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  1. #1
    GPWA Abby is offline Former Staff Member
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series - Joris Dekkers - deltamarkets

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    Hometown: Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Living in: Amsterdam
    Favorite Food: Risotto
    Must Read Book: Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien (All three!)


    (This interview was originally published in the June 2016 issue of the GPWA Times Magazine)

    You've worked on both sides of the affiliate industry, both as an affiliate running your own sites and as an affiliate manager for Unibet for two years. Do you prefer life as an affiliate or as an affiliate manager?
    Going to work for Unibet as online manager for the Benelux was one of the best career decisions I've made in my life. I was just re-entering the affiliate world by launching in early 2013. Two months later, at the Amsterdam Affiliate Conference, I wanted to approach Unibet to advertise their site, but there was no Dutch affiliate manager. So I thought, "Why shouldn't I become that person?" My site wasn't raking in any profit at that point, and was still in the build-up phase. I couldn't resist the experience of working for a monster in the iGaming world. Looking back, I think the experiences there were of tremendous value to me, not just on a personal level but also on a professional level, because I learned all about the affiliate landscape, deal creation and valuation, negotiating, SEO and all the other things that mean a lot on both the operator and affiliate sides. Unibet is a fantastic company. I had a lot of precious moments in my time there.

    According to our research, you went to school to become a history teacher. How did you end up working in iGaming?
    Long story. My career path in my early 20s was typical of a young entrepreneurial professional who wanted to have all sort of experiences before choosing his final path. History was and is a subject I love. The teaching blood I received from my father, but I don’t see myself as a born teacher. During my studies I played online poker, and after that I launched my first affiliate poker site. That’s when the industry got me!

    You have been the Managing Director of Delta Markets, an iGaming affiliate and consultancy company, for three years. You recently announced that Delta Markets had sold its affiliate websites and the accounts associated with those sites to Gaming Innovation Group (GiG). How did this deal come about? How long did it take to complete?
    We didn’t sell all our sites. We sold the main site, a real cash cow and in the top three of the Dutch casino market:,, and a small mobile site were included with the sale as well. The difference with these websites is that we still continue to work on them and rake in 50% of the revenues.

    I told GiG, Raketech and Catena Media at the London Affiliate Conference in January that I was open to a third party buying a big share or the whole thing. I was ready to make a big sale and wanted to secure my life financially. In February, talks with the three parties emerged via Skype. Catena (Optimizer Invest) and GiG were most interested. The guys from Optimizer Invest are very quick in their purchases, and invited me to Marbella in Spain to meet them. The first two bids were very, very low and not of interest. The last bid they made was pretty good and we kind of shook hands on it. Back home when I reviewed the contract, GiG called and I told them a deal was starting to materialize with Catena. GiG acted quickly after that, sending me a really interesting proposal via e-mail. The next day I flew to Malta and in one day we sealed the deal. You can imagine that Catena was not happy at all. They made a last bid via the phone the same evening I was at GiG’s office. But the proposition from GiG for me was the most secure and interesting. Also, my gut feeling told me to go with this deal. I regret giving the guys (especially Andre Lavold, who I had a good connection with) from Optimizer the feeling we already had a deal, but on the other hand, they should have given me the correct value from the start so that I wouldn't have even had to talk to another party. It became a bidding war, and I think GiG just is a bit more my DNA type. The most interesting part is that the total value offered by Catena at that point was higher, but I knew GiG's bid could potentially be better, as 30% of the deal was given to me in shares. The shares have grown 50% since the beginning of March. I'm a happy man.

    Let's be frank here, €4.2 million is a lot of money. Do you have any plans for it?
    It’s actually a bit more than €4.2 million. By the completion date (April 1), when the deal was actually finished, the value was €5 million, due to the portfolio value increase. Having that in your bank account from one day to another is an indescribable feeling. Money doesn’t necessarily make you happier, but it definitely is a recognition of what you have achieved and it makes life much more comfortable. I intend not to spoil it. Although I like cars, I'm not going to buy a Ferrari. I live in Holland, and here we think in an egalitarian way. We have a saying here: "Act normal, and you are acting crazy enough already."

    So, what's next?
    We have just acquired the largest forex affiliate community website in Holland,, and that is now where our ambition lies: to make this as big as possible! It's still in the build-up phase, so we need to hire someone to expand the site. However, I see more value in forex for now, with the beautiful asset we purchased.

    You posted on the GPWA Forums that was for sale in mid-March. Was that site not included in the sale of Gaming Innovation Group? If not, have you had any luck with that sale?
    This is actually a very sad story. belonged to Jesper Engels, former affiliate director of ComeOn. Jesper passed away some months ago and everyone was in despair, especially his wife and two kids. It’s unbelievable as he was so young. I had 30% of the shares of but his wife wanted to sell the website. All the money will of course go to them, but unfortunately no one has purchased the asset yet.

    What are some of the lessons you've learned that affiliates looking to enter the Dutch market should know?
    I am not going to make anyone wiser, of course. I think in any market you need to know how your customers tick. Every country has its own DNA and thus its own approach to business. You won’t succeed in Holland if you don’t know how the people think here and what sales tactics work.

    Most of the sites you list on your GPWA profile are casino sites. What are the most popular games for casino players in the Netherlands?
    I’d say the old-fashioned slots are very popular (Random Runner, for example). But the NetEnt games do very well here as well.

    One of your sites ( is devoted entirely to the game of roulette. How difficult is it to produce content for a site that focuses on just one game that requires very few player decisions?
    The site actually belongs to someone else, but we manage the website for him. It is very difficult to keep writing fresh and interesting content. Indeed, there's not much to be said about a straightforward game like roulette. Luckily enough we found an expert — or freak, depending on how you look at it — who is very into roulette and writes interesting blog posts for us.

    What is the most important thing an affiliate site needs to offer players?
    Consistency and the truth. I used to make things look nicer than they are. If you do that and players find that your offer is not entirely true, they won’t come back or will play less because they were misled. Be truthful and know what your players expect. Don’t update the news weekly if the normal routine is daily news.

    How do you get players to come back to your sites after their first visit?
    Again, by being consistent and truthful. If they know you update them with what they want, they will have no reason to go to another site. Also, be the first every time something new comes out. Keeping momentum is also a good way of getting your visitors to love your site.

    What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager? How about in an affiliate program?
    Affiliate managers need to respond fast and, most importantly, be proactive. They need to think with you and be able to foresee what you will like. For example: when a new game comes out, send them a tailor-made news message with their tracking code in it. I guess not all brands will want to do this due to cost-efficiency, but if you can, do it.

    What’s your preferred method of communication with affiliate managers?
    E-mail. I think Skype is nice if you want to close a deal, but I don’t like the chat function. It keeps me from my daily routine — all these affiliate managers keep popping up.

    What prompted you to join the GPWA? How has it helped you?
    I've been around for a long time and I value the work the GPWA does. It’s a very credible community and trustworthy. It helped us get informed in the business and meet other people, and the Seal of Approval is also great!

    What do you like about the industry?
    It's fast-paced; in some ways it’s a bit outdated, but that’s also the charm. People are young, they're innovative, and it doesn’t matter where you come from, nor what color your skin is or what language you speak. Everybody can play along.

    If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be and why?
    Companies in iGaming should devote much more time to personalized marketing. Other industries are so much farther along in this (hence I call the gaming industry outdated). Personalization in marketing is critical in increasing conversion and retention.

    What do your family and friends think of your work as an affiliate?
    They don’t really understand it. The Internet is a world apart. It’s also a world behind closed doors, really. I think most of the people are fine with what I’m doing, but we can't expect to receive the same praise as people who work in green products or help the poor.

    How do you manage your to-do lists? Do you use any special software to help you out?
    Crazily enough, I don’t make much use of agendas, nor did I ever make to-do lists. It’s all in my head. I prioritize naturally. I tend to forget the things I don’t think are important as I’m not a detail-oriented person. I like to think of the big picture. I’m very happy I have a team of professionals around me that do think in detail and work in a much more structured way.

    How much time do you devote social networking for your sites?
    Not too much. To be honest, I think it’s a bit overrated. Facebook for me personally isn’t such a great medium anymore. Twitter we don’t use much for gaming. Same goes for Google+. I mean, we share the posts, but that’s it.

    What’s the most difficult thing about running your sites?
    SEO strategy. When do you move up building links, or when do you withdraw from it because it’s a bit safer? Algorithm updates are always exciting. On the other hand, Google still ranks websites in a very old-fashioned way. Domain authority is too important. There are a lot of new websites out there that are 10 times better than some old portals that, just because they have existed for such a long time, still receive the value.

    What’s the best thing about running your sites?
    I guess it’s the mix of content, new creatives and, for me personally, making deals. I’m a deal-maker and I love doing it.

    What do you do to stay in shape – both physically and mentally?
    Not enough. I should exercise more. I play tennis and I go to the gym sometimes, but not enough. With food – I eat pretty healthy and try to go low on sugars; with alcohol (also a sugar), I am less disciplined, unfortunately.

    What do you do with your spare time?
    Hang out with my girlfriend and friends. I hardly watch TV anymore. I like being social, going out, going to the movies sometimes, and eating out at restaurants.

    What did you dream of doing, both professional and personally, when you were a kid?
    Definitely something with football, as a technical manager of a club, and later, as a marketing manager or brand manager close to sports. With Unibet, my dream pretty much came true, although sponsorship was unfortunately not part of my job. Being an affiliate suits me best, though. I don’t do well reporting to others. I am not structured enough to work for a company. Also, I wanted to make more money than a basic salary could give me. Last but not least, I think I am good at what I do; all entrepreneurs must have that feeling, otherwise they won’t succeed.

    If someone from out of town were visiting you, what’s the one place you’d definitely take them to see?
    That is a very difficult question. The boring answer would be, it depends on the person. But then again, if you are new to Amsterdam, you will need to visit the canals, either by foot or by boat. I’m a big fan of the Rijksmuseum. I also love to hang out in the Southern part of Amsterdam (the Pijp and Oud-Zuid) and visit the Noordermarkt for nice food and the city’s charm.

    Amsterdam is well known to many as Europe's "Sin City," with legalized prostitution and relaxed attitudes toward marijuana. Do you believe the tourism produced by these industries is good or bad for the city?
    I guess all comes with the good and the bad. I personally would never do drugs, nor visit a prostitute for that matter. I guess the freedom to do this is unique to Holland and should not disappear. The negative side is that it attracts a type of tourist who would not come to Amsterdam for the beauty the city has to offer, and this in some ways is a bad thing. When the masses love your city, the city is under enormous pressure. There are too many people here when you count the tourists. It’s so busy sometimes that it’s dangerous to cycle or walk.

    When you need to get as far away from work as possible, where do you go?
    I go to where I was born. Or I go to the beach. Or I visit a spa in some distant town. That’s where you can find peace for body and soul.

    What’s your all-time favorite movie?
    I hate this question. There’s so many good ones. I think Lord of the Rings, both the books and the movies, back when I was young, made the biggest impact.

    If you could invite any five people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be?
    Boring answer, but it would just be my girlfriend, my parents, and my best friend and his wife. If it had to be five people I’d never met it would be Guus Hiddink, J.R.R. Tolkien, Umberto Eco, Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. What an odd gathering that would be — and a bit dangerous, as well!

    Name three things that people reading this magazine don't know about you.
    I have four names (born Christian) and they make people laugh when they hear them. My funniest opening line to ladies in the U.K. or any English-speaking country would be: "I'm Jors" (without the i); and last but not least, my blond hair will turn half gray in probably 1-2 years.
    Last edited by The Buzz; 30 June 2016 at 10:51 am.

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    sweetbet (28 June 2016)

  3. #2
    sweetbet's Avatar
    sweetbet is offline Public Member
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    Great interview. I enjoyed reading it and agree with your points about the traits of a good affiliate manager and social media marketing.

  4. #3
    Aeternus is offline Public Member
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    Great read, thanks.

    Well done with the sale as well!

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    agsgroup is offline Private Member
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    Miles_FTA is offline No longer with Fast Track
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    Always nice reading about good things happening to good people I worked with Jores a few back and only had good dealings and experiences with him so good on you !

  7. #6
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    Partnerama is offline Non-sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Agree with Miles, Joris has always been spot on with partners. His success is really well deserved!

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