As the HDIC (head dude in charge) of the worlds largest poker affiliate community, I often get asked what the best poker affiliate programs to promote are? The answer to that and one that no one ever wants to hear is, it depends. But it really does. Deciding which affiliate programs to work with and which brands to promote can be one of the most important decisions an affiliate has to make.
Three things I always take into account when choosing a new program to work with are the following:
1. Are they an established brand? Sadly after a decade in this industry, I have been burned too many times by jumping on board with a brand new poker site. Nothing is worse than sending hundreds of players to a startup only to see them close the doors and turn the lights out a few months later. These days I prefer to stick with programs that are established and have a proven track record in the industry.
2. Communication – Are the affiliate managers reachable? It’s amazing how many affiliate managers will simply try to avoid conflict or flat out ignore emails. Before jumping in bed with a program, I always like to email their affiliate department with some simple questions, ok actually ask about a higher revenue share…But if they can’t even give me the courtesy of an email back, I strike them off the list of programs I’d like to work with.
3. Payment Processing – If you’re working within the U.S. market this might be one of the most important aspects to look at. Can your players get money on and off the site easily? How long does it take the affiliate program to process affiliate payments? What methods of payments does the affiliate program offer? These are all things you should know upfront before beginning to promote a new room.
So that’s all great information but the question still remains, who’s the best of the best? (In my Top Gun voice) “In case some of you are wondering who the best is, they are up there on this plaque, do you think your name will be on that plaque?”
I couldn’t resist the Top Gun reference there. But it is true; the best programs are consistently nominated each year for various awards in London at the IGB Affiliate Awards. Let’s have a look at some of these programs and affiliate managers and examine what makes them standout in the industry.
The Bet365.com Affiliate Program– Has there ever been a year that the Bet365 affiliate program didn’t win an award? Or how about a year where James Woods wasn’t nominated for overall affiliate manager of the year? I’d love to say it is James’s swag or perhaps his good looks and charm with the ladies! But actually it’s because the Bet365 affiliate program has a sterling reputation, some of the best affiliate managers in the industry and they pay on time every month. If you ask around the various affiliate communities, it is clear that the team from Bet365.com is easy to get in touch with and prides themselves on exceptional customer service. How many other affiliate programs send their top affiliates bottles of Dom Perignon during the holiday season?
The Chipsplit.com Affiliate Program – If you’re an affiliate with U.S. poker traffic, the odds are you promote Carbon Poker through Chipsplit.com. While almost every U.S. facing room will struggle with payment processing speeds from time to time, the team at Chipsplit makes up for this by being one of the most responsive and easiest to work with programs in the entire industry. Lead by Atil Singh, Chipsplit.com sets the bar on what affiliate customer service should look like.
Whether it is communication in the industry forums or directly with affiliates; you will never hear an affiliate say they are having a hard time getting in touch with Chipsplit. And on top of this, Chipsplit consistently pays on the 1st of each month…what’s not to love?
The BettingPartners.com Affiliate Program –Here you have all the gambling niches to promote; poker, casino, bingo and sports betting, all under one roof. Led by none other than Sir Riyaz Abdulla, Betting Partners is a favorite amongst affiliates. I’d love to say it’s the sexy affiliate management team that has made Betting Partners so successful but actually it’s the exciting and sexy brands they give us to promote. Not to mention, the brands convert exceptionally well.
And talk about an established and recognized brand. It doesn’t get much better than Bodog. On time payments, check. Accurate stats, check. Responsive affiliate managers, check, conversion and retention, check. The team at Betting Partners knows how to take care of their affiliates too. I experienced a missed flight, a crushing hangover and a very angry wife a few years back in Amsterdam after a night of partying with this team. Ask me if I’d do it all over again? You bet your ass I would!
The PokerAffiliateSolutions.com Affiliate Program – And this brings me to the final program I consider to be in the category of best of the best for poker affiliates, Poker Affiliate Solutions. As a poker affiliate network, they offer the total package. The team at Poker Affiliate Solutions actually makes being a poker affiliate far too easy. Regardless of what your target market is, PAS will have a plethora of brands for you to promote.
Likewise, there is something to be said about simply logging into a single interface and then getting one fat check each month. As a poker affiliate, playing the money chasing game each month gets old real fast. It’s no surprise that PAS is consistently nominated for multiple IGB awards. They are an established brand with a sterling track record. It’s nice to work with an affiliate team who started out as super affiliates first as well. I’ll give these guys two thumbs up all day long.
So there you have it, as a U.S. facing affiliate myself, these are some of the programs I would put in the category of “best of the best”. But don’t get me wrong; there are tons of other great programs and managers to work with in the industry that were not mentioned here. These are just the one’s that happened to make the list this time around.
And to all the non-responsive, slow paying poker affiliate programs out there, here’s another quote from Top Gun, (In my Iceman voice this time) “The plaque for the alternates is down the hall, in the ladies room”.
Happy Poker Affiliate Promoting!