You don’t hear this story everyday and most important, you don’t hear about April’s fools jokes on such level. Well, the guys at Lindar Media, who operate a couple of popular bingo affiliate sites such as onlinebingo.co.uk and twolittlefleas.co.uk, as well as actual bingo brands: circusbingo.com and pixiebingo.com, did it. They have managed to fool the top online bingo affiliates with the launch of a new bingo model called Square Bingo.
The story of the new brand’s launch is incredible and even managed to be quoted and mentioned by many. The games played and Imitation Game and managed to pull it off.
Below you can find the details of this prank and the outcome of it:
WHAT SQUARE BALLS SAY ABOUT THE FUTURE OF ONLINE BINGO
After weeks of anticipation, Square Bingo finally launched on April 1, 2016. Except it didn’t.
Square Bingo was actually an April Fool’s Day experiment created by Lindar Media (that’s us) to gauge how the online bingo industry would react to a new, unknown and untested brand.
With just a few social media posts and a simple ‘Coming Soon’ page to the Square Bingo name, we were able to create a small but meaningful buzz among the country’s leading bingo affiliate sites.
But what does that tell us? Did a fictitious site shed light on some of the key issues affecting online bingo in 2016, and what did we learn about its treatment of the players that fund it?
THE IMITATION GAME
According to recent statistics from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), bingo sites had a Gross Gambling Yield (earnings retained by the operator after winnings had been paid) of £82m between November 2014 and March 2015. With such great rewards available, it is really any surprise that new bingo sites are launched on a monthly basis?
Well, we say new, but the majority of bingo sites are simply re-skins of older designs, intended to funnel players from one site to another with the promise of bigger bonuses and ‘original’ themes.
We operate a selection of networked sites ourselves and are also guilty of falling into this rinse and repeat cycle. But starting with the launch of Circus Bingo last July, and continuing with Pixie Bingo and Wild Spins, we are now trying hard to put our own unique mark on network software through the creation of distinguishable brands.
While Circus and Pixie are admittedly similar to each other, they are together much different from the 170+ other Dragonfish products – a trait that has been widely acknowledged by the industry:
“…to be fair they have tried to make it different and it looks totally different to anything else on this tried and tested network.” – Circus Bingo review, WhichBingo.co.uk
“…the site uses Dragonfish software but there is no way that we would be able to tell by looking at it. The new site uses a completely new template, and we have to say the site looks fantastic.” – Circus Bingo review, Bingoport.co.uk
“Circus Bingo is a Dragonfish network bingo site but is about as far from a standard Dragonfish skin as you could possibly imagine. The design of this circus and nuts themed site is absolutely stunning…” – BestNewBingoSites.co.uk
There’s plenty of room for operators to be adventurous if they want to be. Are players really crying out for another Welcome Bingo? We don’t think so.
Small steps, not giant leaps
PlayTech’s bingo variants and Tombola’s proprietary software aside, it has been years since an operator has offered a truly original approach, leading to genuine excitement when something slightly different arrives on the scene.
As a precursor to Square Bingo, PlayTech’s newest game, Cash Cubes, highlighted how even relatively simple changes continue to be celebrated as groundbreaking when it launched in March.
Then in April we saw 888Ladies launch playing card based, Flash Fives. Both of these games are essentially still bingo at their core; replacing the standard bingo card with a different object and speeding things up a bit.
How many more times will this concept be copied?
A SQUARE PEG IN A ROUND HOLE
Probably the biggest surprise about Square Bingo was that the domain wasn’t already taken.
After all, the formula for dreaming up a bingo site name is fairly simple:
1. Think of any everyday object, event, location, shape, colour… anything
2. Add ‘Bingo’ to the end of it
Square Bingo was no different. We deliberately chose it to be as plain and uninspiring as possible. Other names on the shortlist included Ironing Bingo, Paint Drying Bingo, Car Park Bingo and Grey Bingo.
Despite the boring name (Boring Bingo, anyone?), and with little to show besides the suggestion of more angular balls, journalists and affiliates began to take notice…
Making Square Bingo look real was actually quite easy. As well as the compulsory ‘Coming Soon’ page, we used a selection of channels to actively build community excitement. Here’s a breakdown:
- Set up Facebook & Twitter profiles for Square Bingo (5 mins)
- Posted one Tweet per day – usually including a square-based pun (30 secs per day)
- Followed every bingo affiliate account we could find (5 mins)
- Retweeted the occasional piece of bingo news (10 secs)
- Set up a basic coming soon page (1.5 hours)
Our marketing even received compliments:
“This new site has a brilliant marketing scheme by keeping us all in the dark while at the same time giving us just a tiny bit of information to keep us coming back for more.
“According to the site… it’s going to completely change the online bingo world” really? Seriously, talking about dangling a carrot in front of us and then pulling it away!” – latestbingobonuses.com
Truth is, it probably totaled less than two hours work. Compare that to a real bingo brand in the weeks before its launch:
No history? No problem.
Thanks to our rather basic promotional strategy, we were offered affiliate and advertising deals for Square Bingo in March. Sites were willing to promote an unknown bingo brand with almost no confirmed information about the site.
Remember, Square Bingo was to run on a completely new platform (Shapesoft) and be operated by a company that even Google had no record of (CBWFL Media). Would there have been quality checks before our campaigns went live to safeguard players or was their experience being overlooked by the hundreds of affiliate sites desperate to cash-in on their deposits? It would certainly seem so.
World First Features
We updated Square Bingo on the first of April to include a list of (fake) world-first features, including the much-predicted square bingo balls, a spin the square bonus game and an exclusive partnership with a famous London landmark.
We sent a version of this press release to hundreds of people in the bingo industry, published news on OnlineBingo.co.uk and Two Little Fleas, and updated the Square Bingo social profiles. We were fortunate that our work in the lead up to 1st April kept people invested in the launch and allowed the scenario to play out in full. The whole thing could have immediately been called out as a joke, so why wasn’t it? We put this down to two reasons:
1. People were actually excited about the unlikely ‘innovation’ of square bingo balls
2. Affiliates didn’t want to harm their chances of doing a deal with us should the site not be fake – our players are worth money, after all
Sticking to the traditions of April Fool’s Day, we finally revealed the truth about Square Bingo at 12 noon.
Our reveal included a message to affiliates and an exclusive Circus Bingo deposit code, designed to appease any players who felt robbed of a new site. Then, something strange happened: coverage of Square Bingo began to disappear.
We were accused of everything from having ‘more time on our hands than we know what to do with’, to conducting a ‘publicity stunt to get new players though the virtual doors of the site’.
These were the same people who just hours earlier were outwardly expressing their excitement for the features being teased.
We were disappointed (but not surprised) that the exclusive Circus Bingo offer was ignored, despite it being live for a significant part of the day.
Many of our affiliates were informed of the promotion, but not one updated their site to let their players know. Surely if sites were truly offering the best deals for players, they would have actually told them about it? Apparently not.
People simply turned their backs on Square Bingo because it was no longer a way to make money.
THE FUTURE OF ONLINE BINGO
Square Bingo has reaffirmed our two major predictions for the future of online bingo:
1. The replication of tired experiences will lead to sites failing to build sustainable brands and loyal audiences.
2. Players will eventually resent being funneled between identical sites and flock to those with truly exceptional features, putting smaller sites at significant risk of closure.
We don’t know when the bubble will burst, but it’s surely only a matter of time, especially given ever-tightening rules and regulations.
UK Chancellor, George Osborne, recently unveiled plans to extend the General Betting Duty which would see operators paying tax on free bets like no deposit bonuses.
While the plans are still to be confirmed, they have the potential to immediately cut the profits of operators, leading to the possible abolition of bonuses altogether – one of the key differentiators between bingo sites in the current environment.
Some sites are already receiving negative feedback from disgruntled players over hefty wagering requirements; how long before they start rejecting them completely? What will attract players to a new site if there is no monetary incentive? This is the question that operators will need to answer.
The influence of affiliate deals on reviews
Affiliates are also responsible for driving the industry forward, but very few bingo portals offer genuinely honest and trustworthy reviews of bingo sites.
Reviews are instead based on the deals negotiated between sites and brands, leaving players without the insights they need to make informed decisions and making the ratings effectively worthless.
hat incentives are there for operators to create a new site of real value when its ultimate quality is determined by affiliate deals and welcome bonuses? Will we only see a rush of new ideas before the general betting duty is extended or will more forward-thinking operators step up earlier?
If the bonus culture was suddenly stopped, operators and networks would be forced to condense their portfolios and refocus on just a handful of sites.
Building new sites and moving players around comes at a hefty cost, so it makes sense to offer fewer higher quality sites and build a database of genuinely loyal players.
Who will take the first step and revolutionize the online bingo scene?
A BETTER DEAL FOR PLAYERS
The reaction to Square Bingo and its world first bingo balls highlights just how desperate the industry is for change.
We believe that it’s possible for operators and affiliates to provide a better and more rewarding experience for players in a way that remains profitable.
We’ve seen huge progress in the industry’s approach to responsible gambling in recent years. That same ideology and determination should be applied here too.
If we offer better – and expect better – we could all create an industry that is truly fun, fair and exciting for everybody.
It’s time to start thinking outside the box.
The article has been embedded from the following link: https://onlinebingo.co.uk/news/why-we-created-square-bingo
We have to stay it is a wonderful story and yet something to learn from in your are in the online bingo affiliate industry and why not the casino or sports betting. Imagine if there would have been bad intentions behind this prank….
Commission Magazine Launches Issue 1
Commission Magazine is a new digital magazine that is focused on affiliate marketing, online marketing, business and entrepreneurship. The magazine has just launched issue 1 for February 2019 and is filled with articles ranging from affiliate marketing and search engine optimization (SEO).
The magazine was created by John Wright and co-founder of StatsDrone where he felt there were not many magazines around in the affiliate marketing space aside from online gaming.
“In my experience, I’ve been able to learn learn more by getting out of my comfort zone and venturing into other industries within affiliate marketing and online marketing. I felt there are a lot of igaming magazines around but not a lot that cover other aspects of online marketing. My goal of the magazine is to have articles that educate and help you with your business but also to share stories from successful entrepreneurs. ” – John Wright, Editor & founder of Commission Magazine
- Profit First interview with Mike Michalowicz
- Interview with Erik Bergman: Founder of Great.com
- White Hat Link Building by Dan Ray
- Cryptocurrency: Lessons from the bear market
- iGaming vs Blockchain
Mike Michalowicz is the author of best selling books Profit First and recently released book Clockwork. In this interview, Mike dives deep into why his system for running a successful business works and explains why most entrepreneurs fail. His Profit First book is certainly a book that anybody should read that wants to start a business and work for themselves.
Erik Bergman is is the founder of Great.com and in this interview he shares his passion for not just business but his charity work. Erik’s story is one where he achieved a high level of success and financial freedom but he was looking to do something bigger and more meaningful. Find out what Erik is up to and what he is creating behind the scenes with Great.com.
Dan Ray is an SEO that focuses on white hat link building. He shares his story of why he builds his fail safe systems for building links. He takes it a step further by teaching these systems to anybody that wants to learn and buy his courses. He has a Facebook SEO group that has over 3600 members that are screened before they join. His site and courses can be found at danray.me
If you have a story you want to share or to be featured in the magazine, you can email email@example.com .
Commission Magazine is a marketing magazine that was created by the people at StatsDrone.com . The magazine is produced quarterly and is free for users to read or download. You can read the latest issue of the magazine at commissionmagazine.com.
Intertops Affiliates Celebrates 20 Years
1st affiliate to draw 1 of 20 prizes in hourly Apple giveaway at London Affiliate Conference
This year Intertops celebrates the 20th anniversary of its ground-breaking affiliate program. To mark the occasion, Intertops Affiliates will be giving away stacks of Apple products at the London Affiliate Conference February 7th and 8th. The pioneering company’s very first affiliate – who still receives monthly commissions for players he introduced way back when – will draw the final winner.
Hourly draws over the two days of LAC will award 4 iPhones, 6 Air Pods, 4 iPads, 5 iWatches and 1 Macbook Air.
“We’ve got 20 prizes for 20 years,” said an Intertops spokesperson. “One Apple product every thirty minutes. For a chance to win, just come by stand C1 and drop your business card in the bowl.”
Intertops is the most trusted online gambling brand in the world and is famous for taking the very first online sports bet in 1996. Two years later the pioneering company ventured into the casino business and added a poker room in 2003.
One of Intertops’ first affiliates was ‘Suchknecht’. 20 years ago, he was delivering the daily post to the Intertops office. One day he sat down for a coffee with the company founder and learned about the igaming industry. He invented a search engine and started promoting Intertops. Twenty years later, he continues to receive monthly commissions for the players he referred in those early days.
‘Suchknecht’ looks forward to talking about the good old days of affiliate marketing at the London Affiliate Conference.
Intertops Affiliates pays an up to 35% commission for the lifetime of the player. The company operates a sportsbook with esports and live betting as well as two casinos and a poker room. Affiliates earn revenue for players across all products. There is no negative carryover and there are never retroactive changes to terms. Over the last two decades, Intertops has earned a reputation for paying affiliates like clockwork.
ABOUT INTERTOPS AFFILIATES:
One of the first operators in the igaming industry, Intertops rolled out its affiliate program in 1999, three years after accepting the world’s first ever online bet. The world’s fastest paying affiliate program has understood from the very start that relationships with partners must be based on mutual trust. The affiliate team tried to establish long-term business deals from the word go and many affiliates have been working with the company since the beginning.
ABOUT INTERTOPS CASINO:
Intertops launched its first online casino in 1998. There are more than 300 casino games from Real Time Gaming (RTG) in its main casino and another 200 games from Wager Gaming Technology in the Intertops Casino Classic. Several slots have progressive jackpots currently well over $1,000,000. Intertops’ most popular games are available in its new enhanced instant play online casino and new mobile casino. Intertops players compete against each other for top weekly bonuses.
ABOUT INTERTOPS SPORTSBOOK:
Intertops accepted the world’s first ever online sports bet and is still one of the globe’s largest sites for sports betting, casino, poker and games. Over the last three years the company has paid out over 500 million dollars in winnings to its customers around the world. It offers one of the lowest minimum stakes on the internet and has built a reputation as a dependable and serious partner for all types of wagering enthusiasts.
ABOUT INTERTOPS POKER:
Intertops Poker is the busiest poker room on the Horizon Poker Network offering Texas Hold’em, Omaha ring games and tournaments of all stakes and levels 24/7. The active poker room also offers a suite of online casino games from Worldmatch, Betsoft and Lucktap.
Surebet247 Relaunches Affiliate Programme with Income Access
Affiliate programme for African sportsbook and casino brand will use Income Access platform
Surebet247, the Nigeria-based sportsbook and casino brand, has relaunched its affiliate programme with Income Access, Paysafe Group’s marketing technology and services provider. Powered by Income Access’ affiliate software platform, the Surebet247 programme will look to extend its brand reach within sub-Saharan Africa by optimising growth and acquisitions.
Founded in 2011, Surebet247 has dedicated years to solidifying both its land-based and online market positions within the Nigerian market. The relaunch of the affiliate programme coincides with its plans to expand its online presence into other African markets, including Kenya, Ghana, Benin and Cameroon.
In addition to its traditional sportsbook and casino products, Surebet247 also offers live betting, virtual games, eSports wagering and an array of features exclusive to the mobile offering. Each of these products benefits from Surebet247’s commitment to creating optimal user experiences through regular design enhancements, quality support and competitive odds. Surebet247 also offers its players a range of region-specific payment methods.
Affiliates of the Surebet247 programme will have access to expert affiliate management support to help leverage brand marketing materials and maximise conversions. Through this support, affiliates will also receive guidance on optimising their use of the Income Access platform by monitoring programme performance and obtaining strategic insights that can inform future marketing initiatives.
A well-regarded brand within the region, Surebet247 has established a strong reputation based on its sustained market presence and comprehensive knowledge of the local market. These factors contribute to Surebet247’s ability to collaborate with affiliates on a mutually beneficial, performance-driven approach to player acquisition and retention.
Surebet247 affiliates will be compensated through a competitive commission plan based on the number of depositing acquisitions. Further details of the structure can be viewed on the affiliate website.
Through recent updates to its website design and last year’s partnership announcement with Betradar, Surebet247 has continued to bolster its product offering. Complementing these improvements is a collection of assorted player promotions across casino and sportsbook.
Sheriff Olaniyan, CEO at Surebet247, said: “As one of the oldest and most trusted sportsbooks in the country, and now with new funding injected into the company, we are ready to make a bigger push to expand than ever before. The affiliate programme relaunch has been a long-standing project that will provide a strong holistic approach to our efforts, and one that will be enhanced for our affiliate partners by using a top-notch industry leader, Income Access.”
Tara Wilson, General Manager at Income Access, Paysafe Group, said: “We’re very proud that when Surebet247 decided to relaunch their affiliate programme they chose to partner with Income Access. The African market is obviously a subject of great excitement within the industry and we look forward to our platform contributing to Surebet247’s future efforts.”
To learn more about the Surebet247 affiliate programme, contact Surebet247.
Surebet247, which trades under the name ChessPlus International Limited, is an online and retail sports betting company (also offering casino, virtuals & live betting) with retail operations in Nigeria, Benin and Ghana; soon to expand to Kenya & Cameroon (among others). Currently only Nigeria for online.
Founded in August 2011, Surebet is renowned for their fast payouts, user-friendly interface, easy registration process, excellent customer support and variety of market betting options offered on different sports. We offer competitive sports betting odds and exciting promotions to our diverse customers and we also support and give back to communities where we operate.
Surebet247 is registered and licensed in all states of operations in Nigeria and is licensed and regulated through the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC); and are a supporter of Responsible Gambling (18+ only).
About Income Access:
Founded in 2002, Income Access is a digital marketing and technology company with an independent affiliate network. It specialises in providing affiliate marketing and digital marketing solutions to regulated iGaming, lottery, land-based casino and financial trading companies. Through its award-winning marketing software and a partnership-centric approach, Income Access delivers comprehensive data and strategic insight on marketing campaigns across all digital and offline channels.
In September 2016, Income Access was acquired by Paysafe Group, the company behind the digital wallet brands NETELLER and Skrill. Income Access is partnered with over 300 brands worldwide. These include: Betfred, Bet Victor, BGO Group, Caesars Interactive, Danske Spil (Danish national lottery), ETX Capital, GAIN Capital, IGT’s Lottomatica, Ladbrokes Coral, Jackpotjoy, Michigan Lottery, Pennsylvania Lottery, Pinnacle, Sportingbet, Tote Ireland, and TwinSpires.
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