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Just in time for the holidays - How to get the most out of currency sales

December 7, 2016 in Games | 4 min. read

Rewarded video ads can be an effective way to generate revenue for your mobile game. In fact, if you design ad implementations well and offer virtual currency rewards that players love in exchange for watching them, they can even make your players more active. One way to dial up player engagement even further is through virtual currency sales. And the holiday season is the perfect time to do it.

In-app promotional offers can spark positive feelings for your game and earn you extra money to boot. But how do you get the most out of such campaigns? Here’s a few best practices to follow for maximizing currency sale promotions.

"Q4 with its various festivities and celebrations is the perfect quarter to benefit from video ads"  Jacob Krüger (Head of Marketing, Social Point)

Get the timing right

It’s important to consider the timing of when you run your sales. Timing refers to when your campaign starts and ends, but also how often you run your campaigns. You can take advantage of the highest activity days of the week by running your campaigns on the weekend, for example. But it’s important not to run the currency sales more than twice a month. Otherwise you risk lowering the perceived value of the rewards you normally offer within your game outside of your currency sales.

Tis the season to play games

In addition to peak times like weekends, you also might want to take advantage of holiday seasons. As with the weekend, the number of Daily Active Users (DAU) increases during holidays offering you a great opportunity to double down on impressions.

Plus the holidays make your campaign communications seem more relevant and natural, so there’s less chance of wearing out your welcome. You can dress your campaign up by designing themed updates around Christmas, Thanksgiving, or even Halloween, for example.

“Q4 with its various festivities and celebrations is the perfect quarter to benefit from video ads,” says Jacob Krüger, Head of Marketing at Social Point, which has an estimated monthly 50M+ monthly active users (MAU).

“There’s a lot of high quality inventory available, and the users appreciate the chance to earn virtual currency. This, in turn, helps to increase user engagement and revenues of our games, such as, Monster Legends, World Chef, and Dragon City,”  Krüger says.

On Social Point’s Dragon Land Facebook community, some players even excitedly discuss upcoming campaigns and wonder when they’ll be able to earn more valuable game gems. “Maybe for Christmas, they will add more than one campaign!!!” one player commented.

Give players an offer they can’t refuse

In order to make sure your players embrace your rewarded video ads, it’s important that you offer them clear incentives for watching. Players need to feel that the reward is worth the time they spend on the video ad. And during a currency sale, it has to be really obvious that the value they derive is even greater.

How do rewards become a cool part of your game?

More spins, bigger perks, double currency, the nature of the rewards depends on the given title. But the important thing is that they’re designed to feel like a natural part of the game, and that players perceive them as adding value to their experience.

A good example of this is the way the studio Seriously integrates ads seamlessly into gameplay, offering players rewards that help them succeed in their challenging and addictive match 3 game. Seriously designs the rewards to fit right in with the wacky, cartoon-like fun style of their Best Fiend’s game. At the same time, the rewards themselves help players succeed in the challenging and addictive match 3 game.

Build excitement and anticipation

In order to get the most out of your holiday campaign, it’s important ramp up expectations by letting your players know it’s coming. You could inform players of an upcoming campaign via push notifications or some sort of in-game message: a timer counting down to when the currency sale goes live, for example.

How Futureplay give players the scoop

Futureplay designed a special communication feature in their Build Away! game, which informs players of upcoming events in their city-building game.  A built-in newspaper feature tells players about rewarded video sales on the way.

After their recent currency sale went live, ad impressions increased by 50% during the events and stabilized at a higher baseline. “We saw a 20% increase in Average Revenue Per Daily Active Users (ARPDAU) and a 10% boost in players’ Lifetime Value (LTV),” said Camilo Fitzgerald, Analyst and Product Manager, Futureplay.

“What’s more, player retention and average time spent playing per day increased from 7 minutes to 8.5 minutes, and player feedback has been overwhelmingly positive on the new feature.”

Will you be running a virtual currency sale this holiday season?

If so, remember to time the start and end dates during peak periods, offer a clear exchange of value, and build anticipation by letting your players know it’s coming. To learn exactly how one developer ran currency sales, check out how Futureplay did it.

December 7, 2016 in Games | 4 min. read