Does it really matter where your guest interacts with your offer?

Yes, if you look at the costs of direct mail and decide you want to go digital. No, if we’re strictly talking about digital channels (but really yes since we always care about the context of where the viewing of the offers happens—on property, close to the property or at home).

A screen is a screen and usually we’re using many channels to get a player to look at an offer on a small screen or a large screen. Communications technology vendors are usually concerned with their channel(s) and theirs alone. So how can you have a cohesive multichannel casino marketing program? It’s time to all play better together in the sandbox.

A client posed this question to me a few days ago. “How would you layer on mobile app messaging to a direct mail, e-mail and text message based casino loyalty program?” Fortunately for me, I had been thinking about this since 2014 and I was able to give a solid answer, “It depends.”

In the shoes of most casino marketers, I would want to think about each channel in terms of screens where an offer can be viewed. The kiosk is a screen, the casino website is a screen, the player’s phone is a screen, the player’s home computer or tablet is a screen, the player’s home TV is a screen (usually one that the player spends a lot of time with) and even a direct mail piece is essentially a screen (just a static one). If you were to list all the ways a player could view an offer inside and outside of the casino in a way that can 100 percent identify the player and that it was their eyeballs that viewed and read the message, then you could eliminate waste with your marketing and be very efficient and effective with the limited attention the player can give your messaging.

Most casino marketers gravitate to repeating messages in e-mail, SMS, in-app messages, on the loyalty kiosk and in online player portals. That is a waste of messaging. There is nothing wrong with a reminder message when an offer is about to expire but using five channels to send the same offer is wasteful and leads to “fatigue.” If you get five total minutes of messaging time and attention with a player per month, then we are wasting three minutes and 39 seconds of it. If we think of target player messaging time and attention as money, then we want to spend as little of it as possible to get maximum results. We also want to find innovative ways to get more time and attention from players. The two are connected… the more relevant and efficient we are with our offer messaging, the more time the player will spend with your messaging. 

Using this logic, we would want to verify that a player’s offer was viewed and tee-up the next offer on all channels. Imagine an e-mail where depending on “when” you open it, the images change to reveal only offers you have not seen. Sound crazy? That exists today. We could do the same thing with a link in a text message, an in-app message, a loyalty kiosk and a gamification platform.

Unfortunately, there is not a single company offering to be the hub of this traffic-routing offer server. Many companies have gone multi-channel but are not thinking of offer delivery in this way. Hopefully we are headed toward this future where a single interface unites all of the screens and allows you to be efficient with your casino messages and offers. 

For now, we can get 75 percent of the way there by creating rules around the channels you use to deliver offers to players. Here are a few suggested rules to guide a player offer delivery program:

  • Once a player downloads the casino loyalty app and can receive in-app messages to an inbox, players will no longer receive e-mail or text message offers unless push notifications are turned off, then the player would continue to receive text message (if legally opted-in) and e-mails to push them to look in their in-app mailbox for offers.
  • If a player has not downloaded the casino loyalty mobile app or has deleted the casino loyalty mobile app, then the player will receive e-mail offers and text messages offers (if legally opted-in).
  • Direct mail pieces are sent only if e-mails and casino loyalty app inbox messages are not read within two weeks of receipt and only to high-tier players.
  • Use a gamification platform to drive guests to engage with offers online, on mobile and on premise and let them learn about promotions.