Bojoko: key considerations for operators when hiring affiliate managers

Writing for SBC, Joonas Karhu at Bojoko, gives his three tips that operators must keep front of mind when it comes to working with affiliate managers.

How many players can you send? What’s the player value? How much do they deposit?  If you’ve worked a day in affiliation, you know questions like this well.

And these questions make sense. Affiliate managers want to try and make sure there’s a good return on investment. What is alarming in today’s conversations, though, is short-termism. I argue three significant factors for the heightened focus on short-term thinking.

Short-term goals

Incentive bonus programs are a good way to improve affiliate managers’ performance. But tying personal bonus thresholds to something like single-month volume and profitability is a recipe for losing value in the long term.

Access to data

In today’s world, it makes sense to be cautious when sharing all data with employees. Just don’t let it come in the way of affiliate managers doing their job in the best manner possible for the company’s benefit. They need certain key figures and should have access to those.

Employee training

If I say that 95% of the affiliate managers we work with today were not our contact points or even in the industry two years ago, it’s probably not far off. Negotiating, planning campaigns, and discussing numbers are fruitful only with managers with the required training or experience.

I understand that operators might hesitate to invest much in training with as high employee turnover as online gambling. Still, it will be a massive loss over a long period. 

The most blatant examples of short-term thinking involve cost-per-acquisition deals where an affiliate is paid a one-time fee in exchange for owning a new player’s future earnings. I have seen affiliate managers expecting new depositors to recoup everything within a short period; sometimes, it feels like they expect it within the same week. With an approach like this, operators will leave a lot of potentially valuable players on the table.

Our free spins page is another excellent example. Most players delivered via this page might not deposit during the same month as they register. They want to try out a new brand before putting up the money. But over two years we know, based on data, that many of these players will become valuable depositing players. However, it would be in the operator’s interest to do broadscale marketing and CRM to make their activation and profitability more likely. 

If you gear incentive programs towards long-term profitability, give comprehensive access to data, and provide quality training, I bet you’ll make much more money with affiliates. And perhaps the employee turnover wouldn’t be so high either.

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