Aspire Global: Creating a sustainable player journey 


With operators increasingly looking to maximise the lifetime value of expensively acquired players, Antoine Bonello, Managing Director at Aspire Global, examines the key aspects of successful retention strategies.

Customer acquisition across sportsbook and casino has come under the spotlight recently, particularly in the context of the United States where major players in the market are looking to pull back on costly marketing drives.

However, the value for operators of a sophisticated, comprehensive retention strategy in regulated markets remains under-estimated. Given the value it can bring in terms of increasing player lifetime values and consequently, profitability, both operators and suppliers must invest in retention in order to achieve long-term success.

At Aspire Global, we believe that acquisition and retention are two sides of the same coin and that they must form an integral part of an overall business strategy. In order to create long-term growth, operators must make sure that acquisition and retention efforts are dealt with in a continuum and not siloed.

Content strategy

When it comes to casino content, the configurability of RTP on games, within the remit of regulation, can be a useful tool at an operator’s disposal. In having paid a premium to acquire a player, it’s important that the first experience is a positive one. If that player can enjoy a session without draining their bankroll too quickly, then this can have a beneficial effect on their lifetime value. Delivering differential RTP early on within a player journey is a retention strategy that dovetails with its further stages.

The regulatory landscape within a specific market also defines the proposition that each operator needs to go with to maximise player value. If we look at volatility within content and the types of games that are promoted by operators, in the UK we have seen a trend whereby maximum stakes have been lowered. This has in turn made high volatility games less attractive for players, who have started to gravitate back to more traditional titles within a portfolio. 

In non-regulated markets, you find that ‘bonus buy’ options and high volatility games remain popular, with streamers promoting this type of content. When it comes to the US, the land-based culture exerts a major influence on player behaviour in the digital realm. We see that games that have been adapted from land-based casino strike a chord with players and that sophisticated features and mechanics are not necessarily what many players want to experience. In short, market maturity and history play a big role in defining the types of content a player consumes and in turn, the lifetime value they present for an operator.

Hygiene factors 

It is also vital that we do not overlook the impact of hygiene factors on player retention, as the value of what is sometimes taken for granted can have a huge impact on long-term value.

Customer service is a major component within the player experience. It’s important that operators provide highly trained, knowledgeable agents fluent in the language of the market they are operating in. Round-the-clock support is a must in a highly competitive environment, as is handling queries effectively as well as promptly, in a matter of seconds. 

Payment solutions that offer customers the chance to register and deposit quickly, without enduring a lengthy sign-up process, are also very valuable. The strongest registration and security protocols through KYC requirements can be retained with data directly from the customer’s bank, while withdrawals can be processed instantly. 

In short, it’s about providing a seamless experience with all transactional interactions. At Aspire Global, we are fully committed to delivering a slick, frictionless environment within which our operator partners can thrive. In making a player’s early experience with a brand a highly positive one, a platform provider with the latest technology, deep local market knowledge and a commitment to engagement through the full range of verticals can help drive long-term, profitable success.