User Acquisition and Retention: Overview of the Top Tools

icon-author Yana Khaidukova 📅 Updated 22 October, 2019 🕐 5min. 👁 5189
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Getting an online gambling platform up and running and equipping it with a full portfolio of great games is only half the battle. Online casinos need a consistent number of new and regular depositing players, and to get them they use a few acquisition and retention tools that are popular throughout the industry. In this Academy article, Slotegrator presents an overview of the most common techniques for acquiring and retaining users.

Affiliate Programs

Joining affiliate marketing programs is a no-brainer for any business operating online, and especially so for online casinos. Once an online casino registers with an affiliate program, affiliates advertise the casino on their website. When visitors click on the advertisement, they are often taken to a landing page where they can fill in contact details or register for an account.

There are three main models for how affiliates are paid when they successfully direct a depositing player to the online casino. In the revenue share model, affiliates receive a percentage of the lifetime revenue generated by the player they directed to the casino. With the cost per acquisition (CPA) model, affiliates are paid every time a player they directed to the website makes a deposit and plays through it. The hybrid model is a mixture of revenue share and cost per acquisition. Commission rates vary from program to program.

Customer Relationship Management

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems enable platforms to collect highly detailed information about individual players. CRM software lets platforms can keep track of how often a player visits the site, how much they bet on average, and what games they spend the most time playing. This allows the platform to offer tailored rewards, bonuses, and other personalized offers to enhance the player’s experience on the site, encouraging them to stay and increasing their lifetime value.

Real-time marketing is a great way to boost CRM systems for maximum productivity. Real-time marketing tailors offers and promotions to individual users at a specific point in time by analyzing their segmentation in combination with a specific action. For example, a sportsbook might offer a regular punter a 100% match-up on their next deposit if they suffer a string of losses, preventing them from losing interest, or an online casino might give a roulette fan 3 free spins as a reward for playing consistently. Real-time marketing is also a very effective tool for cross-selling.

Loyalty and VIP Programs

It costs more for casinos to find new players than it does to keep the ones they have. Just like in any other business, many online casinos have found loyalty programs to be very useful when it comes to user retention. Loyalty programs create a positive incentive for players to visit the site regularly.

Loyalty programs typically operate on a points-based system. Players can earn points through making deposits, participating in tournaments, or performing other actions the casino values. Players can convert their points into free games, fiat money, or other prizes. Some platforms also introduce an element of gamification, using a leaderboard to publish high-scoring users.

For most casinos, the majority of their revenue is generated by a small percentage of high rollers. Keeping these players coming back to the casino is crucial for the platform’s longevity. VIP programs are a kind of loyalty program with a hierarchy that players can work their way up through.

At each level of the tiered program, players receive new, different benefits. VIP programs can offer bonuses and other promotions tailored to the player’s individual tastes. Some casinos even offer individual account managers who attend to players at the higher tiers. VIP programs let high-spending players know they are important to the casino, which keeps them from switching platforms.


Offering special bonuses can light up a player’s day. Casinos provide a variety of different bonuses to keep players engaged, starting from the welcome bonus they often receive when they first establish an account.

Platforms also offer bonuses for filling in payment details and making their first deposit. Players who return after taking a long break sometimes get a welcome back bonus, long-time regular players often get activity bonuses, and players who hit a string of rough luck sometimes get an unlucky gambler bonus where some of their losses are returned to them.

CRMs and real-time marketing can help operators know when to offer bonuses. Giving players bonuses can encourage them to start playing, keep playing, or play more than they already do.

Email marketing

Estimates vary as to exactly how much time people spend on their email every day, but everyone agrees that it’s a lot. Email marketing lets platforms reach players where they spend large portions of their day. Once you’ve built an extensive mailing list, you can focus on writing clear, compelling, and purposeful emails that are tailored to their target audience.

The current trend is for companies to try and write more personalized emails according to user segmentation with specific calls to action, instead of the batch-and-blast method, which many email users have come to view as no different from spam.

Social Media Marketing

By 2019, this basically goes without saying. Social media is where people look for new, engaging content, and many online casinos try to give it to them. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are great places to share content and promote offers and new games. Using social media allows casinos to reach a variety of different player segments.

Many online casinos have found the tools above to be high-quality, efficient tools for customer retention and acquisition. Many online casinos have found success with the user acquisition and retention tools outlined above. Keep reading Slotegrator Academy to continue learning about critical marketing strategies and other essential aspects of the online casino business.

Yana Khaidukova
Yana Khaidukova
Managing Director
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