Yeva Nrava, Head of Commercials at AffPapa, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
Yeva Nrava's genuine goal is to ensure that AffPapa's users have the best experience ever. This goes hand in hand with AffPapa's main priority, i.e., to provide exceptional services to their user - follow her story below.
Tell us a bit more about your business model. How did AffPapa start? What is AffPapa for? What approach do you use when working with affiliates and operators? How does it really work?
The idea behind AffPapa is very simple – it is a meeting point for affiliates and operators, a directory where operators can search for affiliates and vice versa. Thanks to our advanced filters, operators can sift through the high-quality selection of affiliates, with the exact GEO's, commission offers, product coverage, traffic volume and many other attributes qualifying to their needs. Despite the fact that AffPapa is a bridge between operators and affiliates we are not a network – we don’t compel parties to cooperate through us. AffPapa is the “Tinder” of iGaming – you don’t pay Tinder every time you are out with someone. You meet your partner once and then he/she is yours. Same goes for AffPapa.
What are the main challenges for the sector in 2020, particularly during this pandemic?
I think it would be boring for our readers to read another melancholic answer to this standard question about pandemic hence I’ll be short: the pandemic was disastrous. It hurt us a lot and it taught us a lot.
How is AffPapa structured, and what aspect of business development are you currently focused on?
Our business model is based on 2 entities – affiliates and operators. We are focused on engaging users from both of those parties and that’s the key and the burden to our success. To be honest our task is extremely hard – to highlight the value of our product to every single customer. Usually some of the affiliates won’t register because they can find operators very easily by surfing the internet. That’s why for some of the affiliates we are doing demoes, explaining how our filters work and with such approach most of the time we are winning another loyal client.
How many affiliates and operators do you currently manage under the AffPapa portfolio?
At the moment we have over 500 worldwide based affiliates, offering products like casino, poker, sports / esports, lottery, bingo etc. Regarding operators, we are working with more than 40 Tier One brands in the market.
What advantages do affiliates have when joining AffPapa? What advantages do operators have?
The most important advantage for both parties is time saving of course. Affiliates and operators can easily find details about each other, get acquainted to conditions and features of the opposite party. Affiliates can find out whether an operator accepts cryptocurrency, accepts players from specific countries, holds licenses of specific jurisdictions, etc. Operators can find out whether the affiliate accepts CPA or Rev Share deals, how much traffic it holds, what regions the affiliate covers, etc. As you can see there are quite a lot of benefits for both parties and those benefits are getting more and more day by day.
Which markets are you eyeing up as a priority and why? Do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
As I’ve mentioned before we work with worldwide based markets. Targeting all GEO’s ensures probability of more cooperation opportunities. Our other main priority, as of now, is to provide exceptional services to our users. We put quality on top of everything we do.
Which niches work best for your affiliate marketing, and which are the most profitable? How did you find your most profitable niche?
The main niche is of iGaming of course. If we talk about sub-niches, I’d say that we cover all verticals of iGaming – Casino, Sports, Live Dealers, Esports, P2P games etc. The borderline between those products is really vague when it comes to operators covering most of those offers.
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? Have you considered going down the operator route?
I’m not the best representative of our company to answer this question but up until now we were not looking for any investment. In terms of client acquisition our company is performing quite well and so far, we didn’t need any investment to keep the business on rails. However, I don’t deny a scenario of AffPapa looking for investment for growth purposes in the near future.
I know that we have received some offers from industry media companies but I don’t know whether we have any plans to merge or be acquired by any of them.
From your experience, how can affiliates be more unique in their approach?
I think the truly unique affiliates these days are the ones who constantly update content of their websites, refine features and functionalities on their projects, which in consequence leads to organic traffic with high quality value.
What makes AffPapa unique?
Well, it must be obvious that, first and foremost, AffPapa is the only product of its kind and that’s what makes us unique.
Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate team/business?
I think sometimes people forget that business is done WITH people. We are working with highly emotionally intelligent beings. Developing a strong connection, hands down has been a go-to for me. You can’t build a partnership on an unsteady foundation. I always make sure I connect with the person in front of me (or the one that appears on the computer screen, *coughs* COVID19), make a solid ground that’ll support whatever route we choose to go into. A better grasp of each other takes as farther than we think.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most in-demand skills within the iGaming sector. Why in your view?
I think the question is rather global here, because affiliate marketing is in-demand in almost every vertical other than iGaming sector. The reason is that you are getting a loyal customer who has already been acquainted to your brand and to some of your offers. These customers’ lifetime is longer, they trust your website more than the ones who landed on your website through a regular advertisement. This is probably the key reason why affiliate marketing skills are in-demand.
How important is social media activity for your affiliate marketing? How difficult is it with Google's constant updates?
Well, social media, especially nowadays, is a crucial part of any business venture. We are working with a great team of people who have been strategically using all our resources to get the optimum result. As long as we are up to date with all the tweaks and updates, in a sense walk in sync with the current flow, we’ll be fine.
Which emerging technologies like AI and big data will impact the affiliate industry in 2020 and beyond?
It is really hard to predict because technologies evaluate or die out quite rapidly. My guess is that blockchain will bring more transparency and tighten the trust between players and operators. AI will contribute to better costumer experience on affiliate websites – players will receive notifications and updates about bonuses, free spins, or any other promotions which will evidently be in the scope of their interests.
What are your predictions for the future of the sector?
Affiliate marketing sector will keep growing, becoming a more and more competitive area. The level of the services provided by affiliates to players will only refine which in the end will lead to a variety of amazing websites contenting needs of every single player.
What can operators do to increase support with affiliates and vice-versa?
Communication, communication, communication! Listen to the client/partner. If we spend a little bit more time paying close attention to detail, we won’t face uncalled for issues.
How do you manage relationships with multiple operators and affiliates?
This goes back to the question we touched on earlier. Having individual relationships with each client will ensure you a spot on, immediate solution to every possible error. Why? Because you know what the client wants, what makes them content, what they prioritise in a partnership. I create valuable bonds with our clients because my genuine goal is to ensure they have THE BEST experience with AffPapa.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? SiGMA Europe, Africa, Asia, or Americas - which of these four expo shows would you likely book on your diary for 2021, COVID-19 permitting?
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to attend any of the above-mentioned events, YET. Trying not to be too ambitious here, ha-ha, but SiGMA Europe and Asia would be a great adventure to be a part of.
Tell us a bit about yourself - after all, business is done with people, not just companies! Your hobbies, favorite book, favorite quote, whether you are into Gaming yourself, etc.
Well, I’m really interested in human psyche, I love literature based around this topic. I think if we truly understand ourselves, we’ll have less trouble understanding others. I love being in nature, adore animals, since I think they ground us a lot.
I love traveling and experiencing different cultures and cuisines, which leads to one of my favorite quotes: “the entire planet is home. Staying in one city your whole life would be like never leaving the bedroom.”
Regarding the Gaming industry, I've come to love it. It has many sides to it which I’m having a lot of fun discovering.
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About SiGMA Europe:
SiGMA Europe will take place on February 16-18, 2021. Europe remains a leading market for gaming, making this the perfect opening gaming show for 2021. Join us for the 7th edition of SiGMA at the MFCC - Malta Fairs & Conventions Centre, and explore how you can benefit from being a delegate, a sponsor, an exhibitor or a keynote speaker.