Rethinking loyalty in the affiliate business model

While the focus for all affiliates is almost always expended on how to acquire new customers, with those who place more focus upon customer retention and loyalty tend to be building better longevity.
Here, I’m going to talk about the importance of brand building, loyalty and value propositioning is becoming and why new affiliates need to take heed to build sustainable revenue models.

Importance Of Loyalty

Acquisition marketing has become more complex in recent years. Regulation is forcing more and more affiliates to find their niche and focus more on key areas of expertise to build their revenue streams. If you want to build a successful affiliate business, and one day look to sell, you have to be building a database of customers. This means you can no longer just pass traffic on from site to site.
To do this effectively, you need to have something that makes customers want to return and build brand loyalty. You have to know what your USP is, and who your customer really is before you can begin building a valuable loyalty program. 

Building Loyalty into Your Affiliate proposition

When you first start out as an affiliate, your main aim is to build a customer base and obtain a good ROI from them. Once this is in place, your focus should shift to the remonetisation of customers in order to guarantee the longevity of your business earnings.  
Loyalty schemes differ from industry to industry – knowing what your customers really want is key to making it a success. Loyalty schemes don’t always have to involve free money.  There are plenty of ways to incentivise your customers to use your service or site again.
We’re seeing a move away from bonus incentive marketing in iGaming. Plus you are now able to use detailed data to work out exactly where and how you can add value to your customers.

Creating new Loyalty Models For iGaming

We are seeing some of the big brands like Virgin and Sky changing the status quo and creating brand new loyalty models. Virgin have gamified their own loyalty experience in their Virgin Red loyalty app and this has encouraged customers to interact and open vaults. 
Fashion retailers, like Simply Be, have thrown out the old loyalty model and introduced their Perks program which rewards customers for continued engagement. Their research found that customers felt they had to work too hard to be rewarded and so they have changed the way that they operated the incentive scheme. 
Too often we stick to what we know, but with a wide digital world to learn from I urge you to look outside of the iGaming space to see how other brands are revolutionising established programs to make loyalty work better, faster and smarter with their customer base.
Tiered incentive schemes tend to work well in iGaming because of the desire to be the elite and sits nicely with incentivised challenges – making loyalty attainable and fun is key. We’re already seeing this in esports with their loot box and player reward schemes.
Why not consider changing the way that you operate and engage your audience – go research some of the dynamic loyalty and perk programs other brand are creating and craft them into your own. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money but it will take time to get it right. If you can expand your revenue lifetime on 1 customer by 5-10% of increased earnings per play –  I guarantee you it will be worth it.
The point is – now is really the time to re-think how you are loyal to your customers, and incorporate this key metric of engagement into your online marketing strategy.

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