SHOW ME THE MONEY METRICS!


If you're not earning money in affiliate marketing or are falling short on your income goals, the question remains: what are you doing wrong?


If you're an iGaming affiliate that is consistently earning income, chances are you are doing something right with your business. Conversely, if you're not earning money in affiliate marketing or are falling short on your income goals, the question remains: what are you doing wrong?

THE ANSWER to this question is vital, not only to your long-term success as an affiliate, but also to your ability to increase your earnings and, ultimately, make more money. Information is your gateway to improved marketing campaigns, a better understanding and recruitment of players, the ability to focus on what works best for your business and, most importantly, avoiding costly mistakes. Leveraging information is important to your growth as an affiliate and it's also the key to improved relationships with your affiliate programs. Information speaks louder than monthly earnings when it comes to negotiating bonuses and higher commission structures. In this piece, we'll explore some strategies for creating a strong marketing mix, how to evaluate which methods work best (and worst) for you and then, how to leverage that information to become an even more successful affiliate.

Invest in a varied marketing mix

You've heard the adage: 'don't put all your eggs in one basket', and the same is true for your marketing mix. Your marketing strategy for your affiliate business should combine a careful mix of online and offline campaigns that work in harmony to promote your site and the brands/products that you advertise. As the online arena expands, so do your options, so choice now goes far beyond simple banners on your website to include a much broader range of campaigns. Popular online marketing campaign options in the iGaming industry include email campaigns, PPC ads, social networking, search, blogs and tenancy deals, just to name a few. And while the goal is to bring people online, including your exposure offline is equally important. Your local newspaper, industry magazines, radio, TV, billboards and other direct mail pieces can be very effective, especially when you can target a specific audience.

One of the most important reasons to have a varied marketing mix is because you have a varied group of customers that you are targeting. Your players are as different as the games they play, and the unique gaming features that excite them to play in the first place. Ideally, you will be segmenting your target market so you are able to cater to different needs, preferences, age brackets, genders and behaviours. You may be a poker affiliate, but that doesn't necessarily mean that all poker players will be interested in what you have to offer. Are you targeting advanced players, newbies, frequent players, social players or high bettors? Once you've segmented your target audience, you will be more adept at choosing the right medium, copy, design and landing page that best answers those specific needs and, as an ultimate goal, increases your conversions.

Measurability = profitability

Creating successful marketing campaigns that are targeted towards growth is based on the ease with which you can leverage analytical information and turn statistics into strategic business decisions. Without evaluating your budget, a desired marketing campaign with no advanced planning may cost you thousands. No smart business wants to waste that kind of money.

The right formula looks more like: track and measure to (a) tweak (b) repeat or (c) drop. Having one platform that showcases your affiliate activity alongside your online and offline campaigns allows you to begin to see how your marketing endeavours are positively (i.e. you have a lucrative ROI) or negatively (i.e. you have a small ROI or worse, a negative one) affecting your business.

To truly understand your marketing campaigns, it's a good idea to set up your metrics in a way that allows you to measure your performance on a large scale and, from there, allows you to drill down to see the microcosm of the full picture. For example, this may mean you look at your software analytics and see that online campaigns are more effective for your business than offline campaigns. From there, you can compare all your online campaigns to see which are specifically delivering the highest performance. Based on this information you can see, for example, that PPC ads offer you the greatest bang for your buck. Now that you know that, start testing your PPC ads with different keywords to see if this has any effect on clicks and conversions. Do the same with your graphics and copy to test out the best formula.

Here's one more example: you look at your marketing campaigns from last month, where you invested in a number of different magazine ad spots. When you set up your campaigns, you strategically used different bonus codes, each one representing a different magazine. Now you're ready to compare apples to apples and when next month comes along and you're ready to reinvest, you'll know exactly where to turn (and where not to).

Leverage your information

When you set up your affiliate business with the goal of gaining valuable information, as opposed to just high earnings, you are creating an infrastructure for success. Information will provide you with direction, and it will also give you confidence. Knowing, without hesitation, that your marketing spend is providing you with a strong ROI is powerful. When decisions are done in the dark, that's when costly mistakes can be made and valuable time, lost. Once you've determined a specific campaign that works well for you, your online and offline marketing information will also help you evaluate the kind of players you are attracting. Are your players promotion hunters and/or infrequent players? Are they from a specific country or region? Do they provide you with a steady stream of income or is their expertise too high? Knowing your players allows you to better meet their needs and expectations, and by using rotating banners, for example, you can more successfully engage your players, simply because you know them better.

"Without evaluating your budget, a desired marketing campaign with no advanced planning may cost you thousands. No smart business wants to waste that kind of money. "


Information can also help you increase the quality of your relationships with your affiliate programs, and enable you to negotiate new deals, bonuses and higher commissions. Information allows you to do so from a point of strength. You can demonstrate the quality of your players, your consistency as an affiliate and the overall value that you bring to the program. A quick screenshot of your stats and performance over a six-month period can be far more effective than your earnings in one month - even if they are high. For affiliates who are just starting out, when you can show that you are demonstrating growth, it speaks volumes in terms of your potential. Affiliate managers are always on the lookout for new affiliates who are dedicated to their business, and are eager to invest time and training to help them reach their potential.

At the end of the day, it's so important to know your business and, most importantly, what works and doesn't work for you. Business intelligence allows you to become a sawier affiliate, making strong investments that help to move your business forward. Too many affiliates base the success of their business on money earned - I say, show me the metrics!

"Your marketing strategy for your affiliate business should combine a careful mix of online and offline campaigns that work in harmony to promote your site and the brands/ products that you advertise.
 
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