An Operator’s Guide to iGaming Affiliate Programs
Many online gambling operators utilize iGaming affiliate programs to work with their affiliate partners, but what are affiliate programs and how do they work?
As gambling companies grow and expand their operations, many of them are implementing iGaming affiliate programs as their main way of working with their affiliate partners. Affiliate programs in iGaming offer many advantages for operators, such as a more streamlined way of working with a network of affiliates if the operator has multiple brands to advertise, but how do they work and how can upstart operators implement them? Let’s take a closer look at iGaming affiliate programs and their benefits.
Table of Contents
What is an iGaming Affiliate Program?
iGaming affiliate programs serve as a portal through which an operator’s marketing team communicates with their affiliate partners. An iGaming affiliate program is most useful for multi-brand gambling firms that want to streamline their marketing efforts and relationships with their affiliate partners, but can also be useful for single-brand operators who want to expand in the future.
The Benefits of iGaming Affiliate Programs
iGaming affiliate programs offer several benefits to operators, as they make communication with affiliates easier and help companies grow their affiliate networks effortlessly. Let’s explore a couple of the benefits offered by casino affiliate programs, starting with the former.
Casino affiliate programs allow multi-brand operators to significantly streamline their marketing operations. Instead of having separate points of communication with affiliates for each individual gambling brand, operators using casino affiliate programs can manage their affiliate relationships through a single platform. This is not only much more efficient for both the operator and their affiliate partners but also makes it easier for the former to start promoting additional brands. This presents operators with lots of expansion opportunities, which is conveniently our next point of discussion.
For operators that have a successful brand and an expansive affiliate network with healthy partner relationships, iGaming affiliate programs offer excellent expansion opportunities. If an operator wants to target a new niche, such as cryptocurrencies, sports wagering, online lottery games, or others, with a dedicated brand, they will have very little work to do for the new website’s marketing efforts. Launching new brands to cater to a different audience with a unique set of preferences and requirements is further made easier thanks to the prevalence of various white-label and turnkey casino platform solutions, which has also helped expand the prominence of gambling affiliate programs.
As iGaming affiliate platforms cover the basics of affiliate marketing, operators will only need to create a new set of promotional materials for their new brands to distribute to their affiliate partners. This eliminates many of the difficulties of growing a gambling brand from zero, such as finding the best iGaming affiliates to work with, and better positions casinos that have an established presence to continue expanding at pace. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, iGaming affiliate programs also enable operators to target wider audiences more effectively.
Moreover, iGaming affiliate programs can provide affiliates with excellent expansion opportunities as well, as they will be able to immediately start advertising any new offerings their operator partners launch through their casino affiliate programs. This can help operators enhance their appeal among prospecting partners, as iGaming affiliates are always looking for growth opportunities in the ever-evolving gambling sector.
iGaming Affiliate Programs vs iGaming Affiliate Management Services
Let’s briefly talk about iGaming affiliate programs and iGaming affiliate management services. While the former is a platform where an operator can attract affiliates to a multitude of its brands and manage communications with its affiliate network, iGaming affiliate management services offer operators nearly all of the benefits of iGaming affiliate platforms along with a number of additional ones, such as complete outsourcing of the most tedious tasks of the iGaming affiliate marketing process.
While iGaming affiliate management services provide even better growth opportunities, operators utilizing them can still implement iGaming affiliate programs to further add to their growth momentum. Gambling firms that already have casino affiliate platforms, on the other hand, can benefit greatly from acquiring an affiliate management service, as most top-quality offerings on the market will utilize highly-skilled and experienced affiliate managers to streamline the operator’s communications with its affiliates. This will simultaneously remove the need for operators to have dedicated teams for communicating with their affiliate networks, which is a point we will cover in the next section of this article. Check out our guide on iGaming affiliate management to learn more about the topic.
How to Start an iGaming Affiliate Program?
Now that we’ve learned about iGaming affiliate programs, how can you start one for your casino brand? The process is pretty simple, although it involves various considerations depending on the operator’s short and long-term goals. Let’s explore the process in steps, starting with setting up a dedicated website.
1. Set up a separate webpage for the program
The first step to launching an iGaming affiliate program is setting up a separate website for it. Affiliate partners will maintain contact with the operator and its brands through this platform, meaning it is important to ensure that the whole process can be carried out smoothly. It is also paramount to offer prospecting affiliates a seamless and quick way to sign up, as this can be an excellent way for the operator to expand its partner network. Additionally, operators may also need to assign a dedicated brand to their casino affiliate programs if they have multiple gambling websites, although many successful multi-brand affiliate programs simply utilize the brand of their most popular gambling site.
2. Assemble a dedicated team
iGaming affiliate programs will require dedicated affiliate managers to achieve standout levels of performance. The program’s team will be responsible for communicating with the operator’s affiliate network, which will involve everything from sending partners promotional materials and details for marketing campaigns to negotiating customized deals for top-performing affiliates. Speaking of the latter, affiliate programs offering hybrid or CPA commission models will frequently be in negotiations for the contract terms of partners wanting to work with the aforementioned commission methods, as they usually require custom terms to appeal to both sides.
3. Acquire affiliate software
Another important part of establishing an iGaming affiliate program is the affiliate software. The main use case for affiliate software is to track the performance of the operator’s affiliate partners, however, many of the solutions offered by the industry’s best software developers provide their clients with built-in payment, multi-brand management, and custom commission solutions as well. Affiliate software is instrumental to the successful operation of an iGaming affiliate program, as tracking is a vital part of affiliate marketing. It is also quite important for multi-brand operators to make sure that the solutions they are looking to acquire can support all of their brands and gambling niches.
Additionally, high-quality affiliate software is important for operators to fight against affiliate fraud. Fraudulent affiliates can cause harm not only to unsuspecting operators but also to legitimate affiliate firms. Having robust iGaming affiliate fraud mitigation systems also helps operators maintain their reputations, as affiliates aren’t too keen on working with partners that are frequently targeted by fraudulent companies. Check out our article on iGaming affiliate fraud to learn more about the topic.
4. Set commission offers
One of the final things operators will need to do to successfully deploy an iGaming affiliate program is to set their standard commission offers. These are quite important for the growth of gambling businesses, as affiliates will always be looking for the best terms available. This means that the higher an operator’s offered commission rates are, the more affiliates its program will be able to appeal to, which is a strategy upstart companies may want to take advantage of. More established operators, on the other hand, can offer lower rates by utilizing their industry expertise and trustworthiness as selling points for prospecting partners. Check out our guide on affiliate commissions to learn more about the topic.
How to start working with affiliates through an affiliate program?
After launching an iGaming affiliate program, the only thing left to do to take advantage of all of its benefits is to start working with affiliate partners. Operators who have previously worked with affiliates without a casino affiliate program can simply continue working with their existing associates, however, upstart operators who do not have any partners yet will need to find companies to market with.
Networking, networking, networking…
A great way of connecting with the best casino affiliates is through networking. Asking a wide range of professionals for recommendations can be an excellent way of connecting with marketing firms, especially if the experts recommending them have had positive previous working experiences with them.
Take your chance at iGaming events
Operators can also network in person during various industry events, as many summits offer their attendees dedicated opportunities to connect with like-minded experts through meetups and breaks. Additionally, many other networking formats are used during industry events as well, such as AffPapa iGaming Club’s speed-dating concept, which helps attendees introduce themselves to other participants and discuss partnership prospects during the exclusive event in a timely fashion.
Join the AffPapa Directory
Operators that are new to the industry and do not yet have an expansive network can take advantage of AffPapa’s directory, to meet with prospecting affiliates and sign contracts with them. Established directories can have upwards of a thousand top-quality listed iGaming affiliates, giving operators plenty of options to start advertising with their iGaming affiliate programs.
iGaming affiliate programs offer multi-brand operators an excellent way to streamline their affiliate marketing efforts and make it much easier to expand their brand catalogs to target different gambling niches. Casino affiliate platforms can also be useful for single-brand operators and are quite easy to set up and start working with affiliates through the affiliate program’s webpage.