There are three primary areas in your player database that we all focus on in different ways. Those three areas are NEW MEMBER, ACTIVES and INACTIVES. Most properties understandably spend the majority of their time nurturing the ACTIVES portion of the database since that is the bread and butter of most casinos. These are your regular on-going guests.
We have programs for each of these major categories of players but we have a special passion about the INACTIVE portion of your player database. I’d like to tell you why and perhaps re-ignite your passion to dig into your database again as well.
New Member vs Inactives
Getting new members can be the most expensive part of your marketing budgets. Deep advertising budgets on billboards, radio, television and direct mail acquisition programs usually bring in less than 1% response but we have to keep bringing in new guests. Dollar-per-guest this can be quite expensive.
Our record on an acquisition mailing was just under 7% on a list we built of 20,000 potential guests. We had an 85% once too but gave away free buffets to a special list of locals. Kind of cheating if you ask me.
THE QUESTION IS… why did these new members move through your entire new member, active and inactive marketing programs and eventually go inactive?
There are a ton of reasons. Life Happens! They may have moved, divorced, changed jobs, married, lost a job, relocated jobs or were perhaps a 1-time gambler that just wanted to try it.
Just as often some of them are spending their money at a different property they like, is closer to home or someone in their family likes or where a friend works or something similar.
With the right approach, marketing to inactives can be much more fruitful than trying to get new members. Here are some tricks of the trade for you to consider.
WHERE DID THEY GO?
17% of the country moves every year and due to the inconsistent database updating capabilities of most gaming systems, we lose a large number of guests this way. We have been importing entire NCOA updates into casino systems for years but they don’t make that easy.
Unless you have a huge data entry staff or are uploading complete change of address information quarterly most of your database is going inactive at around 17% per year.
They don’t get your offers.
Don’t just have your direct mailing vendor update your mailing lists for the mailing. Have them update your entire internal database as well. Updating the mailing list off-line doesn’t help you!
Compare your player database to the USPS change of address records directly and regularly!
WHO’S STILL GAMBLING?
Find out which of your inactive players are known-gamblers at other properties. That cuts a huge list down to a manageable size right away. If you find in your 300,000 inactive customers that 30,000 of them are known-gamblers at other properties you can increase your offers and your response rate incredibly. So do it.
This is a common service we perform all the time and I am sure others do too. Using todays advanced consumer databases and the tracking of credit card transactions and spending categories you can find out all kinds of things about your guests. There is nothing illegal or unethical about doing research using public available databases. It’s inexpensive too!
Everyone enjoys your property differently. Some play annually, some monthly, some weekly and some daily. Why do we treat them all the same? Build a frequency index.
Most people consider an inactive guest someone that has not been in for X months. Usually in 12 months of no-trips everyone is grouped together as inactive and treated like a single group tiered by play value. This is inconsistent with the varying style of guests themselves.
Send increased value, special-offers immediately as someone breaks their individual trip frequency instead of 12 months later. If guest Nancy comes in weekly but hasn’t been in for 3 weeks. Trigger an increased offer right away. If guest Bill comes in monthly but hasn’t been in for 3 months trigger him an increased offer too.
Try and keep them from breaking their individual pattern to keep them active.
Building a frequency model helps you keep guests active longer. You can automatically trigger off direct mail, email and text to these guests which keeps more people active without doubling your workload.