affiliate iGaming, trends, retention, player acquisition

Tripling Cost of Player Acquisition in iGaming Builds Stronger Focus for Retention

Last week Harald Pia, a formidable and well known influencer within the Affiliate and iGaming industry, answered some of our questions while in attendance at the AWC conference in Bangkok. Harald talked openly about his role in building many successful iGaming brands and shared his insight on how his teams have managed the tripling cost of player acquisition by focussing on customer experiences and VIP retention, using Alioron’s mathematical approach… 

Q:  You’ve been a veteran in the iGaming industry for some time, managing several iGaming brands to success. Why have you taken such a strong focus on player retention?

HP: I still operate multiple casino brands (Oshi, Axe, Fightclub, Asino) but have seen in recent years, the cost of customer acquisition tripling in this industry which is posing a challenge for many iGaming businesses. In my search for a team capable of navigating this issue in real-time, I found Alioron, a company led by a fifteen-year partnership between a mathematics professor and a sales expert with significant experience in the online gaming industry. Notably, their proficiency in elevating VIP segment deposits is unparalleled. This aligns perfectly with our brand’s needs to address the current landscape more effectively. Alioron’s unique client engagement approach caught my attention and I first used their services and then joined as a partner.

Q: Can you tell us what Alioron offers to brands and why player retention needs to have more strategic focus now?

HP: Alioron introduces a fresh perspective on player analysis and segmentation in the business realm. They provide a comprehensive examination of the database, delving into a micro-level understanding of players. In today’s market, where player prices are rising, optimising the database, boosting activity, and reducing churn is essential. Alioron intervenes by enhancing the first-time deposit (FTD) rate among players who signed up months ago but have remained inactive. Not only do they convert these dormant players, but they also focus on increasing their average deposits. Across various platforms, they have successfully lowered withdrawal rates by implementing methodologies that encourage players to engage more and enjoy the experience. On average, the sites they work with have witnessed a remarkable increase ranging from 20% to 100% in the targeted segments. This proves beneficial as Alioron empowers us to generate additional deposits from players we might have previously considered inactive or lost.

Q: What does Alioron offer to customers in terms of separate VIP player management? 

HP: The approach to caring for players is distinct, emphasising the cultivation of personal relationships. They engage directly with VIP players, offering bespoke promotions and incentives crafted to suit each player’s preferences. VIPs are consistently prioritised, drawing on the extensive collective experience of their VIP managers, who boast a combined tenure of over 100 years in the industry. These seasoned managers, each with over a decade of expertise, are led by a partner with two decades of VIP management across multiple sites. Remarkably, they’ve successfully generated over a billion dollars in revenue from this exclusive segment over the past decade. VIP players, as a result, receive individualised attention and tailored promotions aligned with their unique gaming experiences.

Q: Why are you doubling down to invest more focus on player retention activity and how does this impact your affiliate partnerships?

HP: Player retention and reactivation stand as pivotal elements within the industry. Without a dedicated client base that receives proper care and consistently returns to the site, operators are compelled to invest more resources in acquiring and funneling traffic to their platform. Failing to prioritise the well-being of players and optimise their time and spending on the site, results in the loss of these valuable users. I perceive this dynamic as a symbiotic relationship between operators and affiliates. The ongoing efforts of Alioron in meticulously addressing each player segment yield positive outcomes for both operators and affiliates. This mutual benefit translates into increased profits for both parties, proving to be a boon for affiliates, as well. With player traffic effectively managed, conversion rates improve, culminating in satisfaction for all involved stakeholders.

Q: What are some of the key trends you’re seeing in Affiliates right now? Having managed several successful brands and brand sponsorships, where do you see future opportunities in the industry?

HP: In the current landscape, many affiliates are transitioning to a hybrid approach, emphasising reactivation and retention as primary focal points within the industry. Given the challenges of covering player costs and extracting maximum value, traditional operators find it challenging to invest in additional traffic, especially as mass buying practices have diminished across sites. From my perspective, it makes strategic sense to prioritise prolonged player engagement and optimise the value derived from each individual player. This, I believe, represents the future trajectory of the industry. Without a concerted effort to maintain and maximise the contribution of these players, keeping pace with evolving pricing dynamics becomes increasingly difficult.

What do you think the big trends for iGaming brands will be in 2024? 

HP: ESG and responsible gaming stand out as two prominent themes in the iGaming industry. While I acknowledge the good intentions behind these initiatives, my perspective differs significantly. To me, it seems like a form of eco-friendly marketing, attempting to instill a moral aspect that isn’t genuinely reflective of our business. The realms of AI, cryptocurrencies, and increasingly intricate slot games are experiencing substantial growth. However, these advancements consume extensive resources and don’t align with sustainability goals. Responsible gaming is a commendable concept, yet it often translates into providing options for setting limits and self-exclusion. The key challenge is retaining customer loyalty and encouraging new deposits to ensure the profitability of a casino. Our business operates outside the realms of being socially responsible or a valuable societal contributor. 

Our profits come from hardworking individuals, with the exception of a few affluent high rollers, and many of us seek ways to minimise taxes. Therefore, the emerging trend should be an acceptance of our identity, ensuring maximum entertainment for players amid their losses. Additionally, we can direct support, in a low-key manner, towards individuals actively striving for a better world, particularly in environmental and sustainability causes. These individuals, often unsung heroes, may include those fighting for a positive impact on society. 

Whether through donations to care organisations or funding legal support for climate activists, our focus should be on making a tangible difference rather than making a show of it. Wishing you a Happy New Year in 2024.

This promoted content is produced by an advertiser of Affiverse. The content is supplied by Alioron. Affiverse allows affiliates, operators, agencies and SaaS providers to share their news, opinion and insights and PR with Affiverse’s audience both online and via our newsletters. To book a PR support package with us, contact: [email protected] 


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