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Affiliate Interviews: Adel from SweetBet.com

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We know that you like to read about fellow affiliates, so we are bringing you another inspirational story of gambling affiliates. For this interview we caught up with Adel , full-time affiliate webmaster of SweetBet.com: an online gambling directory which reviews and also lists some of the most reputable online poker, casino, bingo, sports betting and other gambling related websites.

Name: Adel 
Age: 48
Hometown: Canberra, Australia
Living in: Canberra, Australia
Favorite Food: Molokhia
Must Read Book: The Demonologist : The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren
Profession/Job title: Full-time affiliate webmaster

GAV: Hello Adel, first of all, tell us and our readers a little bit about yourself. How did your career start in the industry? What was the main idea of developing this great online gambling/casino directory?

Adel: I started off as a high school teacher, but the high stress and low pay of the job forced me to look for other ways to generate an income. I was really interested in making money online, so after researching many ways of making money online, I started promoting online dating sites. Eventually, I came across casino affiliate programs, and haven’t looked back since. Instead of listing as many online casinos as possible, Sweet Bet only reviews and lists the most reputable and best converting online gambling sites in the industry.

GAV: Since there are thousands and thousands of websites out there in your niche, where do you think Sweet Bet stands now?

Adel: Over the many years of operation, I’ve acquired a decent number of regular visitors that access the site on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Most of them are looking to play free games, read the news stories and find the latest casino promotional offers.

GAV: How do you see the online casino market/industry at this moment?

Adel: There are way too many online casinos out there, and so much competition. It’s an uphill struggle to rank in the search engines, acquire new signups, keep hackers at bay, keep the sponsors happy, identify and remove rogue casino affiliate programs and stay ahead of the pack.

GAV: How did you start and most of all what bumps did you have to overcome in the beginning?

Adel: I started off promoting dating affiliate programs, before setting up and managing my own dating sites. The money was OK, but I noticed that affiliates who were promoting online casinos were making much more money than me, so I started promoting online casinos. I initially went broke and closed everything down, until I received a cheque one day in the mail. That one cheque motivated me to give it another try, work harder and not give up. So here I am today, almost 20 years later.

GAV: We have analyzed Sweet Bet and found some great casino reviews. Are you writing it by yourself or do you have a team of people writing for you? How many reviews are there on your website? How about the gambling news section, tell us a bit more about it?

Adel: I wrote some of the reviews, but the majority were written by freelance writers that I contacted through online gambling forums. There are over 230 casino reviews, but most of them have been moved to the “No Longer Promoted“ section because the casino affiliate program closed down, turned rogue or did not convert. The gambling news section gives me a chance to keep the site updated with regular, fresh and interesting content, and a reason to announce something new to the site’s Twitter, Google+, Tumblr and Reddit audience.

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

Adel: I have a “to do“ list where I record tasks that must be completed on a regular basis. Then there are one-off tasks and projects that need to be completed. Regular tasks include things like making sure that the site information is up to date, writing news stories, and posting the latest online casino promotional offers. One-off tasks might be something like adding a free games section to a site or moving one of my sites to a new server.

sweetbet

GAV: We are pretty sure that you receive messages from Affiliate Managers on a daily basis showcasing their best products. What are your thoughts on how a real Affiliate Manager-Affiliate relationship should be built?

Adel: I believe that trust is the most important factor in the Affiliate Manager-Affiliate relationship. If an unknown affiliate program contacted me and asked me to work with it, I will more than likely ignore its request because I’ve never heard of it before and I don’t see many affiliates promoting it. However, if a trusted affiliate manager asked me to promote it, then I would more than likely join the program and give it some exposure to see whether it converts or not.

GAV: How do you see the future of the online casino/gambling industry? For instance, will it become a truly global phenomenon?

Adel: As long as there are corrupt politicians favoring special interest groups, restrictive laws that impinge on people’s rights and freedom to spend their money on what they wish, and online censorship, the online gambling industry will never become a truly global phenomenon.

GAV: Tell us one change that you want to see in the casino affiliate ecosystem?!

Adel: I’d like to see more online casinos and affiliate programs offering Bitcoin as an additional form of payment. There are so many benefits of using Bitcoin.

GAV: Do you have any advise you would like to offer for the newbies who are looking to venture into this great industry!?

Adel: Be very careful when choosing which affiliate programs to join. Read the program’s terms and conditions, read posts on the forums about the program and always ask forum members what their experiences have been with the affiliate program in question. You don’t want to join a program, and spend a lot of time and money promoting it, only to find out that it’s rogue and will not be paying you.

GAV: Do you attend any iGaming/online casino conferences? If so, which one is your favorite and what is your most fun experience?

Adel: The last iGaming conference that I attended was many years ago in Sydney. It was great. I met a lot of people in the business, learned a few things, and had a great time. Back then I was single and carefree with no young children or school schedules to worry about.

GAV: What do you think the chances are for Eastern Europe to become a potential gaming hot spot in the near future? Where do you think the region must still improve upon?

Adel: I think that the opening of the Tigre de Cristal casino in Russia’s Primorsky region is the beginning of what could be a growing international gambling destination. However, to compete with gambling destinations such as Las Vegas and Macau, the region must offer its visitors more than Las Vegas and Macau offers them, and at much better prices.

GAV: Where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe?

Adel: I would definitely say Bulgaria. It’s such a beautiful country with picturesque landscapes, over 30 ancient castles, and so much culture and history.

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

Adel: I’m not sure how safe I’d feel traveling to Ukraine amid all of this military buildup in the region, and the escalating tensions between countries in that part of the word.

GAV: How about a favorite celebrity, do you have one?

Adel: I don’t have a favorite celebrity, but I generally like celebrities that can make me laugh, like Jim Carrey, Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Martin & Ricky Gervais.

GAV: Tell us your opinion about the Gambling Affiliate Voice?

Adel: It’s a great website that is packed with interesting and useful information. I especially like the affiliate interviews, and reading about how everyone got started in this business.

 

Would you like to suggest some more questions or subjects for future interviews? Make sure to send your suggestions to: george@gamblingaffiliatevoice.com.

 

Affiliate Announcements

Digital Marketing Mixer to be hosted for second iteration of FREE business networking on 30th June

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Digital Marketing Mixer to be hosted for second iteration of FREE business networking on 30th June

 

 

Last month saw the launch of the first Digital Marketing Mixer, a FREE business networking event created by Lee-Ann Johnstone which hosted over 150+ iGaming and Affiliate Marketing professionals in attendance.

The event which received outstanding delegate reviews, will be hosted again on Monday 30th June between 4-6pm (BST) via Zoom. The aim of the speed networking event is to bring together affiliates and digital marketers, technology providers , agencies, experts and marketing service providers together to promote their services virtually.

With limits on travel and attendance at physical events still in play opportunities to network for new business have been limited. That combined with increased remote working has had a natural impact on business development slowing in the short term.

The Digital Marketing Mixer has been created as an open platform for professional social networking to take place in a structured but relaxed virtual atmosphere. The event has been created to support new business and continued lead generation for all businesses operating in the Affiliate industry.

Lee-Ann Johnstone, the event host commented: “The Digital Marketing Mixer is a key event for digital and affiliate marketing businesses to get better connected during this uncertain time. The objective is simple, bring people together to talk, to collaborate and ensure new business and service opportunities continue to thrive. I’ve created this FREE networking event for EVERYONE to benefit from in the affiliate industry to help get new business deals done.”

The mixer remains 100% FREE for delegates to attend and is open to any vertical. Once again the event is held in collaboration with founding collaborators GPWA.org, iBet Directory, and AffiliateINSIDER collaborating to deliver this event.

“The toughest part of the conference experience to replicate online was always going to be those oh-so-important conversations in the bar. I was delighted to find myself in just such conversations at the Digital Marketing Mixer – top marks! “  said Sue Dawson from bestnewbingosites.co.uk who attended last month’s inaugural event. 

The Digital Marketing Mixer will offer a host of  fun networking games, speed selling challenges and enable delegates to enjoy discussing the latest industry trends whilst providing a platform to market their goods and services. The focus of this event remains on getting digital and affiliate marketing professionals quickly connected, getting new deals – done!

Lloyd Richman, founder of iBet Directory commented: The Digital Marketing Mixer Party is a great concept and offers all delegates the option to contribute unlike other webinars and conferences. It had a good mixture of natural event speakers, experienced iGaming professionals and new people to the industry. A great event which was highly successful.

If you are an agency, affiliate, consultant, operator, digital marketer, payment provider or saas product owner, everyone working with or in the affiliate industry is welcome to attend.

RSVP FOR FREE and join the Digital Marketing MixerHERE

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Affiliate Announcements

Mr Gamble is the fast growing iGaming affiliate taking the world by storm

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Player-friendly approach to casino comparisons sees audience grow to new highs 

In January 2019, two iGaming enthusiasts from southern Finland, Paavo Salonen and Jonas Kyllönen, created an affiliate site which follows a different path to competitors in the sector – Mr-Gamble.com was conceived to provide a user-friendly service that details the key benefits for different online casinos.

In a little over a year, the team at Mr-Gamble (owned by CashMagnet Ltd) has grown from two to sixteen people, and their site is attracting millions of views and an audience of thousands, eager to find a more discerning comparison site for online casinos.  With such impressive growth, the company is now moving to bigger offices in their adopted home town of Tallinn, Estonia.

Putting the players first has been key to this success, with the team’s focus to build a casino comparison site which highlights the various benefits from leading online casino operators.  Easy-to-use filters allow players to match specific search criteria to their needs, such as high quality casino bonuses, with a brand promise to help users “find a 200% bonus in under one minute”.

 

Moreover, with responsible gaming high on regulators agendas for 2020, not least due to COVID-19, Mr-Gamble’s onboarding policies for new casinos include strict criteria to ensure player protection.  Time-out periods, self-exclusion options, financial limits, and more are all in place to reassure players that beyond the entertainment factor, their well-being is key. 

Jonas Kyllönen explains, “While our competitors focus simply on the bonus offer and a select few aspects of gaming, Mr-Gamble.com highlights things like hidden T’s & C’s and other small details that make up the overall quality of a casino’s service and the bonuses they offer. We even include a section purely for casinos that offer free spins, allowing players to find free spin offers without deposits.  This sets us apart from old school affiliates and builds trust with our audience, resulting in a high proportion of returning visitors.”

Kyllönen, who leads on all aspects of marketing for Mr-Gamble, also realises that staying plugged in to media platforms such as Twitch and Instagram enable the company to attract some of their users from the elusive millennial market.  

“In just six months”, says Kyllönen, “we became the most watched slots channel on Twitch in Finland, and alongside our Instagram following, this allows us to stay in touch with our audience across multiple touch points – it’s been key to our growth. We still see SEO and PPC as the main pillars of the casino affiliates sector, but complimentary channels like Twitch are both entertaining and good for business.”

This well-rounded approach to the casino comparison sector is both innovative and forward-thinking, standing the company in good stead for the coming decade, during which adapting to change and staying on top of market trends will separate the men from the boys.

Mr Gamble’s affiliate offering is already well-established in Finland, and in April 2020 Mr-Gamble expanded operations to more English-speaking markets including the UK and Canada. The company also plans to target the US market, with licensing currently underway, and is looking at opportunities in Asia. 

Alongside Finnish casino enquiries, the company invites English language operators from international markets, particularly in the UK and Canada, to contact silver@cashmagnet.money for more information on deals and listings. 

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Affiliate Success

Exclusive Q&A with Marinos Shiapanis, CEO at Campeón Gaming Partners

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Exclusive Q&A with Marinos Shiapanis, CEO at Campeón Gaming Partners

 

We shall begin with the iGB award. How do you feel after winning this award? Had you expected this award?

We really didn’t. This was our very first time being nominated at the iGB Affiliate Awards and, given the fact that the competition was really high, we were not expecting to hear our name. Needless to say, we were – and we still are – overwhelmed and very excited. It was a team effort, and this is why we celebrated as a team after receiving the award in London.

This is the first time Campeon has been nominated for iGB Awards. And you hit the bull’s eye in the first instance itself. How do you see this honour: as a reward of your hard work or as a stepping stone for future innovation?

I think it is a little bit of both: it is definitely a reward and a recognition of the whole Campeón Gaming Partners team’s hard work and effort, but, at the same time, this is a stepping stone for us to do more, invest more in innovation, expand and further develop across all sectors. The whole team, and especially the Affiliate & Partnerships team, really devoted themselves to the company and they are the reason we have managed to win this award. Such an award is extremely important for us, as it shows how far we have gone in such a short period of time; we have managed to slowly establish ourselves in the iGaming industry, become a familiar face for affiliates in the market, expand our network and grow as a team and a brand. However, winning this award doesn’t mean we stop here; this is not just a motivation for us, but an obligation as well to work harder, focus more and deliver even better results. I think you will hear more of us the coming months.

The award recognises how Campeon stood out in terms of “transparency, inclusiveness and continuous support”. What are the things unique to the affiliate program of Campeon Gaming Partners?

Since the beginning, our vision was to create an affiliate program that would not only attract affiliates, but it would also keep them engaged. We started off with a small network and as we were building it up, we were also improving our program. Today, our network is comprised of over 1,000 affiliates and our affiliate team has managed to establish personal relationship with each and every one of them. To us, it’s crucial to put a face to the name; it’s not just about numbers, it’s about having a person who you know will listen to you and deal with your issues no matter how big or small. This is our way of thinking: we treat each affiliate’s request as equal, and I believe that our affiliates appreciate this.

In early 2019, our team dedicated themselves into redesigning the program’s strategy, aiming at building stronger, more interpersonal relationships with our partners, and providing them with better models in order to maximize their profits. At the same time, we optimized the affiliate experience, from the registration of the player, all the way to the affiliate statics’ analysis we have successfully merged, integrated, and incorporated all of the Campeón Gaming Partners’ brands into new platforms, ensuring that no affiliate activity was ever disrupted.

The award also mentions how Campeon offered tailor-made program to the affiliates. Could you shed more light into the deeply customizable affiliate programs of Campeon Gaming Partners?

Each affiliate has his or her own needs that looks into serving through a program. At Campeón Gaming Partners, we understand that, and every time we onboard an affiliate, we go into deep discussions with him or her to understand what they are looking for in our program. I think the most important fact for our affiliates is that we assign them their very personal point of contact, who is there for them whenever they are in need. So, when we onboard a new affiliate, we first assign him or her their point of contact, who makes sure to talk to him or her, understand his or her needs and goals and together they create a program tailor-made to the affiliate’s needs.

What are the qualities that you look forward to in an affiliate? Not all affiliates are likely to become successful, right? Based on your experience, what separates the successful affiliates from the rest?

We want our affiliates to treat us the same way we treat them: with respect and transparency. We always do our best to accommodate our affiliates’ needs, so we are looking into building partnerships based on trust. I think this is the most important part for us.

Regarding the second part of your question, I believe that definitely industry knowledge and audience play a significant part in separating successful affiliates from the rest. But besides these, I think that players are looking for affiliates who will be honest with them, affiliates they can trust; I believe it is the only way to build up a players’ audience.

New new social media platforms are increasingly micro-targetting the end customers and automated CRM tools are getting more and more advanced. In this scenario, how do see the future of affiliate marketing evolving?

I believe that affiliate marketing is already changing and with these new tools it will change even more in the future. We are now entering a new era: the digital and customized era. Customers are increasingly becoming more and more demanding; they now know they don’t have to compromise anymore with mass solutions, so they are asking for customized ones. They demonstrate their needs and preferences and demand for an experience tailor-made to them. I believe this is where affiliate marketing will focus in the future, and all the new or upcoming tools available, will give us the advantage of analysing the customers’ behaviours and providing the best solutions to them. Affiliate marketing of the future will evolve around customized player’s experience, in my opinion.

Finally, tell us about any big announcement in the near future. Expanding to more countries? Launching or integrating new products? Or a new marketing campaign? Our readers will be eager to read something first here.

A couple of weeks ago, we launched our first Pay N Play platform for the Scandinavian market, SvenPlay. In a few days, we will be launching our brand new, themed platform, Sons of Slots. This is a challenge for us, as it will be the first time we are introducing such a themed platform to our players. The Sons of Slots story goes back to the motor gangs of the US and it all evolves around that; rough street battles, leather jackets and ripped jeans, long hair, and endless road trips on their Harleys. This is what inspired us and we wanted to bring something very exciting to our players. Entering the Sons of Slots platform, our players will be transferred to a new world, the world of American motor gangs; they will play their favorite games in a new, adventurous environment, with exciting features, which will take their gaming experience to a whole new level. To bring this project to life, we have invested heavily in technology and this is why we partnered with a major agency, MaxCreate, specialized in bespoke front-end design, in order to be able to offer more flexible and versatile platforms to our players and to our affiliates.

I think 2020 is our year, and people will hear more of us: exhibitions, PR, awards… We will make it happen.

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