One of the most popular questions I get from poker affiliates is “What is the Best Poker Affiliate Program?” or “What Poker Affiliate Program should I promote?”.
This is much like the Chris Ferguson story – where a poker player approaches him and describes a hand where he raised with pocket queens and got one caller. The opponent moved all-in on the flop. Should he call?
Rather than answer the question, Ferguson responds with a variety of questions like “What was your table image? What position were you in? Was it a tournament or a cash game? What was the flop?”. The player responds “Dude all I want to know is whether I should call or not”.
If you’re a poker player you’ll understand why Chris Ferguson asked all those questions. I have the exact same reaction when I hear the question “What is the Best Poker Affiliate Program?”.
Because there is no right answer for what the best poker affiliate program is – there really isn’t. There are just a variety of factors, and the ultimate answer of “It Depends”. The only person that knows the best poker affiliate program is YOU.
(Although if you are looking for the best general poker affiliate program at the moment, I would recommend Victory Poker, and I go into more detail on that later in this article)
Deciding on the best poker affiliate program includes many factors, like:
- How trustworthy the poker program is.
- What revenue percentages the program offers
- The software the poker room uses
- The countries that the poker room accepts
- How much traffic the poker room gets
- What type of games are available at the poker room
- How many tournaments are offered at this poker room
- What different formats are offered at this poker room
- What deposit and withdrawal methods are offered at this poker room
- What sort of a reputation the poker room has
These are just 10 of many, many factors. You can’t just make broad decisions either – you have to make the decision based on what page on your site the potential player is currently on.
For example, if you have a poker site that focuses on poker pros, it would make sense to promote Ultimate Bet due to the professional players they have there.
However if you also have an article on that website entitled “The must trustworthy poker rooms” could you really list Ultimate Bet on that article? After the scandals involving them I would think not. So in that case you may look for a more trustworthy company, possibly someone that is publicly traded(as you can use that for reasoning) like Party Poker.
What if you run a website dedicated to the game of Razz? Well you could promote Victory Poker on there. One little problem: Victory Poker doesn’t have Razz! So you’d want to promote poker rooms that do have Razz, like Full Tilt Poker.
Of course these are simple examples but we’re going to use that last one to step that up a notch.
When you are deciding on the best poker affiliate program, you have to identify your market. You have to look at all your traffic, and determine who they are.
Now if a player is reading your “Razz Poker Rules” article, who is this player? I’d say that more than likely they are an existing poker player at Full Tilt Poker or Pokerstars, who both offer Razz. They saw the “Razz” tab and want to try it out, and want to read more about it and found your website. So if they’re already an existing player at Full Tilt Poker, then promoting Full Tilt to them just doesn’t make sense.
However – this isn’t ALWAYS the case. What if the Razz tournament from the WSOP just aired on ESPN the previous night? Well now you have all these people who have no idea about Razz, maybe never even played online poker before, googling for information about it. Then at this point it would make sense to promote a brand that they recognize to them, like Full Tilt Poker.
That’s why there is no one general answer to “What is the Best Poker Affiliate Program?”. There are just too many factors to decide on.
You have to break down every visitor, determine a general idea of who is visiting and what they are looking for, and then sell that on them.
On a final note, while there is really no general answer to the question, I understand that it can be tough to do the work, and you don’t really know what program will work until you try.
When you’re looking for a good program to promote just in general, I’d always look at a poker room which:
- Has a great landing page to encourage conversion
- Numerous deposit methods
- Excellent promotions and retention methods
- Ideally isn’t Full Tilt or Pokerstars due to the traffic they already have
- Offer competitive rates – that way we know they respect affiliates
- Are not socially network retarded – as in they have facebook & twitter and know how to use it
- Run special promotions or games that the majority of other rooms don’t have
- Have a solid rewards program again for retention
- Offer satellites and qualifiers to numerous live events
- Have excellent customer support
Right now, I would say that Victory Poker fits that bill. They have so much going for players, are doing great offline marketing, and really getting their name out there. The Cake software is at 2.0 now so it’s not plagued with the previous issues.
Plus they have one of the greatest affiliate managers in the biz in Shenaz, formerly of Bodog, Absolute & Cake! Sign up now.