Who doesn’t love a good gamble? Social gambling apps have grown tremendously in recent years, as sports betting restrictions ease and leading edge technologies like micro betting draw new users to the category. And, with new user acquisition getting even more expensive, it’s never been a better time to transition new users acquired in the pandemic into long-term, paying players.
Below, we cover the best practices for social gambling apps to retarget and re-engage their best players.
Social gambling app trends
Sports betting apps
Twenty twenty one was a banner year for the sports betting market. According to a report by the Morning Consult, by the end of 2021, nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults said they bet on sports at least once a month. That represents an 80% increase in the share of Americans ages 21 and up who said they regularly bet on sports over the course of the year.
What’s driving this growth in sports betting? Apps, of course.
In fact, sports betting apps — which have historically been used by mostly male gamblers — grew tremendously among female users in 2021. More than 4.6 million women joined sports betting apps in the U.S. This represents a 115% increase in the number of female users year-over-year. Male users still exceed female users by 250% but the growth rate of the female demographic is nearly double that of men (63%).
The two top sports betting apps grew tremendously in the female demographic. FanDuel brought in an estimated 1.7 million female players in 2021, more than any other betting app. DraftKings brought in an estimated 900,000 women.
Social casino apps
Even in the face of easing lockdown restrictions and reopening casinos, social casino app growth has not slowed down. In 2021, iOS users spent $1 billion in social casino apps. In Q2 2021 alone, social casino app revenue reached $260 million.
Demographically, social casino app usership skews older, with half of users over the age of 45 years old. This indicates higher than average income and purchasing power among a majority of social casino app users.
Finally, in the wake of Apple’s IDFA changes, CPIs on Android for social casino apps dropped by 14% in 2021. In contrast, average CPIs on iOS increased 10% year-over-year — a 122% difference.
Again, this indicates the necessity of investing in long-term user retention strategies like retargeting, especially when it comes to retaining more expensively-acquired iOS users.
Retargeting for social casino apps
Designing and testing the right ad creatives are a key pillar of successful retargeting campaigns. It makes sense that a social casino app user would like a game that mirrored the thrill and energy of gambling at a casino in real life. That being said, the creatives you design for your social casino app retargeting campaign should mimic the aesthetic of a Las Vegas roulette table or slot machine. Design ads to be eye-catching and to include casino sound effects for video and playable formats.
This is a key strategy for all apps and their retargeting efforts regardless of category. Especially, in the post-IDFA age, it’s important to segment and target users that your app has had previous interactions with. Why? Because it maximizes the first party data you’ve collected about their engagement with your app. Segment key players in your funnel. This might include players that have previously gambled a certain amount of money or played your app for a certain amount of time.
After identifying high-quality players in your funnel, take a closer look at their behavior. When do they drop-off in your flow? Do a user churn analysis to understand what they’re doing right before they churn. Are there actions that they’re more likely to take than other players (certain in-game purchases, levels reached, etc.?) For example, if 90% of your new players churn by Day 7, offer them rewards or promote new in-game features to increase their stickiness within the first week of install.
Incremental Lift Testing
Our last recommendation for social casino apps is to undertake incrementality testing to measure the effectiveness of your retargeting campaigns. This includes dividing your player audience into two groups — a test group and a holdout group — and evaluating the difference between each when shown the same set of ads. Find partners that can undertake more advanced incremental lift testing methodologies like ghost bidding for the most accurate lift data.
Social gambling apps have grown tremendously in recent years with easing sports betting restrictions ease and leading edge technologies like micro betting drawing new users to the category. By the end of 2021, nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults said they bet on sports at least once a month, an 80% year-over-year increase in the share of Americans who regularly bet on sports over the course of the year.
- More female social gambling app users: More than 4.6 million women joined sports betting apps in the U.S. last year, a 115% increase.
- Social casino apps continue growth despite casino reopenings: In 2021, iOS users spent $1 billion in social casino apps. In Q2 2021 alone, social casino app revenue reached $260 million.
- Best practices for social gambling apps:
- Creatives optimization: Design ads to be eye-catching and to include casino sound effects for video and playable formats.
- Segmentation: identify and separate out paying users that have engaged with your app for longer session lengths.
- Cohort Analysis: identify what your high-quality players do before they churn. Target them with rewards or promote in-game features to uplevel their stickiness.
- Incremental lift testing: undertake incrementality testing to measure the effectiveness of your retargeting campaigns. We recommend the ghost bidding methodology for the most accurate lift analysis.
Retarget your social gambling app!
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