5 Best Examples of Gaming App Push Notifications to Level Up your Engagement Game

Eat that fruit! Remember the good old Snake game? Those blinking pixels of that legendary mobile game? 1997 was the year mobile gaming first entered public consciousness when Nokia introduced the now iconic game on the Nokia 6610.

The gaming industry has come a long way since those games played on television screens using rigid gaming consoles and PCs. This evolution continued as the demand and passion for gaming continued to grow across the globe. Riding on the back of breakthrough gaming engines and improved user experiences, modern gaming consoles catered to this escalating demand from a growing target audience.

While games and mobiles developed in silos, no one imagined that they would converge in such a massive way in today’s on-the-go environment. Today, there are mobile phones designed specifically for gaming, embedded with hardware that would appease mobile gamers.

India is one of the top five countries in the mobile gaming market and the industry is already worth over $890 million. It’s no secret that the Indian mobile gaming market is growing at astounding rates.

Gaming apps are the most popular app sub-category accounting for a total of 25% of the most active iOS apps and a total of 21% of the android apps.

Incredible statistics, right? There’s more!

Did you know that 62% of smartphone users install a game within a week of purchasing their devices and mobile games now account for more than 43% of total time spent on smartphones?

In such a competitive environment, while acquisition is easier to accomplish, user engagement and retention remain a constant challenge. Beyond the graphics, gameplay, storylines, and user experience, how do marketers ensure that users remain “hooked” to their gaming app?

It’s a constant debate if mobile gaming apps require push notifications or not. In our opinion, they do!

Every mobile app needs some amount of nudging to get their users to launch the app. Gaming apps do get lost in the swarm of other apps on the phone.

However, there are few gaming apps that are using push notifications and seeing great results. Here are 5 leading mobile gaming apps that are acing their push notification user engagement game:

  1. Wordscapes

    Who doesn’t love puzzles? No, we aren’t talking about Sudoku or Crosswords, but this addictive mobile gaming app called Wordscapes!

    It doesn’t just make a positive impact through great user onboarding and a pleasant UI/UX but also nails its push notifications, that have the right engagement essence.

    WordScapes Push Notification


    These notifications are effective for the following reasons:

    • Quirky Copy: Notice that the content is a clear winner here. It uses a cheeky way to get the users to launch the app and finish their daily puzzles.
    • Emojis: WordScapes balance its push notifications through the effective use of relevant emojis without going overboard. This makes an instant visual impact while encouraging users read the entire message, at least once!
    • Hints: Usually one must’ve observed a pattern - if users aren’t able to clear a particular level, they move on from the game resulting in falling app relaunches and eventually user churn. This game has a unique way of bringing users back to the app by sending occasional hints as push notification campaigns.

    Not only does this personalise the user experience based on which level the user is on, it gives such users a concrete reason to relaunch the app, driving higher app usage.

  2. Candy Crush

    Remember the good old Tetris game? Candy Crush is also a free-to-play match-three puzzle mobile game.

    The game is such a big hit that it was the most downloaded app across app stores, becoming the first mobile game that filed and released its IPO! The true definition of a viral app based on a great UI/UX as well as a solid mobile marketing strategy.

    Candy Crush also sends push notifications to nudge its users to relaunch the app.

    Candy Crush Push Notification

    • Contextual Content: There are players who play the game every day and are very particular about the level they are playing and their progress. The messaging has to be straight to the point. This notification nudges the user subtly to launch the game and finish the level to get higher rewards.
    • Sense of Urgency: This notification creates the sense of urgency and that the lives are refilled nudging the users to keep leveling up. 
  3. Pokemon GO

    Pokémon GO is an augmented reality (AR) mobile game developed and published by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. It is a location-based AR game where the user has to move around with the smartphone to “catch” the Pokemons!

    The marketers at Pokemon GO also effectively leverage the power push notifications.

    This push notification from Pokemon GO acts as a perfect example for re-engaging a dormant user.

    Pokemon Go Push Notification


    This notification works for the following reasons:

    • Targeting: Pokemon GO lets the players be aware of the lures that are active in their area by sending this timely geolocation-based push notification.
    • Sense of urgency: This push notification puts a sense of urgency in the copy to nudge the user to launch the app and play it right away!

    Mobile marketers at gaming apps have a lot more liberty to be creative with their content copy. This is why mobile A/B testing becomes important to identify what content and creatives work best with what audiences.

  4. Shadow Fight 3

    Shadow Fight 3 is a brawler gaming app developed by Nekki. Nekki’s games are quite famous in this genre with huge success in Shadow Fight 1 and Shadow Fight 2.

    Shadow Fight 2 was when the developers first decided to use push notifications to nudge their users to play the game. But this year, with Shadow Fight 3, they’ve taken their push notification game up a notch.

    Shadow Fight Push Notification


    The following ingredients make these push notifications stand out:

    • Rich Elements: When was the last time you saw a gaming app use a rich push notification? Clearly, the makers of this game have realised that one major way to rise above the competition is through the use of images in their push notification campaigns.

      Not only does this make the message visually appealing, but also increase the chances of users relaunching the app to get back to their gaming journey.
    • Relevant CTAs: Take a look at these two notifications. Both of them have two different CTAs with relevant actions tying back to what actually the copy means.

      This ensures that the notification is not viewed as overly intrusive by users, giving them the option to either follow-through on a positive action or dismiss it altogether. The last thing marketers should do is annoy their users!
  5. Dream11

    Dream11 is India’s first and largest single-match fantasy sports game where players use their knowledge of sports to create a virtual fantasy team of real-life players. They then earn points based on how those players perform in actual matches.

    With over 50 million users, Dream11 has registered a phenomenal 100X growth in less than 5 years.

    One major reason for its exceptional user engagement and retention has been the manner in which they’ve used highly personalised and timely push notifications.

    Dream11 Push Notification


    Here’s why these push notifications are effective:

      • Sense of urgency: Dream11 is endorsed by MS Dhoni and they use him rightly in their rich push notifications.

        This push notification puts a sense of urgency in through the image, communicating a fast-approaching deadline. By creating a sense of urgency or a fear of missing out (FOMO), Dream11 nudges interested users come back to the app and create their teams at the earliest.
      • Cross App Messaging: In the above notification you can see Hotstar in partnership with Dreamm11 sends a push notification covering both the user bases.
      • Personalised and contextual content: After every win, Dream11 sends a push notification to congratulate those users who may have won the contest.

    It also sends messages reminding of your last victory, right before the next match. By encouraging “winners” to extend their winning streak, Dream11 strikes an emotional chord with such users, nudging them to relaunch the app.

Let the Games Begin!

To assume that gaming apps don’t need push notifications because the users will launch the app daily would be wrong.

Be it a gaming app or not, every mobile app needs push notifications in one of the lifecycle stages - right from acquisition and onboarding to engagement, and retention where they prevent their users from falling through the cracks.

Remember push notifications can help retain 30X more users in your game. They can improve engagement with personalised content or re-engage with your players who haven’t visited your game for a while by delivering targeted, geolocation-based, context-specific, and meaningful messages in real-time.

At Smartech, we help mobile gaming apps create hyper-personalised marketing strategies and power user engagement and re-engagement in order to help them retain their players for life.

To learn how your app can benefit from push notifications, schedule a personalised demo, today!

 
Vijay Mandeep


Vijay Mandeep is a data-driven B2B Saas marketer with a vested interest in startups. He’s passionate about growth hacking, content marketing, and everything social media for B2B SaaS. He works as Senior Growth Marketer at Smartech.

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