More and more poker affiliates are diversifying into different markets, and many are moving into sports betting. Much like your typical “poker room review” website that you’d see new affiliates start with, I’m seeing many affiliates move into the sports betting tips market.
Affiliate marketing primarily with sports betting tips can be tough, and it’s no surprise that people are starting to sell their own betting tips, as opposed to giving tips away for free and attempting to convert the punters to certain sportsbooks.
I’ve been doing sports betting tips with this model for over 5 years now(Examples: NBATips.net or WNBATips.com so I have a lot of experience with this, and all the methods you can use to convert the punters.
In this article, I’m going to cover a variety of different methods you can use to convince people to sign up with your “paid” picks. Please note: If you are going to be starting a website following this model, or already have a website with this sort of model – make your website 100% about getting people to sign up for the free tips. That’s your main goal – to build up a huge mailing list of people who are looking for free tips.
Once they’re signed up, you “have” them and you can start working on converting them.
Here’s how this business model works, for those who are unaware. People sign up on your website to get free betting tips delivered to their e-mail. You send out e-mails with free betting tips, however you also offer tips that they can pay for. These tips are the “best” tips, and are worth the money the person will pay.
Your job is simple: get the people who signed up for the free tips to pay the money for the “better” tips. Below are a variety of methods, tips and tricks to convert your mailing list. Please note that some of these may contradict others. These are a variety of methods I have used over the years, and I wanted to cover all of them so you can see what you feel most comfortable with.
It’s important that you send out your tips on a regular basis. Get your mailing list expecting the tips at a certain time every day. Never disappoint them. Even if there are no tips that day – send out an e-mail to let people know. Make checking your e-mails part of their daily routine.
This helps them become a lot more familiar with your brand and e-mails, and over time will generate trust.
Personalization & Individuality
Personalizing e-mails is a great idea. Whether it be your website name or your actual name – make sure people know exactly who you are when they receive your e-mail. Include your picture in e-mails, or your brand/website logo. If you use Aweber, consider getting their first name and using that in e-mails as well.
Chat in e-mails. Don’t just go straight into “selling” mode. Talk about last nights games. Talk about games not involving your bets. Talk about the teams you support.
By doing this – you are accomplishing two things. The first thing is earning trust, as people see more as a real person. Second, you are making your e-mails stand out from the crowd. 99% of the people who signed up to your NBA Free Betting Tips, are also signed up to 50 other websites with their NBA Free Betting Tips. You need to stand out from all those other websites.
I’ve converted many people simply by chatting with them. I’ll send out a mailer with the tips, and ask people their opinion on a topic – for example: who will win the NBA 2011/2012 season. Then when they reply to me, I tell them my opinions and we start talking. A few e-mails later, and they’re signing up for the premium picks.
So many of these punters simply want to win at sports betting, and they want to put their trust in someone who can help them with that. Standing out from the crowd and having an e-mail discussion with them can often be enough to earn that trust.
Change Their Mindset via Reminders:
Here’s the mindset of many of the punters: “I won’t buy the tips because they offer their best tips for free.” That’s a very common mindset. They think that you are going to try harder with the free betting tips, because you want them to do well so they sign up. So they think that there’s no point to signing up when they’re getting the best tip for free.
Constantly talk about that, and remind them that the paid for tips are better, and why they are better. Hopefully your record speaks for itself and all the planets align so that you can say “Well we’re winning 55% of our free tips, but 58% of our premium tips”. Of course sometimes that’s not the case, and you will have to sell them via other methods, which will be mentioned in this article.
If your free betting tips are winning, then place a guilt trip on people. If you went 4-0 in the last couple of days, bring that up. Tell them straight up that you won them money, and they should use that money to buy your premium tips where you will win them more money. If you’ve did a great job at personalizing the e-mails, you can talk about all the hard work you put in etc. and really get them hooked.
Use a Units Won Method:
People don’t understand sports betting. That’s a fact. Assuming standard juice of -110, you need to win 52.4% of your bets to make a profit. The highest sustainable win rate is generally accepted to be between 55%-60%.
Yet people don’t understand that. They think you should be winning EVERY GAME. And it’s impossible to explain this to the majority of punters.
An e-mail you send out stating “We’ve won 55% of games so far this year” will not get anywhere NEAR the conversions that an e-mail stating “We’ve won 8 units this year, so if you bet just $100 on a game you’d be up $800”. The percentage looks weak to begin with, but people can much more easily relate to money.
Use a Snazzy Name:
This should be an obvious one. Hit up the thesaurus, and look for something better than “paid picks”. Premium picks, insider tips, client picks, star picks, best tips, money tips, prize tips – whatever.
Just make it seem somewhat special.
Exclusive vs Mainstream
I’ve tried both of these – the first is hyping the tips up as exclusive tips. Tips that only a few people have. You see this method all the time. Build the tips up as “top secret” tips. Convince the user that they’re getting “one over” on the sportsbooks and everyone else by signing up with your tips, that they’re getting an advantage.
Or you can go the other route. Promote your tips as tips that EVERYONE subscribes to – because it’s what smart people do. Tell people that you have hundreds of other people subscribing to your tips. Have a subscriber count on your website. This presents “trust” to the user. They feel a lot more comfortable knowing that hundreds of other people have already purchased the tips, and they’ll feel better about handing over their credit card details and hard-earned money.
Honest Marketing with Positive Reinforcement:
Be straight up with the users. If you’re losing, tell them that you’re losing and why you think you’re losing. More importantly, explain to them what you are going to do to fix things up. Be open with the user. If you’re looking to be in this long-term, this can be a great method because as soon as you start winning again, many people trust you due to your honesty when you were losing.
I’m not telling you to lie about your records. I know many sites that do that. They’ll “forget” to add losses to their record, or add a few phantom wins. Because hey, who is going to check? If you’re in this just to make a quick buck and get out then that’s probably a method for you.
What a lot of other websites do however, is basically decieve their readership by only presenting some of their records, and making it look like they’re winning(or winning more than they are), as opposed to outright lying.
Let’s say you run an NFL website. You provide different names for your bets like “Game of the week” and “Game of the month” etc type bets. You also recommend bets using a variety of different betting units. Your overall record is a losing one – you’ve only won 8 out of 20 tips, and have lost 12 units with your tips.
However you can look at all of your tips, and break them down to sell them to the punter. Send out your next tips and say “This is a 3 unit game of the week pick – we’ve won all of our 3 unit game of the week picks!”
By using this method you’re putting confidence behind your tips, that the readers will pick up. They’ll be more likely to buy your tips because you are so confident about them. Note that this can be a very short-term marketing method – lose those tips and it’s likely users won’t be back.
You can offer a variety of guarantees for your tips. The word “guarantee” is often enough to get people curious as it’s a very strong word. Guarantees can be:
- Straight up money-back guarantee. You can do it for the whole season, or do it for just one game. For example “I feel so strongly about tonights tip. Buy a season pass today and if it loses, you get your money back.” The latter has a lot less risk, and is a great way to boost your subscriber base.
- Additional Premium Picks. Tell people that they are guaranteed a winning season. If they don’t win, they’ll get next season for free, or they’ll get access to other tips that you offer for free.
- Guarantee a Winner…Sometime! This is a popular method for websites that sell tips on a daily basis. “We guarantee that tonights tip will win. If it doesn’t, you’ll continue to receive tips until you do win!”
A Long Sell:
A common method used is to bury your free betting tips away, and focus heavily on selling your premium tips via lots of words. Have your free tips hidden somewhere in the article, and then have 600 words basically selling your premium tips, with absolutely TONS of reasons as to why they should bet. So that the reader would feel like a fool if they don’t bet.
What some handicappers have been doing is videos. Long videos which the user can’t skip through. A 3 minute video with 2 minutes and 58 seconds of selling their premium plays, and then a 2 second blurb about their free play. Conversion rates for these are generally very high.
Risk Units Like Crazy:
This is a method a lot of handicappers utilize. They don’t care about win/loss records. They’ll simply tip big, and keep tipping bigger and bigger until they’re profiting. They’ll tell you that a $10 better has won $2000 in the last 10 days. What they don’t tell you is that the $10 better had to risk $10,000 to get to that stage. Yet again, it’s a method that works because people usually only think in terms of money, and more importantly: easy money. “A $10 better won $2000? Holy crap I bet $10 that could’ve been me!” Without looking into it further at all. Because hey – that’d take work.
Have a Gimmick:
People don’t want to buy tips off some dude who watches a lot of hockey. Sure over time, you will be able to convert people, but you generally want to convert people off the bat.
Have a gimmick to it. For example, the “gimmick” to a lot of my sites are that the tips are Computer Generated. They ARE computer generated BTW, and I make sure to push that strongly. Because people have faith in computer systems. I also relate to the user, by explaining to them that we all make plays based on emotions and that’s why I created computer systems: to take the emotion out of it.
Let people know that you have an advantage, and tell them why. Maybe you have a degree in Computer Science from Harvard, worked as a scout for a sports organization, used to work as a bookmaker, played your sport professionally – whatever. Just let people know that you have some sort of edge, and explain to them WHY you have that edge.
Just Outright Confidence and Buzz Words:
As a professional sports better myself, I roll my eyes at a lot of these handicappers. You read their pages, and you just laugh because they’re so ridiculously overconfident on a play that may cover 53% of the time.
I mean just look at some of these phrases from one site:
“Blowout Play of the Year”
“Twice as Strong as my Other Picks”
“I love this play more than my wife”
“Biggest NBA Play Ever”
“Bigger than any of my other Plays”
Yet it works. It makes the punter think that they HAVE to bet these plays, because there is absolutely no way in hell they can lose.
When it comes to marketing betting tips, there are really two options. The long-term option, and the short-term option. It’s almost like rev-share vs CPA.
Long-Term: This is the method I always go with. I aim for complete honesty with my punters. Because I know I’m going to be here next season, and the next, and the next. I stay away from buzz words or record manipulation. I would rather get 1500 subscribers who will return for the next 5 seasons, than 5000 subscribers in one season, with only 5% of them returning for the next season.
On top of that, I have a variety of other betting sites. When I’ve gained the users trust, I can market to them my other sites. I converted 50% of my NBA Tips premium subscribers to purchase the WNBA Tips, even though the majority of them admitted they had never bet on or watched WNBA before. Because they trusted me, because I had made them money, and they trusted that I would continue to make them money.
Short-Term: This is where you will do practically anything to make the sale. Sort of like a car salesman. You’ll manipulate your records. You’ll possibly outright lie to your visitors. You live in the field of buzz words, and your entire goal is to make money for you. Making money for subscribers is just a bonus. Please note that this method is generally reliant on getting lots of new visitors to your site on a regular basis. You’re basically risking turning off your current subscriber base. That’s not a problem for you however, because you’re picking up 50 new subscribers per day to sell to.
This is not a method I use, however there’s no denying that this method works. And honestly it’s easy to justify that method. The casual sports punter is never going to understand that a 58% record on -110 picks is fantastic, so why bother trying to educate them? Instead just oversell yourself to them. If you’re not an experienced sports better you may prefer to go that route if your record isn’t going to speak for itself.
Check out a site like BrandonLang.com to see a great example of that. It’s 100% marketing, and the tips are just secondary. Does that guy have ANY respect in the sports betting industry? Of course not. But I’m sure he’s too busy rolling around in a bath tub full of money to care.
That marketing method works. Because people WANT to believe. They want to believe that you have some sort of edge over the sportsbooks, and that they too can gain that edge and advantage by paying for your tips.
When it all comes down to it, that’s the key to converting users. Use any of the methods above, and convince the punters that by purchasing your tips, they’re basically purchasing an “edge” – that they’re making an investment that is going to have a positive return.
How you convince them of that is up to you.