Featured Feature: The United States Affiliate Marketing | EGR North America
Erica Anderson of Paysafe’s Income Access explores the development and opportunities of the US video game market
As more states pass laws to legalize online gambling activities, the United States is seeing a corresponding increase in the number of operator and affiliate partnership opportunities to expand into new and emerging markets. Brands and personalities who have never been associated with igaming have flocked to the space on all platforms, whether it’s traditional desktop / mobile sites, custom apps, or even Twitch. This momentum can be largely attributed to the repeal of PASPA in May 2018, before which about $ 150 billion was illegally wagered on sports in the United States each year, according to the American Gaming Association (AGA).
In our recent EGR webinar, United States affiliate marketing? To explore the opportunities and meet the challenges, various experts have come together to discuss ways to navigate this market. The panel consisted of David Smith, Sales Manager, United States at Better Collective; Alisa Cioian, Key Account and Global Team Leader at Kindred Group; and Fintan Costello, Managing Director of BonusFinder.com. We have discussed all of the opportunities and challenges in the US Affiliate Market and what they mean for Affiliates and Operators.
For affiliates and operators looking to join the space or improve their position, the key takeaways from this webinar, including entry tactics, compensation expectations, and challenges in the marketplace, will provide insights valuable advice.
Overview of the US video game market
With the launch of more video game markets in the United States comes a wide range of state-specific regulatory frameworks, some simple and others quite complex.
During the webinar, Costello said his team “treats each state like its own country due to differences in legislation, the brands they work with, offerings, tax and licensing requirements. So each state is a mini-country ”. Smith shared the sentiment, saying: “This is not a one-size-fits-all approach, by any means. […] so we focus state by state. We have built leading positions in European markets, so we can learn some lessons […] but it is certainly a different way to get there.
Affiliates and operators should assess opportunities state by state, focusing on audience, regulations and respective interests before deciding what to sign up for. Many of the tactics used in Europe are not easily transferred to the United States, requiring tailored and market specific strategies. One such example is that the United States requires affiliates to obtain licenses, which is rare in other parts of the world.
In figuring out where to start, Costello said his team have taken the route every affiliate takes to the United States. “We started with a New Jersey CPA provider license. Super simple, one form and go. It’s a bit like getting your toes wet in the market.
Commissions / promotional activities
As the regulated video game market in the United States evolves, it will become increasingly important to accommodate a wider range of revenue sharing arrangements that more mature regions are used to. These agreements require complete data sets that many operators are not yet equipped to support. Therefore, most operators rely on CPA agreements and consider paying upfront costs rather than investing in longer term relationships.
In terms of promotional activities, SEO is a proven approach for affiliates with proven effectiveness in the United States. However, given the time-consuming nature of successful SEO, diversity should always be the king of the affiliate acquisition strategy. Such a strategy could also include PPC, which can be effective but imprecise without daily reporting, which is currently not offered by all operators.
“The more the affiliates diversify their traffic, the better it is for them and the more we can work with them in the long term,” said Cioian. “We know SEO can take a while to get started, while PPC would be faster in terms of volume, and paid social media can attract customers and build that kind of community. We have seen a lot of different things from our affiliates in the United States.
As more states pass laws allowing various forms of online gambling, corresponding efforts must be made to educate the public and gain a positive response to new product offerings. As igaming is not as deeply rooted in American culture as in Europe, there is an opportunity to engage players in emerging markets and position a brand as the preferred option based on its unique offering and its credibility.
For operators, affiliates are looking for transparent and robust data, as well as optimized platforms to engage players, providing a clear path forward to improve these relationships. On the affiliate side, it is important to look for markets that match their content and follow the process of learning the respective national rules.
As the US market grows, it has experienced lower conversion rates than others, another issue making it more difficult for affiliates to use PPC campaigns to acquire players. Additionally, if affiliates don’t have access to daily reports – another problem in the US market – it can be difficult to optimize PPC campaigns for success.
Affiliates will also frequently have to deal with operators who have poor landing pages without a clear funnel to engage players. “They think operators are leaving a lot of money on the table with their landing pages, the way they try to segment their traffic and the way they convey their offers,” said Costello. “It still seems early for some operators. “
“If you don’t have perfect daily reports, how do you optimize yesterday’s results? Smith added. “This allows for more day-to-day things in regards to PPC where you need to optimize. “
US subsidiaries are also subject to more regulations than in other markets, even requiring multiple licenses in some states. “The fact that the United States has an affiliate licensing process is quite interesting because we don’t really see it in Europe,” Cioian said. “I think the only country that requires an affiliate license is Romania. So the process there is not as cumbersome as it is here.
The United States is an emerging market that will only grow as more states legalize online gambling, be it sports betting, online casino, poker, or online gambling. combination of these. As our webinar pointed out, operators and affiliates will need to be vigilant about the regulatory changes each state will make. As the market matures, the hope is that greater transparency and data will enable affiliates to deliver higher conversion rates as they further tailor their advertising strategies.
If you would like to see the full webinar, go to https://www.egrvirtualseries.com/page/1744872/10-march— Income-access-]
Erica Anderson’s role focuses on the development of the Income Access brand marketing strategy. With a decade of industry experience, she also oversees the company’s internal branch management team and its range of digital marketing services. Income Access manages nearly 20 affiliate programs.