Research has shown that the cost of acquiring new players is five times more than what you would pay to retain an existing player base, which illustrates the importance of engagement strategies such as jackpots and tournaments.

SOFTSWISS is supporting its partners to create and launch such campaigns via its Jackpot Aggregator Solution, which made its debut earlier this year.

Ivan Barshchou, Head of Business Account Managers at SOFTSWISS Casino Platform, gave a presentation at the recent CasinoBeats Summit to discuss how best to engage audiences with jackpots and tournaments in 2023.

He began by explaining that the main challenge that casino operators face is player retention and growing a player’s lifetime value. One such solution, he highlighted, is the SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator solution.

Barshchou began: “Retention is incredibly crucial for any business because it’s considerably more expensive to attract new customers than it is to retain existing players. According to some studies, the cost of acquisition can be up to five times higher than the cost of retention. 

“The longer the player stays with the casino, the more likely they are to be loyal to the brand – those players could then go on to become high value customers.

“Retaining players also helps to build a good and positive reputation through word of mouth marketing. As a result, this helps to attract new customers to the studio. So maintaining a high retention rate is critical.”

One method that has become somewhat of a staple in any operator’s retention strategy is the use of jackpots and tournaments. 

For Barshchou, the use of both tournaments and jackpots may sound easy from the outset. However, operators must take numerous factors into consideration before rolling out a tournament to its players.

He said: “When setting up tournaments, the first thing that you need to do is define your target audience. You need to consider factors such as tournament type and duration because engagement will depend on that audience.

“You must also establish clear rules for the tournament and – of course – determine the prize for that tournament too. Then you need to build and develop a marketing plan for your tournament to promote the event. You need a user-friendly registration process for your player too.

“An important consideration is that your technical infrastructure can handle the increased amount of traffic and activity taking place during the tournament – you have to provide that information to your customer support team so that they can handle and monitor any traffic and behaviours. 

“This will also help when it comes to monitoring fair play. You don’t want bonus abusers taking part in the tournament.”

If an operator gets this personalised strategy right, it can pay off ten-fold when looking to reach your target audience. He continued: “Every player has their own individual preferences, right? So you need to treat players with that in mind, rather than treating them as one big group. This is integral. When players feel like they’re getting a more personal experience, they’re encouraged to come back to play and deposit at your casino. 

“This is very important, and our entire VIP system is based on that system. One way that online casinos can do this is to create more bespoke tournaments that are segmented to particular player groups.”

Barshchou added: “Tournaments are really quite important when it comes to retention. This is an incredibly complex thing to achieve. To try to make headway when it comes to retention, you have to have a strong team in place and use tools that not only analyse jackpots but also help you to implement actions that enable you to reach your target audience.

“We have a far-reaching network of operators that have partnered with SOFTSWISS. A lot of these companies think that you can achieve a high retention rate by creating a professional VIP team to communicate with players about where to play. But you need much more than that. This is where jackpots and tournaments come in handy.

“Tournaments are not only a retention tool, but they’re also incredibly helpful as a marketing tool because of the buzz and excitement that they create for new and existing players. 

“When players are competing against one another, there is a motivation for players to compete for the top spot on leaderboard so that they can be in with the chance of winning a prize.”

From a player perspective, tournaments can also bring a sense of excitement and help build a community between bettors. As Barshchou put it, tournaments are a great feature to use when looking to create “an element of competition among players”. 

Gamifying the experience and fostering this added layer of anticipation is likely to mean that players will keep returning to that online casino brand.

Tournaments are also likely to help broaden a player’s gaming experience, with many showcasing a “wide range of games” to participants. 

He continued: “Tournaments have proven to be an effective tool when it comes to player retention because they create an element of competition among players. A study by Blue Cloud Solutions found that players who participate in tournaments are more likely to continue playing a game, with engagement rates increasing by more than 70%. 

“Players that participate in tournaments also spend an average of 2.5 times longer in the game than those players who don’t.

“From a marketing perspective, tournaments also encourage players to share the games with  their friends on social media. This has huge benefits for operators, because tournament players generate an average of 7% more revenue per user.

“By providing and offering tournaments with different prize pools and rules, you can keep your players engaged and entertained whilst also driving revenue and establishing a loyal player base.”

SOFTSWISS is supporting its partners to create new and exciting jackpots via its recently-launched Jackpot Aggregator solution. 

Released earlier this year, the SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator is a multi-purpose jackpot solution that introduces the Jackpot as a Service (JaaS) business model. Partners that use the product will gain access to a “custom virtual jackpot system” that can be integrated with an online casino brand.

SOFTSWISS believes that the personalised nature of its solution is key to driving both player engagement, retention and lifetime value of players in the long run.

The Head of Business Account Managers said: “The SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator is an innovative tool that we developed earlier this year. It offers tools that you can use to handle the jackpots provided by our partners. In a flexible way, it helps game providers thoroughly understand who their target audience is. They can then create a strategy to develop their online casino and jackpot strategy.

“This is the biggest benefit for our Jackpot Aggregator – you can segment your players by age, gender, preferences etc. This helps create a more personalised engagement strategy.”