Vladimir Luchaninov tells what to pay attention to when choosing affiliates
“More and more regulations are imposed on the market. Before entering new markets, it’s important to learn not only competition and marketing tools but also legal issues,” claims Head of Acquisitions at Firelink Media Vladimir Luchaninov. In the exclusive interview for Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference, the expert dwelled on the risks of working with a gambling affiliate, means of income boosting, main industry trends, and much more.
Vladimir Luchaninov has been engaged in online marketing in the iGaming segment and other highly competitive niches for more than 10 years. He has been Head of Acquisitions at Firelink Media since 2014, the company that works with IT and provides services (Ranking Software and SEO). Previously, the expert was Head of SEO at the European Internet marketing agency Netberry Ltd and Chief Marketing Officer at Social Gambling Engine.
Interviewer: Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference (KGAC)
Speaker: Vladimir Luchaninov (V. L.)
KGAC: What to pay attention to when choosing affiliates?
V. L.: For traffic owners, it’s important to get the highest income. There exist a lot of evident and less evident nuances influencing it. Some affiliates help boost conversion, some shave, some get closed. One should consider many aspects, test and divide flows to avoid traffic directing to a single affiliate.
KGAC: How to evaluate the efficiency of an affiliate?
V. L.: The Web provides many reviews of the most affiliates that have been available for more than a year. It’s necessary to attend specialized conferences and communicate with colleagues, get to know their opinion and experience. Give a subject estimation of their subtleties that may not be seen at first glance. Find out whether managers reply quickly and competently, whether a website and an affiliate’s account are user-friendly, make sure that an affiliate program does not imply any terms enabling revenue falsification.
KGAC: Which payout model in an iGaming affiliate is the most profitable for the entire industry? Why?
V. L.: Beginning webmasters often hesitate to trust anyone and as a result choose CPA, a one-time payment for every attracted client. It goes without saying that in the long run, RevShare is more beneficial. This scheme implies getting a percent out of operators’ revenue. CPA is pretty risky in terms of affiliates. The latter method may be favorable for arbitrage specialists who need reverse money and are ready to obtain less but right now with no risks. Hybrid would be a perfect solution for such purposes since this model offers one-time payouts less than CPA that compensate traffic expenses. Besides, income percent is also lower compared to RevShare. What is more, CPA is more profitable for motivated traffic that they present as qualitative, but affiliates quickly detect it.
KGAC: Which risks may accompany a gaming affiliate?
V. L.: Affiliate’s sudden unprofitability is the riskiest. You cannot mitigate all risks. Direct at least half of traffic to proven affiliates and test new ones. If you have little traffic, work with not less than three affiliates, if you have much of it – then engage in dozens. In case you lose one of them, the danger won’t be that dramatic. It’ vital for you to have enough traffic on each affiliate and the sufficient number of affiliates in order to redirect traffic and prevent it from breaking the agreed terms.
KGAC: How can we boost revenue from an affiliate and improve efficiency of partnership?
V. L.: Get on well with a manager and pose direct questions about ways of revenue boosting. They would most probably tell to direct more traffic, which would allow to get a higher percent. If you didn’t direct traffic to this partner, try to do it. Managers are likely to be more experienced or can just have a look at your traffic with a fresh eye and give advice on monetization improvement.
KGAC: In which cases do affiliates ban payouts? How to solve this problem?
V. L.: Affiliates may ban payouts under the terms of agreements. Carefully read conditions that may contain veiled official reasons for the decrease in your income such as traffic drop, brand appearance in advertising, incorrect traffic attraction methods as resolved by an affiliate, or just an affiliate’s decision. What is more, those affiliate programs that neglect their reputation may shave – provide unreliable information and understate operator’s income.
KGAC: In your opinion, what online gambling trends to expect in 2019?
V. L.: More and more regulations are imposed on the market. Before entering new markets, it’s important to learn not only competition and marketing tools but also legal issues. For small affiliates, it’s better to focus on one or a couple of markets they understand well. This sphere is going to be monopolized, so small affiliates will face more and more difficulties. They should find like-minded fellows and unite in big teams.
KGAC: What will you be talking about at Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference?
V. L.: I will dwell on our work experience with affiliate programs: mistakes and takeaways. I will give beginners advice on coping with difficulties. I hope that veteran affiliates will discover something interesting.