Q&A: Finding a Partner in a Deal

As an affiliate manager, finding the right deal is vitally important if you want to make sure that your program is growing steadily. Often, the best deals are those that are seen as hidden gems and you’ll need to go out of your way to secure these.

We recently spoke with Triston Smook, the Affiliate Business Development Manager at Betsson Group. Triston gave us some insights into what makes a good deal and how the team at Betsson find them in a crowded market. Check out what Triston had to say below.

Affiliate Industry Review: Can you tell us a bit more about your role as Affiliate Business Development Manager at Betsson?

Triston: “In short, I am responsible for finding new business. I provide support to all the affiliate managers in our team with fresh leads and opportunities. I play the roles of seeker, negotiator, collaborator, and influencer.”

AI: How do you go about finding good deals that could be seen as hidden gems?

Finding new deals is easy, the hard part is finding those little diamonds in the rough. With any new partnership it is very rare that you will find an affiliate that will deliver overnight success. The normal par for the course is to establish at least three to six months of activity to evaluate the actual customer value in relation to your brands.

Where budgets are concerned, we tend to favour the more established affiliates able to guarantee player traffic and estimated profits by virtue of their historic records. However, you can only find a hidden gem by making a concerted effort to test new partnerships and new traffic sources.

Testing is vital to expanding your brands and growing your player base. It’s a risk versus reward strategy that can pay off handsomely if you’re willing to try.”

AI: What makes a good deal? How would you evaluate it to make sure that it is suitable?

Triston: “Each deal is associated to a person who represents a business. It’s therefore very important to do a few basic checks when screening new deals as this goes a long way to making an informed decision not only about the opportunity but about the business and person you are dealing with.

Reputation goes a long way in the iGaming industry especially the business of affiliation. By doing a few necessary basic checks (known as due diligence) you can quickly establish the balance between positive and negative. If the positives far outweigh the negatives, then you can explore the next steps in the opportunity and decide whether to take on the risk.

Part of our checks also look at whether the affiliate partner shares the same or similar values as we do at Betsson Group – primarily the Fair Play value – which shapes the way we operate with responsibility and integrity.”

AI: Does your team use any specific tools to help with locating good deals?

Triston: “There are a few good tools available, which are accessible at a cost. If you test a few with a free demo version, you should be able to find the right tool to suit your needs. We are fortunate to make use of a few of these options in combination with each other. It is far better to use as many as possible to build up a better profile of a new deal.

As I already mentioned, each deal is associated to a business and that business may already have some historic activity with you, or it could be a new partnership in the making. Regardless of if it’s a new partnership or an old one, we check every deal to mitigate the risk of getting a ROI. It is the responsibility of an Affiliate Manager to drive new business to the brands they are promoting, but to do so in a professional manner. If you have the right tools in place, you can quickly establish a priority list of best available deals.”

AI: Do you have any advice for affiliate managers hoping to find better deals online?

Triston: “My advice to Affiliate Managers representing their own operator brands is to ensure they complete due diligence checks every single time. All Affiliate Managers have at some point in their careers been burnt by a bad deal. Either the affiliate broke their trust and did not deliver on an agreed deal or the Affiliate Manager did not take the time needed to do their homework.

Start with an easy reference by asking what their site URL is. There are a few tools that can be used to determine if the site has actual traffic and for which market. Ask for recent stats. Most affiliates should be able to provide you with some proof of their traffic especially if they are asking for high fees.

Ask for at least three competitor brands that have partnered with them, then contact them to confirm their legitimacy. Do not agree to any pre-payments. This is the biggest mistake any Affiliate Manager can make without having an established working relationship. Deals are meant to be beneficial for both parties, so don’t be afraid to say no or walk away from a deal if the risk is greater than the potential reward.

Trust your instincts – if it feels too good to be true, it most definitely is. There will always be another deal.”

AI: How do you keep affiliates engaged with the brands? What kind of support do you offer?

Triston: “Keeping affiliate partners engaged with the brands is always a tough job, especially with the high level of competition around. We offer customised assets, exclusive offers, and a range of highly recognisable brands. It goes without saying that Betsson Group has one of the best CRM Departments around, working around the clock to increase player conversion and retain customers. Each region has a dedicated marketing team, with in-depth local knowledge, native language skills and market expertise.

Adding to this we have the best Customer Service Team in the industry ready to engage, service and entertain.”

AI: What makes Betsson Group Affiliates different from its competitors? Why should an affiliate choose you?

Our Affiliate Team aspires to offer a full-service support to all our partners. There are two things that set any Affiliate Manager apart from the rest and that is having a passion for customer service and a passion for sales – both of which we have in abundance.

At Betsson Group Affiliates, we pride ourselves in being able to offer all our partners a solid foundation to grow and develop with us, built on trust, loyalty and dedication. We believe in long-term cultivated and supported relationships. The moment an affiliate joins us they are already two steps ahead. They have a full arsenal at their disposal ready to support their business, help them grow and make them (more) profitable.

We invest in our brands, keeping them at the forefront of technology, with best gaming platforms, games providers, and payment solutions. We have the right talent to support the growing needs of our business.

As a team, we also invest heavily in our strongest asset – our affiliate partners – and for this reason Betsson Group Affiliates is a multi-award-winning program.”

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