VGW Finds A Way to Drive Engagement and Help Charitable Causes

VGW, the online social games platform, offered users the opportunity to play its Standard Play online social casino games (Games) while donating to good causes. To get the word out, VGW partnered with Braze to mount a cross-channel campaign via email, SMS, in-app messages, and mobile and web push notifications.

Since launching in 2010, VGW Group (VGW) has become a trailblazer in online social game play. VGW creates games and operates digital platforms that provide users the opportunity to engage in social game play under a “freemium” model (Standard Play). VGW promotes the sale of its in-game virtual currency, Gold Coins, by way of sweepstakes promotions (Promotional Play). Most of VGW’s games are developed in-house, giving VGW greater control when it comes to turning out games that players love.

Naturally, online social casino games need players and VGW is always seeking to strengthen customer loyalty, bringing in new players while also keeping current players engaged. To boost loyalty and to give back to the community, VGW decided to launch a give-back program for their Standard Play LuckyLand Slots Games that would steer donations to a charity of a player’s choice. The give-back program was only applicable for Games played in Standard Play mode and did not include Promotional Play mode. The Braze platform made it easy for VGW to create and refine web push, email, and in-app messages.

Driving Engagement While Doing Good

VGW built a program to support charitable causes that are important to its players. Every month, users play for their favorite charities in specially designated Tournaments, with a portion of winnings donated by VGW directly to the winning charity. The idea was to create buzz, increase engagement, and build trust with players. But first, VGW had to let players know about the program.

With Braze, VGW built a true cross-channel campaign: Targeted emails to announce the Tournament, Android and web push notifications to bring existing users into the Games, and in- app messages for users playing other Games in the app. If these messages didn’t connect with players, VGW used delay steps in Braze Canvas, our customer journey builder, to provide an extra opportunity to sign up for the Tournament.

“VGW players are digitally-savvy and move back and forth on multiple channels hour by hour and day by day. They might play our games on a desktop computer, and then a mobile device, so it’s essential to communicate with them through as many channels as possible. With Braze, there’s no limit to our creative ideas for campaigns.”
—Grace Bolthouse, Loyalty Marketing Manager at VGW.

VGW Results: Increase in Users and Engagement

With an engaging campaign concept and cross-channel communications, VGW was able to increase user engagement as well as give back to the community. VGW measured the campaign’s success by how many players signed up to play, and how much money was raised for charity.

One of the first charity Tournaments VGW ran—called the Earth Day Giveback Tourneys— collected US $7,500 for the Surfrider Foundation. VGW saw an 8% increase in the rate of active players participating in the Tournament, compared to average engagement.

Final Thoughts

Charity tie-ins can be an effective way to do good while promoting customer engagement—and if you can make the giving fun, even better. The key is to raise awareness of the effort via multiple channels, so users can’t help but learn about your efforts. In this case, a comprehensive—email, SMS, in-app message, mobile push, and web push notifications—campaign reached players on every channel. The campaign was a win-win-win: Players get fresh motivation to compete, VGW gets more engaged users, and charities raise much-needed funds.

To learn more about the pros and cons of cross-channel campaigns, check out our look at the ins-and-outs of how cross-channel can drive stronger business results.