James Hilton on mobile customer acquisition and re-targeting strategies

Rebecca Liggero talks to Global CEO of M&C Saatchi Mobile James Hilton. He provided expert insight on player re-engagement and re-targeting. 


James Hilton, Global CEO of M&C Saatchi Mobile provided expert insight on player re-engagement and re-targeting.  Hilton explained why the industry moved from player acquisition to player re-targeting and why this shift had been seen recently.

“Basically the cost of acquisition has gone up tremendously over the years. The wholesale media cost has gone up,” Hilton said.

Hilton described re-targeting as “what it’s really all about” because it’s more expensive to acquire players these days and operators must achieve a higher lifetime value to justify the cost.

Before triggering messages, Hilton advised operators to segment their audience: find out who they are, then retarget and hit them with a relevant message.  Within that message, deep-link them back to where they were, for example back to the bingo game or the casino game they were playing rather than to the homepage.  “Contextual deep linking”, he called it.

Hilton also emphasized the importance of collecting metadata at a granular level and emphasized “you have to tag everything”.  “It’s turning into a data game- who has the best data and more importantly, who can use this data”, he said.

Operators should custom tailor their messaging to players because according to Hilton, “banging out the same message to everyone is not cost efficient and it’s naive” and with the correct data, operators can “buy audiences at any time, any location”.

Hilton said if a user doesn’t return to an app after seven days of downloading it, there is a 60% chance they will never come back.  “The trick is to get in early”, he said- focus on the first seven days and start triggering messages four hours after download.

Some examples of effective messaging would be to send a player who has just deposited for the first time something like, “have you tried playing game x” and do this straight away- if you can get them back, the habits will start forming.  For those who abandon registration, give them a free bet to register with a sense of urgency.  If a player has disappeared, put free money in their account and send them a message telling them to “claim now”.

Watch the video to hear more from James Hilton