Reward Icons – What Works and What Doesn’t?

Reward Icons – What Works and What Doesn’t?

After few years in Startup, you start to realize that it’s the small baby steps that, collectively, will have an impact on your long-term success. Same is true of game design and monetization space. Small reiterations on coloring, placement etc, will gradually put your game on a successful trajectory. But sometimes, you see some small actions resulting on a significant upside, almost instantly.

I am talking about “icons” game developers use to show Reward Video Ads. As a game user, you probably have seen, “Watch & Earn”, “free coin”, “claim your gift” etc messages inside games that leads to reward video ads. Some of the icons have higher click rates and viewership and some have none. This greatly affects the revenue potential of your game.

In this post, I tried to cover some of the approaches

  • Free Coins: I saw this implementation on Bejeweled game. It does catch the eye and gets a lot of clicks. After a user clicks on “free coin”, a video Ad will show. The only downside to this approach is the “expectation factor”. Users assume “Free” to mean “Free”, but soon realize it’s not “Free Free”. The view rate on such Ads is unsurprisingly low, hence small revenue.
  • Watch and Earn: This is the most commonly used approach amongst game developers. Compared to “Free coins”, Watch and Earn icon does result in fewer clicks. This is mainly because a user knows there is a certain level of required action from his/her end. Unless your game has a compelling game mechanics, levels, and associated value packages, placing “Watch & Earn” icon will not yield clicks, not conversion.

  • “Daily Gift” icon: this is by far the best implementation, in my opinion. Users are accustomed to “No Free Lunch” and correctly assumes “daily gift” comes with some level of expectation from the user. Plus “Daily Gift” has some surprise factor built into it. So the user knows he/she will need to perform some action. This approach has the highest clicks and viewership rate than other icons.
  • Spin & Earn icon: some games would ask you to spin and before you earn, watch a video. I personally don’t like this approach. Any approach where you delay or add another unexpected layer of a task is not a good approach.
  • “Get a boost” icon – probably the second based implementation of Reward Video Ad that guarantees higher clicks and viewership rates. It depends on how compelling your game and value packages are. If you require a user to get a boost on each move, he/she probably won’t. on the other hand, if “Get a boost” is shown less frequent, it will mean better clicks, better viewership, and ultimately better revenue.
  • “Buy” & Provide an Alternative” – while it’s a great way to monetize by giving an alternative to actually buying coins, not too many people would bother clicking “buy” icons in the first place

Overall, you should not use a generic icon to notify a user about reward video Ads. As a game developer, you should pick something that reflects the value you provide in exchange for watching Reward Video Ads. If you think your game mechanic is compelling enough, avoid “free coins” icons and use “watch & earn” or “Get a Boost” if you are not sure users will be compelled or motivated enough for reward video ads, try “Daily Gifts”

Would love what has worked for you