Is a Loyalty Programme Worth Being Loyal?

Online casinos are really big on loyalty programmes. Or, excuse me, VIP programmes. I, for one, treasure being referred to as a VIP, and would go to just about any extent to have such a title bestowed upon me. Does it not, after all, grant me permission to walk with a spring in my step, and allow me to wear sunglasses indoors? Yes, I believe it does.

In all seriousness, loyalty programmes have become the central focus of many online casinos. And why shouldn’t they? Such a programme is virtually the only way an online casino has of encouraging return business. And with the online casino industry being what it currently is, a mad desperate attempt to try and draw as many customers as possible, or risk obscurity, it stands to reason that every website is attempting to outdo the loyalty programme of every other website. Or, to put it another way; cha-ching! Rub your hands together and do your best imitation of a greedy banker. Free stuff!

What Should A VIP Programme Do?

In my personal experience, a loyalty programme can absolutely be called an art form. Your average online casino will simply mention that prizes can be won, if a player returns to the website and spends more time playing games. And, when the threshold is reached, a little message may pop up, informing the player they have achieved a loyalty programme goal. Simple, non-invasive, and about what one would expect. Great, right?

Well, not really. Some websites have gone above and beyond what would be called “an acceptable loyalty programme,” and hit some sort of pinnacle of enticement, verging on the outlandish. One website I visited went as far as to have a little animated thermometer on the lower right of the screen, which gradually filled as a I played games. The top of the thermometer, bright red, indicated that I was “hot,” and about to hit a threshold.

A bit over the top? Absolutely. Invasive? Incredibly. But, I couldn’t help but have an enormous grin on my face, enchanted by the sheer audacity of it all. Perhaps not for everyone, but I have to say I admired the extent the website was willing to go. And I am also willing to put money on the fact that the programme is seeing notable results.

Make Me Feel Special

But the question remains; what should a good loyalty programme do, and is it worth sticking to just one casino?

To answer the first question; a loyalty programme should make a player feel valued, above all else. The above mentioned website with the thermometer is perhaps losing sight of this, and leaning more on pushing players to be more active, as opposed to rewarding them for being loyal. The thermometer is, in all honesty, perhaps not the best approach to take. There is a good chance it will simply make players feel hounded, as opposed to valued. The designers might instead have considered a slightly less “in your face” design.

I would also like to mention that the thermometer website promised enormous top tier rewards, with the highest reward achievable being an all expenses paid trip to Atlantic City. Impressive indeed, and worth aiming for. But for one small detail; the top tier rewards were given only to loyalty programme members “invited into the top tier.” How one went about being invited was not mentioned. Now, I’m afraid, they’ve completely lost my good will. Dangling a prize with no clear indication of how to get it is a big no-no.

So, Is A loyalty Programme Worth It?

I’ll have to give my answer in two parts.

Yes, a loyalty programme is absolutely worth it, in my opinion. I stick to familiar casinos, claim my loyalty rewards, and keep going back, sometimes on a daily basis. On a daily basis mostly because points are gained simply for logging in regularly, and the points are even compounded if it’s on a daily basis. I feel valued, and I even feel satisfaction at getting my 7 day login streaks. Applause to the creators of this loyalty programme system.

But, I have to add to this that I have very carefully selected which loyalty programmes to stick to. It need not be said that some loyalty programmes are better than others, and these are the ones that get my attention. Points for spending an hour on the website? Yes, not bad. Points for logging in on  a daily basis? Okay, you have my attention. Compounded points for daily logins that carry over to the following day? Now we’re talking turkey.

So, if I can close off by saying anything, it will be this; staying loyal to a website should certainly be something a person puts a bit of research into. And if the programme doesn’t make you feel valued, every time you login, I’d start checking out the competition.

Marc Armstrong - Signature

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