Welcome to 10 Questions With…. Margaret Burke, PKR Affiliate Manager.
I will be interviewing various people in the poker affiliate industry, from beginner affiliates to experienced affiliates to affiliate managers. Each interview will consist of 10 key questions geared towards helping you as an affiliate, when it comes to promoting and marketing poker rooms, and the best methods in marketing.
This interview is with Margaret Burke, who has been the affiliate manager at PKR since their initial launch. If I were to make a top 10 list of affiliate managers, there is no doubt that Margaret would be on it. She is one of the friendliest people in this industry, and a pleasure to deal with. She is someone who cares greatly about the affiliate side of things – and many poker affiliate dinners at recent conventions have been sponsored by Margaret and the PKR team.
I’ve been working with Margaret since PKR has launched, and I’ve always been very happy with the level of customer service I receive. Margaret is the type of person that is never happy until her inbox is cleared and every issue is dealt with, and I know whenever I e-mail her I will always get a detailed, satisfactory response within 24 hours. With their revolutionary 3D graphics, PKR is one of those rooms which can sell themselves, and if you’re not promoting PKR, you’re definetly missing out on promoting a different viewpoint to your players.
For more information or to sign up as a PKR affiliate, visit their homepage.
On April 15, 2009 I sat down with Margaret to discuss general poker affiliate issues like CPA vs revenue share, and how it affects PKR. We also discussed PKR and the best ways to promote it, as well as Margarets history in online marketing.
Being the affiliate manager at PKR was your first job in the poker affiliate industry. How hard was it to fully grasp everything that was required as an affiliate manager?
My first job in this industry was for an online marketing agency based in Cyprus 5 years ago, focusing on online gaming, we promoted poker, casino and backgammon. As well as affiliate management I was also involved in media buying so it was a great opportunity to be involved in many areas of online gaming marketing – when I moved to PKR I decided to specialise in my favourite area – affiliate marketing.
What have you learnt in your time in the position of affiliate manager, that you wish you had knew when first beginning the job?
PKR presented a lot of challenges as we were a new concept launching as an independent company in a very large market. I already had a lot of contacts who needed a lot of convincing and a leap of faith to promote PKR from the start, but they are all very happy they did now.
PKR currently only offers revenue share for affiliates, however since the UIEGA, CPA has became a more popular choice for affiliates for obvious reasons. Do you feel that hinders PKR in the sense that some affiliates will only work with CPA?
To be honest we haven’t really found that. A lot of affiliates still prefer to work on revenue share – as players at PKR play more regularly and for longer revenue share is the option with the best returns. Plus we are going from strength to strength and since we have never taken any US players, are licensed in Alderney we are a safe bet.
How do you feel about CPA vs Revenue Share?
They both have their merits, but revenue share is more favourable as it represents more of a partnership between the affiliate and us – that affiliates take a real interest in our success and share in our success.
As I understand it, you wouldn’t consider yourself a “poker pro” 🙂 More just a casual interest in the game of poker at best. So from a casual players standpoint, what methods could a PKR affiliate use to try and convert you to play at PKR?
I was naturally drawn to PKR from the start…at my interview I was shown a preview of the game (it was still being built at that time) and was blown away by it! In a market saturated by skins and generic poker rooms I knew that PKR would make an impact. The amount of detail that goes into PKR and the continuous updates and additions to the game makes it the only place that I would play at. I know that’s an obvious response from me, but research shows that once a player plays at PKR they find it difficult to return to a 2D room.
You deal with lots of affiliates on a regular basis. What qualities do you think make up successful affiliates, that beginner affiliates can aspire to?
This is a difficult question to answer, affiliates are successful via a number of methods – some find a niche ideas, some exploit new markets, some partner up with existing affiliates etc etc, but the main qualities that make an affiliate successful are obviously a great interest in poker, good people skills, and a clear business plan!
Whenever I read any reviews of PKR or any promotional material – it’s all about the 3D Graphics. While that is obviously a selling point, do you feel that can also be a negative, in the sense that other excellent factors of PKR, for example club PKR, PKR Cast and TV tournaments, don’t get promoted anywhere near as much?
Our USP is and always will be the software – but you are right we have so many other great projects – but these do get exposure and they are incredibly popular. However our software is the core of the business and will always be our biggest selling point.
Ignoring the 3D graphics, what other aspects of PKR do you feel are best at getting player conversions?
We constantly come up tops in reviews based on our promotions, we have a great marketing team that are all avid poker players so we are constantly coming up with new, different promotions for new and existing players based on a firm understanding of what players want. We have an outstanding customer service team who ensures we maintain great levels of player retention/satisfaction. We have the best of the best when it comes to the team behind our game – who are all based in-house and can produce the best quality poker software around. These are just a few of the driving forces behind PKR…so many factors contribute to sign up and conversion.
One problem many affiliates have is that they can send a lot of players to a poker room, however they remain play money players only. On a site like PKR, where it’s really fun to play based on the graphics, I could see that happening even more at PKR, because play money or real money, it’s still going to be a better and more fun experience than other poker rooms. What sort of methods to PKR use to try and turn these play money players into real money players?
We have excellent bonuses and conversion tools, through our email marketing campaigns targeted at specific groups we ensure that we can segment and target our players successfully. We have also found that we are attracting more and more serious players to PKR and the quality of player is increasing all the time.
There’ll be a lot of new and prospective PKR affiliates reading this. This is the part where you get to sell PKR to these guys, and tell them why they should sign up and start promoting PKR today 🙂
Given the fact the PKR only launched late 2006 we have already achieved great success – we continue to build on this and go from strength to strength which we want our affiliates to be part of. We have an excellent affiliate team, we won best poker affiliate programme in 2008 beating competition from poker rooms that have been operating for 5 years plus! PKR truly is the future of online poker and affiliates have been and continue to be a major factor in the success we continue to achieve!
Thank you very much for the interview Margaret. Start working with Margaret today – sign up as a PKR Affiliate here.