3 Best Practices For Boosting Your Engaged Player Count
Engaged Players make up just 20% of active Magic players, but generate 80% of the in-store play. The average Engaged Player joins not just six but thirty-one events in a year. Over the course of 2019, they'll open about 15,000,000 booster packs—almost a quarter of a billion cards—just during in-store events.
The takeaway is clear: growing your Standard and Draft communities, and thus upping your Engaged Player total, does a lot more than boost your Promo Pack allocation. It fills your community with the kind of players that will do the most to sustain it.
Here are a few simple ideas that could help:
1. Run Casual Standard.
Quick reminder: a player counts as "Engaged" once they join at least six events at your store in either Standard, Draft, or Sealed. The most obvious way to boost your total is to simply create more opportunities to play those formats—and you might start with Casual Standard.
Standard is the most popular and more accessible format in Magic. More Standard events fire every week than any other format. A new player's first deck is almost always Standard-legal, and when they want to go deeper, they're looking at a manageable card pool to pick from, plus simpler archetypes.
It's also a great fit for casual play. A lot of people associate Standard with high-level competition, but it often looks totally different at the store level. Esper Control is one kind of Standard deck. The blue Welcome Deck is another. If a new player has a constructed deck, it's probably Standard.
All that means Casual Standard can be an essential part of your retention strategy. Having a dedicated experience for newer players—ideally at Friday Night Magic, or perhaps a League—is a great way to go.
2. Try a loyalty program.
Loyalty programs usually focus on purchases, but there's no reason they can't reward events, too. There are any number of ways you could set this up.
For example, in Michael Bahr's loyalty program, "DSG Stars," players get "points" for dollars spent—including event entries (assuming the total transaction is at least $19.98). And players can spend points on event admissions, too. Get Bahr's breakdown in this article.
But you could also try something as simple as a punch card, and we've got one you can download here.
3. Set up a public computer or tablet.
This one appears on our WPN Premium Quality Checklist, and for a good reason.
First, players consistently list it as a nice-to-have amenity at their LGS. But second, it makes it easier for players to look up their DCI number, or register their Organized Play Account to get one—which makes it easier for us to make sure you get credit for that player's activity.
This plus a little extra attention to making sure players use their DCI number every time they enter an event (as opposed to, say, joining the event with a generic DCI card) could go a long way toward making sure we're getting an accurate snapshot of the size and health of your community.
As of this writing, there are almost 45,000 players who are exactly one event short of counting as "Engaged"—and that number gets a lot bigger if you expand it to players who are two events short, or three, and so on.
Any one of these three tactics could help lower that number. Give them a try and reach out to your Retail Development rep for more ideas.