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Ongoing Bonuses Might Be Great for Gaming CRM. Ongoing Bonus Abusers? Not So Much

Attracting players to play with bonuses is the easy part. But what happens when they start pulling teeth out just to see that crisp $5 bill under their pillows in the morning? Here are four ways to flag and deal with the users who continuously abuse your incentives and perks

If you start noticing your kid is actively trying to lose their teeth just so that they could get that tooth fairy reward, it might be a red flag. As a smart parent, you’ll probably want to reevaluate your reward system.

Similarly, as a smart gaming CRM marketer, you want to give out bonuses because you know it’s a classic, effective retention tool. A player signs up, makes a deposit, and you give them further incentive to continue playing with you in the long run. But it’s not the clear-cut win-win situation you might think it is.

Well, to an extent. Because the fact this method is so prevalent comes hand in hand with another phenomenon, that of the “bonus abusers,” including the special segment of “ongoing bonus abusers”.

These users only seek out certain promos, and eventually cost you revenue and reduce your ROI and player LTV.

How should you deal with it? Well, you can stop all promos…

But the truth is that you don’t have to let them ruin promotions and the fun for the rest of your customer base. There are better ways to deal with it.

And, like any good solution, it starts with clearly identifying and isolating the problem.

Welcome Bonus Abusers VS Ongoing Bonus Abusers

Previously, we spoke here about welcome bonus abusers and presented how such players take advantage of welcome packages, including first and second deposit offers.

But here, we focus on players defined as “ongoing bonus abusers.” The difference here is noticeable – the ongoing bonus abusers continue to take advantage of bonus offers throughout their customer lifetime.

Digging a bit deeper, look at the KPIs below to properly define each type:

Defining Ongoing Bonus Abusers

To heuristically define the ongoing bonus abuser, first, you must group players with similar characteristics together. Ask yourself, are there any specific attributes you suspect may be related to the chances of becoming a bonus abuser?

Some metrics and selected features to use when doing so include Churn Ratio, Cash-out Ratio, Total Net Revenue, Total Free Bet Amount, Free Bet To Deposit Ratio, Total Deposit Amount, Free Bet Amount Ratio, and Free Bet Tickets Ratio.

Optimove research finds that bonus abusers can be defined by combining some of these key metrics to characterize them.

Optimove’s Ongoing Bonus Abuser Analysis

By looking at combinations of selected KPIs that make sense together, and over several months, Optimove analyzed and checked whether the KPIs measured below are proper factors for flagging bonus abusers.

The four combinations below are based on KPIs that are connected – and to be flagged as a bonus abuser, players must portray attributes from both metrics.

1. Bonus to Deposit Ratio and Deposit Amount

A low deposit amount is not enough to flag a player as a bonus abuser. Instead, the player must have a high bonus to deposit ratio as well since just the deposit amount doesn’t indicate abuse on its own. See below:

2. Net Revenue and Bonus Amount

When the bonus abuser tends to frequently take advantage of bonuses and has a negative net revenue, it’s safe to flag this player as a bonus abuser.

3. Number of Active Days and Cash-out Ratio

In this KPI, players who have a low number of active days and high cash out ratio are the bonus abusers as they rarely log in and withdraw in high amounts.

4. Number of Bonus Bets and Number of Real Bets

This KPI can be defined as the number of times a player places a bonus bet divided by the number of times the player places a real bet. The higher the ratio, the higher the chances of the player being a bonus abuser.

Excluding Players

So now you know how to find and flag the potential bonus abusers. But there’s one more cleaning chore to do here before you can go ahead with your anti-bonus-abusers plan.

When flagging bonus abusers, certain segments of players should NOT be included in the model. For instance, you don’t want to treat VIPs, new players, and winners – for a variety of reasons. But this is a whole new issue. Let’s leave that for another blog. 😉

Key Points

  • Create a definition that allows you to identify players who abuse bonuses.
  • Make sure to run the above KPI combination analysis from time to time.
  • Suggest a unique CRM strategy and campaign recommendations to bonus abusers to reduce bonus costs and encourage profitable activity.
  • Start planning your tooth fairy exit plan.
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Matan Zweig

Matan, a Senior Marketing Data Scientist at Optimove, joined the company in 2019 as a Marketing Data Scientist. Prior to coming here, Matan - who holds a BASc in Industrial Engineering from the Technion - spent some time at ZIM, as a Business Analyst. He used his birthday gift card wisely.