Levon Nikoghosyan, PartnerMatrix: Don’t neglect player retention in the hunt for new traffic sources

A stand-alone affiliate management and tracking software system, PartnerMatrix is currently the only B2B product on the market that offers rewards for the reactivation of players.

That’s according to Levon Nikoghosyan, CEO at PartnerMatrix, who spoke to Affiliate Industry Review about marketing trends in 2019, why reducing churn rate is critical to an operator’s success, how affiliates are now rewarded for back traffic from reactivated players, and why “the affiliate business is safe” despite the rising cost of player acquisition and the spread of advertising restrictions across Europe.

Affiliate Industry Review: What key trends have you seen for affiliate marketing in 2019?

Levon Nikoghosyan (PartnerMatrix): The iGaming space is evolving, bringing the affiliate business along for the ride, and that is remarkable. There is a lot of space to grow, and that is obvious when you see T1 operators investing many resources into developing their current programs or even building new ones from scratch.

Trends will always come and go, so first of all, I would primarily focus on getting all the tools and systems in place first. Tracking everything with accuracy is an obvious requirement, and I would place this one on top of the to-do list, especially for smaller operations.  

Looking at affiliates, it is clear they are now more niche than before and eager to explore new verticals, channels or methods in an effort to maximize revenues and grow their networks. The esports vertical is very promising, drawing affiliates because it presents many untapped opportunities.

Native advertising has gained a lot of traction over the years, so in 2019, I think we should expect to see this technique reaching its peak and maintaining a steady trajectory. Focusing more on adding value through content around gambling is a lot more worthy to players than pushing out promotional messages, with little difference to those your competition has.

Affiliate Industry Review: How is PartnerMatrix helping its clients to build retention strategies?

LN: With the ever-increasing cost of user acquisition, keeping and reactivating churned players is critical to success, as we’ve seen from our experience. The reality is that in the affiliate business, the main focus is on continually finding new traffic sources. This shouldn’t be done at the cost of neglecting retention.

To this end, we’ve developed a new feature which aims to simplify the retention process and enable both casino and sportsbook operators to diversify their revenue stream. At this moment, we are the only B2B product in the market offering this feature to its clients.

Reactivation Reward helps affiliates to regain their motivation by offering a reward for the reactivation of players. This is a great strategy to gain substantial revenues using the existing database of players, with little effort. Reactivation Reward can be easily implemented for any type of promotion, from bonuses to jackpots, dynamic odds or digital banners on affiliate websites.

This translates to unlimited freedom for affiliates to choose and administer their ads, in any way they see fit to cater to their audience, depending on the targeted demographics or preferences.

Affiliate Industry Review: Has the rising cost of user acquisition led to any changes in terms of how PartnerMatrix clients select their affiliate commission models?

LN: There aren’t significant changes to the models they choose; each of our clients have the freedom to experiment and keep the one which works best for their needs. We offer extensive and flexible commission models, from Standard Revenue Share, Tired Revenue Share, CPA, Tiered CPA, Mix FTD or Tiered Hybrid, to name just a few.

All affiliate accounts can automatically be set to the default commission plans, or affiliate managers can set custom commission plans for each affiliate, all from an intuitive interface.

What has changed on the other hand, is the way operators’ pay affiliates for their work. Operators can now enjoy receiving back traffic from their own reactivated players, and they award affiliates for this.  This increases the interest of affiliates in promoting a specific brand which pays additional commission for zero extra effort.

Affiliate Industry Review: What have you made of the major advertising restrictions brought in across key markets such as the UK, Italy and Spain? Have you been forced to alter your approach?

LN: As a software provider, our purpose is to offer the necessary tools to help operators grow their marketing programs, in the territories they are targeting. Our approach is not geolocational dependent and can be tailored to clients’ needs, but it is ultimately the operators’ call on how and where to use these tools. The regulations directly affect operators, and for now, I think the affiliate business is safe. Bottom line, the principle of affiliation can’t be made illegal in itself because it’s just a form of referral.

The restrictions are mainly targeting advertising on television and other mass-market communication broadcast channels, the online space being far less controlled than other mediums. Operators in these markets already started to look for new ways to reach broader audiences and it will be interesting to see how creative they can get without putting their businesses at risk.

EveryMatrix will be at this year’s iGB Live in Amsterdam (Stand N24). If you are looking to improve your affiliate program and player acquisition, reach out to info@everymatrix.com to book a meeting.

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