Poker Affiliation: Opportunity or a dead acquisition channel?

Some of the first online gambling games were poker games and these attracted a massive audience. Players lined up to get their fix with these games, but has the shine worn off the table now? We’re here to investigate whether this is a dead channel or if affiliates can still gain value from it. 

Understanding the average poker player

When we think of poker players, you think young cool male players, truth is there are more females now migrating over to this online betting option. This player tends to use more than one platform and can in fact be a fan of sports betting and fantasy games too. The fact is that poker is a game of skill. It’s something that has to be played often and learnt over time thus delivering a high yield because players remain active for a longer period of time vs. other gaming verticals. Affiliate sites like poker strategy have really developed a key following around educational content for poker players starting out.

This kind of player can be apt to place high bets where they want to, which can make them high value for casinos too. They’re usually a traditional type of bettor, who likes to be treated as a high roller and potentially have a VIP account manager. Think about the way that land based casinos treat their high rollers to keep them coming back for more. 

These players also want the facts and figures on the games that they are playing. Strategy guides and in depth knowledge can act as a good funnel to bring these customers over to your site. Show that you are knowledgeable as an affiliate then you can more effectively convert these players with a good partner operator.

Retention and profit 

Making sure you retain these players is essential, as they can spend a lot over time. For affiliates, this means that you want them to continuously come to you for the latest news tournaments and offers. For operators, to retain these customers you have to reward them and show that it is worth their staying with you, rather than going elsewhere to play. This means a solid platform offering good buy in and free roll tournaments as well as live games too. 

The profit from these players can come from tournament or regular play. Depending on whether they’re incentivised by promotions or play regularly none the less, it’s important to retain this customer  high value player and ensure they are getting the right amount of information and content to keep them developing their skill. 

As an affiliate, if you publish information that is wrong or a bit too vague, then this player can potentially go elsewhere. It doesn’t take much to show that you don’t know what you’re talking about. If you want to convert these players, then you have to always speak with authority on the subject matter. Playing online Poker is driven by desire and aspiration to be the best of the best – this is not just a game played for frivolous entertainment.

Brand loyalty 

If all is well, customer service and payouts are good and ethical,  then these players generally won’t go to any other site one bedded in. However, small annoyances can provoke them to switch platforms too. Issues with poker tables, tournaments not starting timorously or irritation with live dealers and inaccurate information can mean that they will go play elsewhere. 

There is an element of brand loyalty among poker players, as they want to retain their VIP status where they have it. So make sure you capitalise on this with your retention efforts to ensure customers are always kept informed of where the best places are to play.

Reinvigorating and monetising these players

Although some of the volume of poker figures have dipped over time, there is still value within this channel. You can reinvigorate their interest and cross market new products to them easily too – such as esports. There are many poker players crossing over into this emerging niche segment because of the similarity to tournament styles and live events. Segmenting the data that you have on these players will allow you to convert them more frequently over time. 

Use the data that you have on which offers they gravitate to in order to market to them more effectively. Some players like the thrill of a new games and others want free chips, it’s up to you to determine which of these players is which. You can also segment the high value players with the lower value ones, to figure out which are most useful to you. 

While poker players can be tricky to market to, you have to use this data where possible. Create a depth of content that will bring them in organically and become a voice of authority or news based on their interests. This can be a time intensive strategy but one that has the potential to really reward you in the long run. 

Abandoning this channel for promotion may well be preferable to some affiliates that don’t have the resources in place to market effectively to poker players or if they simply have no burning interest in the game itself. It’s key to be considered about poker player psychology before starting out in this channel because you could be wasting time and space on your site which could be better used for other kinds of iGaming offers. 

For key insights into where niche’s for acquisition are appearing the iGaming industry, come along to our next AffiliateFEST event. We have 100 free tickets on offer for iGaming affiliates, though these won’t be available for long. Book yours now!