Every month about 5% of the casino’s active patrons just stopped coming. They received an inactive mailer but only half of them came back by the end of the program. With time, the response rates for new mailings to these inactive patrons fell and reactivation mailers didn’t make economic sense. And, after a few years the database had 40,000 active and 400,000 inactive patrons. Sound familiar?

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Reactivation is really two problems – new inactives and long-term inactives. Let’s take a closer look at each of these segments.

New Inactives

New inactives had a trip in the player database recently, but not recently enough to continue to qualify for the active program. These new inactives fall out of an active mailer for a variety of reasons including:

  • Seasonal behavior. This may include ‘Snow Birds’ or others who live near the casino for only part of the year. Trying to reactivate these people when they go inactive simply wastes money at the time. It also likely means that they will not receive an appropriate mailer when they return to the area.
  • Infrequent visit patterns. Lower frequency players may drop out of the active program simply due to natural variation in their visitation patterns. Continuing to mail to this group may keep the casino top of mind and drive the next trip.
  • Limited use of the player’s card. Some players don’t use their card on each visit and as a result they look inactive when they really have had activity. Continuing to mail to this group may keep the casino top of mind and drive the next trip.
  • Given up gaming. Adjusting this type of attitudinal change will work occasionally, but more often just wastes money.

Each of these groups should receive a different amount of investment and a touch plan of a different length. For example, snowbirds should receive an offer when they return to town. Infrequent visitors or players who use players cards infrequently may respond well to mailers that keep the casino top of mind, but may have less sensitivity to increased offer investment. Those who decided to move their play to another casino often deserve significant and persistent investment.

Long-Term Inactives

Long-term inactives often have not registered a trip in the player database in 12 months or more for reasons that are difficult to discern. Reactivating them feels like a finding a needle in a haystack – you know some of them still game in market, but they are few and far between. If you mail to them all you will certainly lose money. However, given the player database has no current information on them, building a program around these people often requires significant investment in experimentation and modeling to drive success.

Simple, Quick Approaches for Improvement

Appending external data represents a simple, quick approach to create immediate improvements in both new and long-inactive programs. Casino payments data usually represents the best source to understand reactivation potential, but increasingly social data can help inform this process as well. Typically, payments data covers the top 20% of gamers. These players tend to mix play among many casinos and as a result are most likely to go inactive when continuing to game at another casino, as demonstrated in the chart below.

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They also represent most of the value captured by a typical reactivation program. Matching the payments data to player’s club data often reveals interesting results; for example –

  • The player has no payments activity. This does not necessarily mean the player has abandoned gaming. They might game only infrequently or have seasonal visit patterns, but it certainly reduces the chances they are a valuable patron
  • The player has payments activity at your property! Since they have no players card records for the period in question, they may prefer not to use their loyalty card or it may indicate some mistrust in the casino. Often this type of player will respond to direct mail even if they do not redeem the offers. The money does not motivate, but the familiarity does.
  • The player has payments activity in the market during the period, but not at your property. This suggests the player remains active in the market, but no longer prefers to visit your casino. The patrons represent a prime target for reactivation and you should target them for sustained investment.
  • The patron has payments activity in another market, but not at your casino. This suggests ‘Snow-Bird’ type behavior.

To take advantage of these insights, match your player data to payments data and create segmented lists:

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DiamondStream’s ACE dashboard product will automatically match casino player data and payments data and produce this type of segmentation.

In addition to payments data, social casino gaming data can also provide insight with regard to who might activate. Social gamers sometimes game at casinos, but most casino patrons play social casino games. To take this further, those who monetize on social games have a much greater propensity to monetize in the casino as well. If your players remain active on the social side and continue to monetize there, they are good bets to monetize in the casino as well – even if they haven’t been to your property for a while.

While the simple segmentation provided here will drive reactivation program profitability and success, marketers can take this success to another level by including modeling in the mix. How to use models with external data to improve reactivation will be the subject of a future case study. Stay tuned.