The Barcelona Affiliate Conference 2014 has officially ended, yet most delegates are soldiering on to enjoy free bars in the expo hall, the InterCasino 18th birthday party tonight and the Intertops Sunday beer session tomorrow.
Today, the expo floor was noticeably less crowded than yesterday, but this should not come as a surprise to anyone who has attended an online gambling affiliate conference before. The busiest booths today were those offering hangover remedies such as Slots ‘N Fun Karamba with their magical espresso machine, iAffiliates with their take-out cups full of coffee and Affiliate REPUBLIK’s local beer on tap complimented by traditional Catalan ham freshly sliced from legs that go for 700 Euros a pop.
Adnan Maslo of Affiliate REPUBLIK chose to make a big splash at BAC this year between their booth featuring local goodies, their sponsorship of the opening party at Opium and their Slots Million augmented reality app. Maslo goes to great lengths to ensure his guests are well taken care of, for example providing a humongous bar tab for the opening party and making a request of the bouncers to kick out any unruly guests “nicely”.
Aside from the hospitality at the booth and at the club, the most impressive feature of Affiliate REPUBLIK’s presence at BAC was their SlotsMillion augmented reality app. Maslo and his team gave out Slots Million branded T-shirts to delegates and after installing the appropriate app, when delegates pointed their phone towards the SlotsMillion logo on their T-shirt, all of a sudden the graphics came to life. Maslo shared his plans to make changes to the graphics every two months, so by the time LAC rolls around, anyone with a T-shirt and the app can enjoy something new.
Over at the Star Games booth, Nicole Sims gave us a run-through on the launch of their new mobile product featuring Novotmatic land based slots. Star Games is the first company to offer these games on mobile and they come in over 20 different languages and dynamic landing pages. “Mobile is the future”, Sims said and its essential that affiliates realize this and jump on board to keep their commissions coming.
The “US Market-Opportunities for Affiliates” panel attracted a decent crowd seeing as it occurred before noon on the second day. Despite common misconceptions that the affiliate market in America is severely limited, panelist Allan Petrilli of Income Access provided four reasons why affiliates should consider entering the US market now:
1)Getting involved early will set affiliates up for long term success.
2)There are plenty of ways to monitize US traffic now and most require little or no licensing.
3)Affiliates supply more targeted and higher quality traffic than ad networks & many other channels- this is the type of traffic that American operators are missing from their portfolio and they will pay good money for it ($300/350 CPA).
4)While the growth is slow, the sheer size of the US market and its potential needs to be recognized by affiliates.
Petrilli went on to explain the four ways affiliates can make money in the market right now- by promoting social gaming brands, fantasy sports, horse racing and of course promoting brands that have licenses to operate in the three US regulated states. He advised affiliates to get started with the above ASAP as it will make their entry to future US-regulated states much easier.
Petrilli acknowledged its daunting for affiliates used to dealing with markets like Europe where all they have to do is set up a site and start promoting, but explained he’s managed the applications of 40 affiliates for the New Jersey market and all of them said the process was not as difficult as they thought it would be.
Fellow panelist Steve McLoughlin of Max Value Software agreed with Petrilli and added that the New Jersey regulators are pleasurable to deal with and they only want what is good for the industry- they want balance and companies they can trust. The process will get easier as the industry matures, he said.
Another point made by McLoughlin is the best way to approach the US market is similar to how we approach the European market. He said the US works a lot more like Europe than people think and iGaming companies have to deal with regulatory bodies in each state and also the federal government in some scenarios.
Later in the day, affiliate marketing expert Tiz Corta delivered a presentation on how to build an affiliate business with no starting capital. According to Corta, there are three things an affiliate must focus on if they want to succeed:
1)Choose a niche, don’t do what everyone else is doing.
2)Focus on tracking! This is of upmost importance.
3)Discipline- stick with it and put in the time or else you will fall behind.
Corta also emphasized the importance of capturing an email list as the information is 100% yours and Google cannot shut this information down, but they sure can shut your website down. His top tips for monetizing that list, no matter how big or small, are as follows:
1)Segment the lists in as many ways as you can
2)Assuming the list is segmented, hit it hard as users will find the messages useful. Do not hit your list hard before it is segmented or else users will view the messages as spam.
3)Try different products at different price points and track the results to find out what works.