Q&A with NETELLER: Advice for Affiliates

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Running one of the most successful affiliate programmes in the entire industry, NETELLER, which is operated by Optimal Payments Limited, also supports iGaming operators and affiliates alike with the company’s industry-leading online payments system. NETELLER has been the recipient of numerous iGB Affiliate Awards and is nominated again this year, when the company will also sponsor the Best Affiliate (Overall) award.

We spoke to Lee-Ann Johnstone, Head of Affiliate & Merchant Marketing at NETELLER, about the company’s sponsorship of the upcoming iGB Affiliate Awards, her thoughts on the affiliate industry and how affiliates can best position themselves to maximise their revenue.Income Access: Why did NETELLER decide to sponsor iGB’s LAC award for Best Affiliate (Overall)?

Lee-Ann Johnstone Profile PictureLee-Ann Johnstone (left): NETELLER supports the affiliate industry as one of the major online acquisition drivers for the online gaming and retail channel. Our own affiliate programme has been nominated for several awards in the past few years and we’ve won the Best Affiliate Payment System award four years in a row. In addition, NETELLER’s Jennifer Ming scooped the Best Affiliate Manager award in 2013.

Having participated in the awards process as a nominee, we recognise the opportunity to give credit where credit is due. We’re involved in the awards programme not only as a sponsor, but also as an industry judge across a number of categories. We firmly believe in growing, supporting and encouraging affiliate partners to develop their business innovation in what is a very competitive environment.

Paying tribute to affiliates who have shown great initiative in expanding their sites and in developing new service offerings for players, via online, mobile or social media enhancements, is one of the main ways NETELLER contributes to the awards programme. As we’re positioned between merchant programmes and affiliates, we maintain a symbiotic relationship with them both. Building our engagement with the affiliate channel means we have great insight into all aspects of the market.

This is our second year sponsoring the Best Affiliate (Overall) award and we will continue to support it as the industry grows. The lucky winner of our award, will not only get recognition from their peers but also will receive $500.00 deposited in their NETELLER Account, which they can use towards their search and SEO expenses, or just use to celebrate being number one!IA: What makes for a successful affiliate?LAJ, NETELLER: A good affiliate has an edge, a high degree of professionalism and understands their vertical thoroughly. They also know how to innovate and grow their revenue business in the most efficient way. We have worked with a number of affiliates over the past 13 years in the industry and it never ceases to amaze us how ingenious affiliates can be. A successful affiliate is always on the lookout for new niche areas that could develop into revenue streams. They are acutely aware of online trends and where they can maximise their revenue accordingly.

Most of our top affiliates realised early on that by working with a payment processor programme such as NETELLER, they could significantly increase their revenue from players they’re already converting online. From unconventional schemes written on the back of paper napkins to complicated odds-comparison services, we’ve seen small websites grow into million dollar businesses.

Finding a unique selling point is also what makes an affiliate successful. This could include building player-education training programmes, creating unique rakeback offers or even developing cashback and incentive sites. The innovation we have seen across this channel surpasses anything we’ve seen working in the retail sector, where PPC contracts secured by top affiliates are still predominately king. We firmly believe that affiliates who take the time to build long-term partnerships and invest substantial effort will ultimately win out. Understanding how their business and their programmes will achieve the best results is key to an affiliate’s success.IA: What makes for a successful affiliate programme?LAJ, NETELLER: We’ve had the good fortune to manage and launch many programmes. We believe a successful programme comprises the following elements:1

Experienced staff – hire employees who know the affiliate channel, but who also possess a great understanding of all the other online acquisition marketing channels and how they interact with each other.

Simple, straight-forward terms of business – do what you say you are going to do, pay when you say you’ll pay and, most of all, work closely with affiliates to ensure business is optimal on both sides. The relationship must be a two-way street and not a one-way dictatorship.

Flexibility – not everyone can operate in the same manner, or within the same parameters. Recognising individuality in your business partners and then enhancing these differences so they become a strength will benefit everyone involved.

Long-term plans and listening – this will nurture relationships for the future. For us, this is vital. If we go into a discussion only intending to solve today’s problem, or the deal happening right now, we may miss opportunities to benefit later. Remember that your own programme is evolving but so is the affiliate’s business. This means thinking ahead is a necessity to ensure that you are constantly meeting each other’s needs.IA: What is the NETELLER Affiliate Programme and what does it do well?LAJ, NETELLER: Many operators’ programmes offer affiliates a commission on the wagered losses a player makes at their site. In contrast, NETELLER offers affiliates a lifetime revenue share from the revenue we make processing players’ deposits at operator sites.

Why is this significant for an affiliate? Think about players’ behaviour and how often they move between operator sites. As an affiliate, you are tagged to a player just once at the site where they convert after leaving your site. If you have encouraged that player to use NETELLER to deposit prior to joining the merchant site, you’ll continue to earn a lifetime commission from that player, no matter where they play.

There are three reasons this is significant for NETELLER affiliates:

-They earn twice for a player they have paid to convert to an operator site. This reduces their acquisition costs and increases incremental lifetime revenue earned from a single player.

-They have a lifetime revenue stream for that player, no matter where they deposit over their lifespan.

-They are earning both when players deposit and when players lose.

We also provide affiliate support. Our team, which has won awards in the Best Affiliate Manager category, is highly knowledgeable about the industry and makes a point of keeping abreast of trends, helping them create innovative promotions to help our affiliates earn more!IA: How does the NETELLER Affiliate Programme differ from those of competitors?LAJ, NETELLER: Our affiliate programme has grown incredibly rapidly over the past three years. It currently services thousands of affiliates working in the gaming sector who are looking to maximise earnings from players they are already converting to operator sites. We have achieved this growth by initiating strategic programmes and implementing tactics which increase affiliate revenue through our partnership.

Our programme’s major advantage is that we offer lifetime commissions with no caps per member referred. The NETELLER VIP and Loyalty Reward Points programmes offer our affiliate-referred customers exclusive benefits. These are a great incentive to aid affiliate conversion. We also have an excellent Super Affiliate programme in place, which supplements our affiliates’ revenue-earning potential and remains unique. We regularly create innovative and generous affiliate promotions. Our member retention and conversion is second to none.

We recently partnered with a handful of merchants in the gaming sector to launch a unique Joint Affiliate offering which provides additional incentives for NETELLER affiliates. An example is our partnership with Smart Live Casino, which is offering NETELLER affiliates who join their programme the opportunity to earn a 45% Revenue share for 4 months plus 25% NETELLER revenue share for any members they refer to their site and who deposit using a NETELLER eWallet. These exclusive deals are negotiated via our affiliate team and help to bring additional value to our partners. It’s these additional features that ensure that our programme is second to none!

Income Access: Thanks for chatting with us, Lee-Ann. We wish both you and NETELLER all the best for 2014!