The lifecycle of a player is how long he or she continues to play at an online casino after first signing up.

Casino affiliates typically get commissions based on the lifecycles of players they refer: the longer the player plays at a gaming site, the greater the commission earned by the referring affiliate. Needless to say, then, it’s to an affiliate’s advantage to promote longer life cycles from the players they send.

With that in mind, here are four basic elements in encouraging players to have longer lifecycles:

1. Honesty. If you trick people into visiting your site, or clicking on an ad, by offering something that isn’t there, don’t expect them to stick around very long once they’ve realized they’ve been tricked. You’re unlikely to even get initial conversions this way, much less years-long player lifecycles.

2. Promotions. Lots of leading online casino affiliate programs — from Euro Partners to to Unibet — offer regular player promotions. These generally include the kinds of deposit bonuses and player bonuses that are part of a casino’s regular sign-up benefits.

But a lot of sites communicate directly with affiliates to set up special promotions designed to help player conversion. Players appreciate getting the direct line to a deal; if you hook them up with one, they’ll be more likely to spend more time at the casino.

3. Tournaments. Tournaments are huge in the online poker world in particular. There are two basic types: Online-only tournaments, meaning tourneys that are played on the Internet solely, and qualifier tournaments, which are online tourneys in which the players win buy-ins to big land-based poker tournaments like the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

Even without the fact that the WSOP is poker’s biggest brand, there’s still an inherent appeal to poker tournaments for lots of players. It’s like the Chris Moneymaker story—winning a huge tournament main event after qualifying online is not only a possibility, it’s a regular occurrence.

4. Marketing. This gets a bit more in-depth, but the reality is, the better you understand the type of traffic coming to your site — and, more specifically, each page of your site — you can better align your affiliate ads with that type of player.

For example, as noted above, if you have a page dedicated to the latest and upcoming online poker tournaments, chances are that you’re going to get visitors interested strongly in tournament play. By marketing that particular poker niche on your page and providing access to the online poker rooms specializing in tournaments, you’ve done a better job of connecting visitors with what they’re looking for in the long run. And that will likely translate into a longer life cycle payout.

But how can you understand those types of marketing dynamics? It’s not as hard as it seems. Your Google Analytic data breaks down a lot of that for you — where the traffic is coming from (whether an ad, newsletter, search engine, etc.), where it ends up going (to a different page, or clicking on a particular ad), and how it varies from day-to-day and country-to-country.

With that info, you should be able to set up your site structure and content to send your visitors to the proper areas.

Advanced lifecycle marketing techniques
With these points in mind, then, it seems that understanding and encouraging player lifecycles utilizes the same basic strategy as marketing to casino players in the first place. As you gain more experience and develop a fully tracked online business, you’ll soon understand what’s likely to work and what doesn’t.

But when you have that in place, there’s still room for improvement. Advanced player lifecycle marketing techniques include:
•    Lifecycle email marketing campaigns, used in conjunction with email marketing and designed to keep your customer base engaged, happy and communicative
•    Detailed reporting and data analysis. The better you understand your traffic, and the kind if people your marketing is attracting, the better you’ll be able to keep their business. Advanced data reporting accomplishes that, but it requires either a lot of time and labor, or the cost of a professional to do it for you.
•    Lifecycle retention software and services are even available from some online marketing providers. This isn’t cheap, but for the successful online marketer looking to free up time, it’s a valuable tool for business growth.

Questions? Comments?
Any casino affiliates out there with some direct experience of advanced player lifecycle marketing? If so, feel free to sound off in the comments and share your experience and knowledge with the rest of the community.

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