The Roundup: Engagement Strategies


2nd Chance – ALC

By Merrill Fullerton, eCommerce Growth, Atlantic Lottery Corporation

Last year, 2nd Chance evolved from a contest to a platform, offering monthly prize draws, but also incremental player promotions involving more of our channels of play (retail, online, and destination). More recently it also switched to a continuous offering where player entries no longer expire at the end of each year – something that players told us they didn’t like about the program. Now, the expiry of entries happens when a player hasn’t assigned their entries to a 2nd Chance draw in 12 consecutive months, thus tying it to their activity instead of a hard date established by us.

The marketing of our 2nd Chance program requires some tweaks. We do have a very large proportion of lottery players enrolled and active in 2nd Chance, and awareness of it is fairly high, but there’s still a massive volume of retail lottery players that aren’t engaging in it. We need to change up the message to make it clearer that the ticket the player already has in their hand has an added value attached to it. All they need to do is sign-up and enter that ticket. Coupled with this is the need to address some gaps in the online journey, particularly between our mobile app and pages – we know we are losing some opportunities to convert here. This is where we can learn from companies like Starbucks, where the online experience is intuitive and tight.


By Joshua Johnston, Deputy Director,
Washington’s Lottery

First, I’d like to talk about the strategic reasoning for developing and enhancing our MY LOTTERY 360. As a state with restrictions around online sales, including second chance entry, we recognize our players’ expectation that we have some form of online presence that allows them to engage with us. The question is how do we do that and stay within the confines of the law? We looked at what was popular within our current app, draw ticket checking, and brainstormed how we can build on that. We expanded our ticket checker to include draw and scratch tickets so a player can check for winning tickets on the go. We also launched a loyalty program as a way of rewarding players and giving them something to extend their experience with us. While the ticket may not be a winner, it can still be redeemed for points toward prizes.

Since the launch of our new app and loyalty program, we have seen engagement with our players expand. We look at how many unique players are interacting with our app; how many points are earned and how many points are being redeemed. The redemption of points shows us that the prizes we offer our players are of value to them. Since we launched about three years ago in November 2019 and through the end of 2021, our players earned 270 million points and redeemed 189 million points for over 62,000 items.

Scientific Games manages our app and loyalty program, and in June of this year, we launched their Optimove Platform which tracks and analyzes interactions with players. Since we have strict online selling restrictions, we must tread carefully, but at least with this we can test and pilot our communication and marketing to players in new ways to see the effectiveness of different strategies in terms of playership increase, player behavior, player retention, etc. We can deliver communication in a way our players want to receive it, is not overburdensome, and keeps them engaged.

As far as metrics, from August 2021 to August 2022, the app has been downloaded nearly 817,000 times. Over 38 million tickets have been scanned. Our average monthly active users are over 37,000. Average yearly active users is nearly 85,000, with a total of over 382,000 total registered users. In 2021, the total retail value spend entered is $118,339,833. The top gift from the loyalty store is a $25 Amazon gift card.

Attract, Engage and Grow Your Player Base with Splashdot

Splashdot is trusted by all Canadian lotteries for digital contests, promotions, loyalty, and player programs and has now set its sights on expansion into the United States and worldwide. Splashdot currently works with all Canadian lotteries and is celebrating its 20th anniversary; being in the industry this long, the company’s experts know how to build a successful program.

“Player programs are about creating and strengthening relationships. Once established, we use these relationships to help lotteries keep players engaged,” Scott McWilliam, VP of Sales and Marketing, Splashdot. “We are confident our experience with some of the world’s most innovative lotteries can greatly advance digital engagement in the U.S. and abroad.”

Twenty years ago, lotteries used player clubs and second-chance programs to extend the play experience and generate databases for email communication. Today, this is still a primary objective for lotteries, either gearing up or waiting for approval to sell online. But for those selling online, these programs have evolved into a primary acquisition engine. For those not yet selling online, such programs play a crucial role in player engagement resulting in a better experience & higher retail sales.

The benefits of player programs in terms of cost of acquisition savings and increasing the lifetime value of players are extensive. Lotteries can promote cross-play, directly communicate with players, personalize player experiences, and aid in companywide marketing KPI’s like increased sales, new game trial, reduce lapsed play, engaging younger demos & more.

As a leader in player engagement and loyalty, Splashdot suggests three easy starting points to consider when launching a new program.

First, a player program must adopt a “Player First” mentality—the player needs should be considered before the lottery’s marketing needs. “If the benefits are not there, the players won’t be either,” explained McWilliam.
Second, the program needs to be simple. Benefits, sign up, ticket entry, and ongoing participation should all be focused on ultimate player simplicity.

Third, lotteries need to a plan to engage consistently. It is vital to allocate the resources needed to keep the program fresh and always engaging. Splashdot has developed a series of tools and mechanisms in its nCentive platform to break the mold of typical earn and redeem models. As Splashdot has learned over the years, successful programs constantly reward players with great experiences and entertainment.

Modern player programs also require lotteries to consider more nuanced issues, from app integration, email integration, and player account simplicity. Splashdot’s nCentive platform is gaming system agnostic and offers maximum flexibility.

A key concept is what role retail will play in the program. “The online crusade can easily dominate corporate attention. It is a mistake to ignore retail in your efforts to grow your digital footprint. Retail and online working together to build omni-channel experiences is the only way to maximize your online portfolio,” said McWilliam. “The retail player base is the best opportunity for generating a return on your digital investment.”

PlayOn – Kansas Lottery (Abridged)

By Stephen Ortiz, Director, Marketing & Sales, Kansas Lottery (Unabridged Version Here)

The focus for FY23 is around the continued engagement of existing members and increased player retention of seasonal and jackpot chasers. PlayOn engagement remains steady even five years in market; however, there is a great opportunity to capture more “Fairweather” players who play only during the holidays or when large draw game jackpots are rolling and entice them to engage more frequently throughout the year.

Building Jackpot: We know that jackpot runs bring in a large volume of players. While the jackpot (starting at around $300 million) is building, it is important to send targeted communications to players creating awareness around the jackpot amounts, drawing dates, and encouraging players to purchase their tickets for their chance to win. We want to help spread the word during the early days of a jackpot run, so we would like to provide some pre-jackpot communications, such as: Email/Push, Newsfeed, and website graphics. To further encourage players to purchase and submit tickets within the PlayOn platform, we would recommend running a point multiplier tying into the tickets included in the rolling jackpot.

Retailer Partnerships/Event Geo-Fence Player Communications: The lottery has a great relationship with its retailers and has collaborated with them in the past on joint ventures in-store and with their loyalty club promotions. In FY23, there is even more opportunity to expand on those initiatives. KSL has run specific geo-fence player communications in the past, and we would like to carry this forward into FY23. These work by connecting specific locations to a push messaging that is triggered when a player comes within a certain distance from it. The focus of these geo-fence player communications would be to drive traffic to specific retailers during times of promotion as well as encourage players to participate through PlayOn when at specific events.

Ohio Lottery – Club Promotions

“We increased our mobile cashing to $25k, updated the Welcome Journey for new members, reorganized our website header to isolate and highlight the MyLotto Rewards section, added digital lottery coupons to our prize portfolio, and are adding high-end tech gifts back to our catalog. These changes continue to increase our membership, participation, and engagement,” Sandy Lesko Sabbath, Deputy Director of Marketing, Ohio Lottery said.

In September, the Ohio Lottery had an “8-Bit at Bat” game that people could play. During the 8th inning of any Reds or Indians game, players could scan the QR code displayed on the sign behind home plate. “Our players really enjoy the free, interactive, and instant win opportunities these games provide. Our 8-Bit At Bat promotion gets hundreds of participants for every game, and our social engagement games like The Waiting Game got thousands of viewers and tens of thousands of comments/reactions. We used those FY22 test learnings to create a weekly social engagement program this year,” said Lesko Sabbath.

In FY23, the Ohio Lottery is offering a weekly social activation program through their new Club Promotions page in MyLotto Rewards. These free Facebook games are designed to offer small real-time winning experiences, educate participants about their lottery games, drive them to retail with digital lottery cash prizes, and create/convert to customers when paid offerings are available online.

Lucke-Reward – North Carolina

By Randy Spielman, Deputy Executive Director, Product Development and Digital Gaming, N.C. Education Lottery

In FY22, the NCEL’s Lucke-Rewards loyalty program launched a number of special promotions. In February 2022, we launched our annual Multiplier scratch-off family second chance introducing the Super Bonus. Players earned entries with each ticket entered, but if they entered a complete family set, they earned 100 Super Bonus entries into the second chance. Incentivizing play across all price points proved a major marketing success.

Then, in June 2022, we launched NCEL’s first rolling jackpot second chance, bringing the anticipation of a rolling jackpot prize to the second chance experience. With every eligible “Carolina Jackpot” scratch-off entered into Lucke-Rewards, players earned entries, and the jackpot rolled in real-time. To further gamify the experience, players got a chance to play a Carolina Jackpot digital game at ticket entry to reveal the variable number of entries they earn in the promotion.

In FY23, our primary focus will be on back-end development, game changes (such as the launch of the Fireball add-on for Pick 3 and Pick 4), the launch of Pick 3 and Pick 4 in our Online Play eCommerce platform, and user flow optimizations. One expansion we eagerly anticipate in FY23/24 is the development of promo codes for Lucke-Rewards draw entries.

Brandmovers: Designing and Executing Lottery Loyalty Programs

Brandmovers is a global leader with over 20 years of experience designing and executing engaging promotions and loyalty programs that build genuine connections between brands and their customers, sales channels, and employees. They’ve worked with the Idaho Lottery to launch their new loyalty club in 2021. Oliver Mitchell, Vice President of Sales, discussed loyalty programs and the lottery industry.

Compared to other industries, how well does the lottery industry know its player base?

While player bases are understood at a macro level, the industry has limited insights into players’ transactional activity and ongoing engagement on an individual basis. In turn, segmentation and trend analysis is very difficult, and new schemes that enable data capture at the individual level are needed.

How can a loyalty program solve this issue for the industry?

While 2nd Chance Promotions, Online Games, Online Wallets, and PAM all are great tools, the vast majority of transactions occur outside of this ecosystem, and that is where a loyalty program can assist in connecting the dots. A unified profile that captures data from all of these sources and enables the players to also be rewarded for scanning a player card at retail terminals, provides a much more holistic view of the player base. This provides lotteries with insights they never have had before. In general, today’s Players and Consumers expect a loyalty program to deliver a streamlined, frictionless customer experience that treats them as a unique individual and provides them with personalized opportunities, perks, and benefits. Not only does a well designed, highly perceived loyalty program do just that, but it also equips lotteries with all the tools they need to communicate, engage, interact and build a relationship.

What core functionality should lotteries be considering?

It’s important that the loyalty platform has configurable and flexible functionality or modules that enable the lottery to achieve specific goals and objectives such as incremental lift, player retention, or player engagement.
We make sure our lottery partners can easily create promotions, securely draw winners, integrate with email services providers or marketing automation tools, and can import and export data. We also have a robust dashboard so lotteries can track their KPIs for their end-of-program ROIs. Front-end functionality has been about joining the VIP Club, entering tickets, and entering second-chance contests. In the future, we look to introduce more tools for acquisition, engagement, retention, and reactivation. This includes everything from onboarding emails to interactive digital promotions and games.