Connect with us

Affiliate Success

Affiliate Interviews: Luke Eales, Founder of Seven Star Digital

Published

on

Affiliate Interviews: Luke Eales, Founder of Seven Star Digital

Seven Star Digital (SSD) was founded by Luke Eales in 2016 with the aim to provide better gambling comparison services to consumers in the UK and beyond. Since then, SSD’s first website TopRatedCasinos.co.uk has consolidated a very strong position in both PPC and SEO channels within the UK Casino industry, delivering thousands of FTDs to licensed casino operators every month. With a vision for creating a truly comprehensive global online gambling comparison site across all verticals, the company launched Compare.bet in October 2017. Seven Star Digital currently employs a dozen talented marketers and technologists in its London HQ.

 

Name: Luke Eales

Age: 32

Hometown: London

Living in: London

Favorite Food: Italian

Must Read Book: The Pig That Wants To Be Eaten by Julian Baggini

Job title: Founder & CEO

 

GAV: Hi Luke, tell us and our readers as well, a little bit about yourself, we want to know who Luke really is. How did your career start in the industry? What was your first job?

Luke: This is my first real activity in the gambling industry. But if we’re talking digital marketing, I got started back in 2003. Personal SEO projects made for a nice side earner while studying – at the time I had no inkling that it’d become a career.

 

GAV: Do you still remember when you first heard about gambling or online casinos?

Luke: It was probably about fifteen years ago – I set up a very small and unsuccessful affiliate site with my brother called Bonkers Betting! It’s hard to avoid the industry when working in digital. Partly because it’s an incubator for bleeding edge acquisition tactics.

 

GAV: Since there are thousands of websites and portals in this niche out there, where do you think your websites stand at this moment and what is that plus that the other comparison portals don’t have?

Luke: One of our strengths is we’ve come from outside the industry with a fresh perspective. Our inspiration also comes from outside the industry – the big travel and insurance comparison sites for starters. They’re a long way ahead of gambling comparison, but we’re aiming to catch up fast – in terms of content, user experience and brand.

 

GAV: Tell us about your team a bit!

Luke: We’re based in Shoreditch – hipster central in London. The area has a great buzz, full of startups, as well as vibrant bars, restaurants and galleries. There are currently around a dozen of us at the company, spanning marketing, commercial and tech. We’ve got a great bunch of people all striving to take gambling comparison to the next level. Also, we’re hiring!

 

GAV: What kind of SEO, digital marketing or affiliate techniques do you follow this year, and how about any new upcoming trends?

Luke: For us, the definition of good digital marketing doesn’t necessarily change monthly or even yearly. Paid search, paid social, organic search – the platforms and behaviours evolve, of course. We’re less focused on the next new thing, tactical marketing trick or short-term win. For us the differentiation is in execution, organisational agility and deep understanding of our lines of business. This allows us to adapt to the evolving landscape, including from a regulatory perspective. Of course, the big change happening right now for data/permission marketers is GDPR. We’re hopeful that this will succeed in ensuring users’ interests and personal data is protected.

 

GAV: What are the challenges that you and your team face in regards to affiliate marketing in 2018.

Luke: Put simply, the ever-increasing ferocity of competition in the sector. Everyone wants a piece of the pie – we are acutely aware that in order to maintain and grow ours, we have to earn it. This keeps us at the top of our game. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

GAV: How do you manage to keep the websites fresh and relevant, when a lot of fluffy and nonsense appear on the Internet non-stop?

Luke: The crusade for ‘fresh content’ has created a cottage industry of content churners who prioritise volume over quality. We take a different approach – while we do aim to create vast and comprehensive sites, we’re not fans of expansion for expansion’s sake. We find that writing for people rather than search engines acts as an automatic fluff filter.

 

GAV: We are pretty convinced that you receive messages from Affiliate Managers on a daily basis showcasing their best products. You, of course select them by the brands they work with. What are your thoughts on how a real Affiliate Manager-Affiliate relationship should be built, and how not?!

Luke: Trust, transparency and sharing of insights. When you’re providing a quality service and valuable traffic, there is no need for smoke and mirrors in the partner relationship. This honest and open approach makes everything easier and is best for all in the long run.

 

GAV: Next to the UK market, which are the other ones that you already target or want to expand into?

Luke: We have our eye on several regulated/soon-to-regulate markets in Europe. We’re also growing Compare.bet with a global scope – the recent US news creates great potential, but we expect to pick up traffic from a real long tail of geographies.

 

GAV: How do you see the Nordic market?

Luke: Having been a fairly stable and attractive region for some years, things are starting to change – with regulation in Sweden and moves to restrict in Norway via payment blocking etc.

Our first step into Scandinavia is with our Swedish comparison site ToppOnlineCasinon.se – we already work with most of the top operators in the region but are being very careful not to make assumptions about user behaviour and what will work over there. Our eyes and ears are open to the requirements of Swedish players and operators alike, and we expect the user experience to diverge from our UK sites based on what we learn about specific local needs over time.

 

GAV: Tell us one change that you want to see in the online gambling industry?!

Luke: We want running a ‘gambling affiliate site’ to be as well respected as running a ‘finance comparison business’. This will only happen with the industry taking more of a user focus and thinking bigger. There are certainly signs that this is starting to happen.

 

GAV: Do you have any advice for newbies who are looking to venture into this majestic industry!?

Luke: Get into the data. Not only will it allow you to improve your own metrics, but it will create transparency with partners and the opportunity to work together to grow based on real insights.

 

GAV: How about iGaming/online casino/gambling conferences, do you attend any of them? If so, which one is your favourite and what is your most fun experience?

Luke: We try to attend as many as possible. It’s rare to leave without a killer insight or two, at least. Face time with partners is also invaluable We’re looking forward to Lisbon this autumn – the weather should in theory be better than Berlin, which is a plus!

 

GAV: Where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe, any favourite country or region?

Luke: I haven’t seen much of it, so I’d have quite a long to-do list! In particular, I’ve heard great things about Slovenia.

 

GAV: Where you wouldn’t want to travel in Eastern Europe?

Luke: I wouldn’t rule anywhere out!

 

GAV: How about a favourite celebrity or a mentor, do you have one?

Luke: I’m not a big follower of celebrity. I have however been fortunate enough to have worked with a range of experienced and knowledgeable senior colleagues throughout my career, all of whom have had a great influence.

 

Affiliate Success

A Representative of Storm International will Speak at the Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference

Published

on

A Representative of Storm International will Speak at the Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference

 

Lavrenty Gubin will present a report on the key elements of a successful casino

There is a series of conferences and exhibitions to take place in Kiev in the coming months due to the upcoming gaming business legalization.

The Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference will take place in the capital of Ukraine on December 18, 2019.
The core topic of the conference is gaming business legalization in Ukraine and adoption of international experience in the field of regulation.

Lavrenty Gubin, Marketing and PR Director of Storm International, was invited to the conference as a speaker to cover the land-based casinos sector. Lavrenty will make a presentation on the international experience required to open a brand new casino like Shangri La Tbilisi or SL Casino Riga.

The conference will gather government officials, operators, software developers, marketers and other industry professionals to discuss the future of the Ukrainian gaming business. The conference is run by Smile Expo, a well known industry events organizer in Western Europe and CIS.

Conference website: affiliateconf.com.ua

Continue Reading

Affiliate Success

Three-peat for the King Billy Affiliate Program at the SBC Awards!

Published

on

Three-peat for the King Billy Affiliate Program at the SBC Awards!

 

We should know by now that King Billy Casino was bound to be in the limelight for one more time. True to the words of the great Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho “Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.”, King Billy does it for the third time in a row.

So, after being shortlisted at the prestigious iGB Awards (and from there, winning it all), being shortlisted again at the prestigious EGR Awards, the King Billy Affiliate Program has now also been shortlisted at the prestigious SBC Awards (event to be held on December 3). Moreover, the operator is also on the SBC Awards short list for Casino Rising Star.

We asked the mastermind behind this tremendous streak, Ruslan Legenzov, King Billy Head of Affiliates to share his feelings with us and a few words about this new distinction. He was, understandably, in a state of euphoria:

“This is beyond our wildest dreams! To complete the “Big 3” of the industry’s annual biggest awards shows, by being short-listed in each and every one of them fills us all with immense pride. At King Billy Casino, we set out with a single goal in mind: to move beyond the commission and offer to our affiliates a program never seen before. We are happy that our effort is recognized by both judges and Affiliates!”

The SBC Awards, now in its 6th year, recognize the achievements of operators, affiliates and suppliers from across all major disciplines including payments, marketing, platform providers and data. The Awards will be held at Battersea Evolution, in the heart of London, bringing together 700 gaming industry delegates.

King Billy Casino is a new generation online casino, available in 5 languages (English, German, Russian, Finnish and Norwegian and soon Japanese) with an impressive record in awards and an amazing variety of games providers and features. King Billy has built on creating a superb user experience focusing on the myth of King Billy and his Kingdom and treats all players with the specialness they deserve.

Continue Reading

Affiliate Success

First Georgia iGaming Affiliate Conference: What Was Discussed at the Event?

Published

on

First Georgia iGaming Affiliate Conference: What Was Discussed at the Event?

 

On October 18, Smile-Expo held the first Georgia iGaming Affiliate Conference in Tbilisi. The event was dedicated to the specific nature of online and offline gambling business operations, Georgian gambling market prospects, and casino promotion using affiliate marketing.

The conference brought together casino managers, affiliate network representatives, government officials, webmasters, arbitrage experts, SEO specialists, as well as gambling regulation and taxation professionals.

Speakers’ presentations

Sviatoslav Slaboshpitskiy, Head of SEO at Digital Choo (DC), spoke on the topic: The Art of War in SEO: How to Win the iGaming Niche. The speaker stressed that one should develop niche websites to achieve efficient results. At the same time, it is significant to analyze the response and to evolve resources showing the best performance. Sviatoslav also talked about the rules of SEO team building. The expert recommended entrusting the content creation to single-discipline specialists as well as developing checklists and tutorials for newcomers.

Dmitriy Makarov, CEO at Zlodei Advertising Agency, and Gleb Sanzharevsky, CMO at Zlodei, made a collaborative presentation dedicated to ad placement on YouTube and Twitch. They explained that promotion via influencers could increase conversion better than direct advertising. The experts stressed that user stories and popular memes made ads more fruitful.

Nikola Minkov, CEO at Serpact, examined the application of the so-called Featured Snippets, zero blocks in the search results. According to the speaker, Google provides users with such snippets in 40% of the queries. They allow online resources to generate organic traffic and enhance the click-through rate.

The audience was intrigued by Ketevan Bitskinashvili, Chief Financial Officer at the Ministry of Finance of Georgia. The speaker told them about the special features of the Georgian gambling market regulation. She mentioned that the cost of gambling permissions depended on a venue type, a target region, and a number of installed gambling machines. The same parameters affect tax rates.

Ms. Ketevan stated that Georgia had already issued 214 gambling licenses. 20 casinos are operating in the country now. 10 of them are located in Batumi and its suburbs, 6 in Tbilisi, and one each in Gudauri, Tskhaltubo, Kazbegi, and Sighnaghi.

Giorgi Gvenetadze from Adjarabet raised an issue of online casino customer acquisition. The speaker believes that the core feature of advertising banners used by Georgian casinos is the availability of luxury car images. Besides, promotion messages mostly appeal to senses of beauty, control, and simplicity.

Panel discussion

The conference featured a panel discussion titled ‘Offline and online casinos. Review of tools for the competition for user attention’. It involved:

Shota Amiranashvili, President of the Association of casinos in Adjara;

Levan Kavtaradze, Director of Gaming department at Pokermatch;

Giorgi Gvenetadze, Head of Product Marketing Department at Adjarabet;

Lavrentiy Gubin from Shangri La Casino, an invited guest.

Experts said that primary advantages of land-based casinos included reach experience of the gaming process, expensive surroundings, and staff attentiveness. Virtual gambling platforms are lack of these aspects. Therefore, discussion participants think that offline gambling venues will never shift to the online space.

Speaking about the most in-demand gambling entertainments, specialists highlighted simple and user-friendly games like roulettes. Moreover, they noted that poker was becoming less popular because of the high buy-in. Currently, we can see a crypto casino trend, as such platforms ensure anonymity.

Participants also focused on the state regulation of the gambling market. According to them, countries failing to regulate the gambling business lose money that could go to the government budget as taxes. One more fact specified: gambling advertising bans give an impetus to look for new audience engagement channels.

Afterparty

The conference ended with a party. Guests, speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors were able to enjoy live music, Georgian sweets, beverages, and snacks. The afterparty allowed participants to communicate in a relaxed atmosphere and establish useful business contacts.

We express our gratitude to the Afterparty Sponsor, NOFLEAD gambling resource, helping to carry out the afterparty in an extremely comfortable environment.

Sponsors, exhibitors, and participants

Companies offering various iGaming goods and services introduced their solutions and services in the exhibition area. Event sponsors were exhibitors as well.

Badge and Bag Sponsor: Digital Choo, an international marketing agency with deep expertise in gaming.

Exhibition Area Sponsor: SoftGamings, a provider of advanced В2В solutions for online casinos.

Afterparty Sponsor: NOFLEAD, an online gambling resource aimed at both beginners and experienced gamblers.

Lanyard Sponsor: ZLODEI, an advertising agency with deep expertise in native advertising.

By the way, attendees were able to examine a stand by IBCCS TAX, an international company providing a wide range of fiduciary services.

Another event participant was Partners.io, an affiliate network for cryptocurrency gambling programs.

The Smile-Expo team expresses its gratitude to sponsors, speakers, and exhibitors for participation in the conference. We look forward to seeing you at the next events dedicated to gambling and affiliate marketing.

Continue Reading

Groups

Latest News

A Representative of Storm International will Speak at the Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference A Representative of Storm International will Speak at the Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference
Affiliate Success6 days ago

A Representative of Storm International will Speak at the Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference

  Lavrenty Gubin will present a report on the key elements of a successful casino There is a series of...

GambleRock.com Opens Doors for Online Gambling Affiliates GambleRock.com Opens Doors for Online Gambling Affiliates
News1 week ago

GambleRock.com Opens Doors for Online Gambling Affiliates

  There has been a lot happening on GambleRock’s social gambling engine in recent months. The rapidly expanding iGaming market...

SiGMA’19 makes history with record attendance numbers SiGMA’19 makes history with record attendance numbers
News1 week ago

SiGMA’19 makes history with record attendance numbers

  15,000 delegates make it SiGMA Group’s biggest show yet  SiGMA Group’s biggest show to date closed its doors last...

SBC Rising Star SBC Rising Star
News3 weeks ago

All rise! King Billy is a Casino Rising Star

  Well, the writing was on the wall. With 7 major industry distinctions in only 2 years of operations (6...

Three-peat for the King Billy Affiliate Program at the SBC Awards! Three-peat for the King Billy Affiliate Program at the SBC Awards!
Affiliate Success1 month ago

Three-peat for the King Billy Affiliate Program at the SBC Awards!

  We should know by now that King Billy Casino was bound to be in the limelight for one more...

First Georgia iGaming Affiliate Conference: What Was Discussed at the Event? First Georgia iGaming Affiliate Conference: What Was Discussed at the Event?
Affiliate Success1 month ago

First Georgia iGaming Affiliate Conference: What Was Discussed at the Event?

  On October 18, Smile-Expo held the first Georgia iGaming Affiliate Conference in Tbilisi. The event was dedicated to the...

The AskGamblers Awards Finalists’ Names Are In The AskGamblers Awards Finalists’ Names Are In
News2 months ago

The AskGamblers Awards Finalists’ Names Are In

  The AskGamblers team is happy to announce the AskGamblers Awards finalists’ names are in and ready to share. For...

What does “beyond the commission” mean for King Billy? A short list (at least) at the EGR Awards! What does “beyond the commission” mean for King Billy? A short list (at least) at the EGR Awards!
Affiliate Success2 months ago

What does “beyond the commission” mean for King Billy? A short list (at least) at the EGR Awards!

  King Billy Casino has been making quite some noise with its Affiliate Program this year. The program has gained...

The nomination period for the AskGamblers Awards is about to end The nomination period for the AskGamblers Awards is about to end
News2 months ago

The nomination period for the AskGamblers Awards is about to end

  The third edition of the prestigious AskGamblers Awards is well underway and this is the last call for all...

Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference results Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference results
News2 months ago

How to Work with Affiliate Programs, Drive Mobile Traffic, Target Africa, and What Is the Role of Blockchain in All These Things? Results of Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference 2019

  On September 26, the long-awaited Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference 2019 by Smile-Expo took place, the event dedicated to affiliate...

Advertisement

Trending

Skip to toolbar