Coviello: These Players Return More, Spend More

April 30, 2018 | 2 min to read

By John Coviello, Little Shop of Magic

In our store, Magic Open House has demonstrated a pattern of successfully converting first time players into repeat customers. Over 70% of our Open House attendees return to play in one or more of our Magic events within ten days of attending their first Open House.

Furthermore, purchase history has demonstrated that these new players are typically our more active buyers, eagerly consuming sealed product as they discover the possibilities offered by each new card that is added to their collection.

So, Open House players end up more active in our community, and more active customers in general. Why?

Unlike any other Magic event, we can tailor the event specifically to welcome new players.

For a seasoned player, Magic is familiar territory. They know the language, they know the meta. But for a new player, this alien world can be a daunting place to visit. At Open House, we can aim our marketing, our prep, and the event itself all with new players, and new players only, in mind.

This lets us do much more effective marketing and ultimately offer new players a far better experience than they would get at Prerelease or FNM.

For example, new-player focused events let us advertise differently. We can intentionally target our Facebook ads to audiences that are not already engaged with the brand or our store—people who have not liked our page, live within driving distance, and have interests adjacent to Magic culture (fantasy, math, board game cafes, etc.)

And with only new players to look after, we can prepare for the event with only their experience in mind. We can choose staff with a new-player-friendly demeanor to cover them. We can devote our resources to conducting demos—five to ten minutes introductions to basic concepts like mana, attacking and blocking, etc.

And we can do a better job of directing them toward the next step. For us, it’s our casual Monday leagues. For you it may be FNM. Either way, make sure the player leaves with the Welcome Deck, the promo card, and a flyer telling them when and how they can continue their journey as a planeswalker.

And if they're ready to make a first purchase, you can send them home with a Core Set 2019 Planeswalker Deck.

New-player-focused events are essential to the long-term health and prosperity of your business.

As loyal as our veterans can be, a certain amount of attrition is to be expected. Life has a way of intruding and disrupting our hobbies on occasion. Regardless of where your actual conversion rates may lie compared to ours, the importance of recruitment should not be underestimated.

Open House is a great opportunity to do so. Whenever a customer visits you for the first time, their first impression is going to stick with them. A new-player-focused event like Open House lets you focus all your efforts on making sure it's a good one.

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