NETREFER – AFFILIATE SOFTWARE OF THE YEAR 2012, WE DID IT AGAIN!

London, 11th May 2012. (PRESS RELEASE) For the third consecutive year, Malta-based NetRefer has won the coveted “Affiliate Software of the Year” award at the Egaming Review B2B Awards.

The EGR B2B Awards recognise achievements from all major egaming disciplines including betting and gaming software, networks, mobile, payments, recruitment, marketing, IT and infrastructure. An audience of top industry leaders from around the world was present at the awards ceremony held at the Wembley Stadium in London on May 10th, 2012.

This year’s panel of expert judges included CEOs, board directors of public companies and well-known online gaming brands, highly successful entrepreneurs and innovators as well as key industry advisers. The judges praised NetRefer for continuing to set the industry benchmark to empower clients with the best performance marketing solution.

Julian Buhagiar, NetRefer’s Malta CEO said: “This is an unprecedented achievement – the third award in as many events, and we are immensely honored. It is testament to our team’s enthusiasm and dedication to deliver the industry leading performance marketing solution as well as personalized support and professional services to our ever-increasing client base.”

NetRefer thanks all its clients and their affiliates, for their endless support, feedback and loyalty that have ensured its position as best affiliate software provider to the online gaming industry.

KEY WAYS OF FINDING AFFILIATE PARTNERS

So, here you are, a start up affiliate program facing an actual problem: where to find good affiliates to promote your partner program?

There are a few questions which come to mind: Where to look for the affiliates? From which websites to recruit them? Is it worth spending marketing budget on attending affiliate conferences and if there is an automated way of recruiting affiliates? All these questions point to a single one: how can a Merchant effectively recruit affiliates into his partner program in order to increase his revenues?

Here are 5 affective ways to help you out:

1.       Use of Social media.

Spend some time daily on social media searching for affiliates. The choice of the right social media channel is particularly important here. Pay special attention to the geographical area of the affiliates you target. Recent studies indicate that the use of social media channels varies from country to country heavily depending on the linguistic aspects and culture, thus it’s worth researching the social media specifics of the market which interests you.

There are many forums, groups and blogs in social networks that your potential partners might participate in. Join the most adequate groups and start communicating. Don’t forget, when speaking in a forum to abide by its rules. Avoid spamming as this can damage your reputation causing the reverse affect. Always try to offer value from your side and in return this can help good communication with many users. It’s also worth keeping in mind that direct advertising of your affiliate program or spamming comments in social networks would most probably lead to you being banned from most forums.

The secret of utilizing social networks successfully is simple: you cannot gain more value than you contribute yourself. Thus, if you bring any value you will be most welcome in most forums and groups.

Special attention in the hierarchy of social media is worth giving to Twitter; it wouldn’t be wise not to utilize its popularity. Most webmasters have their twitter account where relatively high volume of their prime activity is tweeted about. Try to find them by the key words of your industry offering and initiate communication.

2.       Search engines

Every affiliate manager would naturally want to automate most of the work of searching for affiliate partners. Nevertheless, spend some time on studying search engine results for your key words. To help yourself, make a list of top 50 websites coming up with your key words, get in touch with the webmasters offering them collaboration.

Most of the affiliate websites have partner sections which mainly serve as a link exchange tool. Checking this section opens you direct access to a network of other industry affiliates with thematically similar websites. This search method guarantees limitless access to other related partner sources which you can dig into endlessly since a number of websites will have similar partner sections.

Most of the affiliate partners that you will find using the above method would have already been engaged in promoting other affiliate programs thus, they will be familiar with various rewarding options most commonly used in the industry making your negotiation process faster and easier.

  1. Encouraging sub-affiliation.

When running an affiliate program you should aim at paying maximum possible affiliate commission to your partners, ensuring that at the same time your partnership is mutually lucrative. A good way of growing your affiliate numbers is through referrals or sub-affiliation.

If you decide to use this method of recruiting new partners, you should carefully review your current commission structure, considering the fact that you will need to pay out a percentage of the affiliate earnings to the master affiliate who brought them into the program. There are various referral commission structures that you may consider offering. Most commonly used in the IGaming industry are the following: percentage from referral’s Net Revenue, percentage from referral’s reward or fixed fee on referral. Whichever commission structure you choose, keep a close eye on the revenues brought in from sub-affiliation, ensuring that this structure brings you positive results.

  1. Industry conferences and events

There are a great number of industry events and conferences held practically every few months. The choice is vast, thus its best to focus on those which suit your company’s profile most. With the increasing number of countries where IGaming has been regulated, it’s becoming more common to hold region specific conferences aiming at merchants and affiliates operating in the market. In return this ensures effective and productive networking.  Amongst the biggest regional events recently held were IGB Espana and IGaming France. These were market specific conferences dedicated to Spanish and French sectors gathering merchants and affiliates operating in these major European markets.

Special attention is worth paying to global events spread throughout the year. These gather a great number of Operators and affiliates from various markets and industry verticals, under one roof. To name a few, LAC – London Affiliate Conference is a major event held at the end of January, Affiliate Super Show which takes place in various European cities at the end of May. There are also a few events held later on in autumn, Affiliate Conference is the major one and is generally organized in Barcelona. These events are free for affiliates resulting in a generally impressive number of attendees.

Whether your marketing budget allows you to exhibit at these venues or not, they are definitely worth attending.  Major conferences generally attract thousands of affiliates; this creates a unique networking opportunity right on the floor. Establishing direct personal contact significantly increases your chances to recruit affiliates into promoting your affiliate program there and then.

 

  1. Direct recruitment via media channels.

Direct affiliate recruitment is something one should not underestimate. If you pay attention and apply good SEO strategy to your affiliate recruitment page, there is a good chance that some potential partners will land on your page whether referred from the search engines or other internet resources.

Direct traffic is a valuable source, therefore your affiliate program’s professional look and feel should be in your list of top priorities. The Partner program’s home page has to be striking and must clearly show to an affiliate what you are offering in terms of commission plans, products, marketing tools and payments. Once a visitor is ready to become your partner, the key element in ensuring he converts into an affiliate is a streamlined sign up process. Ideally the sign up page should consist of just key questions laid out on a single page taking the user through sign up process as fast and painless as possible. This encourages affiliate sign up bringing partners into the program and allowing them to start promoting right away.

News posts on your website or blog allows regular communication with the affiliates, keeping them periodically updated with the latest promotions or recent innovations of your affiliate program. Inform your affiliates, treat them as valuable part of your business, keep communication flowing and the results will certainly come.

Regardless of the ways you choose to find affiliates, one thing which is always important to remember is that quality of the partners that you recruit depends on the reputation of your partner program. It’s worth keeping in mind, the more trust your affiliate program projects the better is your chance to attract valuable affiliates who will generate higher revenues hence more profit.