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  1. #1
    GPWA Aaron is offline Former Staff Member
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    Default Affliiate Manager Interview Series | Jamie Edwards - ComeOn!

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    You've been with ComeOn! since the start, almost two years now. What has the experience of building a brand from the ground up been like?
    The view at the time was that gaming companies were stuck with technical issues, lackluster processes and inefficient communication. We saw how this was limiting the customer experience, and felt the urge to take a step forward and build a brand for the future.

    At ComeOn! we pride ourselves as being forward thinking, focusing on every little detail that could in turn improve the user experience. We offer a great visual experience, and pushing the boundaries has been a fantastic undertaking.

    We are lucky in that we have a team of people who have been in the industry for a long time and have established solid relationships with good connections to many partners and affiliate networks. This helped us grow fast, and continue to grow.

    The online gambling industry is full of examples of casinos and affiliate programs that didn't survive even one year, let alone two. What have been the keys to the success of the ComeOn! brand?
    Dedication, and lots of planning. We are constantly optimizing every little aspect of our affiliate program, upgrading products and adding new features in order to deliver the best to our affiliates.

    We have also grown to become a trusted and responsible brand that affiliates want to work with, which is very important. Recently, affiliates have become more selective with the brands and individuals they work with due to various changes in the industry and ultimately affiliates losing their earnings.

    In addition to fully supporting no negative carryover and cross-product commissions, we ensure our affiliates have everything they need to give them the edge when promoting our various products, from i-frames for casino, live odds feeds and custom promotions to co-branded landing pages and registration forms.

    Finally, we also offer promos and bonuses to our customers which are sensible. We want to keep our customers playing with us rather than somewhere else.

    In 2012, ComeOn! was named the Best Newcomer Affiliate Program at the iGaming Business Awards. What did that recognition mean to the program?
    It was huge and meant a great deal. Looking back, I remember thinking we had a chance, but on the other hand we found ourselves up against a couple of first-class global brands which had recently introduced an affiliate program.

    A lot of effort went into setting up the program, establishing brand presence and most of all, catering to all of our affiliates with limited resources.

    It was an important step; recently new programs have jumped on the bandwagon and are now popping up all over the place. Having a trophy in the cabinet proves that we are serious and know what we are doing.

    Also, being nominated for EGR’s rising star award demonstrates our approach is a success.

    How do you see the GPWA fitting into the marketing efforts of ComeOn!? Why is forum participation important for affiliate managers and affiliate programs in general?
    We partnered with the GPWA from the start to help us communicate with new and existing partners and also put ourselves there in the shop window and not shy away. It is another string to our bow if you like. With my experience as an affiliate, I had trust dealing with programs with the GPWA seal.

    I hope that GPWA members will agree that in terms of overall gambling industry knowledge combined with marketing expertise, we offer a powerful solution.

    Furthermore, without giving away too much, we will be going through some further positive changes in the coming year, which will only serve to benefit new and existing affiliates on GPWA even more.

    The ComeOn! affiliate program promotes only one online casino/sportsbook brand. What, in your opinion, are the advantages for affiliates in working with a program that only represents one brand as opposed to multiple online casino brands?
    With one brand, it means we can specialize in evolving the ComeOn! experience effectively and maximize value for affiliates. What's the point of having six ineffective brands that don't convert when you can have one large brand that does? There is limited space for affiliates to push their biggest brands; why waste it on six ineffective brands that might not deliver desired results?

    What markets does ComeOn! view as its primary target audiences? Where do you make most of your revenue? Any emerging markets affiliates should know about?
    The majority of our customer base is from the Nordics. That is our stronghold. Things are also looking positive in the U.K. and the Netherlands, Australia and Poland. We have also recently launched in Germany, which I am optimistic will grow to become a key market for us.

    While there is huge cost involved with entering any new market or territory, we are constantly looking at emerging markets, new opportunities and new ways to drive revenues. We have faith since we have unique selling propositions (USPs) and can move quickly.

    ComeOn! offers up to 35 percent revenue share, with up to 15 percent on top based on the number of new depositing customers. Why did ComeOn! decide on this commission model?
    Well, we sat down and spent time focusing on what is fair for the affiliates and beneficial for us long-term. The idea is to reward activity, as well as value. Some affiliates have less traffic but great value and some are the other way around. Our commission structure is made so that good affiliates can reach high commissions even in the short-term. As an affiliate, the longer you actively promote us, the more you will make with time. So affiliates have control over how good a commission they get by choosing how much traffic they send us. We have received great response to our commission structure and we are proud that it has already been copied by several big-brand affiliate programs.

    While most affiliates understand that any bonuses players earn will be deducted from gross gaming revenue numbers, they don’t like complicated administration fees.

    It's one thing to bring in a new person to a site. It's another thing entirely to get that person to stick around. What does ComeOn! do to retain players sent by affiliates?
    At ComeOn!, we have added a new element: attention to detail and extremely high focus on the user experience and customer behavior. We use both technology and graphics as tools to increase the user experience. For example, we were the first to actually have a fully functional single wallet, and people simply loved it. We strive to keep our site fresh by continuously updating the content and graphics, which gives people a new experience when they return.

    We do not segment the users by the channel they came from – for example, through an affiliate; we segment them rather by their behavior so that we can give them the right attention and promotions. Automated custom campaigns are also in place and working with each player around the clock.

    What I like to focus on is actively working together with our affiliates and constantly testing, for example, landing pages to optimize results. This ensures we have a high CTR.

    A key USP we have is the ComeOn! shop. This is where players can spend the points they collect as they play, which is a first-class retention tool. Our dedicated VIP manager takes care of our VIP players extensively and works constantly to produce special offers for them, too, according to their needs.

    Describe the office culture at ComeOn!. If there were a fly on the wall, what are some of the topics of conversation it would hear about at the water cooler?
    The office culture is always vibrant; we have a very flat organization and everybody can talk to everybody. Outside the office we are all friends; we like to socialize and do things together. It is like one big family. Current talk around the water cooler is about whether we should get an Xbox One or PS4.

    In the last four months we’ve recruited 16 new people (mostly in our customer service department), so that means a lot of learning and training. It is great to see the team grow and develop.

    At ComeOn!, life is good. While it is very much a work-hard atmosphere we know how to have fun, too. You won’t find your ordinary receptionists here. Currently the reception space is occupied by Jaws and Anjawlina (our goldfish and black moor) and our ComeOn! table tennis table. Talk on a Friday concerns what time we will be filling the beer fridge.

    Worth mentioning is that we are always interested in hearing from people who think they have the skills and passion to help us build a great company from the ground floor.

    How do you ensure that payments are sent out on time? And when do your payments go out?
    Our payments go out by the 10th of every month. NetRefer, our back-end software, makes it easy for us to run reports and manage our affiliate payments accurately and in a timely manner. I closely monitor stats and payments are then processed by our Payments team.

    Where do you think the industry will be in five years?
    If had to take a guess at where we will be in five years, I would say that the U.S will open up and play a massive role. What the industry needs is consistency. A federal solution would give us some of that consistency without taking away states’ rights.

    Currently though, state by state appears to be the way forward, rather than federal progress.

    I expect land-based casinos to dominate the online space, with this state-by-state regulation making it difficult for an outside casino to get a look in. I can see established online giants offering white label solutions to the big land-based guys as a way in.

    Also, as a fresh generation of players is growing and users are seeking more and more, I expect mobile, live and social products to grow rapidly and be of huge importance in shaping things to come. And Bitcoin, while still in an infant stage, could spawn into something meaningful, with real staying power.

    What do you know about the industry now that you wish you’d known when you first started?
    Trust your instincts, enjoy the ride, expect change and adapt.

    If someone from out of town were to visit you, where is the one place you would have to take them?
    Columbia Road flower market, followed by White Hart Lane.

    What is the last book you read? Did you enjoy it? And did you read it on an e-reader? Or do you need to have a copy of the physical book in your hand?
    Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson. I still reach for paperback copies every time, for now at least.

    Word is you used to have a pet pig; can you tell us how that came to be? What's it like, living with a pig?
    Actually the pig kind of came with a villa a few of us rented while we were living in Cyprus a few years back. We were working out of Limassol on a few sites at the time. Sadly, I am pretty sure he is now bacon.

    What is your favorite movie?
    I have several favorite movies, such as the old classics like Citizen Kane. But I have probably watched The Big Lebowski most, so I will go with that. Also anything by Tarantino is up there.

    If you had a theme song, what would it be?
    The Hives – “Come On!”

    If we picked up your iPod and pressed play, what song would be playing?
    Blaise has done a great job with Boiler Room (boilerroom.tv), so probably something from there at the moment.

    If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
    Las Vegas for a weekend. Barbados for something more long term. We are lucky in this industry in that we can work from anywhere, but it is nice to switch off occasionally.

    If you could have dinner with three other people, living or dead, who would they be?
    Two Playboy models and Adnan Maslo.

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    Renee is offline Sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Quote Originally Posted by GPWA Aaron View Post
    If you could have dinner with three other people, living or dead, who would they be?
    Two Playboy models and Adnan Maslo.
    This.

    You're a good friend.
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    Maria F is offline Former AM
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    Hi Jamie,

    Nice interview. It’s a nice feeling to be part of a company from day one, you are able to give a lot of your ideas and feel part of something big.

    All the best to you and your team.

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