Is There an Alternative to Casino Welcome Bonuses?
Every single online casino and poker room will offer a welcome bonus, a welcome package or some sort of monetary incentive to get players through the door. This has been the most effective, customer pleasing and therefore most used marketing tactic since day one. However, is there an alternative and would that alternative really be giving the customer what they are looking for? In my opinion the answer is yes there are alternatives and no they probably wouldn't give the customer what they are looking for, and as a result be far less effective. Poker players and casino players sign up and play for two primary reasons...to have some fun and to try and win some cash. Therefore, what's more of an incentive than to offer a little bit extra to get the ball rolling. The marketing of any online gaming establishment falls into three main categories, acquisition, conversion and retention, meaning you acquire, you convert and then you retain. There are of course many channels within each area, but let's stick to the basics.
Acquiring new Players
Why would an online casino give up a tried a tested method that brings new players in the door? Fact is they would not. It's a little bit like asking coca cola to change the flavor of the best selling drink the world has ever known.....it just is not going to happen. What else could they offer? Sign up and get a free iPod - got one, Sign up and get a free T-shirt - don't like it, don't want it. The fact is that cash is one of the few things in life that we all want more of and therefore it makes sense for the casino to offer it and sense for the player to take it. Maybe a better loyalty program would bring players in? I doubt it very much, most players want cash back from a rewards program anyway and casinos simply can't afford to offer much more than they already do, with most of them being pretty good as they stand, and that surely falls into retaining players.
What's the Future?
The future on this issue is pretty easy to predict. More of the same. It just makes so much sense, both for the customer and for the casino and let's face it, it's expected nowadays. Even with the emergence of new markets things won't change, as they will look at what has previously worked for both parties involved and that will lead them right back to the welcome package. Don't get me wrong, I am not a fan of immense bonuses with huge rollover requirements and such, but give me a bonus that I can clear and have some fun with and sure I'll take it.