- Affinity Building – Affinity is a new concept in the world of Monetization. It comes from the field of persuasion psychology and is the main reason why there is a correlation between the amount of time a user spends in your app or game and the likelihood that they will spend money. The more time they spend in the product, the more likely their affinity is building to get them to the buying state. The key to affinity is to get the user into the core loop quickly and ensure they stay there for a number of cycles in order to build affinity and then ask them to pay. Forcing the user or asking them to spend money too soon will break the affinity and push the player out of your product.
- Money Words – This is most commonly referred to as “Monetizing Language.” Interestingly, most Product Managers and Analysts know that it is best to use a positive verb phrase like “Buy Now” for a call to action, but don’t know much more than that. While a book could be written on Monetizing language, it is important to tell the player what to do – phrased positively – and instruct them to make a purchase while they are in a high affinity state. This is normally when the player is well into the core game loop having completed a number of cycles. While this seems like a simple thing taking this action should result in a significant improvement in conversions.
- Cash Cropping – Also referred to as “Sustainable Monetization” since proper Cash Cropping techniques are designed to avoid user erosion. Most people are aware of the techniques around content versus feature planning. However, if you want to really understand this process you have to look a little deeper. These techniques are used in response to the ‘Cash & Burn’ trap that most PMs fall into by designing their monetization around the ‘Whale.’ While this normally works in the short-term for improving ARPPU (Average Return Per Paying User) you will be burned by it later through player erosion. Cash Cropping is about designing for your average player demographic in order to get consistent yields month after month rather than Whale to Whale.
- Pre-Selling – This is the process of preparing your customer to make a purchase before you actually allow them to transact. This is normally witnessed in gaming when the player is given a piece of hard currency then directed to spend it in a specific fashion. This example is also called ‘Priming the Pump’ but is just one of the ways Pre-Selling is used. While this is a relatively effective method of converting non-paying users to paying users, this is just the beginning of how this technique can be used. Other options are trial uses, pay-walls and, for more advanced monetization designers, crafting.
- Post-Selling – In the world of selling virtual goods, buyer’s remorse is the silent killer, and Post Selling will alleviate this issue. If a customer is unhappy with a purchase or feels that they were ‘ripped off,’ they will never purchase from you again and ultimately will slowly matriculate out of your product. The real problem is that if you create an item that sells extremely well, but is causing tremendous buyer’s remorse, it will appear to be a successful item that indicates player taste – but in reality, you’re killing your product.
Using any single technique from this list will improve the revenue of your product and when you incorporate all five techniques then you are certain to have a healthy revenue stream for years to come.
Look for more articles on Monetization techniques in the coming weeks from Curtis Cherrington.