Early on my affiliate journey I made many mistakes. Got myself suspended from affiliate programs, got kicked out of PPC networks and wasted time and effort. I want to save you all that by sharing a couple of quick notes here. The road to becoming an affiliate – and more importantly a SUCCESSFUL affiliate – comes with a hard learning curve. Learn from my mistakes and consider these 3 important points when choosing the right gambling affiliate program.
Understand the product you promote
You MUST signup on the casino brands website / app and play with REAL money! Why? Because that’s the only way you can put yourself into the shoes of real customers. Would you recommend a restaurant to your friends where you have never eaten before? Can you honestly suggest to buy into a product you haven’t tried / tested yourself? Of course not.
Don’t just toy around with play money on slots and table games, that’s for the freebie lovers. You won’t have a clue about how well or badly the cashier of the casino work, how is their customer service, the ease or difficulties you may face when you are trying to get your account verified with the operator to withdraw etc. These are crucial element for any gaming operator and it will determine the lifetime value of your player base. And believe me, if you have decent quality traffic, you won’t want to waste it on a casino product that suck in any of the above.
To promote online casinos operators you have to understand what appeals to a person when it’s about gambling. You have to understand why people choose to download casino app or play slot games endlessly even though deep in their mind they know that the house always win. You have to get into the mind of the casino gambler, and grasp what goes through their head. Understand the audience and cater to them.
One thing is worth to mention: you may need to tell your affiliate manager that you hold an account with the brand and provide them your username. Most affiliate program won’t let you use your own tracking link to sign up for an account for yourself and you may obviously not be allowed to earn commission on your own gaming activity.
Read the damn terms and conditions!
So many affiliates just go ahead and sign up for ANY operators affiliate program who offers high % commissions. Now let me tell you something you may already know: it’ not all about how large is your cut. You may get a good deal in the beginning but on the long run you have to be familiar with the terms your affiliate partnership comes with. There are particular thing I recommend you look out for: negative carry-overs, minimum player target requirement, reduction of % in case of certain idle periods (also known as dormant accounts), geo restrictions, keyword ban policies etc.
In general it’s recommended to read the small print. Many affiliates only read it when something had gone wrong already and your account is suspended / banned for breaching the terms you agreed to but never actually read.
Do a little background check
Be proactive and do yourself a favour: read reviews or at least check ratings on iGaming community boards. It takes 10 minutes to quickly check on the reputation of the desired affiliate program. You can find tons of affiliate reviews on GPWA (Gambling Portal Webmasters Association), the Askgambler or on Casinomeister forum or any established online gambling hub where igaming industry people gather for a chat. If you see any comments about a casino affiliate program “going rouge” consider dropping the idea of promoting them.
Obviously there can be always a sour-puss who leaves negative reviews on an otherwise well-performing operator. Dig into the threads and spend 10-15 minutes reading about fellow affiliates experience. I often message a couple of power affiliates and ask them how they doing with a specific program – this is also a good conversation starter as these guys often love to talk about their successes and share invaluable info you can use to kick-start your campaigns.