In the beginning you could just take things from other people. Then someone invented a monetary system which forced you to pay for things if you wanted them. Then some genius figured out that if you give people a free taste they would get hooked, and eventually spend money to get more without realizing how much money they were actually spending until it was too late. (Free samples at Costco)
Many mobile game developers understand this concept and have adopted a freemium mobile strategy to monetize their game. The mobile game is given for free but you must make in-app purchases in order to enhance your experience. With this freemium mobile game strategy, the job of the marketer is twofold. First you must acquire the users, and secondly you must get them to monetize. One way to get them to monetize is by using in-app messaging to entice them to make a purchase. The best way to engage and effectively use in-app messaging to monetize your mobile game user is to follow the T.I.R.E. Model.
Timely – Timing is everything, so remember to show your messaging at the right time. Don’t interrupt the user experience by showing them a message when they least expect it. For example, show messages during breaks in gameplay when they aren’t in the core loop. If you are showing a subtle message during gameplay remember that asking a user to do something right after they have had a positive experience in the app is better than asking them to do something after they have had a negative experience. Also, showing something they want at a “pain point,” is a great way to get them to act. They are more likely to make an in-app purchase in their immediate time of need then at any other time. It is also a good idea to give a sense of urgency like “Halloween Sale,” “Limited Time Only,” or “Only 100 Packs Left.”
Incentivized – If you want a user to do something for you, give them something in return. Maybe it’s free in-app currency, a free in-app purchase, or something else that they value in exchange for tweeting (free marketing) about your game. They will be more likely to act if they are incentivized to do so. Another example would be asking the user to watch a short video in exchange for a free in-app purchase. They get something they want and you get to monetize them through the video ad.
Relevant – Make sure that the message you are sending is relevant to the user. Showing them something they don’t want is pointless. Understanding user behavior and messaging them based on their needs is very important.
Engaging – Don’t be boring! Why would I respond to your messaging if the content isn’t engaging. Users want to be entertained. Make sure your art and copy is entertaining. Users will get a better experience and the better the experience the better the likelihood that you will be able to monetize them.
As a mobile game marketer your main job is to drive UA and help monetize those incoming users. By using the T.I.R.E Model to craft your in-game messaging you will be able to engage and ultimately monetize your users more effectively.