GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 24 - April 2013

or the budding affiliate marketer, deciding on the right vertical to pro- mote can be a daunting task. This is especially true in iGaming, where, as an industry that’s known for its rapid growth and many entrepreneur- ial opportunities, there can be an over- abundance of choice. When it comes to deciding on a niche affiliates are given a multitude of options, and for the uniniti- ated this can be an intimidating prospect. That said, some verticals are better suited to certain affiliate styles, strategies and needs. One vertical in particular, however, covers a wide range of criteria: bingo. The bingo vertical is one that provides af- filiates with numerous advantages; it’s proven, lucrative, flexible and most impor- tantly, still growing. Regardless of whether you’re a new affiliate or one that has been promoting for years, bingo offers the ac- countability and dependability needed to create profitable returns campaign after campaign. So, if you’re looking into this vertical (and you should be), here’s what you need to know when getting started. BREAKING INTO BINGO There are a number of factors that af- filiates need to understand and consider before entering the bingo niche. Here are the essentials: Demographics Unlike most other iGaming verticals, bingo presents a unique opportunity for affiliates because it provides access to a much wider player range. This larger player pool is due to one specific, and crucial, demographic – women . Women (a target audience not typically associ- ated with gaming offerings) can make up 50 to 70 percent of the vertical’s popu- lation. And opposing the assumptions made with this player segment, in the U.K. female bingo players between the ages of 18 and 35 make up one-third of the market. Bingo is alluring to affiliates on this prin- ciple, among others, as bingo players are known to be loyal and active in the com- munity. It is estimated that 3 million peo- ple play bingo in the U.K., where the game garners its greatest popularity. Tenure The great thing about bingo is that play- ers see it as a type of entertainment, as opposed to a form of gambling. Part of the attraction is to socialize and have fun, while winning some money in the process, too. Jackpots are not the sole objective, and because of this, bingo players spend smaller amounts on games. These smaller deposits, however, add to the life of the bingo player. Whereas the typical gaming enthusiast may deposit anywhere from £50 to £100 per month, the bingo player may deposit £20 or £30 a month, albeit on a regular basis. This de- posit can be part of a monthly budget or disposable income allowance, and as a re- sult, bingo players will play for far longer periods of time. While it’s difficult to accurately estimate the overall length of a bingo player’s lifes- pan, it’s estimated to be much longer than players in other iGaming verticals. Commission structures By and large, online bingo operators pre- fer using a revenue sharing commission model, mainly due to the fact that bingo is a long-term business (for both operators and affiliates). As mentioned above, the average player will make smaller deposits and play periodically over the course of a year (and throughout their tenure); this results in consistency. Affiliates take note: When it comes to bingo, it’s not about what can be gained in the short term, it’s about stability, consistency and per- sistence. Longevity is the key factor, and profits will be gained through a player’s lifetime revenue. Future growth The future of online bingo is promising. Popularity continues to grow and new markets are taking favorable steps to- ward bingo; areas of growth include Latin America, Spain and Italy. For this reason, the bingo affiliate can anticipate greater bingo expansion in the next few years. Factors such as smoking bans, improved Internet connections and mobile bingo have contributed toward and facilitated a growth that will continue to prosper in the coming years. BINGO PLAYER ACQUISITION To attract bingo players to their sites, af- filiates have many tools at their disposal. In addition to the tactics listed below, the vertical presents a distinct advantage that works in the affiliate’s favor: The bingo niche is one that prides itself on com- munity. This community acts as its own acquisition strategy, and one that is self- reliant and independent of the affiliate’s efforts. As such, bingo makes for a great niche because players often join through word of mouth and peer endorsement. Apart from this distinctive feature, the bingo vertical is like any other in affiliate marketing: In order to bring in players, youmust engage your users. Here are some tools that will help you accomplish this: Site design Engagement begins with a strong website. Specific to bingo, it’s important that an af- filiate’s site is clean and easy to navigate, to appeal to the type of users who play. It’s also essential that the site makes use of bingo-relevant keywords for SEO. Mobile Although mobile is an aspect of any site’s design, due to changes in the way play- ers access the Web it is worthy of its own category. It’s crucial that your websites be optimized for mobile. More and more players are using their smartphones and tablets, so in order to fully engage with the target audience, bingo affiliates’ sites have to be accessible on portable devices. This is especially true considering the bingo niche, and gaming sites as a whole. Content Content, and more specifically regularly updated content, can pay huge dividends in attracting and retaining players. It’s one thing to get a player to visit your site, but an- 19 Breaking into bingo: The essential affiliate guide