The online affiliate sector continues to maintain its mixed reputation. Media Man and Gambling911 explore the good, the bad, the ugly and the evil of both regular online affiliate programs and casino affiliate programs, gaming schemes and the like. An amazon of issues, but also some programs still give us love and reason to party...
Gambling911 and Media Man cover and work across about a dozen industry verticals, not just gambling, gaming, sports betting and entertainment, so we're covered the topic in a holistic fashion and in a way that both newbies and experts alike should be able to grasp.
For the uninitiated, Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company established a decade, and they own and operate over 20 website portals including a Hitwise Australia top ten (entertainment - personalities category) website, and also offer gaming portals Casino News Media and Global Gaming Directory. Now, with that disclaimer and background out of the way, let's swing into action...
Are online affiliate programs another version of "pyramid schemes" that would make Cleopatra roll over in her tomb? No, not quite, however there are some similarities, and both business sectors have more than their fair share of shonky operators and fly by nighters. Casino affiliate program buffs are unlikely to forget the name Grand Prive or Lucky Ace aka Platinum Affiliates in a hurry, but stay with us friends as we will also cover some of the most trusted and respected brands later in this number.
Some affiliate programs have some of the worst features of pyramid scams, yeah, not the best endorsement of the affiliate sector is it.
In b2b online world, some affiliate programs like Amazon Associates, prohibit the affiliates from ordering from their own accounts. Penalties range from loss of the commission, to termination from the affiliate program! In their "wisdom", these companies have decided that they do not wish people to sign up for an affiliate account just to have a way of ordering their own products at a discount. They just happen to be interested in collecting customer data from visitors to other websites! Schemes like that are frequently circumvented by doing ordering via deliver to friends, or even ordering through other affiliates sites as a reward for some service such as programming or web design and development help.
Unlike real world programs, online affiliate programs frequently have schemes (and scams) that unfairly limit the commissions that affiliates can receive, and deny the affiliate a commission for the orders that they caused to go to the affiliate program. Example: placing artificial limitations like 'customers must complete their orders within 24 hours of placing their orders' (hello Amazon), affiliate programs can steal aka rip off significant amounts of commission from the affiliates. Because not all visitors will complete their purchase the same day that they visit the affiliate program. Some of these programs have invested this stolen commissions in creating website features such as "wish lists" and long duration shopping carts that encourage visitors to delay their purchases until payday, or after a credit card payment comes through.
The vast majority of online affiliate programs, in the absence of requirements that affiliates must purchase product and / or services, instead set unrealistically high minimum commission pay out threshholds. In the United States there has been federal law passed, because of tax reasons, requires online affiliate programs to pay affiliates their accumulated earnings at the end of the year, whether or not arbitrary minimum threshholds were met, but surprise surprise...hardly any programs are compliant with this law, so another black mark on this industry thanks to affiliate programs breaking the law!
By setting very high initial payment threshholds, the online affiliate based marketing program is in face emulating some of the very worst features of real world programs that require an affiliate to move a considerable volume before having any hope in hell of receiving a direct deposit or cheque. Example: Amazon's policies typically require an affiliate to sell anywhere from 50 - 150 books in order to accumulate the minimum $100 payout. An affiliate also has the option to get a smaller payout in the form of non-negotiable, easy to loose, e-mailed gift certificates for later purchases at full price on Amazon! (Affiliates are not given any commission on the use of that gift certificate.) For a small website with say 20 or less visitors a day (95% of all websites, and typical conversion rates of only 1% - 2%, if the website sent every visitor to Amazon, they might only expect to sell 30 books a year. They might need to be an affiliate for 3 or 4 years just to receive their first $100 check.
Several real world affiliate programs charge some kind of "monthly maintenance fee". Many require the monthly purchase of "business building" materials in order to qualify for the highest bonuses. Typically these business building materials are not commissionable, and only a small group of very successful people in the organization get to design, produce, and actually make money from presenting these materials to everyone in the organization. Some of those people make more money from selling these so called motivational and instructional items aka "crap" than they make from sales of the companies real products.
Some folks think that affiliate programs are the only way to easily "make easy money" from their websites. Media Man and Casino News Media is prepared to go on the record and say that there's some serious money to be made, but online affiliates and casino affiliates is not "get rich quick"... but it can be "get rich slow" or "get rich mid pace"! Just don't think the affiliate program is some altruistic gesture of support from a large corporation! The website owner will need to know that they are pretty much on their own to make a success of their website, branding and the like. Website entrepreneurs would do well to invest in website promotion, traffic building, links et al to help make their website successful, and also look into having alternative affiliate income sources. You want to be the best, or right up there in the top ten, so quality is also a key consideration. If you can get a deal or a program in place with Google, go for it. Google "own" much of the internet world these days. Strong brands like Virgin and PartyGaming can also assist greatly. Happy testimonials, trade references and so on can also go a long way. Ok, what have we done to build a strong business? Media Man as example also runs events, ambush marketing stunts, media and publicity campaigns and talent management. Granted, not all business operations are going to be as successful as Media Man or our friends at Gambling911, but its something to aspire to none the less.
So readers, how did you enjoy today's feature on online affiliate programs and casino affiliate programs? Tell us in the forum.
Gambling911 other reading...
What Is An Online Affiliate Program?
Online Casino Affiliate Marketing Dirty Little Secrets
Media Man Profiles
The Late News...
Media Man Online Casino Of The Month: PartyCasino
Media Man Online Casino Affiliate Program Of The Month: PartyPartners
Runner up: Virgin Games and Virgin Games Affiliates
3rd place: Captain Cooks Casino and Rewards Affiliates
4th place: Roxy Palace Casino and Roxy Affiliates
Fast Mover: PKR Poker
Friendly reminder... bet with your head, not over it, and have fun, and that applies with both playing games and participating in affiliate programs.
*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911
*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming.
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