Over 1.6 billion people worldwide gamble every year. There remain only 56 countries who prohibit gambling. Therefore, it’s safe to say that gambling is big business – and one area that is growing rapidly is online gambling. In the UK, the remote gambling sector contributes over £4 billion to the country’s gross gambling yield, according to the Gambling Commission.
This makes it the largest single sector in the industry. In the UK there are 140 registered land-based casinos – but this figure is dwarfed by the online sector which is estimated to number 500-600. That means it’s a hugely competitive sector. As such, customers have increasingly shorter attention spans – so they’re unlikely to want to crawl the web to find the quickest and cheapest options themselves. That’s where affiliate marketing comes in, helping driving web traffic to online operators who know how to manage them.
What is affiliate marketing?
In essence, affiliate marketing is the practice of offering either explicit or implicit recommendations of a product or service and earning a profit for each sale you help achieve.
It involves the relationship between three parties:
- The merchant – in this case, the online casino wanting to market its services and win more customers.
- The affiliate – a webmaster who is responsible for publishing content that drives consumers to the merchant’s website and encourages them to make purchases there. Their key role is to warm the reader up to the idea of buying something on the merchants’ websites, before directing them there.
- The consumer – the person surfing the web who may or may not be looking to gamble online.
Here’s how it works. A website – usually a blog or news site – will review a product, provide a recommendation or discuss a certain topic in an article. Within that article will be an embedded link to a service provider’s website. It might not be an article, it might be a banner or an image.
Either way – all traffic to the merchant’s website from the link is tracked, and any purchases made from those that follow the link will be recorded with the commission being given to the original website owner. It’s easy for merchants to spot an affiliate link – containing their ID or username – to monitor the traffic and sales they’re providing, and compensate them accordingly.
Why do websites choose to market this way?
If done through a website or blog with a similar target audience, affiliate marketing can be much more cost-effective than traditional advertising campaigns. The casino gets more visitors, and therefore more people will gamble on their websites.
Plus, they’re only paying for proven sales results – commission based on actual sales made, whether that’s by revenue sharing or cost per acquisition. Revenue share is used by most online casinos. It’s when affiliates earn a percentage of the profit generated by the traffic.
Affiliate marketing provides companies with quantifiable results from their advertising campaigns. Sure – TV adverts offer companies a huge amount of exposure, but ultimately there is no clear way of gauging how customers found out about their brand.
On the other hand, affiliate marketing tracks how useful certain affiliates are, and how effective their various campaigns are as well.
Thirdly, the traffic gained from affiliate links comes with a host of information that companies can use to improve their future advertising. Cookies data contains demographic indicators such as gender, age, location, and even hobbies and interests.
Knowing your customer is key, and affiliate marketing is so useful because not only does it increase customer acquisition figures but it also provides valuable market research for a relatively small fee.
The commission a casino will pay an affiliate also depends on the lifetime value (LTV) – this is the total revenue they stand to make from each customer making purchases on their website. For example, if the average LTV of a casino player is $600 spent over two or three months, the affiliate and casino will split this amount 50-50.
What’s in it for the affiliates?
It’s never been easier to produce content and get your message across to a wide audience. However, until recently there hasn’t really been a proven method of monetizing traffic for your website if you weren’t selling anything yourself until affiliate marketing came along. Now, successful blogs can choose affiliate marketing as a simple way to gain income from their passion. For example, a football blogger might decide to become an affiliate for a sports website, enabling them to make money without compromising on their content.
Amazons’ Associates Program is an example of one of the most successful affiliate schemes. Webmasters and bloggers can earn fees for every customer they pass on to Amazon who ends up making a payment.
Commissions tend to be around 3-4% for each sale, and with the average customer spending $700 per year on the site, this provides the affiliate with huge returns for just sharing traffic. Alternatively, affiliates have the option of earning a flat rate for every customer who’s become a conversion.
Affiliate marketing success stories
Affiliate marketing has provided millions of bloggers and webmasters with a way to earn a living from their own sites.
For example, John Ellis is able to run his travel blog UK-Holiday-Shop thanks to lucrative affiliate partnerships with a range of travel programs. His website can earn as many as 85,000 organic visits per month, and with that amount of traffic, he drives sales on a daily basis.
He said: “If you choose a niche which has absolutely no interest to you, you’re going to struggle to write anything about your subject. Choose a niche which you find interesting, and has some affiliate programs. If you’re interested in your niche, the knowledge will follow.”
Another case study is Kim Rowley, who turned a part-time hobby into a full-time income by becoming an affiliate marketer for a variety of sectors. She recently won the prestigious Affiliate Marketing Legend Pinnacle Award.
She said: “I suggest any newbie in affiliate marketing attend an Affiliate Summit event (conference or monthly meet-up) as I’ve learned several tricks of the trade on how to make my affiliate sites more effective, from search engine optimization to monetization. I’ve also been able to network with like minds and to come away with new business partners and friends.”
How to become an affiliate marketer
Being an affiliate marketer of an online casino can be lucrative. However, some schemes are better than others. Follow the steps below and you could become an affiliate of 888 casino online, gaining them new players and earning yourself some money in the process.
- Register on the online casino affiliate program for free.
- Get an affiliate identification number plus access to promotional banners and images of the relevant services or products.
- Add the above ID number as a parameter to any link URL you point at the casino website.
- When you send a user from your website or blog to the casino website via this affiliate link, the casino system identifies that this user came from your website.
- All purchases done by users that arrived from your website are credited to your affiliate account and by the end of the month, you will be paid the agreed commissions for all the sales you helped to create.
- Repeat the above process with some other casino operators and you will earn commissions from all the casinos you joined to their affiliate programs.
- Affiliate websites usually review and rate online casinos and put them together side by side, so it doesn’t really matter to the affiliate to which casino the visitor went – as long as eventually, they made a deposit in the casino cashier.
Are betting affiliates moving stateside?
Online gambling is set to be hit a market value of around $60bn in the next couple of years. One of the biggest talking points currently is its legal status in the US, which could see this value grow even more overnight.
Operators are currently lining up to take a leap into the American market, which many believe will soon open up once online gambling is legalized nationwide. Following the PASPA ruling, which legalized online sports betting in New Jersey, many global operators now believe that it’s only a matter of time before the domino effect kicks in and – state by state – virtual gambling is open to everyone.
This historic ruling permitted New Jersey residents to the simple right of betting on games in their state. It was a ground-breaking piece of legislation that’s since led to other states following suits.
Indeed, there are so many reasons why the US will legalize online gambling. It provides immersive, engaging games to users – but from the government’s perspective, it could deliver valuable revenue that could be invested in public services such as hospitals, schools, and transport.
Illegal sports betting is said to be worth $400bn in the US alone – so it’s surely in the government’s interests to loosen restrictions and benefit from the windfall. It might not be in the interests of President Trump, however, as one of his biggest donors is Sheldon Adelson – a land-based casino tycoon.
How will affiliate marketing help online companies in America?
If sports betting is legalized in America, online operators will be able to target the vast array of sports blogs and websites in the country. NBA, NFL, Baseball and even soccer are incredibly popular sports in America, with hundreds of thousands of blogs dedicated to individual sports. Many have extraordinarily large readerships – representing a huge opportunity for everyone to earn a huge amount of revenue.
Following legalization, online operators would reach out to these blogs to provide links to their gambling pages – just as they do in the UK and in every other country where online gambling is legal.
Operators would advertise through affiliates with complete guides to poker, reviews of slot machines, and accounts of the latest odds – all of which are effective pieces of content to drive traffic towards their sites. Affiliate marketing and online gambling go hand in hand – so expect a stampede of operators looking to connect with leading affiliates and tap into the gold mine of the country’s gamblers.
Affiliate marketing isn’t the only method that gambling companies are using to attract new customers and increase their market share, but it is one of the most effective. It provides companies with all the things that traditional marketing doesn’t and it helps them to improve their future advertising by offering useful data insights.
Whether or not the US decides to embrace online gambling, it will still continue to play a key role in the industry. But one thing is clear – following the PASPA ruling in June, it’s all eyes on the US’s next move.