This year Intertops celebrates the 20th anniversary of its groundbreaking affiliate program. To mark the occasion, Intertops Affiliates will be giving away stacks of Apple products at next month’s London Affiliate Conference. We caught up with a spokesperson from the firm to find out more.
Affiliate Industry Review: Could you describe the origins of your affiliate program twenty years ago?
Intertops: Affiliate marketing was born in 1996 when Amazon started their first affiliate program. Inspired by the pioneer, Intertops was one of the first operators in the igaming industry. We rolled out our affiliate program in 1999, three years after accepting the world’s first ever online bet.
At Intertops, we understood from the very start that affiliates can help the business grow and that our relationship with our partners must be based on mutual trust. The affiliate team tried to establish long-term business deals from the word go and many affiliates have been working with us ever since.
AI: Who was your first affiliate? What made him decide to promote Intertops and in which geographical markets?
I: One of our very first affiliates was ‘Suchknecht’. 20 years ago he worked as a postman, delivering the daily post to the Intertops office. One day he sat down for a coffee with the company founder and enquired about what made Intertops and the igaming industry tick. He became very interested and started his affiliate career by inventing a search engine called Suchknecht.at, which means ‘search servant’ in German.
To start with Suchknecht.at almost exclusively targeted Austrian users, but soon afterwards he added Switzerland and Liechtenstein via suchmaschine.li. He started promoting Intertops products and now, 20 years later, he still receives monthly commission for the players he referred way back then. ‘Suchknecht’ will attend the London Affiliate Conference 2019 and tell affiliates more about the beginning of affiliate marketing back in the good old days.
AI: While some operators have decided to stop affiliate programs altogether, yours is still going after twenty years. What factors have contributed to this longevity?
I: Affiliate marketing is built on trust! While other affiliate programs come and go, the Intertops Affiliate Program has remained stable over the past two decades. The key to our continued success is offering deals to affiliates, which are profitable in the long run – both for us and for our partners. Affiliate programs offering a 70% revenue share or CPA rates of $1,000 are unlikely to be able to pay affiliates for good.
Intertops offers up to 35% revenue share as a benchmark and affiliates have been paid like clockwork over the last 20 years. It is also worth underlining that we have never made any retroactive changes to our terms, such as adding a minimum quota or minimum payments. We don´t have negative carryover and pay commission to affiliates for a lifetime!
AI: What are the major challenges and opportunities facing your affiliate program looking ahead?
I: Looking ahead, we are confident that there will be more opportunities than challenges. Technical progress constantly provides new chances for the industry grow. The challenge is keeping track of all the changes, such as regulatory requirements and compliance.
AI: What is the secret to managing affiliates successfully?
I: Things like short response time, fast payments, attractive player promotions, exclusive welcome offers and top-notch marketing material are no secret and a matter of course. But we like to go the extra mile by sharing our knowledge, resulting from extensive research and testing.
One example is landing pages for affiliates, which are AB tested and optimized for best possible conversion. If conversion is high, affiliates are happy and we enjoy both success and exposure.