I made a video recently about using Banner ads as a device for a starting games publisher.
The basic premise is that you create a game and set it as a free download.
You then use OneBookshelf/DriveThruRPG Publisher Promotion Points to advertise the free game.
So far, of course, this isn’t going to make you any money. Statistics suggest that you may get 60 clicks from 20,000 banner impressions. That isn’t a great deal, but it isn’t zero either.
How many of those clicks become downloads is a different question and is a function of your advertising copy writing. Copy Writing is another essential marketing skill.
The next step in the strategy is to release a paid for adventure for your game. You can then email anyone who agreed to receive emails from those that downloaded your free game.
If you can build your adventure for zero investment. That could be public domain art, or self created art, self written, any sales you make would be income and profit. Just as importantly, the sales would count towards your sales value for earning more Publisher Promotion Points.
If you can keep this up for long enough, the numbers will start to work in your favour. What you do get is a lot of numbers. You get the click through rates, which means you can try different banner ads and test the click through rates.
You can experiment with different product descriptions, layouts advertising copy. You can then work out which of these are the most effective.
You also need to learn how to write effective marketing emails, because this is where you are going to make your money.
Your objective will be to optimise these to the best of your ability.
In the early months you will not be able to afford banner impressions every month. You will not get enough PPP to buy the banners every month.
Your first milestone will be for this to become self sustaining.
The second milestone would be when you can afford to run two concurrent banner campaigns for a full month, every month.
At every iteration, every month, you will make money. That much is sure.
So what is unknown?
- I don’t know how many people will click your banners.
- I don’t know how many people will download your free game.
- I don’t know how many that do download your game, will join your mailing list.
- I don’t know how many people on your mailing list will buy your adventure.
Number 4 is the big one.
What I would expect is that in month one, 1, 2 and 3 would be not zero. 4 probably will be zero. Each week and month, you will put out more adventures, and eventually some of them will appeal to someone and they will buy.
If your customers were interested in your game concept to click your ad, and to download the game, and to read your email, eventually one of the adventures will grab them. As your list slowly grows, all the numbers will get incrementally bigger until you are making sales every month. Then it is just about more growth.
Where is the work?
This plan requires you to create an adventure almost weekly for a year or more. Most of them won’t sell more than a few, at first. This is less depressing than it sounds. People who really get your game, will come back and buy more adventures. You can bundle them into themed packs and make use of this back catalogue.
So there you have it, and entire business plan in a single post. There is so much more that you could do to accelerate it. Advertise your game on social media, put it on Itch. talk about your game anywhere and everywhere.