According to Statista, 90% of the United States population used the internet in 2019. Moreover, nearly half of all US adults say they have played the state lottery at one point in time, according to a survey done by Gallup. This means that there is a large segment of a receptive lottery audience being regularly exposed to strategic online advertising, who can potentially be targeted by the marketing efforts of iLottery affiliates.

The following article will provide an overview of how US iLotteries can successfully leverage affiliate marketing in order to grow their customer acquisition through both online and offline retailer channels.

What are the different types of iLottery affiliates?

iLottery affiliates can be segmented into two distinct groups: online partners and offline retailers, both of which can greatly contribute to the overall success of an online lottery, provided they are being utilised and managed in an effective manner.

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Online iLottery affiliates are partners who implement their own marketing strategies, complementing those of the lottery, helping them to acquire more players, via their own websites and platforms. An example of this would be a website that publishes different lottery reviews and results. When it comes to relationship management with online affiliates, it is critical to maintain seamless communication channels with them. A significant portion of time must be allocated to keeping affiliates engaged and active.

Establishing meaningful relationships with affiliate partners has proven to be a successful method of maintaining 60% to 70% engagement rates within an iLottery affiliate channel, through its infancy and even as it begins to mature. This is because strong communication channels allow for more effective and efficient activation campaigns, which will, in turn, lead to increased results in an affiliate programme. In fact, there have been instances where this has led to revenues of over $200,000 being generated per month from an online affiliate channel.

Offline lottery retailers are generally brick and mortar locations, such as a corner store, through which customers can make in store interactions with a lottery, such as purchasing a draw-based game ticket. These retailers can also extend their marketing efforts and promote the lotteries on their own business websites for increased exposure.

When it comes to managing effective relationships with offline retailers, a slightly different approach should be taken. Ensuring they have all of the in store tools and resources they need, in addition to online resources, is paramount. For instance, having solid brochures, pamphlets and signage displayed have proven to be a successful way of generating in store referrals. In addition, utlizing offline bonus codes effectively bridges the gap between in store referrals and online activity, and allows for everything to be tracked in the affiliate platform. From experience, it has been observed that lottery retailers have the potential to refer over 100 new player registrations in a single month, when receiving the required support to execute effective marketing strategies.

What are the benefits of affiliate marketing for iLotteries?

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Cultivating affiliate partnerships is greatly beneficial to a lottery’s overall marketing for a number of reasons:

It allows affiliates specialising in other verticals/products, to cross-sell and provide the brand with exposure across a wide variety of different sites. This complements the promotional activities led by internal marketing teams, as affiliates promote the brand through various avenues themselves (e.g. SEO, PPC, mobile, etc.). Moreover, top affiliates understand their traffic and are able to geo-target by state, ensuring brands are being provided with relevant traffic.

The affiliate channel is a cost-effective one. iLottery affiliates are paid on performance-based models, meaning they are only paid when a desired action or result is achieved, which, in turn, motivates affiliate to drive the conversions brands are aiming for to earn their commissions. Lottery operators typically offer revenue share deals with their affiliates, ranging from 15 to 20%, or CPA/Hybrid deals when certain deposit and purchase requirements are met. This is very appealing to a lottery operator because it is low risk since partners are only paid when they deliver results.

Online and offline partners are important advocates for a lottery. Reputable affiliates are considered to be experts in their field and the insight provided on their websites is highly valued by visitors. Having your brand ranked highly or illustrated favorably on a top affiliate’s website is extremely beneficial to how it is perceived by the market. Moreover, offline retailers are in person representatives and  provide the most traditional method of acquiring lottery customers. There is a portion of the population that would prefer to purchase their lottery tickets via face to face contact or via the website of a business they are already familiar with, and offline retailers provide them with a platform to do so.

Both of the groups discussed above provide US lotteries with an excellent source of additional revenue through increased customer acquisition, that can all be tracked via the Income Access software. In fact, having both channels integrated with the IA platform allows for increased transparency by providing an in depth look into how all affiliate related marketing efforts are performing, allowing for a deeper understanding of customer acquisition. Lottery operators can then leverage certain aspects of their higher performing channels into others to stabilise results across all avenues.