Looking for a casino affiliate program to join? Here's what to keep in mind!
If you landed here, you are looking for tips that will help you choose an affiliate program. Most likely you are:
— an affiliate marketing professional overwhelmed by the vast number of gambling affiliate programs on the market. You have had unpleasant experiences in the past and wasted a lot of time on untrustworthy affiliate programs. You now feel that you need to take a step back and make more informed decisions when choosing affiliate programs.
— someone who is just getting started in the affiliate marketing business. By now, you have figured out that the niche you would like to focus on is gambling and would like to know more about the aspects you need to consider when choosing affiliate programs.
Therefore, to address these concerns, this article sets out to explore what affiliates should look out for when choosing affiliate programs that operate in the iGaming industry.
Why is choosing the right affiliate programs so important?
The fact that the gambling niche can be highly profitable attracts many people who are already operating in or are looking to work in the affiliate marketing industry.
However, the industry is not just profitable. It is also highly competitive.
Precisely due to the industry's competitive nature, online operators have realised the positive impact that affiliate marketing efforts can have on their product. A strong focus on affiliate marketing could set them apart from the competition. Moreover, it contributes to generating revenue for the casino by "borrowing" an audience from the affiliate network. That's why today, every online casino has an affiliate program to support its efforts in acquiring new depositing players.
The question, however, is the following. Since the affiliates' main goal is to get a share of the revenue made by the casino, shouldn't they cooperate with all the casino affiliate programs that exist out there? In other words, does the principle "the more, the better" apply in this case?
First of all, that would be practically impossible. Even though people might view affiliate marketing as a form of passive income, the actual process is far from being passive. Affiliates have loads of things on their plate — the process doesn't end when they find an online casino and add it onto their website, hoping for the clicks to magically appear and make them tons of money.
The process involves research, a lot of writing, fact-checking, careful consideration, and keeping up-to-date with the most recent developments on the casinos they choose to promote. Now imagine trying to work with all the casinos that exist out there. That would be a massive amount of work. Even though some bigger affiliate networks could actually afford it, the smaller and medium-sized affiliates have to work harder and make informed decisions and choices regarding who to cooperate with.
Second of all, it is essential to pick the casinos you want to work with as an affiliate instead of taking in whatever comes your way. Making informed choices is crucial in maintaining the trust levels you have worked on building with your audience.
As an affiliate, you need to make sure that you only add trusted and reputable online casinos to your affiliate site. Before adding a casino, you would have to test it to understand the customer journey, the special features and the difficulties your players might come across should they choose to register by using your affiliate link.
Therefore, selecting the right casinos and, consequently, the right casino affiliate programs to work with is key in the process.
The struggle is real — how do you choose an affiliate program?
To answer this question, you have to first understand what makes an affiliate program stand out from the competition.
We split this part into two bigger sub-categories: the online casino brands that the affiliate program represents and the affiliate program itself. Let's take them one by one and dig a bit deeper.
The online casino brands
The product is extremely important. You might have found a casino affiliate program with an excellent reward plan and helpful affiliate managers. However, as you scroll through their casino brand (or brands) and register an account, you notice bugs, the customer support is not helpful, the Terms and Conditions are not clear, and the payment methods are limited.
Therefore, the first piece of advice would be to identify the online casino sites that you would like to add to your website instead of going after the affiliate programs.
If you find an online casino that resonates with your quality standards, you can look for a special tab that typically reads "For affiliates." Most online casino sites display it at the bottom of their page, in the footer section. For example, if you head onto SlotV Casino, you will find a tab that redirects you to the PlayAttack Affiliates website — the affiliate program behind SlotV Casino.
Is the online casino licensed?
As an affiliate, you only want to promote reputable and licensed online casino brands. Therefore, when looking into an online casino brand, you should always examine whether it holds the needed license(s).
Now more than ever, each country is introducing a licensing system that requires online casinos to acquire a specific license to operate in the country of interest. Sweden, for instance, has the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) license. Hence, if you want to promote a legit online casino to Swedish players, you should look for its SGA license (which can be typically found in the homepage's footer).
We would also suggest checking the license's validity by clicking on the icon and looking at the details, and examining whether the casino is compliant as the specific regulations suggest it. Does the casino respect the welcome bonus limits? Are the customers protected? Are the responsible gambling policies in place?
Another important thing to figure out are the characteristics of the target audience that the casino affiliate program, or more accurately, the online casino site, targets.
If, for instance, the casino is looking for UK-based players, you would have to look at your traffic and ask yourself if UK-based individuals constitute a substantial chunk of your traffic. Understanding this will help you evaluate whether the affiliate program representing this specific online casino brand is a good fit for you and will help you make the profit you're seeking.
Finally, when looking into a particular online casino, it is helpful to look into other aspects, such as whether it has a user-friendly interface and a catchy design that would appeal to your audience.
Moreover, don't forget to look into the available payment methods, operating languages, currencies, and the game providers present on the site — all these are fundamental aspects that define the player experience.
Additionally, it would be helpful to evaluate what the casino has to offer when it comes to customer retention — especially if you're working on a revenue share or a hybrid payment plan. As an affiliate, you would always want to make sure that the casino knows how to keep your leads happy.
The affiliate program itself — what does the casino affiliate program have to offer?
Affiliate marketing is a business, and as it goes with any other business, the primary goal is to make money. Therefore, one of the first things that affiliates should look into when choosing an affiliate program is the commission plans that they offer.
Commission Plans — how much can you earn as an affiliate?
Typically, all casino affiliate programs work with various payment plans: revenue share (revshare), CPA, and hybrid.
With the revenue share commission plan, affiliates receive a certain predefined percentage for as long as their player remains active on the casino website. Therefore, they do not make a fixed amount of money every month, and their income depends on various factors, with the most important one being their players' activity. Is their lead playing? Are they losing or winning? Here's more information on how the affiliate profit is calculated by PlayAttack when affiliates choose to work with a revenue share commission plan.
As opposed to the revenue share plan, the cost per action (CPA) payment plan involves a fixed payment for each qualifying lead that the affiliate referred to the online casino site. The amount is based on the agreement between the affiliate and the affiliate program. However, this is not a recurring but a one-time payment. Finally, the hybrid payment plan is a combination of the two commission types mentioned above.
As an affiliate, you need to evaluate which of these commission plans would work best for you based on your short-term or long-term goals (we suggest always thinking long-term). Moreover, you'll have to see whether the proposed commission structure resonates with you and your business.
Bear in mind that even though every casino affiliate program has a revenue share table featured on their website according to which each affiliate gets a predetermined percentage based on the number of first-time depositors they bring to the casino brands, there is always the possibility to reach out to the affiliate managers of the program and negotiate.
Share your thoughts with the program affiliate managers and pitch your affiliate site. If you think that you have quality traffic that consists of their target audience and expect the cooperation to be fruitful, communicate that with the affiliate program. You might end up with a solid deal that you didn't expect would happen before engaging in the discussion. Most importantly, make sure you support your speech with facts and stats instead of opting in for verbal promises.
This discussion would also be a great chance to "meet" the people behind the affiliate program and see where their communication style will make it possible to maintain a healthy business relationship.
Before committing to this new business relationship, you would want to look at the affiliate program's payment methods. Is the method that is convenient for you and your business listed on their website? It would be absolutely devastating if you cannot get paid simply because your preferred method is not available after doing some valuable work for the affiliate program. Indeed, this is something that can be potentially solved by making the necessary arrangements. Still, this drawback could definitely make the process more inconvenient — especially since you might face the same issue with other affiliate programs. Therefore, make sure to check this and discuss your options with the affiliate managers before you start sending traffic.
Another thing you would want to look at as an affiliate is whether the casino affiliate program has a negative carryover policy. It could be, for instance, that you did a fantastic job during the past month and referred multiple players to the online casino site of the affiliate program. However, one player that you had referred to the site ended up hitting a huge jackpot — would that mean that all your effort was for nothing, and you will now have to work for months (if not more) to compensate for this?
Suppose the affiliate program has a "no negative carryover" policy. In that case, it means that you won't have to worry about such unprecedented circumstances, and you get to start each calendar month from scratch. However, and even though most affiliate programs do have a "no negative carryover policy," it could be that there are specific terms and conditions attached to it, so always make sure you check them out before committing to a business partnership.
Terms & Conditions
The point mentioned above brings us to the final aspect that affiliates need to consider before proceeding with a specific affiliate program. It is true that everyone hates reading Terms & Conditions, and more often than we should, we choose to agree with them without subjecting them to a detailed check. However, since we are talking about a business relationship, getting yourself familiar with the casino affiliate program Terms and Conditions is vital.
Remember that if you and the chosen affiliate program dispute a particular case, they will most likely refer to their Terms and Conditions section to back up their actions. That's why it's crucial for you, as an affiliate, to have read the affiliate program's terms and conditions and to ensure that they are fair towards both the affiliate and the program itself.
This article explored the aspects that affiliates need to look into before choosing an affiliate program and why these are important in making business decisions.
Affiliate marketing is not about "the more, the better." It should be about quality, great conversion rates, and excellent customer value. Therefore, it should be your priority as an affiliate network to make your choices wisely and look for long-term positive growth instead of short-term and seemingly beneficial solutions.