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A Gateway to Personalized Messages, Promotions, and More

The provider of the official Kentucky Lottery Mobile App offers insights on building player engagement.

April 23, 2024

By IGT (International Game Technology)

NASPL Insights Online

Mobile apps are an essential tool for reaching today’s players and centralizing their experience with the lottery. That’s why IGT focuses on creating and enhancing mobile app features that improve player engagement, informed by our knowledge of player messaging preferences. To date, IGT has delivered 12 mobile apps worldwide. In Q4 2023, over 5 million users utilized IGT mobile apps.


Here are some essential insights into player engagement through mobile apps, as well as some highlights of recent acquisition and retention programs.


Mobile Apps as a Tool to Manage Lottery Play

Kentucky Lottery players have the convenience of playing lottery games in the palms of their hands, thanks to the official Kentucky Lottery mobile app -- developed by IGT’s iLottery Marketing Services specifically for players in the Bluegrass State. 


With IGT’s full-featured mobile app, Kentucky Lottery players can responsibly play a large selection of Instant Play games; purchase and play any of their favorite lottery draw games; check winning numbers for all Kentucky Lottery games; find retail locations anytime, anywhere; enter second chance promotions; and scan tickets to learn if they are a winner.  Available for download on the Apple Store and the Google Play Store, players can use the mobile app to create their Virtual Player Card, top off their eWallet at any retail location, and view their history of iLottery deposits, purchases, wins, and more.



Mobile Apps as a Communication Platform

Building strong and lasting player relationships is a cornerstone for any successful iLottery program.


So far, email marketing has been the major player-communication method for most lotteries. However, studies consistently show that consumers’ email inboxes are overloaded. In a 2023 Foresight Factory research study, more than 58% of weekly players said they receive too many messages at unwanted times.


The effectiveness of email marketing may degrade further due to consumer sentiment that it is becoming overwhelming. A key finding is that communication is most effective while a player is engaged at the time of purchase, either on the portal or mobile app. Communication tools of the trade are automated real-time push-notification and in-app campaigns.


Player Communication in Action

Open rates for in-app messaging are typically much better than with email, making it a highly effective communication channel. In fact, a recent Reckless study found that in-app messaging had a 75% open rate.


Leveraging these insights about effective player communications, the IGT mobile app will soon deliver personalized player messaging for the Georgia, Kentucky, and Rhode Island lotteries. In-app and push-notification campaigns will help drive new player acquisition and retention rates. The goal of IGT’s Marketing Services team is to provide solutions and strategies that enable lottery customers to design and implement optimal player journeys.

Part of IGT’s collaborative approach to delivering high-impact player marketing activities includes the design of engaging player promotions, such as those for the Kentucky Lottery.

Meeting of the Minds 

IGT is proud of its successful ongoing collaboration with the Kentucky Lottery Corporation, including its marketing relationship. The proven partnership between IGT and the Kentucky Lottery in the retail space has continued to flourish since the Lottery established its iLottery program in 2016. Since that time, the Kentucky Lottery has become one of the fastest growing iLottery programs in the U.S., with +65% growth in GGR from fiscal year 2022 to fiscal year 2023.


In addition to daily collaboration in digital marketing execution, the IGT and Kentucky Lottery marketing teams recently came together at the Lottery's Louisville headquarters to share iLottery and retail ideas and strategize for the future. The rewarding two-day workshop included planning iLottery marketing campaigns across multiple channels, such as the IGT-developed Kentucky Lottery mobile app and website.

Part of IGT’s collaborative approach to delivering high-impact player marketing activities includes the design of engaging player promotions, such as those for the Kentucky Lottery.

Promotion Perfection 

Part of IGT’s collaborative approach to delivering high impact player marketing activities includes the design of engaging player promotions. Here is a wrap-up of a few recent player favorites offered by the Kentucky Lottery:

Refer a Friend Max: An acquisition-focused campaign, the Refer a Friend Max promotion included a generous referral offer: Player Gets $100, Friend Gets $50 (building on the Kentucky Lottery’s ongoing popular Refer a Friend promotion providing player $50 and friend $20).


The initial rollout of the campaign occurred in November 2023. The Thanksgiving harvest-themed initiative awarded 420 new players with the referral bonus.


Then, with new creative featuring a festive holiday motif, 541 new players were awarded in December. That’s 5X more than the typical average number of new monthly players ─ bringing in over $273,600 in sales to the Kentucky Lottery in December alone, an impressive 171% increase in sales for new referred players compared to prior refer-a-friend promotion months.


Cash Tuesdays: Players in Kentucky enjoy Bonus Bucks rewards. Bonus Bucks are added to players’ eWallets and can be used for iLottery purchases. Cash Tuesdays was designed as a retention campaign that included the following offer: Player Deposits $100 in a single transaction, Player Gets $30 in Bonus Bucks.


At the close of the promotion, the Kentucky Lottery awarded 4,042 players a total of $178,200 in Bonus Bucks and 25% of depositors took advantage of the Cash Tuesday promotion, which ran every Tuesday between January 9 and 30, 2024.


Total Tuesday Deposits for the Kentucky Lottery have increased by an impressive 14% since running this promotion, compared to non-promotion Tuesdays.


Fueling Imagination and Funding Education 

IGT looks forward to helping the Kentucky Lottery exceed its 2024 sales goals by optimizing the potential of the IGT-created mobile app, draw-based games, eInstants, and more. IGT is proud to help the Kentucky Lottery succeed in its mission, to fuel imagination and fund education for all Kentuckians. 


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