GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 26 - October 2013

GPWA AFFILIATE INTERVIEW SERIES Plastic surgery is OK, but bingo is better When did you launch your sites? was launched around July 2008 and the other sites closely followed around 2009. Why did you decide to launch a bingo site first – why not a poker or casino or slots site? Living in the U.K. all my life and in a seaside town, bingo was more fa- miliar to me. It also seemed like an easy product to compare. I have never been much of a gambler myself and bingo didn’t really feel like gambling. Describe the bingo market in the U.K. Just how big a business is it? Since launching in 2008 the number of bingo sites has grown hugely. We now have over 200 bingo sites listed. This speaks volumes as to just how big the market is. However, my general feeling is that it could get to a point where the market is saturated (if it isn’t already!). It’s nice to see some new software providers appear- ing and bringing something different to the market. You also have casino and slots sites. Which site generates the most reve- nue? Why do you think that’s the case? Bingo has always generated us the most revenue; I think it’s important to focus on a particular niche and offer alterna- tives should players want to try their luck elsewhere. Casino and slots seem to have had a bit of a revival though and it’s something I want to put more focus into going forward. How did you become involved in the industry? I used to work for an online marketing company as a Web developer. During this time I worked on a major credit card comparison site and decided that I would try to compare something myself. First I tried comparing plastic sur- geons, with little success. I then decided to try bingo! How long did it take for you to start earning money? Roughly seven days. Your goal for BestOffersBingo was to make it the easiest-to-use bingo com- parison site on the Internet. Do you feel that you have achieved this goal? Yes, the site is very simple and does what it says on the label. I think simplicity is sometimes the key. With so many options for players to choose from, how do you narrow your focus when it comes to promoting bin- go rooms? What is the most important factor from a player perspective, and what’s most important from an affili- ate perspective ? I think you have to try the sites yourself; it’s no good choosing a site simply because they are offering a huge commission. If the site doesn’t con- vert players then you won’t earn anything anyway! A lot of it is down to the team do- ing the CRM. Players don’t want to spend hours trying to register only to find they are registered on another site on the same network. They also want something that is a bit unique. Players are becoming very aware of big networks now and are avoid- ing them. What traits do you look for in an affili- ate manager? How about in an affiliate program? In terms of an affiliate man- ager I prefer it when they aren’t pushy. Sometimes they can forget that we are working as a team and affiliates are not employees. I must admit, though, it is a tough job being an affiliate manager and sometimes difficult to get affiliates to re- spond. As far as the program is concerned I prefer programs that stick with a set revenue share instead of using a tier sys- tem – e.g., 1-5 new players is 25 percent revshare; 6-10 is 30 percent. This system doesn’t work for all affiliates as sometimes an affiliate may only bring three play- ers but they have a higher average spend as they are providing quality traffic. It’s important that the affiliate program also has good reporting so that you can easily see how much you earned yesterday, last month and the current month. You posted earlier this year that opera- tors need to remember that affiliates are not here to be paid “if and when opera- tors feel like it” and that commissions are part of their costs, not “free traffic.” What has been your overall experience with operators’ payment procedures? Overall most operators pay on time on a monthly basis but occasionally you find that they fall behind on their payments and come up with every excuse they can. It’s important that operators realize that affiliate commission is part of their costs. They forget that affiliates have costs too. What advice can you offer people who are just starting up in the industry? If the person was setting up an affiliate site I would say that it’s important to make something unique. At the moment there are too many cookie-cutter sites purely made to get around the recent Google al- gorithm changes. How has being a GPWA member helped you? I would say it’s helped when I’ve not received payments as you find out other affiliates are in the same boat. It’s reassur- ing knowing that you aren’t the only one! What do you like about the industry? The people in the industry are so friendly and I enjoy the gaming development side of things as game development has always been something I’ve been interested in. If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be? I think the main thing I would change is that opera- tors who had scammed players in the past wouldn’t be able to operate again under different company names or licenses. What do your family and friends think of your work as an affiliate? Family and friends are supportive although most fam- ily members have a confused look on their face when I try to explain it in detail! MATT mattk Age: 33 Hometown: London, United Kingdom Living in: Essex Favorite Food: Anything spicy! Sites: GPWA Affiliate Interview Series