Do you want your iGaming business to become a magnet for high-end customers while cultivating your brand’s reputation?
If your answer is yes, it might be time for you to consider starting an affiliate platform. By implementing an affiliate program, you can grow your player base exponentially while boosting your brand’s loyalty. In addition, it helps you get ahead of your toughest competitors. Affiliate marketing spending has seen a massive increase (nearly $4 billion in the last five years alone) — and for a good reason.
Here, we have a solution with potential that cannot be ignored any longer. When it comes to bringing in a constant stream of loyal top customers to your iGaming platform, affiliate marketing needs to be at the forefront of the conversation.
Affiliate markets work tirelessly to create valuable and entertaining content for their audiences; they do thorough research, present infographics, and statistics, and use their influence to build lifelong trust.
One of the best things is that they are instrumental in referring customers to casino and sportsbook providers via multiple advertising channels, including links, banner ads, YouTube videos, podcasts, social media and blog posts, and more.
In this detailed guide, you’ll learn what affiliate marketing encompasses, and we’ll walk you through the key steps to start a successful affiliate program for your iGaming business.
Merely setting up an affiliate program won’t cut it: you need to create a structure and foster a productive environment to boost revenue. The following steps will help you start an affiliate program that is sure to deliver the sweet fruits of success to your doorstep.
Before you start your adventure, you’d have to arm yourself with in-depth knowledge about your niche (iGaming, in this case).
You must research your competition, target audience, and the best-suited influencers/bloggers in this industry. When researching your competition, watch how they structure their affiliate programs (if they have any). Find out what they’re paying their affiliates and how their programs are structured. That’s the best way to make sure that your offer will compare and draw in-demand affiliates.
Learn about the types of affiliates that are performing well in the iGaming niche. Also, monitor what iGaming sites are ranking at the top and learn why. Your target customer base will be relying on these websites to make their betting/gaming decisions, so you will have to design your affiliate program in a way that makes you attractive to these sites to make your iGaming business more visible.
This exercise has two key parts: audience analysis and analysis of ongoing business objectives. Analyzing your goals means that you have to review and pinpoint your biggest priorities.
How is your business performing currently? What are its main objectives? Do you have the resources needed for long-term success?
Other things you need to strongly consider include:
Factors like these need to be taken into account in all stages of development to ensure future revenue growth and brand awareness. It is typical for businesses to integrate their affiliate program into a single brand first.
After feeling the waters with some affiliate strategies, it becomes clear which ones work for a specific type of business and which fail to deliver positive results. The programs are usually expanded as soon as operators have gained the needed experience.
What follows from here is figuring out what kind of audience you want to attract to your iGaming business.
To form a lasting relationship with your affiliates, you first need to identify the core of the audience you want to attract, as well as give a detailed target description to your affiliates, which includes the following:
In addition to your target audience, you also need to take into account your active audience.
This will be instrumental in finding the most suitable categories of sporting events and games, as well as the most lucrative traffic channels.
Now it’s time to start thinking about what your program can offer and how it will elevate your iGaming business. The first thing you may want to do is decide what you can offer affiliates in terms of commissions. Your rate of choice should be attractive enough to bring in top affiliates while keeping your business profitable.
When setting an affiliate commission fee, consider the following:
By having clarity on these questions, you’ll get an idea of how much of a cut you can give to your affiliates.
The next step is to find out how much your competition is offering and what you can do to shine brighter than them. Consider whether you can offer a flat sale-based rate or a gaming revenue percentage. Also, think if you can offer store or cash credit, and consider how long affiliate links or codes will be active for affiliates to receive commissions.
What follows is deciding what your affiliates will be required to do.
You can ask affiliates to include media such as photos or videos in their posts, endorse you personally, use special hashtags to promote your iGaming site, and use a unique call to action and display your logo.
Finally, you should decide if there are any other criteria left for your affiliate partners to cover to gain entry to your program.
Here are some criteria you should keep in mind:
Your criteria for affiliates can vary depending on how strict you want them to be, as well as the business goals of your site. If your iGaming website already can drive sales and retain players, you may want to apply stricter rules when it comes to your affiliate partnerships.
Have you decided on your program’s terms and conditions? You need to assess what the core agreement between your company and your affiliates will be. This means deciding what they can and can’t do, as well as providing them with all the necessary information about payments, etc.
For example, you may want them to use a similar marketing strategy to yours to focus on the same customer base, or you may want to impose limitations on how and where they can use specific affiliate links.
You should also let your affiliates know what industry language they should avoid using when doing promotions for your business for a specific customer branch. For example, if your iGaming company is being promoted to Australian customers, the right language and terms should be used that are required by the country’s gambling regulatory bodies.
Your terms and conditions should include specific details such as:
Commissions – What will your affiliates be paid for their efforts?
What payment methods will you use, and how frequently should affiliates expect payment?
What promotion methods can and can’t your affiliates use?
What industry language should they use when promoting to customers from specific countries?
What are the consequences of violating the terms and conditions?
Your terms and conditions should be as clear and precise as possible with accessible language that can be easily understood and not interpreted incorrectly. Your affiliates will respect you for your transparency, as well as your fair policies and regulations.
You should also keep in mind that the rules you set in place are the ones that your program will operate by, so an inability to uphold them may hurt the reputation of your business greatly. Make sure to constantly update your terms and conditions as required to ensure necessary changes are executed when the situation demands it.
With everything abovementioned in place, your affiliate system should now be a small step away from attracting new customers to your iGaming site. In the live phase, it is crucial to perform deep analysis and performance tracking, which should involve a specialized toolkit for statistics.
Other crucial KPIs you should be tracking include:
Your players’ LTV. What is the number of days a customer spends playing/interacting with a game multiplied by the revenue generated every day? The LTV is the revenue players generate in the long run.
Your players’ qualifications. These encompass the number of referred players who have met all necessary qualifications — they affect the quality of the audience your affiliates are bringing in.
Average player revenue. This includes the full amount of profits carried over by affiliated-driven customers divided by the number of paying customers. It’s a representation of the profitability of the players brought in by the affiliate, in addition to the general success of the partnership.
Results of the launch phase:
The system is set up the right way.
First achieved results
Ongoing monitoring of affiliate performance
To succeed as an affiliate in the iGaming field, you must pay special attention to the following critical factors:
As a rookie, the revenue share model will sound alluring to you because that’s where the big $ is. However, it would take a lot of time and energy before you can make some money.
For a start, just to be on the safe side, it might be optimal for you to choose a CPA (Cost Per Action) or CPL (Cost Per Lead) model. This way, you won’t have to know how good the leads you’re directing to a site are, and those models can earn you a good buck short term.
iGaming platforms want high-spending users to use their sites, so affiliates need to look closely into their leads’ activity.
Sales can flow continuously if quality leads or players are gaming and spending actively.
Your success in the iGaming field is highly dependent on your level of commitment.
As mentioned earlier, the CPA and CPL models can help you make a quick profit and are much better to start with for those who don’t necessarily want to do it long-term.
For people who want to make a career out of this and are happy with their marketing skills, however, there’s the much more profitable RS (Revenue Share) model. Also known as ‘Revshare,’ this is a payout model where the affiliate earns a percentage of the total sales of a qualified referral, often for a lifetime.
To take your iGaming business to the next level, you will also need an affiliate marketing platform with a proven track record of driving revenue sky-high.
Powered by Smartico.ai, The Affiliate Platform is a comprehensive software solution that allows for multi-brand campaign creation and tracking while keeping each brand’s affiliate registrations and access separate.
With this affiliate system tailor-made for online casinos and sports betting, you can build strong partner relationships and expand your affiliate network on your terms. Its flexible tools can also help you optimize your affiliate marketing spending with surprising efficiency.
This white-label platform is designed specifically for casino, poker, sportsbook, and fintech operators.
In addition, The Affiliate Platform offers the following features and benefits:
The Affiliate Platform offers many more tools, and, driven by customer requests, new features and functionalities are released every month. To book your free in-depth demo, please click the “Request a demo” button at the top of the page.
Setting up an affiliate program for your iGaming company is an excellent way to boost your revenue and online presence while ensuring long-term player loyalty.
For your iGaming affiliate program to see the success it deserves, you must be consistent in your marketing efforts, develop your online gaming platform to the best of your ability, and above all – be focused on player satisfaction. With in-depth research and planning, you can seek out the best affiliates and create a strategy that is beneficial to your business, your affiliates, and your players alike.
As you move forward with starting your program and joining forces with your first affiliates, be sure to make appropriate adjustments to stay on track with the goals of your business and continue strengthening your relationships with your mates and players, so your iGaming business can grow to its full potential.
The Affiliate Platform team wishes you the best of luck!