Dmytro Nalbat, CEO of Plussy, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
Dmytro Nalbat of Plussy speaks about the two main directions of the company which are their affiliate program and their media buying team. Their traffic and the players' retention are among the things they can offer. They work with PPC and generate traffic from Google, Facebook, and TikTok. They strongly believe in perseverance and in taking risks - follow his story below.
How did your affiliate business take off? And, is iGaming your only vertical?
My first experience with traffic and affiliate programs was in 2011. That was the first time I ever heard about affiliate programs and their earning potential. I tried to generate on information products and wow-goods. Later, nutra replaced the information products.
Then, I tested everything that came to hand: dating, mobile games, nutra, and gambling. That was when I first saw the offer of Vulcan casino to Russia. I got interested in the relatively large payout per conversion.
In 2014, I was invited for an interview by a company that operated a casino. This is how I got into the marketing department. We worked on brand development in the CIS market. Half a year later, I found the company is planning to create and develop its own affiliate program. I responded and offered to completely close this issue. We developed our affiliate platform and started promoting our affiliate program.
Since 2014, I have been engaged only in gambling traffic, building affiliate programs and media buying teams within the company. Then, at the beginning of 2018, my partner and I decided to open our own company. This is how Plussy was born.
How is your affiliate business structured, and what aspect of business development are you currently focused on?
At the moment we have two main directions within the company:
- Affiliate program. We find publishers and affiliate teams, give offers and help to better convert their traffic. We provide many technical aspects for work and take on all the risks of finances and payments.
- Media buying team. This is a team that generates traffic. We work with PPC traffic. Over the years, we have learned how to get traffic from almost any GEO. Over the past 2 years, about 50 countries have been tested.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
The main market for which we get the most traffic is Ukraine. This is probably due to friendly relations with local operators and good working conditions. We can also highlight a number of GEOs to which the most traffic is sent:
What makes your traffic proposition/traffic sites unique? What can you offer that others don’t?
Probably the first is the volume of traffic. We are good at scaling and giving volumes. The second, perhaps even more important, is retention.
We work with mobile applications and drive traffic through them. The application itself is in fact a proxy pad for the users. Inside they see a casino website. If the users have installed the application, it remains on their desktop, and they see it when they pick up the phone. And, push notifications. We build complex funnels for push notifications, thus bringing the player back to the product – something that cannot be done if the traffic just goes to the site. After a click, you no longer have any influence on the users, and we kind of "warm them up", sending, for example, bonuses.
It is important that once we worked on products ourselves and bought traffic from affiliates, we monitor the quality of traffic, because we buy it "for ourselves".
What is the main thing that you’d like SiGMA readers to know about your traffic? Are you focusing on SEO? PPC?
We work with PPC and generate traffic from Google, Facebook, and TikTok. Traffic should be sent, not talked about.
What can operators do to increase support from affiliates?
Good retention on the product. Flexibility. Frequent payments.
Also, one of the main points is the understanding of the market by the operators themselves. Sometimes there are situations when an advertiser has launched a new GEO, because the license allows it, but there is nothing besides the translation of the site. Often such tests end up negatively. The operator must be able to work with a specific market, have data on it, and understand the user.
Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate team/business?
Strange ideas. Perseverance. And, of course, don't be afraid to take risks. After all, all financial risks in the beginning lie only with you.
If you can see how most people do it, chances are it already works badly. You need to come up with new approaches on a regular basis, and the crazier an idea seems to you, the bigger the chance that it will work out.
Another point is not to take the experience of other people as an axiom. We regularly encounter the fact that the same approach for different specialists in the team works in completely different ways. If something works well for others, it does not mean that it will work for you, and vice-versa.
What is the Asian online gambling market for you?
I had experience with this market. We had traffic from Japan and South Korea. We really like the market, but today there are only a few offers. From the comments: Very interesting, but nothing is clear. I want to work harder.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when starting out?
What you do today will not work tomorrow.
What’s been your biggest nightmare to date?
What are the challenges in managing relationships with multiple operators?
Once we were owned a huge sum of money from a local operator who just stopped communicating with us. Usually everything works out well with European operators.
Well, from time to time we are faced with mistrust from brands regarding the quality of our traffic. Many European operators do not understand what kind of traffic we are doing and do not really want to believe screenshots from other products.
We sometimes face the following situation: We drive traffic by CPA. Well, to start with a new product, we need a normal payout in order to make a test. When this is a new GEO for us, there are no questions - we are ready to start with any proposed rate in order to get some data and understand how to work with it further.
But it often happens that we drive Germany for $150. A new publisher comes to us, asks to send traffic to it and offers to make a test by RevShare or by CPA, but with a payment of $70. In such a situation, it makes no sense for us to do a test, because we already have a payout of $150. We know how much traffic costs. Checking at that price is a negative ROI advance. We are ready to provide screenshots and other evidence. It sounds like a logical thing - another operator will not buy traffic from us for $150 if it does not pay off. And, if we do not know each other personally, such negotiations often come to a standstill.
What are the benefits of attending large iGaming events, and what can they do better?
I love offline events. This is an opportunity to personally meet brand representatives, speak closer, and tell about yourself.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? Would you consider attending SiGMA Manila or SiGMA Malta at some point?
I planned to go in '19, but it didn't work out. So shame, did not know that someone would want to eat a bat.
Tell us a bit about yourself – after all business is done between people, not just companies!
Where do you prefer to go on vacation?
I like city rest. It doesn't have to be sea / ocean. I love to learn the local culture, communicate with the locals, and understand how they live, what they eat. Favorite places are Great Britain, Italy, and UAE.
What's your favorite book? What book do you plan to read in the future?
It is difficult to single out one. I'll write my top 5:
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski
- The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
- Stephen Hawking's Universe: The Cosmos Explained by Stephen Hawking
- The Pedagogical Poem by Anton Marchenko
Now I am reading No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer.
Where would you relocate with family if you had to pick one city?
I think there is always an opportunity for everyone. I am not planning at the moment, but would like to live in the UK. London is the best place on earth.
As Charles Bukowski says: "Don’t try. If you’re going to try, go all the way."
Favorite sport and who was your childhood idol?
For many years it has been running and chess. But during childhood I had several posters of the #7 of Manchester United, David Beckham, hanging on the wall.
Read more about SiGMA Affiliate Grand Slam here.
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