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Whichever way you cut it, online gambling has been incredibly beneficial for casino and betting operators. The ability to reach out to more consumers worldwide, coupled with the more convenient, direct form of gambling these services allow has created something of a perfect match.
As a result, revenues have soared across online casino groups in the last 15 years or so, and they continue to grow from strength to strength as online gambling becomes increasingly more mainstream. But while the casino operators themselves have got seriously rich, they are far from the only ones.
A new breed of gambling entrepreneur has been created thanks to affiliate programmes offering substantial bounties for new player referrals. In the competitive online gambling environment, casino companies are now increasingly focusing on developing their affiliate programmes and wider networks, to leverage the efforts of performance marketers.
Those at the top of this field have gone on to make millions, while helping grow casino brands and develop new audiences for their services. But how does this corner of the industry work, and how exactly are these so-called super affiliates able to make so much money from referring gamblers?
The affiliate model is well developed across a number of industries. Thanks to the ease of technology, including tracking and reporting online, affiliate marketing has exploded in popularity online, both with casinos as a channel for driving new signups, and amongst independent marketers in pursuit of personal riches.
Affiliate programmes are usually open to any market who wants to promote them, although in some cases the advertising methods and creatives firstly need to be approved by the casino operator. Once accepted into the programme, affiliates are free to promote their personal sign-up link to their online audience.
For every account that signs up through their link, the affiliates are paid a bounty – which can be in the region of a couple of hundred dollars, or alternatively a profit share on the money the casino makes from that gambler over the lifetime of their account.
Affiliate marketing is rife in the online gambling industry and remains one of the main channels casinos are using to discover new customers and enter new markets at low expense. But how exactly is this playing into the hands of marketers, and especially those ‘super affiliates’ who are reported to earn millions in the process?
For the casinos, it’s a no-brainer. Rather than (or in most cases, in addition to) spending millions on advertising and promotion, they can leverage a no-risk network of marketers who are paid for results. If the casino knows they’re going to make £X on average from each customer they sign up, paying a percentage of that to acquire a certain customer makes good business sense.
At the same time, these bounties are particularly juicy for affiliates, who can even negotiate their own terms for better payouts and bigger profit shares on the customers they refer. These marketers are free to run their businesses without the hassle of actually providing any service to the end user – they are merely referring customers to an existing business, and taking their slice of the pie.
With effective online marketing, some of these affiliates have built websites which pull in consistent streams of traffic on a daily basis. From there, it’s a numbers game for affiliates – the more traffic they get, and the higher percentage of that traffic they can send over to the casinos, the more money they will make for their efforts.
And because online traffic can be recurring, it’s possible to leverage past efforts over the longer term to start building up a sizeable business. While the market online is in some quarters fairly saturated, it is nevertheless a viable channel for entrepreneurs looking to make money from the online gambling market.
So what about these affiliates, then. How much are they able to make from referring customers on this model to the online casinos? Super affiliates have been know to bank anywhere from tens of thousands per month, right up to $1 million a month and more.
While the specifics are generally not publicly available, serious companies have grown up around the affiliate model on the marketing side, with teams of staff on payroll to ensure they continue to grow their reach and their revenue. In the process of making millions for themselves, they are also making millions more for the casinos they support – not to mention, helping gamblers discover new sites, new promotions and new places to gamble online. 🙂