A casino affiliate program is one of the most common and smart marketing strategies for any online casino business. With hundreds of active iGaming sites, and new sites launching all the time, operators need to turn to third party partners for assistance in advertising their casino brand to draw in new players. That said, if you’re new to the business side of the internet gambling industry, Casinnovate will help you understand what casino affiliate programs are, how they work, and how they can benefit your business and contribute to your success.

The Top iGaming software platforms with casino affiliate programs

What is a Casino Affiliate Program?

This type of marketing strategy is not only used by casinos and other gambling operators to promote their brands. It is used by all types of businesses seeking to drive online traffic to their sites to acquire new customers to spend on their products and services.

With that said, affiliate programs are businesses that utilize a performance-based advertising model known as affiliate marketing, to promote their brands to consumers across the globe. With affiliate marketing, a business rewards (usually pays monetary compensation) a third-party publisher (a company or individual) for generating traffic or leads to the business’ products and services. This third-party publisher is known as the affiliate and essentially acts as a middleman between customers and businesses (e.g. casino).

The commission fee that the affiliate can receive by successfully having a visitor or customer click though their link to the company site, is what gives the affiliate the incentive to find ways to promote the brand.

In essence, casino affiliate programs are an optimal way for casino operators to split the efforts required to find new customers, and they are often the best marketing strategy for ROI (Return on Investment).

How Do Casino Affiliate Programs Work?

The way that Online casino affiliate programs work is quite straightforward for the most part. An affiliate functions as a small, independent marketer on behalf of your company. They typically earn a commission (e.g. a certain amount of money) each time they send one of their customers or visitors to your site via their unique affiliate link or banner.

More specifically, here’s a look at the fundamental components of how these programs work.

Who are casino affiliates?

A casino affiliate may be an individual or a company. No matter the case, the affiliate’s purpose is always the same: to make money by using their website(s) to draw traffic to your online casino.

When it comes to affiliate marketing in the iGaming industry, affiliates are often players of the brands for whom they advertise. As such, they typically have experience as online casino users and are familiar with sharing their gaming experience with other players, which they may share via live streams, blogs, vlogs, honest reviews, etc.

In some cases, an affiliate may also have experience in operating an online casino and have an understanding for the business side as well. Either way, regardless of whether they are players or professionals, the best online casino affiliates are no strangers to the world of internet and mobile gambling.

Additionally, some affiliates may cover a wide range of information related to online gambling while others may have a niche website that specializes in Bitcoin-focused casinos, mobile-first casinos, casinos licensed in the UK, etc. 

How do casino affiliates make money?

Casino affiliates are responsible for driving traffic to a casino site. They typically achieve this by creating a website and providing their site visitors with a variety of interesting gambling information and media such as:

  • Honest reviews about casinos
  • Online casino rankings
  • “How to” guides for popular casino games
  • Strategy guides
  • Playing tips
  • Demos of popular games

Along with this content, they include affiliate links that correspond to their chosen casino(s).

Each affiliate is provided with a unique URL link that they can embed in their website(s). These links track from where web traffic is coming to the casino. When a visitor/customer of the affiliate website clicks through to the casino via the unique affiliate link, the casino pays the affiliate for the referral based on the agreed upon affiliate reward model (more on this below).

How do affiliates promote online casinos?

It is a common practice among affiliates to place links and banners on their own sites. For instance:

  • Links can be embedded directly and naturally into text content (e.g. reviews, blogs, tips, etc.)
  • Links can be embedded in CTA (Call to Action) buttons (e.g. “Visit Casino”, “Sign Up Now”, etc.)
  • Banners are also used for CTA purposes to prompt visitors to make a deposit at a particular casino or take advantage of certain promotion, etc.

No matter the tactics they may use, affiliates work to bring traffic that is relevant to your brand to help with higher rates of conversion, turning visitors into depositing players.  

How do you find affiliates?

You can get in touch with prospective affiliates through the company offering the casino affiliate program, through advertising, via affiliate networking or an affiliate may reach out to you.

Some affiliates choose casinos based only on projected profits, while others will choose casinos based on their history, to determine if they are a trustworthy brand worth advertising. 

You will discover that many of the casino software providers that Casinnovate reviews also offer affiliate programs or systems or can help you get in touch with a partner who does.

Benefits of a Casino Affiliate Program

There is more than one way in which one of these programs can be beneficial to your marketing strategies. In fact, since this advertising model is used by most in the industry, and the competition in the market is so high, it can be the difference between a casino rising to the top or plummeting to the bottom, especially for new sites.

Who benefits from the program?

Ultimately, an online casino affiliate program benefits two parties:

  1. Online casino – The casino operator (you) uses the online reach of multiple affiliates to help them market their site and bring their products to more players. It provides them with the benefit to spend more time focusing on the actual management of their business and less on having to attract new players.
  2. The affiliate – An affiliate makes money by driving traffic to the casino site. They can enjoy a taste of the company’s profits without having to run a casino themselves.   

What are the benefits to your business?

Here are some of the advantages this form of marketing offers an online casino operator:

  • High ROI – Affiliate marketing is focused solely on performance, which guarantees high ROI. Even in cases when the CPA (Cost Per Action) or commission paid to an affiliate is high, your revenue will always be higher because you’re receiving relevant traffic that is converted into real sales.
  • Progress you can measure – You can calculate and compare the amount invested in affiliate marketing and the amount earned right down to the cent. This gives you a much better idea of your returns.
  • Keep track of success with ease – Many effective affiliate programs, such as those offered by online casino software providers, have modules that allow for the easy management of their affiliate systems. In other words, you can analyze the performance of different affiliates, see how your casino is performing on different affiliate sites, and use this information to evaluate what banners and ads work best for you and adjust your affiliate program in a way that you feel would be most beneficial to your company.
  • Increased Credibility – Affiliates who are good at what they do and who have amassed a solid reputation in the iGaming world, can boost the integrity of your casino. Receiving a recommendation from a site that is respected in the industry and trusted by readers can help to strengthen your brand and leave a positive impression with visitors.

Different Types of Affiliate Programs for Casinos

There is more than one type of casino affiliate programs. The four main types include:

Cost Per Lead (CPL) Program – With this type of program, the affiliate receives a one-time commission for each customer that they bring to the casino. This customer simply clicks thorough the link and signs up and that affiliate receives the commission. There is no further action required by the customer, such as making a deposit or gambling with real money.

Cost Per Action (CPA) Program – For this program, the affiliate receives a commission only when the player signs up and makes their first deposit (usually a specified minimum amount). Depending on the rules of the program, the new player may also have to wager this full amount or at least a portion of it.  Over time, casino operators can be more flexible with rates, increasing it as the affiliate continues to refer more players.

Revenue Share Program – This program is not unlike CPA programs in that the affiliate receives a commission when the customer registers an account and makes a deposit. However, what makes it different is that their commission is based on revenue share, which means the affiliate will receive a percentage of that customer’s losses on the site. This could be for the lifetime of the player or only for a certain period of time (e.g. one year). This program can result in long-term income with some trusted affiliate partners receiving up to 50% commission with negative carryover.

Mixed Model Program – Some programs take a customized approach where the casino may offer an affiliate a combination of CPA and the revenue share model. In some cases, they may even negotiate upfront payments. Usually, these types of customizable programs are offered only to high-profile affiliates. 

Affiliate Marketing Tips

If you should decide that a casino affiliate program is right for your business marketing strategy, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Find the right affiliate marketing platform – Although it is possible for you to develop your own affiliate system according to your company’s needs, often the easiest option is to choose a respected company that has a flexible and easy-to-use affiliate system (such as the iGaming platform providers we review), or to chose an independent software solution for affiliate management that you can integrate into the online casino software that you use. That said, companies that provide affiliate systems tend to be the most ideal options. The reason is that they often provide effective tools within their casino software platforms that work with your preferences and expertise, to help you to achieve the best results with your affiliate marketing strategies.
  • Expand your affiliate network – There is more than one way that you can expand your network of affiliates. The goal is to create long-lasting partnerships with those who are respected and whom you can trust. To attract fresh partners, place information about your affiliate program in media resources that are iGaming focused and consider attending affiliate-focused exhibitions and conferences that take place throughout the year to learn new information, trends and to enhance your understanding of the industry.
  • It’s not just about affiliates – While affiliate marketing is an important part of your casino marketing strategy, it isn’t the only one. Employing a diverse range of marketing techniques (e.g. SEO, PPC, media advertising, offline activities, exhibitions, etc.) will help to increase your chances of finding success with your business.

Affiliate Marketing – Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are different ways that casino affiliates can benefit your business by helping you to market your brand and continually drive new customers to your site.

What’s more, it’s a common practice for iGaming providers who offer white label and turnkey solutions to include affiliate systems as part of their products and services. Even if they do not have their own system in place, these companies may also partner with third party affiliate marketing programs or have the necessary tools that allow for easy integration of a third-party affiliate casino program of your choosing into your platform.

Discover your options today by checking out Casinnovate reviews!