Ethan Miller, Affiliate at Casinofy, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
At Casinofy, Ethan and his cousin work around the clock to make it happen - follow his story below.
How did your affiliate business take off? And, is iGaming your only vertical?
During a family dinner my cousin told me he would like to do something for his own. Since he is an SEO expert we said: “Why not go into gaming affiliation with SEO?” After this family dinner we started our cooperation.
How did you first get into the affiliate space? And, were you always focused on the Gaming space?
I was reading a lot about affiliation, traffic, verticals, google, and many more. However, without action it just won’t work. So I decided to jump into the water. I started with Free Gift Cards’ offers with Facebook ads. It was kind of nice but no more than OK. Luckily, after sometime we had our family dinner where I spoke to my cousin.
How is your company structured, and what aspect of business development are you currently focused on?
We are based in Malta. We love to keep our team small but hungry... so we work 24/7. We have a perfect match. My cousin is in charge of all SEO aspects, and I am in charge of the Biz Dev. That’s a perfect combination in order not to fight on details.
What can operators do to increase support with affiliates?
Mostly understand that it’s definitely not easy to be an affiliate. We have a lot of stress from each side; it can be from google, servers, content writers, and many more. They have to believe that we would like to earn our commission from them, just like they want the traffic. But in general I can’t complain. Most of them are super honest and nice.
How can affiliates be more unique in their approach?
Work very close with the operators, share with them our needs, and of course listening to theirs.
What makes your traffic proposition/traffic sites unique?
We try to do our best to keep all details about brands / games / guise / blog up to date, so we will give the most updated and high level details to our users.
Are you contemplating bringing in investors to scale or grow your business? Or, with such a big M&A market, have you ever contemplated selling the business?
Well, we are always open to discuss opportunities. We believe that from every little talk, even if it doesn’t work, something else can came up... that’s life.
Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate team/business?
The product is top. However, in general we believe in hard work, no short cuts. This is our way of life. We know that affiliation can take long till you start seeing some commission. However, our way of life is to give the maximum in every part. Even if the project won’t succeed, we know that we gave more than 100%. Moreover, being organized is extremely important in terms of the company’s structure, deals, excels, etc. We can’t afford to miss anything, not even one tiny detail along the way.
What sets you apart from other affiliates?
We work 24/7, and work a lot. We don’t have a 09-17h day. We just work till it happens.
How does technology play a part in your day-to-day?
Mostly Skype and phone, because even if I’m not next to the computer, I can work. I also take my laptop to vacations / conferences, etc. We don’t look for being digital nomads, but nowadays it is very easy to work from anywhere.
Which emerging technologies like AI and big data will impact the affiliate industry in 2020 and beyond?
We believe that sooner or later the use of big data for content personalization will make an impact , and more than that, the mobile apps’ market is not fully mature yet.
Is the grass greener on the other side - have you considered going down the operator route?
Never ever! Being an operator is a hassle. We love to keep it small; like a small commando team. We love to work fast and we don’t let things stop us.
Which markets are you eyeing up as a priority in 2020, and why?
At the beginning, we would like to target English speakers and later on we extend to other markets. We would like Italian to be our next language.
How has the fragmentation of regulated markets affected your business? UKGC, Swedish regulator and now also the German regulator is mulling regulating this space.
In general, regulation is not good for gaming affiliates and operators. However, since we don’t have control over it, we try to adapt to the situation with the best deals we can have, and driving the most quality traffic to the most quality brands that we work with. Getting into and working with regulations takes time. However, such times will pass and somehow, everything works out in the end.
How is the Asian market shaping-up for affiliates?
It’s really hard to get into the Asian market these days. We believe that you should have a local office. You have to know the language, their mindset, their way of thinking, and much more. For us, it’s a huge investment to get into this market now; but who knows, maybe we will in the future.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when starting out?
To be more planned. However, in general, the best learning is during the way. We knew that we were going to have some problems during the way, but we always learn from them and try not to repeat them in the future. There are no free meals, the best way to learn is by jumping into the water.
What’s been your biggest nightmare to date?
That we forgot to pay our domain.
What are the main challenges for the sector in 2020?
Regulations, and more regulations. Germany, a huge market. We wanted to get into it, but now nobody knows anything about the future there, so this is holding us from doing things to get into this market. Regulations are getting harder and harder and this is not a good thing for most affiliates and operators.
What are your predictions for the future of the sector?
We think that Esports is going to be top in the next years - huge market, huge company, and money is running over there. Let’s see how it’s going to work out.
How do you manage relationships with multiple operators?
I love to know the operators that I work with in person. That’s why it’s important to me to come to each SiGMA or Grand Slam event and know the operators better. Nothing can change the physical meetings, not even Skype.
What are the benefits of attending large iGaming events, and what can they do better?
To know your operators in real life, and of course meet new operators, networking, and new places.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? Would you consider attending SiGMA Manila or SiGMA Malta at some point?
Yes! Since day 1 I’ve attended all SiGMA and Grand Slam events. I really love SiGMA’s team, and their top person Eman. They are super professional to work with.
Tell us a bit about yourself - after all, business is done with people, not just companies!
If I’m not next to the computer, you can find me surfing the waves. Sports is my way of life; it keeps my mind clean after sitting all day long in front of a computer. I love to volunteer with elderly people. They’ve been through a lot of things in their life, so they give the best suggestions and tips for a good and healthy life.
What’s on your must-read list right now?
Frank Lowy: Pushing the Limits.
Which quote do you live your life by?
Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.
Get to know other great affiliates, responsible for killer traffic!Click the link to read more insights from affiliates.
Following the successful launch of SiGMA Europe (Malta) and SiGMA Asia (Manila), we’re now launching the inaugural SiGMA AMERICAS, covering all three major timezones. The inaugural edition is set for September 22-24, 2020 with a virtual summit focusing on two themes: SiGMA AMERICAS for the Gaming industry and AIBC AMERICAS for the Emerging Tech industry. We wanted to provide fresh content, to help you navigate through these turbulent times. If you’re exploring Americas as a new frontier or wondering which tech solutions to embrace, we've got you covered: tune in on September 22-24, 2020.