Cashback a popular incentive in the retail and commercial sectors has so far failed to take off in igaming and sports betting marketing. New affiliate portal GamblingDeals.com, aims to popularise the function solely for igaming operators with players receiving money back on their losses.
This open rewards system will no doubt raise debate in igaming marketing circles. Team SBC caught up with GamblingDeals.com Co-Founder Simon Hilton to discuss bringing effective Cashback partnerships to the iGaming and sports betting markets.
Simon Hilton has worked in customer acquisition since 2009, managing digital partnerships for Omnicom Media and Card-linked partnerships for Cashback specialist Quidco.
SBC: Hi Simon thanks for letting us talk to you? Can you detail GamblingDeals.com’s cashback services and functions for SBC readers?
Simon: Hi SBC, no problem at all and thanks for having me.
Gambling Deals is a free-to-use cashback platform that pays members up to 20% cashback on their losing bets, every month, for life. It’s very simple for our members, they sign up to the Gambling Deals platform, click through and register as a new player with a Gambling Deals partner and from there, they are eligible to receive cashback on their losses. We’ve built a technology that speaks with our partners systems on a daily basis and so members can expect to see their recorded cashback in their Gambling Deals account within 24 hours. At the end of the month, we reconcile the accrued cashback and pay it directly into member’s bank, Paypal or Skrill accounts.
We’ve partnered with some great brands like Paddy Power, Unibet and Betfred so we’re really excited to have launched the Gambling Deals offering.
SBC: How have you structured your cashback deals with operators in order to ensure quality traffic and partner protection against fraud?
Simon: One of the big concerns we hear when speaking to operators is that too often acquiring quality players within the affiliate channel is an issue. The affiliate space in iGaming is packed full of affiliates promoting one off bonuses that are successful in driving new player acquisition but not in driving ongoing return for operators. We feel that by flipping the model and providing incentive for the acquired player over time that we are better equipped to drive higher quality traffic that returns longer term value. For us the important part is that our members are interested in ongoing reward and not a one-off bonus, so we’re driving a player with a totally different mind-set.
When it comes to fraud, Gambling Deals makes a promise to its members that we will pay cashback on losses, every month for life. This promise sits separately to our relationship with operators and any fraud risk is absorbed and managed by Gambling Deals. Meaning partners are protected.
SBC: Cashback marketing mechanisms have been around in retail and commerce sectors from sometime, however the rewards service has thus far failed to gain momentum for igaming and sports betting services. Why do you think that this has been the case?
Simon: Cashback as a mechanism for driving loyalty is a proven concept and has become a sustainable way for businesses to drive incremental uplifts in sales, order value and other key metrics. However we have yet to see a quality product that has delivered a sufficient enough experience to replicate this incremental impact within iGaming. Right now when it comes to gambling affiliates we see an over reliance on the operator to drive ongoing value from players and too little emphasis being placed on affiliates who are being paid one off fees for driving acquisition.
We’re convinced that players will love being rewarded with ongoing cashback and that it will keep them invested with the partners they choose to play with, which can only be a good thing. We want to create two-way partnerships with operators where we work together to drive loyalty. We can do this by creating an unrivalled customer experience, while delivering a quality product, something the iGaming vertical is missing right now.
SBC: Some operators may feel that cashback rewards should be handled and maintained solely by in-house retention teams. How do you and your team counter this argument?
Simon: We’re fully supportive of operators using their own internal services to offer cashback rewards in order to drive loyalty. Where we want to help is by leveraging cashback as a mechanism for driving new registrations, in addition to providing a new channel for operators to communicate their cashback messaging. The difficulty for operators is that they must use a wide-mix of strategy in order to keep their players entertained and invested, while cashback makes up an important part of this mix it can’t be the only strategy for in-house retention teams.
That’s where Gambling Deals comes in. We work with partners to drive new registrations and then offer an ongoing channel for partners to market to those customers using the sole mechanism of cashback. There is no additional noise within our platform so brands can talk with players who value the cashback mechanism in a very clear and concise way. We’ve seen through our past experiences that there is a huge amount of value that a third party can drive when it is trusted as an impartial expert in its field.
SBC: You have previously worked for cashback and incentive lead marketing portals, what competencies and insights have you gained that you feel can aid your business in the igaming market sector?
Simon:We want to bring exceptional customer service to the space and an unrivalled way for players to feel rewarded. The technology that we have built allows members to see their recorded cashback within 24 hours and grants them access to money in their personal account within one month, we think that’s a really unique experience not only in the iGaming space but across a wide range of retail verticals. The team at Gambling Deals has a host of experience across iGaming, retail, technology and loyalty so we feel we’re in a really unique position to add value not only to the member experience but to Gambling Deals partners.
SBC: As a start-up what are your ambitions and goals in the coming months?
Simon: Our goal is to become the leading betting reward platform in the world and to become a sustainable marketing channel for our partners. We’re a very short way into that journey but we’ve put solid foundations in place to make that happen. You can expect to see more and more of Gambling Deals in the coming months as we expand into new territories, launch new partnerships and extend our own marketing reach. We’re looking forward to the big challenge ahead but confident that we can lead the growth of a new and exciting
Simon Hilton Co-Founder of GamblingDeals.com