Jack Carter, CEO at New Free Spin, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
Being a family run organisation has its challenges, but Jack Carter has grown the business by focusing on maintaining flexibility - follow his story below.
How did you first get into the affiliate space, and were you always focused on the iGaming sector?
Five/Six years ago I was snowboarding in the Alps and someone in our group ran an affiliate gaming business. When I returned home I started writing content for him and within a few months had created our first affiliate site called “bigbonusbingo.co.uk”. A huge shout out to him as his generosity in showing me the affiliate ways. It has benefited me and my family's lives immensely, I couldn’t thank him enough. I am an example of someone that serendipity changed forever.
How is your affiliate business structured, and what aspect of business development are you currently focused on?
It is a family run organisation but from the very beginning we have focused on maintaining flexibility for employees. Nobody has set hours, everyone sets their own holidays entitlement, everyone works from home – a truly modern family.
We started with a UK focus creating newnodepositcasino.co.uk but quickly followed this with newfreespinsnodeposit.com which tailors the content for a worldwide audience. We are currently exploring how to effectively use youtube to generate business via new-slotsite.com where we play the slots so you don’t have to.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
We have recently invested in a twitch streaming business, and a sports betting tipping site called Tipya.com where users share tips and compete against each other. We think that diversification across markets helps us understand the up and coming player market.
What makes your traffic proposition/traffic sites unique? What can you offer that others don’t? Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?
We probably have the largest collection of slot offers available anywhere as we post updates and new offers everyday. So giving the player the largest choice possible is what we think drives business loyalty. We are currently in the process of creating a new offering where we invite players to become a member, in this way we can tailor what is presented to customers and provide more exclusive offers.
Is the grass greener on the other side - Have you considered giving white label casino or sports betting a go?
We have looked at white labelling several times but it didn’t align to our core business principle of flexibility working. Plus, when you do the maths the margin is small for the risk and effort involved. The sports betting market is saturated hence why we took a different route via Tipya.com
Are you concerned by the impact on the affiliate sector from shifting regulatory environments? (In particular UKGC, Sweden’s Spelinspektionen, and Germany’s 2020 State Treaty on Gaming Regulation)
There is an ever increasing effort required to keep sites compliant. Luckily we have a very good relationship with the operators who generally give us advance notice of the changes required. That said as some markets become tighter others are opened up so being worldwide focused has advantages
What is the main thing that you’d like SiGMA readers to know about your traffic? Are you focusing on SEO? PPC? Any other traffic source?
All our traffic is exclusively SEO driven, we have never paid for clicks or back links. Hopefully this gives us a small advantage because it means you have to be pure to SEO principles and hopefully not suffer too badly when the google algorithms change. Others are not so ethical and will find it hard to remain “King”
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?
We are fortunate not to need investment to upscale and continue to grow. We have had enquiries previously regarding selling the business but our primary focus is maintaining control and driving revenue through expansion and diversification.
What can operators do to increase support from affiliates?
Most of the operators are professional and transparent. There are a minority who try to complicate the payment of commissions in an attempt to delay and avoid payments which just wastes everyone’s time.
Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate team/business?
It is difficult to build an affiliate business given the competition that exists. So to succeed you need to have a great knowledge of SEO and above all perseverance to keep trying. We have as many sites that don’t make a profit as the ones that do.
How does technology play a part in your day-to-day?
I wouldn’t say we are technology led business, we would rather change our requirements to fit the technology than try to build something bespoke. Luckily the web is full of great techies who create inexpensive widgets that can pretty much do what we want. In this way we can move forward quickly and cheaply.
How is the Asian market shaping-up for affiliates?
The Asian market is insignificant in our current business. We are developing a truly global affiliate platform in which we hope to target Asia, among other global regions.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when starting out?
SEO is a science and a lottery. Just because one site becomes popular, another based on the same principles might be a flop.
What’s been your biggest nightmare to date?
No huge nightmares just the occasional bad dream like keeping abreast of compliance across the world.
We keep strictly to the White Hat SEO practices to avoid any potential nightmare scenarios that Google might throw at us.
What are the challenges in managing relationships with multiple operators?
We work well with our operators and will do everything we can to help them promote their products. As our USP is the large choice of offer we provide, we probably work with over 100 operators, many of which seem to come and go very quickly. This always brings challenges.
What are the benefits of attending large iGaming events, and what can they do better?
We always attend the large European events and enjoy meeting the operators to share progress and a drink. We always return with some new insight or new relationship. What can they do better?…. bigger glasses
Have you ever been to SiGMA? Would you consider attending SiGMA Manila or SiGMA Malta at some point?
We always attend ICE London and we have attended the Malta conference previously.
Tell us a bit about yourself – after all business is done between people, not just companies!
Snowboarding but travelling generally
Favourite book ever read?
Terry Pratchet Disc World series
Where would you relocate with family if you had to pick one city?
I used to live a Barcelona so I would probably go back back there
Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.
Favourite sport and childhood idol?
Skateboarding and Dale Winton (R.I.P)
Get to know other great affiliates, responsible for killer traffic! Click the link below 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 LATAM, covering all three major timezones. The inaugural edition is set for September 22-24, 2020 with a virtual summit focusing on two themes: SiGMA LATAM for the Gaming industry and AIBC LATAM for the Emerging Tech industry.