A method for engaging your users

In Blog by Insalgo

You have created the best game ever, with hundreds of downloads and many supportive comments from your players. As good as it sounds, there is still numbers that stop you from sleeping soundly at night. Why are the inactive users and uninstall percentages still growing? Some of them close the app right after downloading, forgetting it or keeping it on their smartphone only as an additional icon. This could be caused by the number of games they try out every day, leaving them forever after two minutes of gameplay. Players are picky and for some reason, they are forgetting about your game.

Retention in mobile

This does not matter though, because your game is better than the rest. You are creating only the most engaging games and apps. And it only gets better when someone spends more time playing it. Is there a way to raise their engagement and keep them entertained?

Push Notifications

Top engaging mobile games are using a method called Push Notifications, which has been found to be greatly successful. Games like the famous Boom Beach are all about them. What are they, and what makes them so popular and a must have for your game?

Push Notifications are the short information snippets visible on your phone. They are divided into two kinds – local and remote. Remote Push Notifications are all about constant communication with a server and the information provided by it, while local ones are concentrated on a user’s phone. Without the use of an external server, you can plan events that will keep your user interested and engaged. Local Push Notifications stand out among other player and user engagement methods – like adding achievements or sharing content on social media. Kahuna measured it in several applications – implementing Push Notifications could help your ROI grow by 40%! All those users are worth fighting for.

Push Notifications

The marketing specialists keep surprising us – they say that two out of three people who receive a Push Notification check it, and 95 % of users find Push Notifications helpful. That works for apps and games, which makes Local Push Notifications one of the most reliable and not overly invasive methods of keeping your users engaged in the product.

Just think about all the information you could share with notifications: updates, incoming events, being attacked by enemies, long inactivity, birthdays, meetings, free content, breaks or even completed troops training.

We assume that your game is written in Unity which is the most popular mobile engine. In the next paragraphs, we will attempt to explain how to get started with Push Notifications for both of the most popular mobile platforms, so you can begin implementing it right away.

Notifications for iOS

It is easy on iOS devices, as the functionality is properly described and we can find great tutorials about iOS Push Notification implementation in Unity. You can choose between the use of a plugin and built-in Unity functions, but we would recommend using an iOS Native Plugin as it makes everything a little simpler. After the configuration described in the tutorial, we are left with:

void Start() {

    IOSNotificationController.instance.RegisterForRemoteNotifications (RemoteNotificationType.Alert |  RemoteNotificationType.Badge |  RemoteNotificationType.Sound);

    IOSNotificationController.instance.addEventListener (IOSNotificationController.DEVICE_TOKEN_RECEIVED, OnTokenReceived);
}

After importing a plugin we add those lines to set our new notification events and start the service. Afterwards, there is also a need to add event listener:

private void OnTokenReceived(CEvent e) {

    IOSNotificationDeviceToken token = e.data as IOSNotificationDeviceToken;

    IOSNotificationController.instance.removeEventListener (IOSNotificationController.DEVICE_TOKEN_RECEIVED, OnTokenReceived);
}

That is not very complicated and the notification class takes care of all the signals, like sounds or alerts, which are received by it as variables.

Notifications for Android

iOS sounds simple, but Unity doesn’t provide any good way to have local notifications for Android, which has a much bigger part of the market than Apple’s devices. And that is the reason why there is a need to use third-party solutions such as our Notification Service plugin. It is an easily manageable plugin with many possible uses in local notification implementation. Plan your users’ engagement by timers and perfectly planned events popping up on their screen. Implementing those functionalities with a fully documented plugin is almost as easy as using code from the iOS tutorial.

NotificationService notificationService = new NotificationService();

bool inited = false;

void Start() {

    if( inited == false ) {

        inited = true;

        notificationService.Init();
    }
}

We set up the notification service by invoking Init() method on NotificationService instance. We also have to be sure that Init() will be executed only once in a single application lifetime.

notificationService.RemoveAllPreviousNotifications();

We can start setting up future Notifications in many ways, but removing previous ones is one of the cleanest techniques.

NotificationParams paramsForNotification = new NotificationParams(1, "My very first notification", "Title of notification", "Subtitle of notification", "iconName");

Setting parameters for each notification is done by choosing its title, content and a specific icon and a unique number. Afterwards, we can use other functions to upgrade our notification or simply make it useful.

paramsForFirstNotification.Vibrate = true;
paramsForFirstNotification.DelayInSeconds = 5;
paramsForFirstNotification.Sound = true;

We could set VibrateDelayInSeconds and Sound parameter when we want vibrations; the time after the notification will be shown and if we want to make a sound signal when the notification appears.

paramsForFirstNotification.LEDParameters = new LedParams( Color.green, 200, 200 );

An additional function, created in the new update of Notification Service, allows control over the LED to be taken.

notificationService.CreateNotificationEvent(paramsForNotification);

notificationService.StartNotificationService();

After setting all necessary parameters, to finish and set our new notification, we create an event and start the service. Note, that we are able to schedule as many notifications as we want.

As you can see, Notification Service is very easy to use and set up for yourself in any application.

Use the engagement funnel for your own profit and get the attention of your users on any possible device. Make every user highly valuable, playing your game for several weeks or months, joining guilds and reaching the highest levels, as they open your game after seeing reminders on their screen.