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Closing revenue loops in your affiliate business

Customer retention and increasing revenue require resource investment for any affiliate, yet they’re both essential for continued success. In this article, we’re taking a look at how you can plug the leaks that may well cost you cash and get more from the customers that already know your affiliate brand. 

An example from outside of the iGaming industry…

When it comes to affiliate marketing, it can be hard to look for trailblazers with track records of success, as the industry is still so young. For this reason, we’re taking you through an example from outside of our own industry. Last year at AffiliateFEST we invited founder of Halfspace, Sanjit Atwal to talk about his experiences building and selling an online gaming business. During his session, he covered a story about innovating in congested markets and this lesson is one we will share again now. 

We’re going to be taking a look at MGM Studios within this article, as the way that they built up their brand in a competitive environment is pretty unique. Back in the twenties this brand was making movies and they noticed one thing that could put them ahead of their competitors. They decided to own each part of the customer channel, effectively plugging up cash leaks in their business and forcing out the competition from their space. They owned everything from the IP, the contract, movie star contracts, scripts, production and even the cinemas themselves. 

What this did was give the company control over each step in the process of making a movie from idea conception to final product. Instead of having to outsource or rely on other entities they simply created a funnel that meant they received revenue from every step in the process. 

So what can iGaming affiliates learn from this?

There are some great takeaways for affiliates from this success story. 

1. Have an idea  – act on it!

The first is that if you spot an opportunity, a gap in the market or a strategic advantage then you have to take it. If the owners of MGM had merely sat around thinking about how closing this loop would help them, instead of taking action, they may never have become as successful.Take time to do the research that you need to do, but act if you want to see results, that’s point number one. 

2. Work smarter not harder

Next, we can look at how this ownership process streamlined the revenue models for them. Think about your affiliate business, is there something that causes you a headache and takes up more of your time than it has any right to? Well, it’s time to be like MGM and identify a way to move forward to secure the problem and retain your income. Look for new artificial intelligence, technologies, project management software and training that allows your business to move forward. 

3. Own your data and marketing funnels – end to end

Finally, MGM have also created a brand that they control 100% of. This means that each movie they have made has had all of the parts assembled in house to their liking. This gives them control over quality, and content as well as IP.  Look at your business and how you are earning revenue right now. If there are parts of your affiliate portal which the user finds to be low quality or they don’t get the right deal that you advertise, then they most likely won’t come back to your brand. Manage your reputation by being vigilant as to the partners you work with and the experience that you offer your users.  It’s no longer enough to just be a traffic source, if you want to build a scaleable business you need to be collecting data that you can monetise and remarked to compliantly. Make sure all your campaigns are set up correctly and you are not missing out  anything in your customer funnels.

Sometimes looking at the past, can help you plan for the future. Consider your community, your brand impact and how you can engage and keep your customers converting to increase your revenue models. With the advancement of new tracking technology you can make things better for your existing users and prevent them from dropping off. This creates a brand and community that they can trust, which is worth its weight in gold. You can spend a lot of money advertising an affiliate portal, but these repeat users will maximise your revenue at a much lower cost. 

If you want to find out more about membership marketing or how to commercialise your business better, be sure to get your FREE ticket for the upcoming AffiliateFEST 2018 and register now. We’ll be sharing some excellent insights from our own industry and beyond, so book now to avoid disappointment. 

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