Hi, my name is Keith Smith and I am the co-founder and CEO of BigDoor. We power gamified rewards programs, and today I want to talk to you about how the combination of gamification and rewards can drive monetization.
Meet my daughter Kaity. Kaity is 15 and this picture was taken right after she got her drivers permit last month. As you can tell, she is ecstatic. This is the emotion we all want our users to have. I tell this to drive home the point that rewards matter. Getting your learners permit is not a fun and engaging game, but the look of sheer joy on my daughter’s face tells us all we need to know about the thrill of receiving a sought after reward. But what preceded this exuberance was Yearn. Her yearning for he permit made her do anything and everything to earn it.
So let’s take a step back and look at what we consider to be the three keys for monetizing gamification.1, 2, 3Yearn matters. Without a deep desire on the part of your users, you are left with uninspired and uninterested users.
So what do you get when you do have Yearn. We’ll look at examples for each of these in a minute.
So the question I hear from our clients is, “If Yearn matters so much, how do I create it?”Onboarding may sound mundane and boring, but first impressions matter a lot. I’m always amazed at how many companies ignore this concept. If a guest comes to your house you will greet them at the front door, welcome them, and show them around. But all too often websites do the equivalent of leaving the front door unlocked and hope that their guests can figure it out on their own. Gamification can help fix this.Rewards matter. The first thing people often think of when they consider gamification is “points”. But we like to turn this around and ask the question from the perspective of the user and as, “what’s the point?” Tell me what’s in it for me. As a user I have thousands of options, tell me why I should stick around. Or as a very wise woman once told me when I was only 18 years old. The three most important words a woman will ever hear are, “free gift with purchase.” Nevermind that those are four words, it was a great line. She may not have been great at math, but she understood human behavior.Once a user understands what is in it for them, then it is important to provide them a path to get there. A redeemable virtual currency makes for a wonderful means to an end. It allows you to give your users small and incremental rewards in the form of points, that actually have a point. So for the user the points come to have meaning, but only because of what they can be traded for.
40 Million people played CityVille last month. It is still the most popular game in the world, so let’s look at how they create Yearn.
Zynga’s Cityville onboarding
CityVille has only a mediocre way to get users to pay them. Yet overall Zynga generates $23 per year per average DAU.Compare that $23 per average daily active user to Facebook which generates just over $8 per year per average daily active user. In other words, Zynga is really good at monetization. But not because they have a wonderfully streamlined way to pay them, but rather because users are dying to get their virtual currency so they can get their reward. Yearn!So I give CityVille a B+ for monetization because it is relatively flat and boring, but that doesn’t matter because they have world class RPUs due to creating yearn through great onboarding, authentic rewards and good use of virtual currency.
I know I said that CityVille was the most popular game in the world, but depending on how you define the word “game,” frequent flyer programs are actually the king of the hill. It is estimated that 120 million people worldwide are playing the “frequent flyer” game. Let’s take a look at one of them, Alaska Airlines.
What this says to me as a user is, “Don’t worry, we’ve got tons of lawyers working for us.” It isn’t fun, it isn’t welcoming, it doesn’t make a great first impression. It feels heavy and boring.
But the Rewards is where they get you hooked. You get real rewards, real status. These are rewards that are authentic to your flying experience, and they really matter.
The good:Miles are simple. We all understand them and so they are a known quantity. Fly a mile, get a mile. Use your “miles” to redeem for free shit. It makes sense. The bad:Where it falls down is that Miles cost the airlines real money, so they have to be careful about how they give them away.And the airlines are notorious for being able to turn something exciting into a complete snooze fest. Alaska went way over the top and added a visual progress indicator. But it’s still boring.
Overall, airlines get you us to buy more and be more loyal to our chosen airline – and for that I’ll give them an A+.
Big Brother Sweden TV show onboarding The goal of TV4's gamification program is to drive more traffic to Big Brother website – launched “Super Fans” Encourage visitors to interact with content through viewing, commenting on video clips, participating in polls and commenting on blog posts. After six weeks of working with BigDoor, we have experienced an increase of 365% in User Loyalty and over 1000% increase in User Engagement
Gorby’sis Sweden’s answer to the Hot Pocket. And they are a major sponsor of the TV show, so it made sense to integrate them into fan rewards.
Vator Spark BigDoor Final
Monetization: The Love Child of Gamification & Rewards KEITH SMITH, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO BIGDOOR, @CHIEFDOORMAN5/2/2012 BigDoor 1