6 Steps for a Successful Continuity Campaign

Continuity gifting campaigns are one of the most successful casino promotions available. Gifting programs bring customers in by the masses, and when designed correctly, they are also one of the most profitable casino promotions. You will often hear cash (or slot play) is king, but without any other variety of offers, it can lose some of its luster.  All casinos offer their players some level of financial reward – table bets, dining credits, and slot play – but when only offering these base rewards, casinos find themselves trying to outbuy another casino for players.  While I have never met a player who turned down any of the above, players crave experiential events – concerts, car giveaways, cruises, continuity gift giveaways, and the like. It is through these opportunities that casinos can differentiate themselves by offering a tangible gift item to show their gratitude and appreciation for their customer’s loyalty and efforts. 



When designing a casino continuity gifting program here are 6 simple steps to consider to make your continuity gift campaign profitable and achieve your desired results: 

1 Define the Goal – In order to achieve your goals, you must determine what result you are striving for. The most important factor when developing a continuity campaign is determining what is the intended outcome? Utilizing business trends, competitive analysis, external factors, and a variety of other considerations casinos must determine if they are trying to increase frequency, establish loyalty, increase acquisition (or reacquisition), hedge against regulatory changes or even combat road construction plans. All these factors and more will define how the campaign is structured.

2 Establish the Universe – When building your continuity campaign, you want to define the universe of players that will help you meet your ultimate goal and offer the best profitability.  Continuity campaigns can reward or inspire play and depending on your goal will define how you select your target player base.  Want to increase trips – choose local players with low frequency.  Want to build or reward loyalty – choose players by tier level, number of visits, or years of membership. If external factors are the issue – select players from geographic areas you share with competition or players from an area that may need extra incentive to travel through heavy traffic or construction issues.  Once you determine the universe that supports your goals (there can be more than one) that still does not mean everyone gets an invitation. 

3 Pick only the Best Players – While they may enjoy playing the same machines, not all gamblers are created equal. Once your target universe is defined there is still more work to be done.  Although the universe represents all players in your base criteria, not all will qualify for the offer.  Profitability plays a key role in determining who should receive your offer. When offering an incentive, the amount invested in a $1 player should not be the same as that invested in a $100 player. As a general rule to achieve a profitable return, players with lower worth and those who are currently overinvested must be removed from the universe.  Based on the initial plan, target audience, and intended performance goals, establishing the qualifying player value is paramount. Setting the player value too low may increase the number of players eligible for the offer but based on the amount you are able to reinvest in this player it will also reduce the amount you are able to spend per person and likely also reduce the attractiveness of the gift you are able to provide.  Finding the balance between the right minimum player worth, the cost of a compelling gift campaign, and the required ROI help to establish the guidelines as to whom within the universe will qualify for the offer.

4 Select the right Gift for the right Customer – Casino customer bases are as diverse as the regions they live in, the amenities they enjoy, and the casinos they visit. From the lap of luxury to the local’s hangout, players choose the casino property that best aligns with their personal taste, expectations, and style.  These same elements must be considered when building a compelling continuity gift campaign for your target audience. Regardless of location, players are drawn to aspirational and useful gifts that align with the lifestyle they yearn to achieve and represent. Understanding the demographic you are working to attract and their related interests will help achieve the success you are striving for with your continuity gift campaign. While the latest tech items may be all the rage in retail stores, if your audience is less than tech-savvy, their interest and response to that same gift if offered in a continuity campaign may fall short of the goals your promotion was designed to achieve. Understanding your audience, using historical responses, seasonal timing, local interests, demographics, and professional insights, plus a wide selection of covetable gifts to choose from will help define the best gifts for your audience. 

5 Make it Attractive – If you build it, they will come – does not apply to developing a successful marketing campaign. To attract customers to your continuity gift promotion the presentation of the offer must be both attractive and compelling. The reason for your gifting event is to make players feel appreciated, compelling them to make the choice to visit your property and make them feel valued and rewarded for their loyalty to you. High-quality, branded products in colorful retail packaging serve to convey to your players how much you value them based on their high perceived value of the gift you have selected for them.  In addition, marketing collateral for your continuity gift campaign should be exciting and engaging using colors, messaging, and product images that showcase the benefits and attractiveness of their gifts. The fine imagery and presentation styles should not be limited to just the mailer sent to invite them to the promotion but should be exhibited throughout the property using banners, signage, interactive links, and high-quality commercials showcasing their gift items in lifestyle settings.  All of these elements serve to increase your audience’s interest in and desire to own the gift, and in turn, draw them into your property to enjoy the reward you are providing to them and to collect their premium gift.

6 Make it Easy – The stage is set, and all systems are GO!  On promotion day, you’ve put in all the hard work and are ready to delight your audience with their promised gift, so make sure it is an easy redemption process for them. Streamline the process as much as possible. Nothing sours an event more than standing in long lines at a kiosk to then go stand in another long line to collect your gift.  Make sure you offer enough time in your giveaways, so customers do not feel rushed to arrive at the property or collect their gift. Offering alternate gift pickup days, times, or express lines for your best players will help keep them happy and the less time they are in a line the more time they have to do what they really enjoy – putting lady luck to the test. In your efforts to shower your best players with gifts don’t forget the little things that make the process run smoothly for both your staff and especially the customer. Having ample marketing staff on hand, easy-to-follow line queueing, a kiosk loaded with a fresh roll of paper, and an occasional EVS attendant to keep the area tidy are all paramount to making the gifting experience efficient, enjoyable, and successful. 

Unlike a standard (and super competitive) slot play offer which once expired is usually replaced by another one, a gift giveaway event is a limited must-attend experience. Offering high-quality gifts customized to your audience draws your best players into your property each week on their quest to complete their gift sets.   Also, unlike slot play, when your players return home after their visit with you, they have a tangible remembrance of your appreciation to enjoy or share with others.

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