In a few days? But I want it now!

The story about to be told took place in the Pre-Corona age. Back then, we would still actually meet each other in person, give a welcome hug, sit close together, in order to share ideas and pleasantries that were not absolutely necessary from a transactional point of view. We were brainstorming, exchanging ideas, even at the risk of also exchanging the odd microbe. That is how dedicated our team can be 🙂 

In this particular brainstorming meeting, we wanted to talk about how to become better at keeping the interest of new signups. There had been a positive trend in “spontaneous” signups for a while, but not enough of these new signups would stick around for long. We could see that clearly in our statistics: Only 1 in 4 new users would still be in the game 30 days after their signup date. 

Why was that? We did not see the same low “stay rate” for managers returning to Hattrick after having played in the past. But for people completely new to Hattrick, maybe it could be hard to have the patience to dig in and see the results of your earlier decisions. Also, the look and feel of Hattrick is a bit old school. Many of the bells and whistles users would expect from a modern game, especially a mobile game, is nowhere to be seen in here. 

We just wanted to try something new, something that would not offend or disturb our current user base, but that might help with the newbies! 

The last time we had tried this was when we introduced the official Mentoring System, now quite a few years ago. Users who chose to have a Mentor became about 18% more likely to stay longer than 30 days! Back then, the focus was on educating the newcomers. This time, our focus would be on something more controversial, namely instant gratification. Instant gratification started to be a “thing” after the massive increase of mobile gaming. It is when you give the user some kind of reward, gratification, almost every time they log in. This gives a feeling of rapid progression, even if it may not always be very real. Gamers want something, and they want it NOW. It doesn’t have to be a big win or a trophy. Just a shiny cosmetic badge or a daily bounty. Something that they will feel they earned.

Someone on the team said, “This is not something we want to impose on all the users, but we could try it out for new users only and see how they react. Let’s just implement something simple and do an A/B test”. An A/B test is when we let one group of, in this case, new users have the new feature, and then let another control group continue with the old system. After some time, we will be able to see in the stats if the new feature had an impact or not. 

Said and done, we started working on it. We opted for a Login Streak – a daily bounty. This Login Streak would keep track of reward users when they stuck to the routine of logging in to the site most or every day. The longer they kept the streak going, the better the rewards. We figured if they could keep going a month, they would have had time to see the deeper set, and more powerful, “delayed gratifications” of our beloved game.

This is how we put it to the users:

“Active managers often get good results. For this reason, the Hattrick Football Association will reward managers that demonstrate unwavering dedication to their teams. You can earn rewards by logging in to Hattrick every day during your first month. You will receive reward points for your daily logins, and as you reach login milestones. Team cash rewards may be added on any day as long as you maintain your login streak.”

And this is what users see. Simple as that. A shiny dashboard with a big check whenever they reach a milestone.

Each user will receive 10 Reward Points every day for 30 days in total, plus bonuses on the 3rd, 7th, 14th and 30th day which in total means 1 500 Reward points. In addition, if the user logins every day and he is lucky enough, he might receive some cash as a gift. Cash that doesn’t affect the competition in the league but is good enough to give that extra instant gratification feeling.

Did it work? Definitely. We kept the A/B test for a while and monitored the activity of each group. Those users that participated in the experiment of Login Streaks had a 52% higher likelihood to stay after 30 days! Impressive, right? For the last few months, Login Streaks has been available for every new signup on our website and given the impact, it is just a matter of time to have it in our mobile apps as well.