Affiliate Spotlight shines a light on the key figures and latest affiliate sites from around the world.
This week we chat to Cashcow co-founder Antti Alatalo, who details the history of the site, introduces Casino Professor and outlines what the future holds.
Affiliate Industry Review: Can you begin by introducing Cashcow as a company and explaining its background?
Antti Alatalo: Cashcow is a lead-generation company that was founded in May 2017 by three Finns – myself, Mika and Kirmo. I knew Mika after previously working at the same company before I then met Kirmo through a mutual hobby of ours. After years of collective experience in iGaming, we all harboured a desire to launch our own casino affiliate site which would do things differently to others.
In just under two years, Cashcow has grown from us three founders to reach 13 full-time members. We offer many perks to employees – such as flexible 6-hour days and remote working – and recently moved into a new office in Sliema.
AI: And where does Casino Professor fit into the equation?
AA: A month after Cashcow first launched, our flagship Casino Professor site went live. To differentiate from others, we decided to base the brand around the character of a wise, all-knowing online casino player to build trust with readers. Back in 2017, the use of a character as the face of a casino affiliate wasn’t as common as it is today – and this helped us stand out significantly.
Success was almost instant, with the site being nominated for the iGB Award for Affiliate Newcomer of the Year less than six months after launch – which it then won in February 2018.
At first, we only targeted a couple of markets. Today, Casino Professor has many separate language versions – including English, German, Finnish, and more recently Spanish.
AI: How have Cashcow staff members utilised their digital marketing expertise to ensure the business flourishes?
AA: To facilitate our shared vision of creating a new affiliate site, we all used our different backgrounds to contribute. Kirmo previously worked in email affiliate marketing and therefore took charge of sales. He was in this role for many years which allowed him to accrue a lot of contacts. This proved invaluable when approaching casinos, as not all are keen to partner with new affiliate sites with no prior reputation.
For myself and Mika, we were both heavily involved with SEO and site development before Cashcow. We used our technical knowledge to build Casino Professor near enough from scratch so that it operated just as we, and Google, liked.
After the success of Casino Professor, we recently decided to branch out into other lead-generation verticals – in part, using the experience we’ve gained from the past couple of years.
AI: There are a number of casino-focused affiliate sites out there. What makes Casino Professor stand out from the rest?
AA: The top priority was user experience, as it needed to be both fun and easy to use. The latter was taken care of by myself and Mika, with the site offering up clear options to readers with useful filter tools to match their preferences. The Casino Professor character is what makes the experience fun, with unique artwork and graphics being created to personalise the domain.
A good example is each casino’s rating, with the usual 5-star system accompanied by a series of symbols depicting the Professor’s reaction – Sad, Neutral, Enjoying, or Love! When visiting a review, these images make it clear what the Professor thinks immediately.
The use of a character also made it easy for us to push the Casino Professor brand further, with dedicated Twitch, YouTube and Twitter accounts. Tapping into the success of casino streaming, there are several live streams on Twitch every week. Highlights are then uploaded to YouTube, alongside a handful of useful guides which feature the Casino Professor character in full voice.
AI: As we move further into 2019, what’s on the horizon for both Cashcow and Casino Professor?
AA: For Cashcow as a company, the target will be to try and build the other lead-generation verticals to match our success in casino affiliation.
However, Casino Professor is still very much our flagship product, so a lot of attention will be put into maintaining its success. We’re looking into entering new markets to continue the site’s growth – while continuing to add new features and adjustments to improve user experience.