The vast majority of online and mobile casinos do at least some of their online marketing through third party websites or as they’re more accurately called ‘affiliate sites’. This style of marketing has big benefits for both the casino brands and the affiliates themselves, and has the big perk of coming at no extra cost to players. In case you’re wondering if you should become a mobile casino affiliate, we put together this quick guide to what an affiliate is, and some of the pros and cons of going into business as an affiliate yourself.
In its simplest terms, a casino affiliate is a third party marketer who promotes one or more casino brands in the hopes of delivering players to casino sites. When they successful encourage new players to sign up and play, the affiliate will share some of the revenue. The benefits to everyone are obvious – players find great new places to play at no extra cost, casino brands enjoy ‘risk free’ marketing and affiliates can get their hands on a brand new revenue stream in the casino industry without having to set up a casino of their own.
Affiliate marketing is a feature of all kind of industries online, and is certainly not the sole reserve of mobile casinos, but our industry is pretty unique in the extent to which we rely on affiliates to drive traffic. There are literally thousands of affiliates promoting mobile casinos on all kinds of platforms, from personal blogs to magazine sites, and from YouTube channels to pop-under ads.
Despite the already pretty crowded marketplace, the online and mobile industry is always growing, meaning there’s always room for new affiliate marketers who have something original to bring to the table.
Affiliate marketing is all based around links. When a player arrives at a casino from your personalised link, the casino knows to pay you for that player. What this means in practise, is that it doesn’t really matter via what means the player ends up following that link, as long as they know where it’s going. This opens up the door for you to promote casino brands in whichever way plays to your strengths.
If you’re a good writer, why not set up an online magazine where you review casinos and games which you think players will be into? If you’re a video aficionado, how about creating a YouTube channel where you talk about the virtues of specific brands? So long as you are able to get a decent amount of traffic coming in, and you’re honest about where the links you’re providing lead, then the world is pretty much your oyster when it comes to how you choose to promote the brands.
Now, before you get put off by the ‘potentially’ in this subtitle, I’d refer you back to the point above. Because you get to choose how you market brands, you also get a lot of choice about how much you’re going to spend on that marketing. Sure, if you have a few thousand quid to throw around, and you have the know-how, you might try some targeted pop-under ads.
However, if you have nothing but your time to spend on setting up your affiliate business, that’s not really a problem either – websites and video channels can cost pretty much nothing to set up, and if you’re willing to put the work in, the returns can be great.
When you’re an affiliate, you have so much choice it can be a little overwhelming. Not only do you get to choose which brands you want to promote, you often also get to choose your payment arrangements at each casino. While you can opt to simply have a one off ‘finder’s fee’ for each new player who signs up (great if you want to pocket some money quickly) you can alternatively choose to take a share of the revenue over the lifetime of the player at that casino.
This second option can prove to be where the big money is, because if you’re lucky enough to send a high roller to a given casino, and you’re on a revenue share scheme of somewhere about 20-40%, you can make a good amount of cash from that one referral alone.
Arguably the most attractive factor for those thinking of becoming a mobile casino affiliate is that you can create your own business and work for yourself. Though, as with any business, there’s risks associated with becoming an affiliate (which I’ll go into below), the rewards can be high, and you can do it from anywhere in the world! Mobile casino affiliation is a great option for those trying to free themselves from the daily grind, and establish a business of their own.
One of the reasons casino brands love promoting through affiliates so much is that it offsets a lot of their risk when it comes to marketing costs. When it comes to affiliates, casinos are effectively only paying for successful marketing, which can dramatically reduce the business’s marketing costs. However, the bad news for the affiliates is that you’re the one who is taking on that risk, and could be spending your valuable time and money promoting brands, without ever seeing a return.
Of course, there are various ways to limit the problem here. Many affiliates start off part time; one of the big perks of setting up an affiliate business is that you can put in the work as and when you have time, so you can easily fit it around an existing job until you find stable success.
It’s also very possible to start small, experiment, and scale up on the areas you find success in. One of the biggest problems facing new affiliates is choosing the right brands to promote, and deciding on the best way to promote them, but if you give yourself time to give different approaches a try, you’re better able to find what works for you.
When you become an affiliate, the casino brands effectively become your clients, and as such are the ones you need to talk to about getting paid. While the majority of casinos are pretty good at prompt payments to their affiliates, you hear stories every day about marketers putting in a lot of time and/or money into promoting a brand which then fails to pay them for all the traffic they received of the back of it.
Of course, there’s no way to always protect against dishonest operators, and much of this simply comes down to trial and error, but it’s always wise to promote a number of brands at the same time so as not to put all your eggs into one basket. You can also do worse than giving a brand a Google before you start promoting it, and find out if any previous affiliates have bad things to say about it.
This might seem counter intuitive, but the online and mobile casino industry is actually a pretty seasonal one. Autumn and winter – especially around Christmas – are traditionally the most popular times of year for players, while the height of summer can see a dramatic drop in the uptake of casinos. The reasons are pretty obvious; when it’s cold outside and you have nothing to do, you’re far more likely to give a casino a spin.
It’s well worth bearing this in mind as an affiliate, because you are going to have more and less busy times of year, and you need to make sure you’re not relying on your winter revenue being representative of what you can expect all year round.
You might be an online marketing guru, and have a load of cash at your disposal to set up a new affiliate business, but as with all things in life, there’s absolutely no guarantees all your hard work will pay off.
Many people have the misconception that becoming a mobile casino affiliate is ‘easy money’, but the reality you still have to have a good idea of what you’re doing, be willing to put in a lot of work, and be really flexible about the way you operate in order to find success.