In regulated markets like the UK and Sweden, tighter restrictions are being placed on the bonuses that can be offered, the terms and conditions they come with and how those T&Cs are displayed.
Recent changes to the way bonuses are taxed in the UK has also prevented operators from using promotions to their full affect simply because they are not aware of the tax liabilities they incur.
In addition to this, players are now extremely savvy and understand that most bonuses come with terms attached, particularly wagering requirements.
For the more casual players that operators and affiliates like to target, it can be the case that these play throughs are so high they chose not to accept the bonus.
The combination of tighter regulations and players not seeing value in bonuses is negatively impacting all stakeholders, from operators to affiliates and of course, the players.
Bonuses are a great way for operators to engage players and reward them for walking through their digital doors over those of a rival.
For affiliates, bonuses are used in the content they create and publish in order to deliver added value to their reads and help them convert.
So how can operators and affiliates respond to these changes and adapt to new ways of bonusing?
Here at Bojoko, we believe that online casino bonuses will play a significant role in driving player sign-ups for the foreseeable future but a more bespoke approach will be required.
With this in mind, we work closely with our operator partners to ensure the bonuses offered to our readers are fair, the terms transparent and that they deliver genuine added value.
These are some of the ways we are able to achieve this…
Come up with an offer that will really appeal to players:
Whether a deposit bonus, free spins or a combination of the two, the bonus must be attractive to players and add significant value to their play.
The type of bonus offered will depend on the player you are trying to target – there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach here.
It is important to consider whether you are trying to target casual players or VIPS, slots players or those that prefer table games or live dealer and so on.
To get it right, operators should consider working with their top affiliates to come up with unique bonuses that they can push to their readers.
The affiliate will know exactly what their reader demographic is like – and the various types of player they have – so can help tailor the bonus so that it has maximum appeal.
Ensure terms and conditions are clear:
Perhaps the biggest challenge when it comes to bonuses is terms and conditions and making sure players fully understand them before they accept the offer.
In the past, affiliates have prioritised making players aware of the offer itself rather than the terms that come with it. But that has to change.
Indeed, the UK Gambling Commission now requires significant T&Cs to be printed below any mention of a bonus and cannot be hidden behind a hover box or be one click away.
When writing about or promoting bonuses, we go to great lengths to ensure that any significant terms are clear and easy to understand.
This is important because there really is no point in pushing bonuses to players if they are not what they expect them to be or if they come with hidden requirements.
We see the role of an affiliate as being there to match players with the right casinos and offers for them, and transparency is key to this.
Create dedicated landing pages for bonuses:
One of the best ways of packaging up a unique bonus offer is to create a dedicated landing page for the affiliate pushing it. This is something we have done with a couple of partners and it has several benefits.
It allows the affiliate to promote an exclusive offer that the reader can’t find anywhere else. This helps drive traffic and conversions, which in turn benefits the operator.
The player wins because they are receiving a bonus that has been tailored to their playing habits and they can find all the key information they need on the dedicated landing page.
For several years the wider online casino sector has been focussed on personalisation and now this must be extended to the bonuses that are offered and pushed via affiliates.
This will help overcome the current challenges being faced and allow operators, affiliates and, most importantly, players, to benefit from the added value bespoke bonuses can bring.