Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Loyalty Rewards

Massively asks: How do you feel about Loyalty Rewards?

For the most part, I think loyalty rewards are unnecessary. The reward for subscribing is getting to play the game itself. If a game is good, it does not need external rewards to keep people subscribed.

That being said, there is one situation where loyalty rewards are useful.

As a general rule of thumb, you never want to make a customer feel stupid for purchasing something from you. Suppose a store sells you an item, and next week has a sale on that item. Many stores will allow you to get the discount if you bring in the receipt. Of course, most do it quietly, and some do it just to avoid the process where you return the first item and buy an identical item. But the basic logic is sound. You don't want the customer to regret purchasing the product early instead of waiting.

When it comes to MMOs, very often companies will offer marketing deals and special offers to entice new players or win back returning players. These offers are not available to current subscribers. Sometimes, if the offers are good enough, it can make a current subscriber feel like what they should have done is unsubscribed earlier instead of sticking with the game. That they made the wrong choice and now regret continuing to subscribe.

Loyalty rewards can balance this. Sure, the current subscriber doesn't get the special offer that the new or returning player gets. But the current subscriber gets the various loyalty rewards instead.

That's my position on loyalty rewards. If you are never going to have a special offer for new or returning players, you don't need loyalty rewards. But if you are going to have those special offers--and you almost certainly will--it's probably best to have a small loyalty rewards program to balance.

You don't want your customers to regret subscribing, or to avoid subscribing until the best possible deal comes along.

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