You’ve got a product to launch – a game that has the potential to generate tons of player excitement. But the competition for gamer attention is fierce. Do you have what it takes to break through? It’s not easy – for every Grand Theft Auto V success story, thousands of games sink without a ripple, and not necessarily because they aren’t great games.
The key to a successful game launch is careful planning. When developing your launch strategy, your goal should be to make it as easy as possible for potential buyers to make a purchase. And with the right strategy, you can entice customers in a cost effective way. Here are three tips for getting the most out of your game launch.
- Build an effective product strategy. This is an important step that not only adds to your game’s appeal prior to the launch – it drives momentum for the entire product lifecycle. Plan your product strategy in advance, mapping out details such as the timeline of the release of your standard edition, limited edition and collector’s edition to drive incremental revenue.
Product promotions like game-themed apparel, custom boxed sets and exclusive soundtracks can also help you differentiate your offer, and promotions around releases can build excitement for the launch. Let gamers know that the number of pre-orders drives the addition of promotional items prior to the launch, engaging fans via social media to seek their feedback on versions, giveaways and bonus content.
- Streamline the purchase flow. When designing the customer experience around the game purchase, it pays to put yourself in the gamers’ shoes. Give them a reason to make a purchase now. Make discount codes and coupons easy to find. Reassure customers on the delivery date and price, offering a price guarantee for customers who order early to ensure that their price will match the launch day price.
It also makes sense to closely examine the mechanics of the purchasing process – the shopping cart setup, the pages involved in completing a purchase, etc. Minimize the steps involved, removing pages that aren’t completely necessary. Make the checkout button the most prominent element on the page, and tie purchases back to offers such as expedited shipping to drive sales.
- Drive traffic effectively. Maximizing web traffic is an extremely important element in the launch strategy. If you plan to bid on paid search terms, it’s a good idea to build your strategy around your company’s highest profile brand and most effective commerce terms. Create targeted purchase pages that provide customers with a clear description of the offer and buying steps to make the decision easy.
Include email and social media outreach to generate anticipation for the launch. If using online display advertising, consider a site retargeting strategy that provides product impressions on other sites. Reminder ads can drive double-digit conversion rates once you’ve created customer interest. And don’t forget affiliates and loyalty reward sites, which can drive additional sales with the right banner ads and offers.
Once you thoroughly plan your launch, streamline the purchase flow and find effective ways to drive web traffic, you’ll be well on your way to a successful game rollout. But don’t forget the crucial endgame, which is studying your launch metrics in real time. A detailed assessment of site performance, cross-channels sales, ad click-throughs and other key performance indicators can help you adjust your strategy on the fly, keep the momentum going and build excitement for subsequent releases.