A 2019 research study of 1,500 U.S. consumers found that 70% of respondents wanted to be shown appreciation by the brands and businesses they patronize, but they wanted more than just another loyalty card. Those results were not surprising to Vonage customer Gametation.
Gametation, makers of a web-based platform that connects with shoppers out of store via social media, ads or on a brand’s website, have known for years that engaging consumers’ emotional and psychological needs influences their behaviors. Gametation knows that changing consumer behavior into business results doesn’t have to be rocket science. In fact, it can be as easy as getting customers to play games.
“Our main offering and proposition is being able to drive specific behaviors by means of gamification,” said Morten C. Kopp, Director, Operations & Insights at Gametation. “We have found that when it comes to consumer behavior, gamification initiates psychological triggers that create a positive, engaging loyalty experience for the shopper who interacts with brands that we are supporting."
Gametation enables a shopper to sign up via a mobile phone number for a chance to win a prize by playing a game. If they win that prize—whether it’s a soft drink or a coupon for a hotdog—it builds loyalty to the business or product.
Getting the Vonage SMS API Into the Game
How does Gametation work? Simple: A customer typically sees Gametation ads promoting games on Facebook or another social media site. When they click on an ad, they are taken to the Gametation web-based experience to play a simple game. “It might be something like ‘Scratch and Match,’ for instance,” said Kopp. “So, when you ‘scratch’ something on the screen, it gives you a chance of winning a prize. If you win, you will then get a text that is sent via Vonage SMS.”
Gametation uses Vonage as its global platform to deliver these texts to the shoppers. The text provides information that tells the customer that they have won, and gives them a link to click on so that they can redeem their prize.
“We have been utilizing the Vonage SMS platform for three years,” said Kopp. “For every win, we send an SMS text with instructions of how to initiate the redemption flow. Now, with Vonage as a global partner, the process works extremely well and we are able to reach customers all across the world, including Russia, Asia, Europe, U.S., and Canada.”
Before Vonage was deployed, Gametation did not have a singular global provider for all regions. They needed a different provider in every new market they wanted to enter. This generated a huge amount of work and created inconsistent quality of service and massive scalability issues.
An Additional Safeguard From Vonage Verify API
Gametation has also implemented a new option that can be featured in certain campaigns, using Vonage’s Verify API. After participating in a game, if a player wins a prize, they are promoted to an integrated wallet in which they can redeem their prizes. The prize wallet stores all the information regarding that individual’s winnings. To ensure that each account is protected from fraudulent use, Gametation uses the Vonage Verify API as a safeguard.
According to Kopp, “People can only access their wallet through a one-time PIN coded authentication, via the Verify API. We had been sending out so many individual SMS messages; one for each win. Using the ‘wallet’ solution is a great supplement to the SMS process of notifying customers.”
Gametation does not use Verify for all campaigns that they support. It's a decision made for each individual campaign. But Kopp states that when they do use the Vonage Verify API, it creates a more seamless experience and takes away the risk of non-delivery, which happens occasionally. “We began using this method, primarily in our Asian market, and so far it has been a huge success.”
In addition to using the Vonage SMS and Verify APIs, another way that Gametation has tried to optimize the delivery rate of their messages is to introduce what they refer to as “alternative routing” of messages in some markets—that is, shifting their default routing to start with a messaging app such as WhatsApp. As Gametation expands into markets where SMS delivery is not always reliable, the company uses the Vonage WhatsApp Business API, with a failover option to SMS. This new channel extends Gametation’s global reach and flexibility in those regions.
The Vonage Enterprise Plan Enhances Gametation Customer Support
After choosing Vonage for its expansive global presence and its wide choice of communications APIs, Gametation next realized the great benefits to the Vonage Enterprise Plan. The Enterprise Plan provides top-tier support via phone, chat, email and web, guaranteed response times, 24/7 escalation with a clear path to resolution and a designated support engineer.
“Signing up for the Vonage Enterprise Plan was of huge value to Gametation. Although we are generally seeing very high delivery rates — most of our campaigns are running with delivery rates above 95%, which is outstanding compared to normal standards — we still have 5% of maybe one million text wins not being delivered in a specific campaign. That can easily create a huge workload and concern to our clients. Signing up for the Vonage Enterprise Plan helped us ensure better preparation and swifter action for unexpected issues. We received great advice and support from Vonage, and that definitely improved things. The support we received allowed us to be faster at adapting new services, like WhatsApp; it helped enable the alternative message routing, and also provided necessary support in creating our Wallet experience by using the Verify API.”
To sum up the benefits that Kopp and his team has seen from switching to the Vonage API platform, he said, “We went from having various providers from all over the place to using one global platform, Vonage. This has greatly reduced the huge workload we experienced in every campaign. Now everything is straightforward, easy, and efficient. We think that Vonage is a really great fit for Gametation.”