How Real Money Gaming Apps Acquire and Engage Users in India

It’s no surprise that India is among the top markets of time spent on gaming apps. Whether it’s rooting for a regional cricket team in the Indian Premier League (IPL) or trying their hand at online poker, Indians love the thrill of having some skin in the game. Because of this, the Indian real money gaming app market is already mature — and still growing. To tap into the momentum, it’s important to understand what drives users to download and engage with these apps.

To help game developers and publishers understand how they can differentiate their real money gaming apps and score big, we studied some of the most successful gaming apps in India and identified a few common themes and patterns, unique opportunities, and insights on what really works.

3 ways real money gaming apps drive growth

Real money gaming apps have emerged as a powerhouse in both acquisition and engagement strategies. Apps inside and outside of the industry can learn from the methods they use to differentiate their apps and connect with players.

Let’s dive into three of the top strategies:

  1. Use creator campaigns to stimulate interest
  2. Implement deep links for seamless user experiences
  3. Optimize paid advertising: dynamic and localized ads

1. Use creator campaigns to stimulate interest

If you were planning to buy the recently launched 15-inch Macbook Air, would you be more likely to trust a review from your favorite YouTube tech vlogger or a paid ad? Research shows that 91% of customers aged 18 to 34 trust online reviews as much as they trust their friends and family. For real money gaming apps, collaborating with digital creators and influencers that your audience is familiar with can significantly increase awareness and lead to higher conversions. To build a successful influencer marketing strategy, choose influencers that fit your budget and brand, have strong engagement rates, and demonstrate a proven track record of converting their followings into sales.

Branch customer Baazi Games partners with influencers and celebrities to acquire new users from social media and its mobile website. In one campaign, it collaborated with Bollywood celebrity Shahid Kapoor to promote PokerBaazi, its flagship product. The brand launched posts featuring Kapoor across all of its social media platforms to drive users to download its app. By displaying a familiar face that its audiences likes and trusts, the campaign contributed to a 25% increase in app installs.

An example Baazi Games app ad featuring Shahid Kapoor pointing to text that reads: "Express with Emojis & Throwables" followed by two emojis

2. Implement deep links for seamless user experiences

Players expect seamless experiences that make it easy for them to get into the game and start playing as quickly as possible. Successful real money gaming apps understand that players don’t always open the app store, search for an app, download it, and start playing. They might instead click on a social media ad, a referral link from a friend, or scan a QR code.

For instance, imagine a player is scrolling their social media feed and sees an ad for a gaming app, “Earn $200 in bonuses.” The copy has done its job by grabbing their attention, but what happens after they click on the ad link is even more important.

With deep links, users can get routed from any platform or channel straight to the app’s download page in the app store (or to the app itself if they’ve previously downloaded it). Deferred deep linking can maintain the player’s context through install, so they automatically receive their bonuses and rewards after installing with no extra steps required. No matter where players engage, deferred deep linking helps deliver a seamless journey to the game.

A23, one of India’s leading online rummy apps, uses deep links in its social media campaigns to redirect its followers to the intended in-app content. This quick redirect eliminates the need for the player to manually search for exclusive discounts and reward opportunities on the mobile app, resulting in better user experiences and higher app engagement.

Two phone screens, one showing a social media ad and the second showing how the deep link takes the user to an offer to download the app and get a 2500 rupee bonus.

3. Reduce fraudulent installs with a mobile measurement partner (MMP)

Fraudulent installs in real money gaming apps can have a significant impact not only on the app’s bottom line but also on the experiences of loyal gamers. Fraudsters disrupt gameplay and, when left unchecked, damage the reputation of the gaming brand.

Branch client Rummy Passion, a leading digital card game platform in India, struggled with this exact issue: the rampant scale of fraudulent registrations and fake personas. The brand was spending a significant amount of marketing dollars on dynamic and localized ads across a variety of ad networks but wasn’t able to decipher between legitimate and fraudulent installs.

Three Rummy Passion ads

To remedy the issue, the brand used Branch as their mobile measurement partner (MMP) solution to implement sophisticated rules for fraud prevention, effectively identifying and controlling fraudulent activities. This not only improved the overall quality of the gaming experience but also reduced the number of fake installs by 50% for selected channels.

Drive real money gaming app growth with Branch

Although there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to driving mobile app engagement and retention, these best practices will provide a solid starting point for where to focus your efforts. As compared to other verticals, real money gaming calls for more experimentation and tailoring to your specific gamer audience. Whether it’s paid ad copy, smart banner, or in-app leaderboards, each piece of creative and call to action needs to appeal to gamers’ emotions and motivations.

At Branch, we’ve helped multiple real money gaming apps in India scale player acquisition, engagement, and retention — and accurately measure results. To learn more, get in touch with our team.