n real-money games, some players make their first deposit immediately upon registering (bold players), while others take more time before depositing any money (hesitant players). Why is the length of time that it takes for real-money players to make their first deposit a significant indicator of their future behavior?
Our research into data collected during a recent 12-month period from 20 RMG operators revealed a statistically significant correlation between the length of time it took a player to make his or her first deposit and important player value metrics, including survival rates and total spend levels. For example, bold players tend to spend more initially and are more likely to become VIPs, while hesitant players tend to remain active players for longer periods of time.
The length of time that it takes for real-money players to make their first deposit is one significant indicator of their future behaviors. While there may be other indicators which counteract this observed correlation, marketers should pay attention to the time-to-first-deposit factor and the impact on player behavior that it may indicate.
Does it impact the amount of money they ultimately deposit or the frequency of their deposits? Does it make a difference to their retention?
Yes, absolutely. Our research discovered that while bold players make larger and more frequent deposits than hesitant players, hesitant players have higher survival rates. Over their lifetime, bold players make, on average, 13% more deposits than hesitant players and 22% more than very hesitant players, and their deposits are 26% larger than hesitant players’ deposits and 32% larger than those of very hesitant players.
On the other hand, the one-month survival rate for very hesitant players is about 9.5% higher than that of hesitant players and 20.3% higher than that of bold players.
Why are bold players more likely to become VIPs?
There are many ways to define what makes a player a VIP; for the sake of simplicity, we defined VIP customers as the top 15% in terms of total deposit amounts. We found that bold players are 21% more likely to become VIPs than hesitant players, and 25% more likely than very hesitant players. The likely reason for this is that bold players, who quickly decide to make their first deposit, are also bold when it comes to the amount and frequency of their deposits. That’s not to say that hesitant players can’t become VIPs, but they are less likely to, statistically speaking. It’s up to the game operator to help nudge them towards VIP behavior patterns.
What should marketers consider when targeting the different types of players?
In terms of using this data to help formulate retention strategies, our research findings indicate that marketers should consider targeting bold players with campaigns that keep them playing long enough to give them a better chance of sticking around for the long term.
They also indicate that, while hesitant players might contribute less revenue at the beginning of their lifecycle, they compensate for their initial hesitancy with longer survival rates and steadier revenue over time. Marketers should initially focus on nurturing relationships with these players without pressuring them to deposit before they are ready, or they’ll risk losing them as customers completely. However, once they begin depositing, marketers should serve them with special offers and promotions that encourage them to do so more frequently and in larger amounts.