More Spam fun and games

Hi Affiliate Manager X,

Thanks for another email promoting your affiliate program. I actually replied to your last one a couple of weeks ago, but didn’t hear anything back. I am starting to wonder whether you are actually a robot programmed to send the same email numerous times without the programmed functionality to reply.

I can reply in binary code if that helps?

Thanks,

Tom

Why I will not work with you on a CPA basis

Hi Affiliate X,

Apologies for not getting back to you sooner, but I wanted to take the time in-house to discuss the option of offering CPA deals at Affiliate Program X. Up until now, at least on the sportsbook front, it is not an area that we have looked at solidly.

In principle and provided that we can get the mechanics right, I believe this is something the board at Affiliate Program X would entertain on a trial basis.

However, having looked at the activity of the 216 players you have sent to Affiliate Program X in the past 9-10 months, 93 of these players have clearly come to us in the hope of claiming and winning from their bonus. It is evident to me that players you have sent, on the whole, are very much hunting the bonus. Only 8 of the 216 players you have sent since October last year have deposited anything other than £50, and only 2 have deposited more than once. As you know, the bonus most bookmakers is set up to act as a starting point for a player’s association with the company, rather than an end point.

Unfortunately, given the ever increasing number of bookmakers out there offering welcome bonuses, it is easy for players (and indeed affiliates to send their players) to go to bookmakers with the sole intention of claiming the bonus, and reducing a player’s risk below the 100% margin mark that natural bookmaking tends to go 6 or 7% above to maintain a profit – hence why your account is in the red. Working with an affiliate on a revenue sharing basis is therefore the most beneficial form of commission structure from my point of view as you are also sharing in any losses – which you should expect if you vehemently promote the welcome bonus.

Had we be paying you on a £20 CPA basis for every player that has met a £50 deposit release, you’d be a pretty wealthy man and it would have left us in the red on both the player and affiliate front. If it were clear to me that a pattern of the players you have brought in was not in line with simple bonus abuse (I am not suggesting that this was ever your intention) and indeed that more than 8 of your players had deposited anything other than £50 on a one-off occasion, then I would look at a CPA. The fact is, only 2 of your players have ever redeposited and therefore it can make no sense to us to pay a CPA on this.

If you were to show me ways in which you do/could promote Affiliate Program X aside from pushing the welcome bonus rigourously and in ways that might allow for players, as is the norm, to ‘try’ the sportsbook with a £10-£20 deposit (90% of depositing players tend to join in this way), like what they see (that’s our job), come back in line with our expected redeposit rate from retention campaigns and remain loyal in line with our expected player lifetime and value, then we can look at a CPA payment. That being said, I’m sure a revenue share deal might suit you better when/if it came to this.

I do hope that the companies you do work with on a CPA basis are making a long term profit, or else you might find that the model you are working to will not last too long. If you would like to discuss ways in which you can compare bookmakers aside from a free bet comparison through your affiliate network, I would be more than happy to work alongside you to create a more sustainable business model which would see Affiliate Program X play a sizeable role on your site.

Kind regards,

Tom Galanis
Affiliate Program X Affiliate Manager

Who wants the Boobie Prize?

I’m pretty certain that the thinking behind this promotion is purely PR-inspired. We haven’t seen a promotion quite as dastardly as this since the early Noughties, but those risque folks at Celtic Casino have implanted an astonishing silicon-enhanced promotion back into the online gaming world. Ladies (and gentleman), I give you the Boob Job Draw!

That’s right, the ultimate boobie prize has made a return and the depths that this cleavage-hungry casino has plummeted to are incredible. If you’re, and I quote, “medically ineligible” or would simply rather receive cash to watch other boobies in strip clubs, Celtic Casino is offering €1,000 in lieu of a trip to Costa Rica AND the surgery.

Obviously, Costa Rica probably only ranks as an A Cup on the Plastic Surgery hotspots of the world, but €1,000 to cover your trip and the augmentation hardly builds confidence for those lucky ladies or ladyboys keen enough to drop a load of cash into Celtic Casino to earn a raffle ticket for this titillating competition.

If you’re keen to enter this competition (how did you find my blog) or would simply like to find out more, have a peep by following this link.

This has to be the most outrageous attempt to create a USP/feast on industry PR sites like mine in years, bra none and if you fancy having a go, play at Celtic Casino Now!

When No Negative Carryover is so so Negative

I’ve just had an email exchange with an affiliate who is unhappy at my refusal to pay her £253 in affiliate commission she believes is due to her for May.

Sadly for this affiliate, this particular affiliate program I represent has a negative carryover policy in place (if I had my way, this would be the case everywhere) and it works extremely well in this case.

In April, the single player attached to this affiliate’s account took away a 4 figure profit which put this affiliate’s account into the red to the tune of £342. They have subsequently dropped about 80% of their profits back to the house, but have seemingly walked away with the rest.

Now can anyone in their right mind please tell me why this affiliate believes she is owed money? The terms and conditions are quite clear and if she had a sizeable number of profitable players on her account and one took her to the cleaners, then by all means, I would look at helping her out. Dare I say it, it would not surprise me (as I’ve seen it countless times before) if she was acquainted with the account holder. Many affiliate programs have minimum new player thresholds in place, and this is precisely why. In fact, I may even consider adding this clause for new affiliates joining this program going forward.

But this purely demonstrates the ridiculous expectations some affiliates have of affiliate programs, their interpretations of common sense business practice, and the preposterous nature to which all-too-many affiliate programs have bent over backwards over the past 5 or 6 years to please their affiliates. I’m all for helping affiliates out in an effort to grow their business, but not when circumstances are as ludicrous as this.

She has threatened to pull her promotion of my client and “tell the affiliate world”. Boo, bloody, hoo. Maybe that world will tell her how ridiculous she is being. I doubt it though. I can expect a chorus of chastising communication clamouring for my common-sense to be curtailed and for my “carefree” clients to cast cash into the chasms of this community-concocted, confused commercial consensus. Crazy.

The Futility of an Affiliate Manager’s existence

I’ve just had a Skype messenger conversation with an affiliate manager. He sold me the affiliate program pretty well and in fairness, without analysing every term and condition, it all seemed to be pretty nicely done as an offering. The notable downsides are that the software is Rival (clearly in a bit of a mess right now) and moreover, the casino really isn’t up to scratch. I mean, the screenshot from the bottom right corner of this casino’s homepage below goes some way to illustrate why I couldn’t possibly happily refer an affiliate to this guy.

Poor Affiliate Manager

I feel for good casino affiliate managers who just don’t have the right product to sell, and don’t have people in other departments pulling their weight making sure what they do is spot on too. In my opinion there are now far fewer respectable, top quality online gaming destinations than there are good, upstanding affiliate managers. How in God’s name is this poor guy going to get decent traffic to this casino and make ends meet? Surely whoever decided to launch this royalclubcasinoclubgamesvegascluborsomethinglikethat.com really should have made sure that the latest winners and progressive jackpot feeds were working and that his website manager knew HTML before putting the site live AND before he forced his affiliate manager out to get hold of traffic. #failing

From the book of Grey Goose Revelations

Verse 5: So, I went to Calvin Ayre’s party last night. I hated the fact that I had to queue for half an hour, I immensely resented the fact ‘VIPS’ managed to queue jump (surely that was envy?), I found the creative interpretations of the seven deadly sins to be pretty damn bland, with the exception of the half naked fat guys gnoshing raw meet off each other’s torsos whilst a butcher provided them with fresh produce, I felt the whole thing was altogether a stage managed production than a party. I just didn’t get the vibe and I have to rank it as one of the worst parties I’ve had the privilege of attending in online gaming over the past 6 years.

But here’s the thing. First off, my shock levels are obviously disturbingly high. Secondly, I’m an ungrateful son of a bitch as Mr Ayre provided me with free alcohol for 3 hours or so and something to blog about. The very fact that I hated the party is what was brilliant about it and what is brilliant about Calvin Ayre and his Bodog brand.

After I’d made the decision to leave, rounded up a few of my nearest and dearest in iGaming and headed over to a more traditional party (Grey Goose and Moet on tap – thanks William Hill), I managed to share my thoughts to Calvin’s lawyer and Bodog’s Director of Products. I told them that the party wasn’t for me, that I didn’t get it and that I thought Calvin was an egotistical prick. That last bit was the Grey Goose squawking, but it made my point very nicely.

Now, these two fellas were good guys, typically gaming, typically defending their boss and the company that pays their wages. But that shouldn’t happen at Bodog. I spent the next hour or two telling them precisely why they shouldn’t be trying to make me see sense that it was a great party. What makes Calvin Ayre and Bodog so important to iGaming is not the fat naked guys, the pole-dancers, the bondage sessions, the wankers who get in the VIP area or queue jump, or even the deformed dwarves. It’s the fact that I hated it and some people loved it.

Imagine if all those mugs who had queued alongside me had been registered players and that party dictated whether they played at Bodog or not… Once we were finally let into the hype-filled freak show, most would have left straight away without spending a penny even with a no-deposit bonus of a free bar. 5 or 10 percent would have loved it and now believe that Calvin Ayre can walk on water. They would have dropped a grand in no time flat. Hell, they’d probably even be blogging about it with some affiliate links in there for good measure.

As a result, the party I’ve disliked most in online gambling is also the most important. I left it for another run of the mill booze fest courtesy of William Hill and a decent club. I’ve woken up wearing Eau de Grey Goose and it feels like just another conference day. Before reaching this all-too-familiar ignominy, I told the guys at Bodog what I thought of their attempts to sell the Calvin party to me. In a nutshell, I told them that they shouldn’t be working at Bodog if they took the viewpoint that everyone has to like something they do. That’s iGaming’s biggest problem – every operation tries to please everyone. They take what other companies do, copy it, take a small margin, cannibalise the industry, bore players and revel in it beyond belief as they down their Grey Goose.

So, hats off to Calvin Ayre and Bodog for differentiating on their brand. Your product is run of the mill along with 95% of the gambling operations, but every Tom, Dick and Harry has an opinion on your party, was prepared to queue in the rain for an hour and look like a tit, and write a blog post about it and this makes your brand special. It shows that extremes attract some people and that picks out Bodog’s well-deserved share of the market. Everyone else sits on their “evolutionary”, “state of the art” can’t-tell-the-difference-software-suites, let’s-all-go-for-the-same-players-and-pay-stupid-CPAs-to-acquire-them pedestals, all the while not sparing a moment to realise they are all drinking and smelling of the same brand of vodka. Good on you Calvin. For as long as you can stay out of jail, keep on carryin’ on.

(Please forgive any grammatical or spelling mistakes here. I am inebriated courtesy of Grey Goose. Maybe I should have shares there…)

Affiliate Whizz-Kid

To continue on my trend of not-so-wise igaming affiliates, these questions were posed to a dome-headed friend of mine by an affiliate seeking answers to his affiliate program’s terms and conditions. This guy goes well beyond the realms of negative carryover, of lifetime value and of payment dates. Yes, this guy goes for the very heart of the issue, the crux that ensures webmaster earnings, the million dollar question that so many hard working affiliates have been toiling away to discover for over a decade. If Spielberg and Lucas wanted to make a fifth Indiana Jones film, they should pass over Harrison Ford for their ingenius, adventure hungry hero in favour of this guy. If God was looking to send a Messiah to save iGaming in its hour of need, surely we’ve found him. Round up your gold, frankincense and myrrh. Christmas has come early!

And so I quote:

Hi There. I’m about to sign up for your program but I have a few questions first. Are my commissions based on whether a player wins or looses (sic.)? If a player looses (sic.) does my commission decrease? Does it ever go into a negitve (sic.) amount? Also are there any tools for affiliates such as banners or tickers we can place on our websites?

Can we give this guy an FBI Award for Services to iGaming?

Fairway Charity Golf Tournament announced for iGaming SuperShow

Thursday 17th February 2012, LONDON – Fairway Casino is delighted to announce that it will host the Fairway Charity Golf Open taking place on Tuesday 24th May 2011, at the prestigious K Club Golf Resort which is situated just forty minutes from Dublin City Centre.

Twenty five teams will tee off at 11am on The Palmer Ryder Cup Course, internationally recognised as one of Europe’s finest Championship Courses. This course hosted the 2006 Ryder Cup, adding further kudos to this fantastic fundraising event.

The Fairway Charity Golf Open has partnered with the Children First Foundation, a charity that works with disadvantaged families throughout Ireland. All donations and funds raised by the Golf Open will be donated to this charity which operates three services; Counseling, An Intervention Programme and a Graduate Programme where “individuals of good fortune commit to children of misfortune”.

Gian Perroni, Affiliate Programme Director at http://www.FairwayCasino.com, said “The Fairway Charity Golf Open has been arranged in association with the iGaming SuperShow taking place in Dublin on 24th-26th May 2011. This is the perfect opportunity for keen golfers, whether they are avid or fair weather players, to get involved and entertain clients. It will be a fun day out and a perfect addition to what is set to be the biggest gaming show of the year. Our goal is to help raise much needed funds for a respected charity while providing the gaming community with the opportunity to give while enjoying great networking.”

A variety of sponsorship packages are available and a celebrity host will be announced in the coming months. For more information on how to become a sponsor and to register your team, please contact Esther@GameOn-Marketing.com

ENDS

For Further Information:
Esther Cochrane, GameOn Affiliates Limited e: Esther@GameOn-Marketing.com

About Fairway Casino: Fairway Casino is an online live dealer casino powered by Visionary iGaming software. Launched in 2010, the casino has quickly gained a reputation as one of the most trusted online casinos as it offers their patrons the opportunity to play roulette, blackjack and baccarat all dealt live, on camera, by professionally trained dealers. www.FairwayCasino.com
About Children First: The Children First Foundation operates an outreach program for families and children all over Ireland, particularly in urban areas. Their goal is to help children break free of the poverty trap by providing support through education until employment. www.childrenfirst.ie

BoogieBet launching on PartnerMatrix

GameOn Affiliates‘ partner BoogieBet, operating off the OddsMatrix and Net Entertainment platforms, is one of the first operators to adopt EveryMatrix’s affiliate management software, PartnerMatrix.

GameOn Affiliates consulted in the development of PartnerMatrix and the system offers fantastic reliability and accuracy to affiliates and licensees. PartnerMatrix unites the functionality of a solid affiliate reporting system with BanaMatrix, EveryMatrix’s fantastic banner creation and serving tool.

Eric Yonce, CEO of BoogieBet said “The power of the PartnerMatrix software gives us the confidence to use it for all our online marketing and affiliate campaigns. We are excited about using live odds and fixtures in our dynamic sports betting banners and attract new players across all of our products.”

BoogieBet is the latest partner to receive GameOn Affiliates’ affiliate management service. Newly live, the BoogieBet Affiliate Program launches officially at LAC 2011 at the end of January with a unique, invite only experience for a number of leading sports and casino affiliates – an exclusive Limo trip to Nike Town on Oxford Circus to design personalised training shoes with Nike iD.

Tom Galanis, Director, GameOn Affiliates, is hugely excited about working with both BoogieBet and PartnerMatrix. “Having been involved in the development of PartnerMatrix, we have witnessed the system’s progression towards an industry-leading reporting tool. BoogieBet have made a wise choice in working alongside EveryMatrix and we are incredibly excited by the prospect of launching the BoogieBet Affiliate Program in style at the London Affiliate Conference with an exclusive trip to Nike Town.”

Hippodrome Casino

I’m working on an exciting project at the moment with the Hippodrome Casino, currently in development in both an on and offline sense. If your recollection of the Hippodrome is of a dingy, black wall clad single storey nightspot often seen as a last resort to those of questionable drinking age, prepare to be blown away.

Simon and Peter Thomas, founders of Beacon Bingo, have invested significant amounts into an astonishingly large site right on the corner of Leicester Square. I was given a tour of the site, and it is still a building site at this stage, and I was staggered at how much premium real estate was previously unused in such a central London location. Being a bit of a grumpy, ageing cynic, not a great deal excites me, but having viewed the plans and the site, I am looking forward to the task at hand – and that is helping to prove to the Genting’s of the world that it is possible to harmonise a successful land-based casino with an online offering, and making the two work for affiliates in particular.

Hippodrome Casino aims to become the number one gaming venue in London and with a walk-by audience of over 1 million people per week, you can well imagine that becoming the case pretty quickly. We will be working on systems to ensure that affiliates can not only gain credit for any offline play their recruited online players partake in, but also to create a full circle approach that will see them gain use of the land-based facility to recruit to and retain their player base. Not the easiest of tasks, but later this month I’m giving a select group of leading casino affiliates the opportunity for a sneak peak at the venue and help them envisage what this opportunity holds for them.

The Hippodrome Casino is due to open in the Summer of 2011, with the online product preceding it in the next few months.