The Mobile Affiliate Checklist
Published 24th November 2015
Aa predicted, the last few years have shown incredible growth in use of mobile devices within the iGaming community, the tipping point having been reached last year when global mobile users finally outstripped those on desktop (Source: comScore). So it’s no longer a case of questioning the scale or importance of mobile marketing, it’s now about using the statistics and data to better understand how consumers behave when using different types of mobile devices and their user preferences. Based on the comScore data, it’s evident that nearly every player has accessed a gaming site from a type of mobile device on at least one occasion. This has fuelled a huge growth in mobile integrations amongst iGaming companies and increased competition amongst those who have been exploiting the mobile channel for years, stimulating further development of the product. Nevertheless, despite its popularity, mobile UX is still poor on many platforms, with users encountering various technical errors, whether related to the type of mobile device and browser or any other issues. This diminishes player loyalty, forcing players to shift from one operator to another in search for a stable mobile product. As an affiliate targeting mobile traffic, one should pay careful attention to the mobile product associated with the affiliate program, testing this to ensure your marketing efforts will lead to successful conversions. Here are a few important aspects to consider before starting an affiliate partnership with the aim of referring traffic, particularly to online casinos.
1. Mobile-optimised landing pages
This becomes particularly important when using co-branded landing pages containing details of an exclusive affiliate bonus offer that may not be available direct through the operator’s site. Ideally, redirects to co-branded landing pages should function exactly the same way on a mobile device as on the desktop. It’s also worth loading the landing page from various types of mobile devices and browsers, ensuring that its content fully displays in seconds and is readable.
2. Mobile app tracking
Google Play not accepting gambling apps is a major obstacle for gambling operators. For this reason, most have developed their own apps, which is where customers are being acquired and retained. The majority operate on a lastclick-wins attribution model where sales often cannot be attributed to the affiliate, resulting in loss of revenue. Also, when it comes to tracking on mobile web, cookies are widely used. Nevertheless, not all mobile browsers accept cookies, being blocked by default on Apple’s Safari, for instance. Another aspect worth bearing in mind is app download requirements. If the conversion occurs on a mobile app, then the sale may not always be attributed to the affiliate, not a pleasant fact, but one to be aware of.
3. Sign-up process
This should be short and streamlined, taking just a few moments to complete. More and more operators use mobile verification solutions that ensure player accounts are legitimate and unique, as well as providing post-acquisition CRM and marketing functionality. Again, it’s worth sparing a moment to test this to ensure mobile tracking links are working and that sign-ups are attributed to the affiliate account. If there is an exclusive bonus code that is required upon registration, this should be automatically populated on the mobile.
4. Deposit methods
It may be the case that not all deposit methods are available on the mobile, thus this aspect is also worth checking and, perhaps, deserves a mention on the casino’s review page. Ideally, the following popular payment methods should be available on mobile dependent on the player’s country: Visa/MasterCard, Skrill, Neteller, paysafecard. These all require minimal customer details, thus making the deposit process easier. The quick deposit button on the game page is another key feature to keep an eye out for, as this ultimately impacts on deposit numbers
5. Site design and navigation
A quick and responsive site that is easy to navigate with minimal text and distractions but with prominent call to action buttons - these are the key characteristics of a good mobile casino site design that encourages player conversions. A search button feature allows players to quickly find their desired slot, saving them the hassle of scrolling through pages and wasting non-playing time on site. Many casino enthusiasts also appreciate a “recently played games” feature that enables them to keep favourite slots right at their finger tips.
In summary, close and collaborative work with the affiliate manager should provide you with valuable advice and first-hand assistance with any issues encountered while testing. Stick to operators who are willing to be flexible in their approach and meet you half way - they are also more likely to be those prepared to give expert advice and assist with any marketing tools required to get the mobile traffic in. Also, keep a close eye on the metrics and ensure you continually optimise your site. Finally, nothing is perfect and the mobile gaming product is evolving quickly, so be prepared to adapt to and work with short-term solutions.