GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 19 - February 2012

T erms & C onditions In the old days it seemed that checking the “terms and conditions” box when signing up for a new affiliate program was nothing more than a formality. In the current affiliate environment, however, it has never been more important to read through the T&Cs and ensure that they are favorable to your business model. For example, some affiliate programs will shut your account down if you have not sent any new players over a period of time. In this instance, choosing to work on a revenue-sharing model would be a poor decision. Likewise, many programs in the industry have become notorious for changing their terms and conditions without notifying their affiliates. While reading through T&Cs can be cumbersome, fully understanding them could potentially save you a lot of headaches and commissions down the road. P ayment P rocessing Payment processing success rates and times vary among operators and can change quite often. However, it should be a consideration when looking at new affiliate programs to promote. After all, if your referred players cannot successfully deposit and withdraw, the program may be a waste of your time. Likewise, it may also mean that your affiliate commission payments could be delayed. One of the best ways to learn the status of a poker room’s payment processing is to visit a few of the popular players’ forums. For affiliate payment processing times, there is almost always a monthly thread running on the larger affiliate forums where affiliates post when their commission payments are processed. It’s also never a bad idea to test drive the poker site yourself by trying to deposit and withdraw on your own. F uture O utlook Do you have a crystal ball? I sure don’t. However, it’s still important to examine how affiliate programs are positioning themselves for future legislation or changes. For current U.S.-facing poker sites, it’s really a gamble as to what their status will be should the U.S. laws change. This is one of the reasons that many of the top producing affiliates prefer CPA plans versus revenue sharing for U.S.-facing operators. If you’re diversifying outside the U.S. market, there are several exciting acquisitions and partnerships that should be considered. Some operators are currently positioning themselves very strategically to reenter the U.S. market should legislation be passed. These affiliate programs are ones that would be worth giving serious consideration to working with if you are not already. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket! The more you can diversify your promotions and the number of poker rooms you work with, the more stable your month-to-month affiliate commissions will be. As the industry continues to experience high levels of uncertainty, it will be imperative for poker affiliates to be much more selective when choos- ing new operators to work with. There is no right or wrong answer as to what the “best poker affili- ate program” is for every affiliate. Just as we split test our sites to see which banners, links and campaigns yield the highest conversion rates, we need to test out different poker rooms and promotions to see which ones bring the best results and player values. When trying out new operators and affiliate programs, it is important that a level of trust be established between the affiliate and operator from the outset. Affiliates need to be confident that they will be paid on time and that the poker site is a viable brand with a long-term strategy. And while there are many ways to research affiliate programs before signing up and sending traffic, one of the best ways is to reach out to fellow affiliates already working with the operator and learn from their previous and current experiences. The new year promises to be an exciting one in the poker affiliate industry. Many operators are strategically positioning themselves for success, and many affiliates are as well. Nobody knows exactly what the poker affiliate landscape will look like a year from now, but one thing is certain: those affiliates who are planning ahead, diversifying and selecting the right operators to partner with are the affiliates who will experience the greatest success in 2012 and beyond. Jeremy Enke is the CEO of Poker Affiliate Listings ( T ip # 4 T ip # 3 T ip # 5 43