Rasmus Pajbjerg, co-founder at mediadevoted.com, gives an exclusive interview to SiGMA News as part of our latest series on affiliates
How did you first get into the affiliate space, and were you always focused on the iGaming sector?
Started when I was 17 years old when me and my partner figured out it was possible to make money on the internet from a school teacher who had a blog. Then we saw a 14 years old guy in the Danish Morning Television that was making a lot money on Facebook Ads and that kinda fuelled the motivation and we thought "okay, if he can do it, we can do it as well" and then we just started to learn more and more for 2 years and then decided to drop out of school - and here we are 8 years after.
How is your affiliate business structured, and what aspect of business development are you currently focused on?
We are a team of around 12 people where everybody plays a role in the success of the company. Some are focused on specific verticals or traffic sources, while others are focusing on new business development and testing out new verticals and traffic sources. As we learned from our 8 years in the industry, it's very important to always be a step ahead since new regulations or changes can change your business overnight.
Currently we focus a lot on push notifications as we already see a big potential here and realise that a lot affiliates/media buyers/advertisers haven't yet realised the potential here.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
Tier 1 and Tier 2 is our main markets. We still have a lot potential to fill out here on new traffic sources and geo's, so we rather stay focused on what we already know is working.
Regarding emerging markets it's something we test here and there, but not a big focus.
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've always been working hard and offered transparency to all our partners and that's something we really benefit from after 8 years. Because of that we are able to get some unique partnerships. We've also always tried to help other affiliates, affiliate networks or advertisers if we can and that's something that always have been paid back multiple times over the years.
Regarding exiting plans - we keep developing on our push notification management platform, in order to handle more volumes/partners in an efficient way.
Beside that we are testing some cross-channel marketing where we generate leads from one traffic source and then following up via others.
Is the grass greener on the other side - Have you considered giving white label casino or sports betting a go?
That's usual the thought for a lot people - ourself included and we've been spending a lot time and resources in the past to realise that no it's not greener. Nothing is easy and you've already found something you're good at and don't have to reinvent the wheel over and over again - keep focused on what you're good at and let others focus on what they're good at.
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)
Online gambling is only covering 20% of our mediabuy, so no not really. We are very broad in terms of geo's, verticals and traffic sources that we work with in order to have a good risk exposure.
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?
I think my advice would be to get started with push notifications now and not tomorrow. After working 8 years with all direct-communication channels and followed the development here and what I see with push notifications now is very similar in terms of the response rate/CTR. But with push notifications theres no filters and no costs.
Imagine that you already pay for a visitor to your site and 5% of those visitors opt-in for push notifications and you can convert or re-engage those users for free. You do the math.
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?
Not really - we are doing fine and see great potential to grow ourself, we just need more smart and hard working heads. Beside that we don't want to be put under unnecessary pressure or risk to loose the way our team/work culture is. If the right opportunity appears we would of course take a look and listen.
What can operators do to increase support from affiliates?
A lot has changed in my 8 years in the industry. In the beginning it was the relationship that mattered but these days with more transparency and competition in the markets I think the value that you provide means more. Of course a good relationship is important, but in the end we look at the numbers and I can buy a lot more beers myself by sending traffic to a 2% better CR.
If one operator provide a better CR than another - he get's the traffic. If one operator provide the same CR - but one is offering my business a better cashflow/payment terms - he get's the the traffic.
So provide value would be my best advice.
Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate team/business?
Analytical thinking and a problem solving attitude would be number 1.
How does technology play a part in your day-to-day?
A big role for sure. It help us take better decisions and work more efficient. There's still need for human thinking, but I think you are gonna get run over if you're not adapting to the new and better technologies as they evolve.
How is the Asian market shaping-up for affiliates?
I don't know, so rather not say anything.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when starting out?
Take every mistake/problem as a lesson and don't to them twice.
What’s been your biggest nightmare to date?
I can't mention one big, but working with technology and online marketing there's always systems going down, offers getting closed and so on. In the beginning it was very stressful, but after some time you get used to it and learn how important it is to diversify your revenue streams.
What are the challenges in managing relationships with multiple operators?
We don't have any. When tracking is implemented in our tracker, the best performing one gets the traffic.
What are the benefits of attending large iGaming events, and what can they do better?
It's very important to broaden your network and knowledge, but beside that keep good relationships with the people your work with - and of course time for a bit fun, makes everything easier.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? Would you consider attending SiGMA Manila or SiGMA Malta at some point?
I have been to SIGMA in Malta and I would definitely consider going to Manila, a place I've never been to combined with new business is good music in my ears.
Tell us a bit about yourself – after all business is done between people, not just companies!
I went on a Safari trip to Kenya last summer. Highly recommended to experience something very different from what you're used to.
Favourite book ever read? Favourite book you look forward to read some day?
I try to read 2-3 books a month, so I think I have one for almost every topic. Two topics I'm very interested in is biohacking and financial optimisation - thinks that help optimise health and wealth.
Superhuman for biohacking and Rich Dad Poor Dad for financial education.
Where would you relocate with family if you had to pick one city?
New York - I like the vibe in the states.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
Favourite sport and childhood idol?
Football and Andrés Iniesta
Get to know other great affiliates, responsible for killer traffic! Click the link below to read more insights from affiliates:
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The iGaming summit SiGMA is setting its sights on Asia. Our ground breaking Asian iGaming expo will be held in Manila, on the 8th & 9th of June 2020. SiGMA's largest venue to date will bring together high quality conferences and content, premium networking opportunities, and luxury networking event. 10,000 delegates from across Europe, the US, and Asia are expected to attend, making this one of the biggest shows to unite East and West in the region. To become a part of the fastest paced Asian iGaming event, book a pass or sponsor & exhibit.
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