Holiday Push Notification Campaign

Many times I’ve been asked for advice on how to use push notifications to re-engage players. It’s a hot topic among mobile developers and that’s why I’d like to address part of the best uses for push notifications in this post. Here at Gamedonia, we have a few favorite campaign strategies we’ll cover across different posts. Any developer can use them, so please share them with the community. One of them is what we like to call the Holiday Campaign. Why a holiday push notification campaign Every day it’s a holiday somewhere in the world. More than 290 national days, not only for sovereign states. Adapt different campaigns for different countries. Launching the campaign from the server side maximizes control. At the end of this post, I’ll lay out an example so you can see how the campaign would work out for a particular case.   Getting Ready First step is to plan your campaign. Any mobile game should have at least a basic push notification strategy working behind the scenes. It’s an important part of the global engagement strategy to keep your game relevant to players. This is what you should be planning for: The goal of the campaign Your offer to the users Who to target in the campaign The preparation of the game   #1 What is the goal of the campaign? The goal for any push notification campaign is to remind players how cool your game is and make them come back for more play. In other words, you are trying to get another chance to keep them engaged with your game. If you’re worried...

How to Pitch Your Game to Investors, as a business plan

We know all developers love making games because they are a fun, challenging and rewarding endeavor to take part in. The thing is, you might want to pay the bills while you’re at it. What I’ll be talking about in a minute might not be suited for all developers, but I think it will be very helpful for the more business oriented. I’ll lay out a thorough list of small steps you can follow if you’d like to land funding from investors for your games. Just before starting, it goes without saying that you must stay true to reality, and that you shouldn’t overstate your goals or abilities. You shouldn’t undermine your strongest points, either. It’d be unwise. Outline your business plan step by step   1. What need is your game filling? Numbers matter. Does it answer a growing demand? The quick adoption of games by a wide range of population. Know which specific markets have a growing player base using reliable information sources.   2. Do alternatives already exist? Competition is strong. Outline your company’s strengths and show why you are the better option, be it through innovation or a new approach.   3. Describe your game Use awesome promo material and be brief! Show the most engaging images of your game, especially if they’re from actual gameplay.   4. What advantage does your game offer to the players? Explain its main features and emphasize what makes your game stand out from other similar games out there.   5. What do the players need today? Show you are an industry expert and that you have done your...

How to use In-App Purchases in free to play games

Are in-app purchases a bad marketing practice? Short answer: NOT AT ALL! When it comes to free-to-play mobile titles “66 percent of new players stop playing after the first 24 hours”, according to a new report from the mobile analytics firm Swrve. Hint: some developers’ practices are leading to users distrusting games with in-app purchases. This goes beyond the business aspect of the game, as it’s totally about the player’s expectations and experience with the game. Developers must understand that what they do as individuals affect the entire industry and determines its reputation. The hard truth is that people don’t have the obligation to play games. They do so BY CHOICE, as a way of entertainment, to learn new things, to share experiences with friends… For every new user that chooses to download your game, you should be able to show your appreciation to them in return. And the best way to do it is: don’t let them down. They expect what you promised in the app store description, whatever it was: top design, fun excitement, engaging community… Your users represent the most valuable metric you have. Your core focus must be to turn them into profit. In-app purchases don’t have to be a stopper for your players. Use IAP to bring valuable stuff to players and give them choices to make things easier. Take me as example, I’ve bought temporary power-ups so I could farm faster to get the resources I needed, but even if I hadn’t I could’ve gotten there anyway at a slower pace. And have fun in the process. Users feel they are given value...

Indie Marketing 101 – Promote Your Game Building a Fan Base

This is the last installment of the series about how to promote your game on a 0€ budget. If you’d like to read the complete series, you’ll find the appropriate links at the bottom of the page. After you’ve created awesome promo material and scored articles in top-tier publications there’s one more stage you need to cover to finish your promotion of your game. How about engaging with the players that’ll really love your game? This is how you can do it. Stage #3 Build a Solid Fan Base These are actions you can take to bond with your followers. The broader the base of loyal fans you can muster, the better the launching of game will go.   1. Make Your Games Easy to Discover Set up social media channels ⎯you don’t need to post every day, find a post rate you’re comfortable with and go with it, never forget to answer direct interactions with you. Become active in forums, blogs, and relevant sites ⎯get into interesting discussions and voice your opinion. Participate in game jams and other events ⎯get out there, put faces to names. Get involved with the local development community ⎯has anybody ever lent you a hand? Feels good, doesn’t it? Start a crowd funder to start building an online presence ⎯this is the first place players will discover your game, start the conversation there and lead them to your game website.   2. Convert Visitors into Fans With Content What kind of content can you write your fans will appreciate on your development blog? Game and Company updates ⎯show progress and the current state...

Indie Marketing 101 – Promote Your Game Scoring Articles in Top-tier Publications

Now you have produced the five essential promotion materials it’s time to get in contact with the media and let them spread the word for you. Let’s move on to stage #2 of the series that shows you how to promote your game on a 0€ budget.   Stage #2 Score Articles in Top-tier Publications There are five things you should be doing to score articles in the right places to get exposure to the kind of players you want to appeal.   1. Build a Target Publication List Research publications ⎯you want or should be featured in. Record publications ⎯in a spreadsheet list. Categorise publications ⎯into three tiers based on traffic.   2. Find Writers’ Contact Info Visit each publication’s site on your list. Search for writer’s and editor’s contact info ⎯look for an “editorial staff” link in the footer. Record all info on your spreadsheet. ​ Publication Name Title Email Phone Rating magazine 01 Mary Ellison editor m.ellison@mag01.com 555 8899 top (***) magazine 02 Jay Smith writer j.smith@mag02.com 555 4433 med (**) blog 01 Rick May writer r.may@blog01.com NA low (*)   3. Get In Touch Create an email template ⎯to introduce you and your game. Answer a writer’s most important question ⎯why would my readers give a damn. Customise the template ⎯toward each writer or editor. Here’s a template you can use for your emails.   4. Thank You! Thank all writers ⎯who reply to your email, republishes a press release, or writes and publishes an article. Email “thank yous” are ok, but handwritten notes go the extra mile ⎯personalised things makes you feel special and are...