Affiliate marketing – an Easy Start-up?

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Affiliate marketing is one of the big buzzwords in marketing circles right now. It seems every e-commerce operator and dating site has a section dedicated to its “Affiliates” these days, as these types of businesses were amongst the first to recognise that they could drive a lot more traffic if they had legions of third parties out there helping them to sell their wares.

However, one of the other big growth areas in the Affiliate market has been the emergence as Affiliate marketing as one of the key growth channels for the online casino and gaming market. The market is worth over $100 billion globally so it’s no surprise that the operators want as much of this traffic as they can get.

Gaming – is it Global

Online Casinos and gaming is where the real growth is, and this area is tipped to soon overtake the real-world Casino market. However not all territories actively encourage or indeed allow online gaming. The USA for instance prohibits online gaming, as does China. More progressive countries and territories however are welcoming to the concept and the market in Europe, in particular is very buoyant.

Is it for Everyone

In essence, if you have an audience of adults, then you have the potential to have a worthwhile affiliate site. Most iGaming operators, and by this we mean the operators of many Online Casino’s and online slots game sites, are very willing to sign up new affiliates. Often this will be on a Revenue-Share model whereby the Affiliate will receive a percentage of the revenue generated by the players they have driven to the site. This can be extremely lucrative and many multimillion-dollar business have been built on the back of this strategy.

Some of the largest sites however have been criticised in the past for taking on affiliates, receiving the traffic and then deciding to abandon their affiliate partnership strategy once they get to a certain size – often at the cost of lost revenue and profit to the affiliate. In this regard, it is therefore worth partnering with small to medium sized casino site operators who have a long-term strategy for growth.

An Operators viewpoint

We talked to Scott Manford, the CEO of Wizard Slots, one of Europe’s leading online casino operators: “We greatly value our affiliate partners; indeed, we view them as part of our team and a critical part of our overall marketing strategy. We make all of the marketing collateral we have available to the affiliates and make it as easy as possible for them to access this resource as well as being able to view, in real time, the results of the traffic they are driving and of course in turn, how much money they are making. We also ensure that we pay our affiliates strictly on time and often within a few days of the month end – as we realise they are often small businesses and need the cash-flow to help drive the traffic. So, anything we can do to help them also helps us. Many of our affiliates are smaller operations and some of the most successful are run by individuals who are active in particular market segments or are very good at SEO or whatever”

It’s clear then that many Casino site operators view the partnership with smaller affiliates as an important facet to their traffic acquisition and furthermore they see this as a way to get low cost visitors.

The Risk

Affiliate marketing looks like a fairly low risk opportunity for those with the right audience or reach. If you can drive traffic to a site via endorsement or a link or coupon then you can monetise that traffic. The beauty of this for both the casino operator and indeed the want-to-be affiliate is that there is very little cost in the evet it doesn’t work to plan. Whereas if the traffic is sticky and the revenue share deal is equitable then the affiliate can often make as much money, if not more, than the operator. To that extent its certainly worthy of further investigation, for those with a ready stream of traffic.

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