your player base. In game notifications also engage players with context aware messages to nudge them forward. By using automatical scheduled context aware notifications, with developer defined rules you can launch your game knowing your work is done.
When is best to create a game push notification strategy?
When you are designing the game, though needs to be put into the monetization points. These points are clear goals within the game and therefore measuring how many payers are before, on or after these points is an important first step. From here you can create strategies around these points which nudge players forward or notifications to bring players back into the game.
dojit-notify has been created to be used during the development, launch and post launch cycles of game development. The service is free up until launch. Take a look at http://developer.dojit.com/ .