Anticipating rapid growth into new markets, Lottoland Ltd. needed a marketing solution that could scale as the business grew and help it connect and engage with a global audience.
Lottoland deployed a highly scalable, cloud-based digital marketing platform that delivers data insights that marketers use to shape highly personalized customer journeys and messages.
Generates campaigns that contribute 15% to revenueon average, with campaigns in smaller markets contributing 30%
Tripled sales year-over-year for one productwith an email campaign that nurtured and educated customers about the lottery
Increased open rates by 30%by giving customers options for their preferred channel of communication
Business challenge story
Envisioning a global business
Right from the start, Lottoland had big plans.
Since first pioneering online lottery betting in 2013, the company has grown from a small startup serving a handful of players to a global leader boasting more than nine million customers.
“Lottoland is a very ambitious company,” says Emilia Helo, Head of CRM. “The vision to become global was there at the beginning.”
Making that vision a reality required reaching out to and continuously engaging with a global audience. Early on, Lottoland recognized the challenges. In addition to communicating in numerous languages, its marketing campaigns and messages needed to adapt to important cultural and geographic differences.
“We’re communicating with customers in multiple countries, across different time zones and with a lot of cultural differences,” explains Helo. “It’s extremely important that our email communications are relevant and that we tailor our offerings and messages to each customer.”
Which is why, from the beginning and while it was building out its infrastructure, Lottoland chose Watson™ Campaign Automation technology as its digital marketing platform.
“The key reason for choosing Watson was its ability to support scale,” explains Helo. “Obviously there were several email technology providers to choose from, but our former head of CRM worked with IBM through Silverpop Systems at her previous company. She wanted to replicate that same success here at Lottoland. So, the level of trust, being familiar with the user interface and knowing what the platform can do all played a key role in choosing Watson.”
Personally engaging millions of players
Lottoland uses Watson Campaign Automation technology to support its email marketing campaigns, segment customers, and hone and personalize customer messages.
“We operate in nearly 20 different markets and each one has different communications and strategies,” says Helo. “We also talk to over nine million customers on a regular basis, especially if they’re active users.
“So we segment customers based on their playing behaviors and other patterns, like purchase histories and spend tiers. For instance, if there’s a draw coming up that certain customers tend to engage with, we’ll send messages to those customers a few days before the drawing time as a reminder. Then later, closer to the drawing time, we might send additional incentives to reactivate customers who haven’t already engaged.”
The company also segments and tracks customers based on their life cycle, or relationship journey with Lottoland. Journeys include key customers, new customer retention, churning customers and reactivation, among others.
“We’re tracking journeys to evaluate the impact of CRM and to understand how we can influence customer behavior from two perspectives: customer value and customer frequency of play,” says Helo. “For example, with new customers, how do we influence their on-boarding journey, and how do we ensure these customers remain active and engaged with us?”
She continues: “But we also want to understand the single customer view. So, what’s the average spend for a particular customer segment? Are we increasing it or decreasing it by offering them too much? We need to find the right balance between incentives and natural organic behavior. So we have A, B and C versions of journeys available to the same group of customers to help us identify which one works best. Then we can optimize accordingly.”
To create messages that are tailored and relevant to various customer groups, Helo takes advantage of the solution’s ability to embed dynamic content. “Say we ran a campaign in a country where there’s a World Cup, like Brazil. If we send an email to our Brazilian customers, we would actually reflect Brazil and the World Cup in that copy. By using dynamic fields and dynamic content, we can add content that resonates and is very specific to a particular country.”
Lottoland also employs country-specific managers who are familiar with the local culture of each of its markets. “As locals or native citizens, the managers sign off on the creative and the copy to make sure that our tone of voice has that local market flavor,” says Helo.
Contributing to the bottom line
The CRM’s contribution to Lottoland’s revenue is impressive: 15 percent on average. For smaller markets, Helo’s team contributes 30 percent; for larger markets, just under 15 percent.
Lottoland’s marketing success stories are many, yet Helo recalls a particular campaign the team ran in the company’s largest market in December 2018. The campaign focused on the national Spanish Christmas Lottery called Lotería de Navidad, or El Gordo.
“The El Gordo campaign was extremely successful because we nurtured and raised awareness about the product before doing any hard selling,” recalls Helo. “We realized our customers wanted to know more about the reasons for betting on products like El Gordo before actually going ahead and betting.
“So, leading up to Christmas, we educated them on what the lottery is about, its history and background, its key selling points and why now. That strategy definitely paid off because nearer to Christmas when we started offering incentives, we got a huge response.”
That response resulted in the CRM team tripling sales for the El Gordo product, based on year-over-year performance.
Using the Watson platform, Lottoland enjoys a 98 percent email deliverability rate. And, since giving customers options for their preferred channel of communication, the company has increased open rates by 30 percent.
But attention to details, like the timing of those emails, also pays off. Helo explains: “We’re communicating with customers across different time zones but we’re also talking to them at the right time. There are lots of cultural differences to consider — some customers open their emails first thing in the morning while in other countries they use their lunch break to read through emails. We look closely at response rates and tweak our timing to get the best response.”
Moving forward, Helo has big plans for Watson technology. “We’re identifying more things we can do with Watson, like connecting it with some of our other marketing platforms for interactive content in email, and how we can make the communications and journeys more comprehensive for the customer. With Watson, we’re only scaling up.”
Founded in 2013, Gibraltar-based Lottoland is a leading online lotto provider that allows players to wager on a range of international lottery draws and games. Its portfolio of offerings includes 30 different lottery products, including PowerBall, MegaMillions and the EuroJackpot; and more than 300 games, such as blackjack and roulette. The company operates in eight core markets — Germany, Australia, the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Italy, South Africa and Eastern Europe — and boasts over nine million customers worldwide.
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