Before the COVID-19 pandemic, online gaming was merely a fun and engaging pastime for millions of young consumers. However, the extended lockdowns, social distancing, and other protocols turned gaming into a kind of salvation. Not only was gaming a way for users to spend time and escape the harsh reality of the pandemic, but it was also a way to stay connected with family and friends.
The number of online gamers in India has increased by 42% during the pandemic and is estimated to rise to 510 million players in 2022.* But, compared to the number of players in the Indian market, monetization has yet to build momentum. Passion Gaming, a real-money, online gaming company, has found a solution by connecting with gamers in a contextual and timely manner.
Founded in 2015, Passion Gaming offers Rummy Passion, India’s Most Loved Rummy App. They offer the finest digital rummy card game experience to a player base of 5 million across India. Its mission is to deliver an exhilarating experience to its players in a safe, secure, and fair online environment.
To understand how they solve monetization using CleverTap, we spoke to Gagan Kharbanda, COO. The key metrics for his team are reducing the churn and increasing the average revenue per user (ARPU). Some key focus areas include improving how they bring players into the app and interacting with them, thereby improving campaign performance and ultimately user engagement.
When Kharbanda was searching for a user engagement platform, his primary need was to be able to automate campaigns, which would allow his team to better strategize and execute campaigns more effectively.
With hundreds of games aggressively competing for users’ time and attention, focusing on app stickiness by building positive user habits was non-negotiable. Making users feel welcome during onboarding and educating them about app features were crucial first steps to getting them to play every single day.
It’s amateur to strive for conversion without understanding user behavior. To avoid this cardinal marketing mistake, it was important for Rummy Passion to automate user segmentation, easily create micro-segments, and target users based on their specific actions or inactions.
Kharbanda was looking for an all-in-one engagement partner with whom Rummy Passion could have a long-term, fruitful partnership. He discovered CleverTap through word of mouth and chose the company for its ability to keep players engaged with the right message at the right time by the right medium.
“We wanted to choose a marketing automation platform that’s well established in the Indian market, and CleverTap seemed to fit the bill. We chose CleverTap and haven’t looked back,” he says.
Kharbanda relies on campaigns and journeys to bring users to the app and to optimize the experience of each customer regardless of their lifecycle stage. Emails, SMS, and push notifications are some of the key messaging channels used.
“By optimizing the user lifecycle using campaigns and journeys, we’re able to systematically encourage users into deeper levels of engagement. Doing this successfully means increased ARPU and app stickiness over time,” he notes.
Over 100 journeys and campaigns are created by his team which covers the following objectives:
The install-to-registration series of journeys begins when the user installs the app and ends when they register on Rummy Passion.
The first real-money deposit journey nudges users to deposit money so that they can start playing their first game.
The first-10-days series of journeys commence after the user makes their first deposit. The purpose of these journeys is to drive game adoption and time played by educating users about the app’s features and benefits.
To increase APRU, they create journeys that encourage users to deposit and play more games. These journeys try to build positive user habits, thereby increasing their engagement and stickiness to the app.
Journeys geared toward reducing churn target inactive users and try to win them back, reducing player attrition.
But how is one to know if the campaigns and journeys they’re running are actually moving the needle? Kharbanda found control groups an effective means to answer this question. Control groups exclude a set group of users from all marketing campaigns. System control groups measure the impact of the campaigns in comparison with the target group over the long term (weeks or months).
“We carved out a control group to measure and fine-tune our metrics. After several rounds of optimization, we were able to stabilize and measure our results against the target group which provided invaluable insights,” he details.
Leveraging funnels helps Kharbanda understand where exactly users drop off and shows them the friction points in the app, if any. Funnels let him dive deeper into player behavior and gain a complete picture of how many users complete each step in the conversion funnel.
Furthermore, funnels equip him with the ability to create micro-segments based on the steps in the user funnel. This reduces a lot of effort since he doesn’t have to manually define every segment.
“Cohorts help us isolate those players who’ve performed a certain action and determine how long it takes them to come back and perform another action,” he explains. This helps them to constantly optimize their efforts and improve results.
“Using CleverTap, we were able to impact player onboarding and improve the overall player experience. We are still trying to optimize further with new ideas,” mentions Kharbanda.
Rummy Passion saw an uplift of 23% in app stickiness among the 30-day cohort of users who deposited money. They also saw a 41% uplift in the Day-30 retention rate among users who repeatedly deposit money.
Rummy Passion is striving to onboard more players to the app and increase their retention rates. And with CleverTap, they now have a better understanding of user actions and intent and can communicate effectively in a contextual and timely manner. We’re excited to watch their progress in their mission of creating an exhilarating gaming experience.