So you’ve got a website with decent traffic and you’ve selected some affiliate programs to partner with to make yourself some money. These programs have all assured you they offer the highest returns in the industry and ensured you feel that way by dazzling you with revenue ladders or CPA deals that look very generous and make you feel there’s simply no way you’re not going to be making money hand over fist. Surely you’re on the road to easy street?
Sadly that simply may not be the case. Even if you get everything else right – and there are significant nuances to running affiliate advertising on a website that are at best poorly understood by most webmasters – if you make the wrong choice in partners you can end up shorting your budding business by a significant amount of money. You can work at a Herculean level and get everything else perfect, but if your chosen partners aren’t managing the traffic hitting their site efficiently – and there are loads of programs out there that are not even close to getting this right – you’re going to have a tough time getting value out of your collaboration. Poor web design, ineffective conversion protocol or poor affiliate terms and conditions can all leave the affiliate feeling that they may have been sold a lemon. And here’s the rub: no affiliate program is going to tell you that they pay out less to their affiliates than their competitors. They all want you to believe that they are the superstars of the industry and the best place to send your traffic.
So if the affiliate programs aren’t going to be upfront about their performance, how are affiliates meant to make educated decisions about whom to work with? The only way to get reliable information upon which to base a decision is to have a large data set to draw on and the sad truth is most affiliates simply aren’t willing to share that type of information. There are good reasons not to share this information but this practice enables under-performing affiliate programs to continue to misrepresent their success.
At ThePOGG.com we’ve put together a project aimed towards at least partially addressing this issue – our annual Affiliate Program Value report. This anonymises enough data to protect our business (specifically the Average Player Value) but provides detailed information on how far above or below our Average Player Value (APV) a program has delivered, how many clicks they take to convert a sign-up, how many sign-ups they require to deliver a New Depositing Player (NDP) and how many clicks are needed to get an NDP. Each stat comes with a Reliability score, to indicate how large the data set the performance indicator was based on is in comparison to other programs.
Our most recent report compares over 60 different casino affiliate programs over a two year period. So which programs have performed best for us in that time?
Sitting right at the top of the stack, Trada Affiliates performed very well across the board based on one of the largest data sets available to this study. They’ve delivered a value that significantly exceed our APV and have a click to NDP ratio that is way above average for our site as a whole. We couldn’t be happier with this partnership.
For a relatively small program, and admittedly a data set that is smaller than the Trada Affiliate data set (though still large within the context of all programs we looked at), WagerJoint delivered a APV that was even higher than Trada Affiliates. Their conversion was slightly poorer, but still above average for the site as a whole. So good conversion and great APV.
All British Affiliates
While this program only delivered average APV results, their conversion rates were significantly higher than site average and their Reliability figures high. Even with some programs delivering higher APV, when you’re getting more NDPs per click a program can quickly outperform their competition.
The above are just some examples of the programs that can be shown statistically to have delivered high value for ThePOGG, but there are many others worthy of note for both good and bad reasons that you can find more information on in the report. Keep an eye out for the next edition of the report due in January 2019!
Just to close this off, I do want to draw attention to one other project that I think is very useful on this front. Recently Affiliate Guard Dog have started testing what percentage of a lost deposit they actually receive compared to the advertised commission a program offers. While this could certainly be expanded and does not address APVs or conversion rates as our report sets out to do, it is a credible project that offers insight into the hidden fees that are built into affiliate contracts, something that our efforts only address indirectly. It’s rare that I see something in the industry that I feel is truly insightful and on this project I have to take my hat off to the AGD team. You can find more information out about this project here:
ThePOGG stands for The Players Online Gambling Guide and it is a unique affiliate site unlike most in online gaming. They take their reviews very seriously and always do their best to help players get treated fairly by online casinos. They released their first affiliate audit in 2017 and have already published their 2018 audit.