Figuring out how exactly to monetize your traffic is a fun but important problem to address as an affiliate. Do you agree to a CPA, revenue share, or hybrid model? What about payment methods? Should you cashout through your player account or some other method? We’ll address all these questions and more in this guide to affiliate payment options.
Picking Through Payment Options
There are a variety of payment options available to online advertisers. Before you can decide on one that is best for your business, you first need to understand the options. Here is a rundown of the typical payment options made available to online affiliates:
- CPA (cost per acquisition)
- CPL (cost per lead)
- CPS (cost per sale)
- CPC (cost per click)
- slotting (selling ad slots like a network commercial)
- revenue share
The Age-Old Debate
CPA and revenue share are the most typical forms of payment options for affiliates in the iGaming niche. The CPA vs. rev share debate is a classic discussion among affiliates. However, there is really no right or wrong answer. It depends on what is best for you and your business.
Affiliates who opt for a revenue share payment method expose themselves to greater potential rewards. After all, receiving ~30% of a player’s lifetime revenues is pretty sweet if you happen to pass along a customer who generates tens of thousands for an operator. However, revenue share can be quite the discouraging battle when you send 50 players to an operator and all of them generate a combined $130 in losses or rake.
Operating on a revenue share model can be best in the following scenarios:
- CPA offer is comparatively low
- Player growth and retention is primary focus of affiliate enterprise
- Affiliate less dependent on stable cash flow situation
- Operator is large and trust-worthy
Opting for a CPA payment method is usually a better idea than revenue share under these circumstances:
- Affiliate desires more stable, predictable income stream
- Relationship with operator not valued as highly (better to get paid now and be done with them)
- Concerns over true value of players sent to operator
- CPA offer very competitive
Whether to choose a CPA or revenue share model usually depends on the above variables and specifics like how much the operator is offering under each payment option. For example, an operator offering a $300 CPA or a 20% revenue share model is highly motivating affiliates to take the CPA deal. Conversely, the latter side of a $75 CPA or 30% revenue share offer is more appealing in most cases.
It’s best to evaluate each payment option situation independently and reach the decision that makes the most sense with that particular operator.
Figuring out how to get paid by an affiliate program is another concern in itself. The typical options afforded to affiliates are:
- check/wire transfer
- player account credit
The answer to this question should be largely determined by how much business you are doing with an operator. If you are owed four- or five-figure monthly payments from an individual operator, receiving a wire transfer could be worth the extra fees or hassle associated with the transaction. However, for smaller payments receiving a credit to your personal player account might be most preferable especially if you intend on putting the money into play.
One wise tip is to diversify your payment options as much as possible. When Neteller was pinched by the U.S. in 2006, affiliates who used that payment method with all of their operators found themselves with money tied up on the site for several months. In the erratic and unpredictable world of iGaming, it’s probably a smart move to bury your money in a few different holes so to speak.