6 Ways To Prepare Your Social Games for the Holidays

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It’s already that time of year. It’s September *takes deep breath* – which means Halloween is around the corner – which means Thanksgiving is around the corner – which means Hanukkah is around the corner – which means Festivus (personal favorite) is around the corner – which means Christmas is around the corner – which means Boxing Day is around the corner – which means Kwanzaa is around the corner – which means New Years is around the corner. Did I forget any? This is going to be a busy season!

As we discussed in our whitepaper, 2010 Mother’s Day Research Report, during Mother’s Day, social games had a fivefold increase in revenues and promotions helped double conversions.  As Mother’s Day is the second largest gift-giving holiday in the United States, imagine what the holiday season could mean for your bottom line.

To prepare yourself for this holiday season, you may wish to reflect on last year’s holiday success. Also, take into consideration these additional ways to maximize sales with holiday promotions.

1. Unique Holiday-Themed Virtual Goods
Snow? Santa hats? Candy canes? It’s been done. You’re not going to “wow” anybody by meeting expectations. Your gamers are expecting traditional Christmas and New Years items, but you can exceed expectations by delivering unique, creative items for all the holidays. Yes, I’m talking virtual Festivus poles, digital kaftans or fun twists inherent to your game (e.g. for aquarium games, have an underwater Santa who has a shell instead of a sled and seahorses with antlers instead of reindeer). If your holiday themed virtual goods are unique and visually appealing, your gamers will buy them. Get creative and show your gamers that you are taking the holidays to the next level!

2. Cyber Monday Sale on Items
Everyone is already online the Monday after Thanksgiving to take advantage of all the amazing online sales for Cyber Monday. Capitalize on the biggest online shopping day of the year by offing special sales on goods or currency in your game. After all, social games are “cyber” too.

3. The [Insert #] Days of [Insert Holiday]
You know what I’m talking about. The 12 days of Christmas, the 8 days of Hanukkah, etc. Many of the holidays have traditions or celebrations that last much longer than a single day. Announce that you will release new holiday-themed items on each day of the celebration, perhaps with a special bonus for people who collect the entire set. Playfish did a version of this last year in Pet Society. This will keep gamers logging back in to your games buying your virtual items.

4. Holiday-Themed Quests & Mystery Gifts
Create a special themed quest, where the result is a mystery gift. Make each day leading up to the holiday a unique mystery gift, encouraging more play!

5. Targeted Gifting Promotions and Advertising
As mentioned in the eMarketer Report, “Social Gaming Virtual Crops Yield Real Profits,” the majority of social games players are women and are over the age of thirty. Think about the core audience for your game and be smart about marketing gift promotions and implementing advertising that will yield optimal profits. Monetize your audience by using TrialPay’s exclusive offers.

6. Viral Initiatives
By increasing the amount of users playing your game, you increase your profitability base. Offer Secret Santa gifts as an incentive for adding users, or give users gifts to invite friends with and then provide that user with a reward.

What creative holiday promotions do you think could move the needle this holiday season?

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