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How to conquer gambling – driving traffic to casino and bookmaker affiliate programs

Promoting gambling and betting offers is one of the most profitable forms of online marketing. The ROI on these verticals reaches hundreds of percent. But there’s also plenty of risk involved: many platforms don’t allow ads promoting casinos and bookmakers, many states also have a tough stance when it comes to such forms of entertainment. Still, there’s an abundance of viable bundles and webmasters get steady income by promoting these areas. 

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Gambling affiliate marketing – how it works

Affiliates make money on the difference between the price of buying and selling traffic. They launch advertising campaigns at their own expense, collecting all the profits or bearing all the losses. The advertiser pays for each attracted user that performs the target action. The affiliate’s job is to launch ad campaigns that would attract a target client, motivate them to register, make a deposit, continue playing or any other action and stay with the advertiser’s establishment. 

In the event that a campaign fails to generate a sufficient number of leads or the latter aren’t relevant enough, the webmaster won’t receive the payout needed to cover their traffic expenses. In other words, in affiliate marketing, your profits aren’t guaranteed, you can also go into the red.

A major advantage of this line of work is that you can start your affiliate marketing journey with minimal investments. At the initial stage, you aren’t forced to launch paid ad campaigns. You can get traffic from shareware sources like blogs, SEO, Youtube, Telegram channels, etc. Once you get free experience and your first profits through these sources, you can move on to paid ones. When it comes to gambling and betting affiliate marketing, the best options are social media ads, push notifications, search engine traffic, mobile app ads, teaser and native traffic.

 

How to choose casino and bookmaker offers and where to look for them

Large affiliate teams work with online casinos and bookmaker offices directly. Everyone else turns to gambling affiliate programs and CPA networks, where they can select an offer, get a link and start driving traffic. The advantage of affiliate programs is that they work with webmasters who can provide small amounts of traffic. In addition, affiliate programs do all the organizational work and issue payments to the webmasters. This means the affiliate is insured against not receiving their pay, while the advertiser is protected from receiving low-quality and fraudulent traffic.

The largest advertisers have their own affiliate programs that let you promote the offers of this brand only. There are also affiliate programs that work with many different betting and gambling brands.

 

Target audience or where to drive traffic to?

 

The main TA of gambling offers are people aged between 23 and 55, mostly male. Different countries may require you to adopt different approaches to the audience. In developed countries, these are wealthy people who are looking for new emotions and to have fun. In developing countries, the bulk of online casino goers are people looking for a fast way to make an easy buck.

Level of interest

Actually, finding males aged 25-55 online isn’t too hard. If we talk about interests, movies, adult content, cars are well-converting options, you can try driving traffic to online games and men’s sports. 

Level of income

The main target audience of casinos is in the 25-55 age group primarily because of their income. Statistics claim that most men this age have a job and enough extra money for entertainment purposes. However, you should not set narrow goals for any interests that are associated with wealth. Since that will only weed out your potential audience.

Time

Gambling and betting offers find different user reactions depending on the time. If we talk about online casinos, users are most likely to register at home in the evening, in a relaxing setting, not on their way to work. Naturally, gambling ad campaigns should be launched on the weekends and  evenings on weekdays when people are resting after work.

When it comes to betting offers, event marketing works better in this vertical. You can run short-term ad campaigns a few days prior to popular sports events. The conversion will take place not only due to the Internet campaign itself, but also due to the great attention to the expected event.

GEOs

In affiliate marketing, the entire world is divided into 3 tiers, according to the level of customers’ solvency and the size of the offer payouts:

 

Tier 1: this includes the USA, partly Europe (countries with a high standard of living), Australia, Canada.

Tier 2: Latin America, the CIS, Russia, European countries with a low standard of living. This Tier partially includes Asia: Japan, South Korea, Singapore and others.

Tier 3: partly Africa, the Middle East, Georgia and others.

 

The GEO determines what approach you should use to promote gambling offers, which bundles to use. The payout also depends on it. For example, payments for Tier 3 countries are usually lower than for Tier 1 traffic. The exact size of the payments is determined by the income level in a specific country.

Experienced affiliates have entire lists of countries that are best avoided. According to them, the quality of leads is always poor in:

 

 

Russia converts well, a lot of high rollers come from here. However, when driving traffic from Russia, you might run into problems with delayed payments and long holds. Meaning beginner affiliates shouldn’t focus entirely on this one country, but rather on the whole CIS region.

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Ways to promote gambling offers

The main approaches to promoting online casinos and betting services don’t match the ones used in over verticals. Gambling is illegal in many countries, so the main psychological feelings that can be used are people’s desire for the forbidden and their love of easy money.

Bonus

Attracting customers with bonuses and free spins is one of the most popular strategies. Many online casino brands are willing to hand out first deposit bonuses. To avoid clients’ negative reactions you need the bonuses to actually be paid out by the advertiser. That’s why when launching such campaigns, you need to first talk it over with the program’s manager. 

The most effective traffic sources with this bundle are push notifications, teasers, social media and search engine ads.

Ways to beat the casino

Not all online casino brands are willing to accept “beat the casino” traffic. The point of the bundle is that ways to allegedly outplay the casino appear in a channel or website. Obviously, these strategies don’t work, but that doesn’t stop a potential player from registering with the casino and making their first deposits. Some fraction of those registered stays and keeps on gambling. This is how the casino makes a profit. Beat the casino traffic is best driven from Telegram channels and Instagram.

Jackpots, promotions

In this bundle, the webmaster reviews various offers with new promotions, bonuses and free spins. You can also post referral links new users will follow. For reviews, Telegram and Instagram channels, Youtube blogs, and SEO’ed websites are the best option.

Reviewing features, news about new slots, emphasis on the casino’s legal status

Online casino review sites are great at converting warmed-up traffic. A major advantage of such a bundle is that the website will be visited by users already interested in casinos. Such websites can be promoted via SEO. Such blogs can also be published in Telegram and Instagram.

 

Gambling creatives

Where to get ideas for designing gambling creatives? Let me tell you a little about my own experience. A year ago, I thought that when trying to secure a high CR, landing pages mattered more than creatives.

After months of active testing, I changed my mind — creatives are vital. It doesn’t mean that landings aren’t, but you must work on your creatives just as much as you do on landings. 

The second important thing for a successful gambling launch is to understand who your audience is and make sure your creatives reflect that.

For this, I used pixels from Google Analytics and Facebook on my landing pages. And I found out that about 70% of the audience of my push notification campaigns is female.

 

The main approaches to designing creatives:

 

Gambling landings

When a person visits your casino affiliate program landing page, they already have a certain goal, which was formed thanks to your ads. You need to understand that they’ll find plenty of useful info on the page, but they also might still have questions, and this is where you come in.

Give the visitor the opportunity to contact you in some way:

Not to mention it’s more comforting to realize that you weren’t just offered a website, where you need to read and understand everything on your own and then decide whether or not to use the offer, but that you can ask a human being. Yes, you risk being asked a bunch of random useless questions that are just too lazy to read the article and instead go straight for the DMs. But communication with the audience is and will always be a part of the work of a gambling affiliate.

By the way, at this stage you can also get emails and other contact info, which you can then use to send ads, which is also convenient.

 

Sticky buttons

When targeting mobile devices, you need to use all available space efficiently, since there’s not that much of it. A must-have is a sticky button. To make money on casino affiliate programs, you need to motivate the user to perform a target action, and constantly reminding them of it works great. 

 

After that you add the call to action:

 

Pop-up windows

Currently, fullscreen Popups have become especially popular, since people noticed that this greatly increases the conversion rate. But here you need to follow some important rules:

 

 

Shorter texts

When a user logs in from their smartphone, they are hardly in the mood to read long articles with detailed breakdowns of slot machines or casino bonuses. They are likely on their way to work, having lunch or just took a minute to surf the web, and you have a small amount of time to captivate them with your offer. Make sure you have separate desktop and mobile landings – longreads are fine for the first one, and highly undesirable for the second.

 

Traffic sources for casino and bookmaker offers

Free traffic sources

Out of all the messengers, gambling has taken root only in Telegram, there are practically no ads anywhere else. This is because Telegram allows you to create your own channel and promote it.

The model for attracting gambling traffic is approximately the same in all cases:

 

The affiliate creates a fake channel and fills it with content – “reviews” from followers and ways to “beat” the casino.  

They purchase ads promoting your channel in other ones: thematic channels or otherwise. 

Users visit the affiliate’s channel, see the “beat the casino” strategy, register using the link, and perform the targeted action.

In other messengers, you can use spam, but it is ineffective, takes up a lot of time, and the conversion rate is extremely low. Which is why it’s practically never used.

Another suitable traffic source are websites entirely devoted to things like poker-rooms, casinos or other platforms related to this vertical. You can drive traffic from them in 3 ways: 

Create and promote a website yourself. It’ll take a lot of time and money but the result will be worth it. If you manage to create a popular resource that ranks first for multiple search queries, you’ll be getting essentially free traffic. And that will let you just post links to various gambling affiliate programs to promote multiple advertisers at the same time. 

 

Make a doorway. A doorway is a website whose only purpose is to hold a high search rating and immediately redirect traffic to the advertiser’s website. In short, this is basically a free promotion method: keywords and text can be generated, the only expenses you’ll bear are for hosting and the domain. But black-hat doorways with redirects are quickly banned,forcing you to create a new one. White- and gray-hat ones don’t get banned as much, but creating them takes more effort.  

 

Buy ads. One of the most obvious options is to buy ads on thematic websites. For example, purchase space for a banner or teaser. But this is almost impossible to do, since most gambling-themed websites already drive traffic to offers themselves.

 

There are many other sources of gambling traffic. For example, you can set up contextual ads with cloaking or turn to a Youtube blogger with an offer to promote your offer. We covered the main ways to attract users, you can build and test whatever bundles you want.

 

Social media is another popular source of traffic. There are two ways to promote gambling offers there:

 

Via targeted ads. These are ads shown only to users that match the traits you indicated: for example, users of a certain age, from specific cities or those subscribed to the groups of your competitors. Ads promoting online casinos and other similar services are banned in many social networks. That’s why affiliates use cloaking. We’ve already covered in detail what cloaking is in a separate article. In short, it makes social media mods see one thing and real users another. This way you can promote taboo offers.

 

Via ads in communities. This method is more popular because you don’t need to use cloaking. You can buy ads not through social media exchanges, but directly from community admins or owners of popular accounts. For example, you can make ad posts with video reviews of casinos or promote your account using “ways to beat the casino” in Instagram Stories. 

In both cases, you can drive the traffic directly to the offer or warm it up first. For example, show people a “success story” or some guy winning big or offer your subscribers a “strategy” to outplay the casino or bookmaker office. 

Models for attracting hybrid traffic

Hybrid traffic uses paid and free sources in a single ad campaign. For example, you can drive traffic from social media to a Telegram channel. Or launch search engine ad campaigns promoting your SEO’ed websites. This will double the effectiveness of your ads – in addition to promoting your online resource, you’ll also be getting new potential clients.

What sort of investments are needed?

To get traffic from shareware sources, the only thing you’ll need to invest is your time and effort. When using paid traffic sources, your expenses will look a little something like this: 

 

 

Photo editors and video editors may offer a free trial period. Services like Canva make great creatives.

Overall: you’ll need at least $180. Though, for the first couple of months your ad budget alone will have to be at least $100. 

Ideally, to run a few tests and launch a couple of campaigns with decent expendables, you need at least $500.

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Conclusion

Gambling and betting is one of the top verticals in terms of revenue in 2020-2021. The reason for this lies in many establishments moving online, sports events once again being held as usual and people increasing their income after the pandemic. The major advantage of this vertical is that it will continue to scale in proportion to the growth of Internet users. New brands will appear, new GEOs will open up and the demand for traffic in the gambling and betting verticals will only increase. At this stage, the demand for traffic greatly exceeds the supply. That’s why payments for attracting users to online casinos and betting services are some of the highest.