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    GPWA Dan is offline Former Staff Member
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    Default Affiliate Manager Interview Series | Stephanie Wynters, 138.com

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    You've been in the online gaming industry for almost a decade. When you were first getting started, did you expect that you would build a career in the industry?

    I certainly did not expect such an exciting career path when I got my first job in the industry, taking bets over the phone. That position was simply a temporary job while settling in a brand-new country — so I thought!

    While in that position, I managed to excel very quickly and within four months, I moved to another betting company in the sales department; this is when it got really interesting. By the end of that year, I was already promoted to senior account manager, which, naturally, was a huge leap in my career progression in the iGaming industry.

    Luckily, the high-pressure sales environment and dealing directly with sports bettors equipped me for what was coming next. As I said, I never expected a long-term career in the industry, so you can imagine how much I learned and adapted through and in the various and changing roles.

    I discovered the affiliate world and applied for the affiliate acquisition role; the rest is history! I absolutely love working with affiliates; it has truly been the top driver for me. I also went back to school to study marketing and researched the fundamentals on my own, giving me more ability to do what I love — I can proudly say I love my career!

    You've been the Head of Affiliates for the U.K. for 138.com for a little more than a year. What drew you to 138.com?

    As I mentioned, one of my strengths is acquisition, and I genuinely enjoy all aspects of it. I wanted to team up with the best "up and coming" betting start-up in the industry, where I could make a difference from the beginning, and that brought me to 138.com.

    138.com bought 50% of the shares from a group of bookmakers with more than 150 betting shops in the U.K. They were also opening 138.com physical betting shops in various Metropolitan districts in the U.K., creating a clear indication that they are financially stable and destined for growth. I negotiated a role that would allow me to have a full handle on the program — the best career move I've ever made!

    138.com used to be 138sungame.com. Can you explain the thought process behind the rebranding effort?

    We knew we needed to rebrand when we decided to go global; it was crucial. 138.com's rebranding came in at a seven-figure price and was worth every penny. Just think about it: Everyone can remember and type "138.com"!

    138.com is unique in that its marketing campaigns and promotions are specifically tailored toward the Asian communities in Europe and Canada. Why did the company take this approach?

    138.com is not your typical bookmaker. There are already too many bookmakers out there and they all look and feel the same — simply not enough variety. 138.com is after a niche market: the Asian community in the U.K and in all regulated markets worldwide. Not only that, but there are so many non-Asian players betting with us because of the high limits, Asian handicap odds, larger bonuses, top software and so much more.

    How does 138.com specifically tailor its marketing toward Asian players? What do affiliates looking to promote 138.com need to do to attract visitors and send quality traffic to the site?

    Customers like the sense of belonging at 138.com; they relate with our brand on a personal level. Our players know that they can go on our live chat and within seconds, get great service in their language. Additionally, we have designed the brand around the players' needs and favorite games, coming straight from the source, giving them exactly what they want — a thrilling experience with top-notch game options.

    What are the most popular games and gaming verticals in this market? How do Asian players differ as a market from the broader European market?

    Most notably, there are some particular casino games, like sic bo, baccarat and roulette, which are statistically played more by Asians. Given our knowledge of the Asian market (and the European one), we see a great difference in the time duration for playing between these two markets, with the Asian market playing for the longer duration. Compared to the U.K and European markets, the Asian market is much more profitable and has proven to be loyal to the 138.com brand.

    What role have affiliates played in generating new depositing players at 138.com?

    There are new affiliates signing up every day, so naturally, the depositing players follow! In the near future, expect to see much more of 138.com in various sports betting and casino websites, as we are working hard and strategically in our growth. Affiliates are a key source for bringing in new bettors, and generally speaking, we perform really well with mid-size affiliates who feature us on their home page.

    138.com became a GPWA platinum sponsor three years ago. Why is it important for affiliate programs to sponsor the GPWA? And how has 138.com benefited from its sponsorship?

    The GPWA is known as a trustworthy portal for affiliates to find information on all the available affiliate programs. It is beneficial for us to team up with such a prestigious website to acquire new affiliates, naturally, as we are easy to find, maintaining a top spot on their list of affiliate programs.

    138.com offers affiliates a tiered revenue share from 30-45%, based on net monthly revenue. Why did you settle on this commission plan?

    Simply put, not all affiliates are equal. Depending on their demographics and the nature of their website, the readership will vary and suit our markets differently. Some affiliates have the ability to send higher-margin players or a larger volume of depositors, and those affiliates work their way up the commission ladder much faster or negotiate a higher percentage from the start. More quality traffic, better commission!

    How do you ensure that payments are sent out on time? And when do your payments go out?

    Because we don't have negative carryover, payments are very straightforward — the way they should be. We have a designated team of affiliate managers who follow a structured procedure to pay affiliates efficiently and on time, anticipating payments after the 15th of every month. Depending on the desired payment method, many payments are made the same day!

    It's one thing to bring in a new person to a site. It's another thing entirely to get them to stick around. What does 138.com do to retain players sent by affiliates?

    We ensured that 138.com had the very best software, reload and rebate promotions and excellent customer care — the cornerstones of a successful brand. The 138.com retention team is equipped with an amazing CRM to segment and follow up on all of our customers. Additionally, frequent quality control procedures are in place to ensure we are delivering what the players want, while always improving.

    Describe your typical work day.

    Boring routine is certainly not a phrase related to my role; no day is the same for me. Although I do have a large inbox of e-mail and send out even more; on top of that, every e-mail message is a different call to action and a fresh task.

    I balance my time with affiliate partners, designers and developers, marketing, management and team meetings, among many others. I am available on Skype all day; however, my favorite form of communication is face-to-face time with affiliates during conferences, industry sporting events and dinner parties.

    Describe the office culture at 138.com. If we were a fly on the wall, what are some of the topics of conversation we'd hear about at the water cooler?

    That hypothetical fly on the wall by the water cooler would hear lots of Chinese and English humor, lots of televised sports such as horse racing and greyhound racing, and the inevitable phone conversations. The KPIs (key performance indicators) and management conversations happen in our conference rooms and private offices, and we have a great recreational room for breaks. Everyone is friendly; we work great as a team!

    Which online gaming conference do you look forward to the most? And what's your best memory from an online gaming conference?

    My favorite conference is the London Affiliate Conference, as it is the biggest one of the year. LAC also hosts the annual affiliate awards show, for which I frequently get nominated — which is a major bonus for me.

    One of my best memories was at the 2011 LAC, where my best friend joined me. We spent the conference helping and supporting each other as we walked the conference floor, all day, wearing heels and speaking to as many people as possible, getting the word out. Overall, it was surely a fun, productive conference.

    What do you wish you could change about the industry?

    I would love to see more women having top management positions and fair shots at advancement opportunities. I do like that the industry is turning more corporate and professional, and I look forward to seeing more of that!

    Where do you think the industry will be in five years?

    Online businesses are constantly changing and evolving. Given the direction Google is heading, it will be heavily reliant on who can bid highest on keywords and which brands have the most elaborate and cohesive marketing strategy. I believe it will get more technical, making it crucial that we're constantly educating ourselves to stay current.

    If someone from out of town were to visit you, where is the one place you would have to take them?

    I just moved to Manchester, so I'll have to get back to you on that. I would probably go exploring around the city with them and do the typical touristy things, including the famous pub-crawling.

    What is the last book you read?

    It's not the last one I read but the best one I have read recently: Linchpin by Seth Godin. I would highly recommend it to any employee, employer or entrepreneur. "Are you indispensable in a company or your own business?" It really breaks down how some people are worth more for a business and how to be that linchpin. I've gotten hooked on e-books and Audible (audio books). Audible.com is great to use while driving and doing house chores, making these tasks somewhat more interesting!

    What's your favorite movie?

    I watched Interstellar last year and it hit my top charts, like for many others. I have always been fascinated by space. They added the fifth dimension factor, which made it super surreal!

    What do you use for most of your Web surfing: a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone?

    For work I use my computer and for personal Web surfing (like Facebook) I use my smartphone.

    iPhone or Android? And if we took out your earbuds, what would we find you listening to?

    I would definitely choose iPhone over Android; you could consider me an Apple advocate. I've had both and there is simply no comparison. I am very meticulous for design in my career and I love the clean, minimalistic way it looks, and its operational system is the ultimate — easy decision! You just might catch me listening to some salsa music on my headphones.

    If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?

    I would most definitely go to the south of Spain, hands down! I've never been, and I've heard it is very beautiful. Definitely a different kind of nature experience!

    If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?

    I would love to have a long dinner with Donald Trump, Jesus and Albert Einstein. After I have asked them all my curious questions, I would sit back and watch them strategize on how to improve the world while working as a team.

    Name three things that people reading this magazine don't know about you.

    I was a vegetarian for two years (my health did not agree). I have rescued seven street dogs — one at a time — and found each one a home. Every morning, I follow a daily routine that prepares me for a successful day.

  2. #2
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    Moonlight Cat is offline Private Member
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    Very interesting interview.
    It would be nice, to know more about asian affiliates.
    I think about asian market, but i don't know anybody who know
    how asian affiliate market work. May be Stephanie tell as.

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