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Winning Day 0: Unlocking early retention for downstream growth with Sharath Kowligi

We’ve teamed up with the Mobile User Acquisition Show to bring you this series of Retention Club interviews! 

Shamanth Rao sat down with Sharath Kowligi, Marketing Manager at DieNo Games, to talk about the importance of day zero retention metrics and why you should engage new users for long-term success.

Listen to the full podcast here!

And watch the interview here:


Navigating the High Stakes of Mobile Game Retention and Monetization

In the rapidly evolving landscape of mobile gaming, the path to success is fraught with challenges. Yet, amidst these trials, the cornerstone of a successful mobile game remains unwavering: user retention. Sharath Kowligi, Marketing Manager at DieNo Games with a rich background in user acquisition and monetization, recently shared his insights from experience in the mobile marketing space spanning over 50 games. He shed some light on the complex interplay between retention, monetization, and user engagement.

Retention Over Monetization: A Strategic Priority

For mobile games, especially in their nascent stages, retention should be the focus over quick-win monetization strategies. The allure of monetization, while tempting, shouldn’t eclipse the foundational goal of building a game that captivates and retains users. The rationale is clear: a game with solid retention metrics signifies a product that resonates with its audience, thereby paving the way for sustainable monetization in the long run.

The Crucial Role of Day Zero Engagement

Understanding and optimizing day zero engagement metrics are vital for assessing a game's initial appeal and its potential for long-term success. Games that manage to hook players from the get-go not only stand out but also demonstrate a higher likelihood of retaining users. This early engagement is a delicate balance of the core game loop, meta-game strategies, and software stability, all of which require attention to detail and a deep understanding of the target audience.

Aligning Creative Content with User Expectations

The congruence between in-game content and advertising plays a significant role in user retention and monetization. Creative alignment between ads and game content can significantly impact a player's decision to stay engaged with a game. Misalignment, on the other hand, can lead to disengagement and churn. Ads that accurately reflect the game's content and mechanics are more likely to attract and retain users who are genuinely interested in the game experience.

Re-engagement and Retargeting: Extending Lifecycle Value

Early re-engagement and retargeting strategies are essential tools for maintaining user interest and extending the lifecycle value of a game. These strategies, which range from in-game notifications to targeted ads, help remind users of the game's value and encourage them to return. The timing and messaging of these re-engagement efforts are crucial, as they need to resonate with users at various stages of their game journey.

Innovation and Adaptation: Keys to Thriving in Mobile Gaming

The mobile gaming industry, characterized by its high-risk, high-reward nature, demands continuous innovation and adaptation from developers. In this competitive landscape, standing out requires not only a great product but also a keen understanding of market trends, user preferences, and the evolving technological landscape. It’s important to take a holistic approach to game development, where user acquisition, retention, and monetization strategies are intertwined and equally prioritized.

Towards active and engaged users

The journey to mobile game success is complex and multifaceted. Developers must navigate the intricate dance of attracting users, keeping them engaged, and ultimately monetizing those engagements. By focusing on retention, aligning ads with game content, and employing strategic re-engagement tactics, game developers can increase their chances of creating a product that not only entertains but endures.