One of the more common techniques to increase engagement and usage of casual games on the iPad is to provide goals or challenges each time the game is played. As an example, the three active goals in a game might be to beat your previous high score, get to level five, and purchase a digital item in the store. Some, like beating your high score, are context-sensitive and straightforward. Others, like purchasing a digital item in the store, are designed to increase the user’s engagement with different parts of the game, and set the foundation for in-app purchases.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps should learn from this approach. In SaaS apps, it’s easy to automatically track what features are, and are not, being currently used. With this information, as well as analytics around what’s going on with usage of active features, the software could recommend new features to take advantage of as well as ways to get more value from existing features. Even better, data across multiple customers of the SaaS app can be anonymized and used for benchmarking, so that the recommendations give a context as well (e.g. you’re 5% below the average for this category and here’s what you should do to improve).
Here are some example goals or challenges that a SaaS app might provide:
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The next time you’re contemplating ways to increase engagement and reduce customer churn, consider goals and challenges on the main application screen of the SaaS app.
What else? What are some other things SaaS apps can learn from casual game engagement techniques?