"Our biggest wow moments have been over the high subscribe and click-through rates. Additionally, PushCrew notifications show much higher website engagement than any other traffic source, so this has impacted our communication tactics."

~ Jenny Hughes, Ubisoft

“Nothing is true. Everything is permitted”. Some of you would recognize this famous line from Assassin’s Creed, by Ubisoft. In this case study, we examine how this video game publisher used browser push notifications, a permission based marketing channel, to achieve higher website engagement.

About Ubisoft

Ubisoft is composed of over 12,000 talented people located in 28 countries across the globe. With around 85% of its staff devoted to game development, Ubisoft has the 2nd largest in-house creative team in the world. The company’s 30+ different creative studios work hand-in-hand each day to deliver rich and innovative gaming experiences that reflect the creativity and diversity of their teams. This cross-studio collaboration model means every team member has the opportunity to participate in challenging projects based on iconic brands including Assassin's Creed, Tom Clancy's video game series, Rabbids, Rayman, Watch Dogs, Far Cry, The Crew, Just Dance and more. With an expansive global distribution network, Ubisoft is also a company that stays in close contact with its local fans.

A leading creator, publisher, and distributor of interactive entertainment and services, Ubisoft has a rich portfolio of world-renowned brands in gaming. The teams throughout Ubisoft’s worldwide network of studios and business offices are committed to delivering original and memorable gaming experiences across all popular platforms.

Ubisoft’s Use Case for Push Notifications

As the Associate Director of Digital Marketing, Jenny Hughes leads a team of web producers responsible for all of Ubisoft’s game marketing website and display media campaigns for North, Central and South America.

While working on the digital marketing campaign for Tom Clancy’s The Division, Jenny’s team started investing a lot of resources into rich game information and interactive content on their marketing website to educate and spread awareness of their new IP. These sections had multiple updates throughout the course of the campaign, and Jenny saw an opportunity to be doing more than displaying a “COMING SOON” message to their website visitors.

In fact, Ubisoft’s research has shown that the primary reason people visit their website is for finding more information about a game. And it was at this juncture that Jenny turned to push notifications as a medium to proactively reach out to their audience with this value proposition.

The team then discovered PushCrew and decided to try it out for two months. After the trial, and happy with the results, they chose PushCrew to be their push notification service provider.

Initially, the team expected their click-through rate to be between 4% to 6%. However, they were in for a pleasant surprise. The average click rate went up beyond their expectations, to a whopping 17%!

ubisoft push notification
The push notification opt-in on Ubisoft websites

PushCrew’s Impact

Ubisoft’s primary goal of increasing the number of returning visitors to their websites was fulfilled with PushCrew, whether that was to fuel consideration during a pre-launch campaign, or sustain player interest when new content become available in the game, post-launch.

From push notifications, Ubisoft websites get an average click rate of 17%. This is a big deal compared to the average click rate of most emails, which is between 2 to 4%. PushCrew doubled and even quintupled what Ubisoft’s initial expectations were!

One important aspect that Jenny’s team considered was the frequency at which they sent push notifications, which would be dependent upon the communication calendar of a given game. From a user experience perspective it was important to send only meaningful and valuable notifications to Ubisoft’s users, which nets out to be around 2 to 4 every week for games with healthy communication cycles. The team also observed that their highest click rate came from game announcements, with an astounding best click rate to be at 31%!

The Plan of Action

What excited Jenny the most about push notifications is the line of personal, direct communication her team could now have with the subscribers. “Being able to talk to our users on their browsers in real time is great for communicating details on live events or limited time offers,” says Jenny.

As for Ubisoft’s favorite feature, though they are yet to try it out, the Segment Creator takes pole position. “We offer a lot of varied game features and opportunities for our games that might not appeal to every player. Being able to create segments around site behavior can help make informed decisions on this, and a more personalized communication strategy will be our key moving forward.”

A Tip for Push Notification Users

For Jenny, her first notification itself was successful, reporting high click rates and website engagement, with results that superseded their initial expectations. However, she has a suggestion for all those people who implement push notifications for their websites – try and test out a few notifications to your users to analyze results before rolling out at scale.

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