Launching an Affiliate Program Successfully: 10 Tips for Success!

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As the iGaming world continues to evolve, the need for brands to have a cost-effective and proven method to reach new users has become more important as well. Affiliate marketing has emerged as a key acquisition strategy for operators in the industry, with more brands launching affiliate programs to take advantage of this successful marketing strategy.

An extensive launch strategy and plan should be prepared when a brand launches a new affiliate program or enter a new market, but where can they get started? We’ve put together a guide of 10 pre-launch requirements that will give brands the tools to build a healthy affiliate program.

1. Analyze the market and its competitors

Before beginning your own affiliate program, it’s vital to break down the market you plan to focus on, to understand how the players behave in these respective markets. Having a strong idea of the focus market, its most successful brands, and how those brands navigate the market can help operators who are planning their own affiliate program avoid common mistakes and hit the ground running.

2. Setup competitive commission offers and a launch welcome offer to affiliates

Finding affiliates is a vital step in the process of creating a successful affiliate program, which starts with setting up competitive commission offers and an enticing welcome offer for affiliates to offer their audience.

It’s important for operators to be flexible with their offers, understanding that pricing affects different placements, exposure, and conversion. Additionally, if you’re a new brand and want to gain market share, a short-term higher commission offer should be considered to garner some additional attention.

3. Understand the advertising regulations and requirements

Regardless on the market you’re launching your affiliate program in, it’s paramount to understand the different advertising regulations, as these vary from market to market. In some markets, affiliates may have different rules on how they can market and may even require their own licenses. Understanding all these discrepancies can help brands be ready to assist affiliates however they may need.

4. Plan a player promotion calendar months in advance

Having the right player promotions available for potential users can often be the difference with a successful and struggling affiliate program. These are the offers that entice players to try your product, so providing affiliates exciting promotions on respective landing pages can help improve conversion.

We suggest planning these out 3-6 months in advance and letting affiliates know when a new player promotion is available for them to offer their audience.

5. Create a launch plan that will help organize initial activities

To ensure that your affiliate program gets off on the right foot, we suggest creating a launch strategy outline for the first six months to certify that you’re focused on vital launch activities, establishing KPIs that will be important to monitor for the duration of your affiliate program.

While things may inevitably come up that deviate from the launch plan, having a clear path forward can help make sure that you’re organized and ready for all possibilities.

6. Launch PR and engagement in affiliate networks

It’s important to have as many eyes as possible on your new affiliate program and creating a press release to announce your new program can help with that. Creating a launch PR and sharing with top iGaming or affiliate marketing networks to post on their websites or social media pages can help generate brand exposure with both affiliates and players.

7. Create a microsite for affiliates that explains your brand and its offerings

When trying to reach affiliates to join your affiliate program, it should be easy for them to get a quick idea of your affiliate program and all the value they’d experience if they joined your network of affiliates. For that, we recommend creating an affiliate microsite where you can prove your brand’s USPs, what kind of product the affiliate would be promoting and other benefits you’re offering affiliates who join.

Keep it simple and ensure that affiliates who land on the page get a strong summary of what your brand is all about.

8. Build an affiliate recruitment list – usually with minimum 50 affiliates

Now that you have all you need to reach out to affiliates, it’s time to build out an affiliate recruitment list and begin building your affiliate network with. There are great resources to look for affiliates, like GPWA or EGR’s rankings, while you can also look with Google or other search tools as well.

Our suggestion would be to have at least 50 affiliates on your initial recruitment list and to ensure to compile a diversified list of affiliates. Having different affiliates who are focused on content review, SEO, PPC, influencer marketing, or anything else can help you standout from the competition and reach even more users.

9. Have an effective onboarding process & guidebook for affiliates

In anticipation of the affiliates you’re going to connect with, be sure to have a simple, effective onboarding process for the ones you bring into your affiliate network. Here are a few things to make sure you include:

  • A clear description of your program’s goals and expectations
  • How to access marketing materials & key brand information (your unique selling points!)
  • Training or support to use tracking links and/or retrieve data
  • Clear description about commission deals and triggers
  • Information about brand guidelines (what is allowed / what is not allowed)

While it’s not something you can prepare for in advance, it’s also important to communicate quickly and effectively with affiliates, especially at the start when they’re interested in joining. This will equate to more success, loyalty, retention, and in return more ROI!

10. Listen to affiliate feedback

After you’ve begun to connect with affiliates, it’s important to get the most out of this resource and pick the affiliate’s brain for feedback on your brand. Affiliates in the space understand the market and its players, and likely already know about your competition, along with what makes them successful. Be open minded and you may find additional ways to optimize your program.

Going Forward

Using these clear guidelines, you can ensure that your affiliate program has the best chance of success as you launch. If you have any further questions or want to learn more, our experienced IA affiliate team can help support brands with launch strategies and marketing insights. Reach out today!

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