The iGB Affiliate seminar ‘What’s Next for Your Business: Thinking Innovatively About the Growth and Management of an Affiliate Business’ took place in February at LAC 2017. The panel was led by our Senior Marketing Services Manager Alana Levine and our VP of Business Development & Marketing Lee-Ann Johnstone also took part in a discussion that included:

  • Nick Garner – founder and CEO, Oshi Casino
  • Andrew Edwards – founder, Mad About Bingo

The board members were unable to answer all questions on the day due to time constraints, and have since given their input on unanswered topics. In the first of our two-part series, the panel answer questions 1 to 3.

Question 1: Rather than going directly to the operators, would you work with affiliate networks to begin with?

Nick Garner (NG), Oshi.io: Try lots of different operators to see what works. If an affiliate network is an easier path of experimentation and you can get out of it without being hit by a non-complete clause or something similar, then I would go that way.

Lee-Ann Johnstone (LAJ), Income Access: Consolidate your reporting and work with operators who have programmes in established affiliate networks. As you grow your traffic sources, start to establish direct relationships with merchants via their own direct programmes. It really boils down to time versus resources, and how you can make use of a platform of many offerings to save time and monetise your site effectively.

Andrew Edwards (AE), Mad About Bingo: Affiliate networks are an excellent way to get a good deal if you’re just getting started. Partnering up early on and working on a mixture of revenue share and CPAs will give you some money to reinvest via PPC and SEO.

Question 2: What specific KPIs would you recommend for tracking?

NG: Profitability. Gross revenue is a good early indicator of the scale of your activities, but actual profit is what ultimately matters. It’s very easy to get delusional and think that turnover is the absolute precursor to success. In reality, it’s a supporting KPI.

LAJ: Traffic conversion. Your overall profitability is affected by whether or not the acquisition activity you are auctioning to drive sign-ups is creating depositing customers. You may want to look at retention once you are up-and-running to ensure your operator relationships are working to keep customers at a high rate.

AE: You want to track Click to Registration and Registration to First Time Depositor. Make sure the traffic you send to operators converts to registrations and their CRM kicks in to convert them to a depositing player.

Question 3: Which countries do you think are the easiest and hardest for SEO in Europe?

NG: There’s a simple model you can use for evaluating the competition in any country:

  • Wealth
  • Number of Internet users
  • Poor countries (low GDP per capita), plus with a lot of Internet users equals moderate competition – i.e. India.
  • Rich countries (high GDP per capita), with a large number of Internet users equals high competition – such as the United States.

Formula: GDP per capita multiplied by the number of Internet users.

LAJ: Consider legal and localisation accessibilities within your affiliate business’ organisation and structure. There is no point in attacking a new market if you:

  • Don’t understand local regulations
  • Don’t have access to target customers in their local languages – don’t even try and direct translation without localisation elements, as in my 20 years of working on global programmes, it has never worked effectively.
  • Make sure you understand propensity for engagement and deposit capability (the money infrastructure), which is how easy can customers get money into the operator wallet. This affects your conversion and penetration activity.

Once you have these three areas covered, you can consider expansion into a market that is unrelated to your own.

AE: I stuck to the UK market until recently, but our operator sites are now branching out to Sweden and Germany. The German market seems to be the easiest on review, but we only started our campaigns in March. We also target the US market with our lottery site, which, whilst difficult, seems to rank better than the UK.

Keep an eye out for part two, which will feature the panel’s answers for questions four and five. If you missed the seminar, take a look at our recap. Please contact us if you have any further questions.