As usual there are many fascinating facts included in our latest research, this time covering new players in freemium mobile games. But perhaps most interesting was the data around the percentage of total revenues delivered early in the player lifecycle.
Put simply - over 50% of the total revenue you can expect to get from a player comes in the first week of life. And over 35% in the first three days! I think those are surprising numbers, which contradict the intuitive belief that it is long-standing repeat players who really deliver the bulk of revenue in freemium games.
Just think about that again. Within a week, you've earned over 50% of all the revenue you ever will from the average player.
Of course our research only covered 90 days of life - but based on what we saw it seems fair to say there are no mysterious bursts of revenue at some point after that. The revenue curve has dwindled almost to nothing by that point. 90 days may not be the whole lifespan, but it is certainly representative.
So what are the implications of this early life gold rush when it comes to mobile marketing?
Perhaps most importantly, when it comes to mobile monetization - getting people to spend money in your app - don’t wait! Don’t assume that the ‘right’ thing to do is retain and then convert. Aside from anything else, in many cases, conversion can actually drive retention (rather than the other way around). After all, what better motivation for sticking around is the fact that you’ve paid real money in an app or game?
But even aside from that, there’s this basic truth: there is a certain audience of players who will monetize in mobile games. The longer that passes without them monetizing in YOUR game, the less likely that is to happen.
So you need to be optimizing user experience, and delivering campaigns within the app, from the moment the first session starts. And perhaps more importantly again, you need to be learning about your users from that moment (or even before - where they are acquired from is key information).
It is by delivering targeted campaigns (whether in the app, or via push notifications), personalized for the individual, and anticipating their needs, that we can really drive conversion in mobile apps: ensuring that those who are willing to spend in games spend in OUR game. That means processing what we learn quickly, and putting the offers, messages and user experiences that will make a difference in front of users early.