Jan 23, 2019

3 Habits of Your Best Customers

Engaged players are a sign of a strong community. Here's what the data say about how to bring them in and keep them happy.

Jan 23, 2019

3 Habits of Your Best Customers

Engaged players are a sign of a strong community. Here's what the data say about how to bring them in and keep them happy.

There's a common adage that a majority of your business will come from a minority of your customers.

It's called the "Pareto Principle"—the idea that 80% of results come from 20% of causes. So, that means 80% of your sales, or tickets, or maybe social media engagement, will come from 20% of your fans. It's a crude measurement, but a useful concept.

We call those 20% "engaged players," and they are at the fulcrum of Magic’s success.

Engaged players help measure the quality of experience you offer. If you're offering players a consistently high-quality experience, those players reward you with consistent business. To get specific, we define an "engaged player" as a player that joins six in-store events each year. So, one every two months.

So, what makes an engaged player? What formats do they like? What events? Here's what the data say about how to bring them in and keep them happy.


1. They're into Standard and Booster Draft.



61% of engaged players play Standard and 65% do Booster Drafts. They're the two most popular formats among our most devoted fans.

So, it won't surprise you that stores with a lot of success attracting and retaining engaged players tend to focus on these formats. The top performing stores in this regard run an average of fifty-four Standard events a year—more than one every week—and an average of eighty-three Booster Drafts.

It makes sense. By focusing on Standard and Booster Draft, you give the highest number of players the highest number of opportunities to play. Standard is the most accessible, most reliably available format in Magic. It has the most events offered and the cards involved are all still in print.

Meanwhile, Booster Drafts scale well for everyone but new players. For them, it's best to start with something like Open House.

Which brings us to:


2. They often start with a new player-specific event.


This is why introductory events—events meant specifically for new players—are so crucial. They're better at creating engaged players than any other events, because they're designed specifically to give them a good experience.

Contrast that to, say, Prerelease. Prerelease is an easy sell for an engaged player. It's a chance to play the new set early. It's the only way to get a box before street date. It's got generous prize boosters. It's the biggest, most anticipated Magic event of the season, where whole communities converge.

But to a new player, a prize booster is no different than a Welcome Deck. The new set is no different than the last one. The biggest event of the season can also be the most intimidating.

Meanwhile, introductory events bring players to the game with an in-store experience meant specifically for them, and delivering that extra value leads to greater retention.


3. They're more likely to attend FNM than any other event—even Prerelease.


And to the biggest surprise—73% of engaged players do FNM, about 5% more than Prerelease.

Again, it's about the consistency. FNM is reliable. Players count on it. Wherever they are, whatever stage of life they're in, they know there's a good time waiting for them at the LGS on any given Friday.

And that's the main takeaway. Winning loyal customers is about promising a great experience and delivering on it, again and again. If you're onboarding new players with care, if you're focusing on Standard and Booster Draft, and if you're offering a consistent FNM, you're well on your way.

By Nataly Scheidt

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