Tony sat down with Bill Rini to discuss his days working for Party Gaming, and his life as an affiliate.
1. When planning your marketing efforts, do you take a different approach as an affiliate than you would as an operator? If so, how?
I’m not sure if I take a different approach but the amount of information, money, and resources are completely different. For instance, an operator can target promotions at $2/$4 limit players in order to increase liquidity in those games. An affiliate simply doesn’t have the data to run such targeted promotions nor are they necessarily concerned with influencing liquidity.
So it’s not that I would approach the marketing efforts differently but as an affiliate I have different goals and different limitations. But at the end of the day you reward player behavior that helps you accomplish your goals so the fundamental theory remains the same.
2. Obviously you see a future in being an affiliate yourself. That being said, with some of the poker rooms having enormous marketing budgets, why do you think the rooms still need affiliates to drive traffic?
Poker rooms tend to have a very narrow view of the world. I’ve written about this before on my blog but they tend to lag behind on social media and other emerging technologies and trends. Most of the people working in marketing for poker rooms aren’t poker players. They’re marketing guys (and women) who know how to buy print and other media but don’t necessarily understand the guerilla level marketing that affiliates are good at. There are a handful of poker rooms who get it but most don’t. That’s where the opportunities for affiliates come in.
3. After working for two of the biggest operators in the industry you started promoting rakeback offers. Why did you choose to go the rakeback route?
Well actually, I promote both rakeback and non-rakeback. But because the site I’m the most well known for has an audience that is mainly poker industry people or very serious players it seemed that promoting rakeback would yield the biggest return.
At a bigger level I feel that there is a fundamental flaw in the way affiliates are compensated. Most affiliates just slap a banner ad on their site and start writing mediocre poker content and expect a lifetime payout for their efforts. But, in general, I think the larger poker rooms are starting to recognize that some affiliates provide ongoing value by helping retain players and they’re struggling to find a way to put a better dollar figure on what those players are worth.
4. You have one week to live. You can bring all of your friends and family with you. Would you spend that week in Thailand, the United States, Malta, or Gibraltar?
Wow, that one isn’t even close. Thailand wins hands down. Being in American the US is a close second only because it’s the country I love as my homeland. Gibraltar and Malta have their appeal but it’s not exactly like you’re going to see an elephant walking down the middle of the street like you would in Thailand.