Being an affiliate team lead. Johan Syré‎n.

Hello, Johan! When did you join affiliate marketing?

Hey! That must be like 10+ years ago, back when I lived in Malta and started to promote casinos through our different channels we had back then, some websites and email. I was working in a company where I was responsible for selling company forms to different clients that wanted to get offshore companies or Maltese companies with gaming licenses for example. And after some time we realized that promoting casinos was way more profitable so we went all in on that.

Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate business?

You must have great communication skills and good relationships with the clients you want to promote. You will go very far if you work on finding win-win situations for your company and your clients, which sadly many affiliates today don't understand and leads to only short-lived success. This is a long term industry. To survive and make as much profit as possible, you need to have good connections and communicate with your clients in a fair and open way.

What was the first vertical you worked with?

My first vertical in marketing was gambling and later I tried everything from health & beauty to finance. But gambling is by far the most interesting and most profitable vertical.

Give me some thoughts on how COVID-19 has affected the iGaming niche.

Covid has been hell and affected so many people negatively – so many lost their lives, which is horrible. But for the gambling industry it has been positive and will be positive for a long time I think. The reason is that people in lockdown still needed to be entertained and still enjoyed gambling, so when not able to visit casinos or sports betting shops, they searched for this entertainment online. Correct me if I am wrong but sport betting got a hit from the lockdown as there were no games at all to bet on for some time, but now sport has returned to how it was before. Regarding casinos, actually more people started to play but the players were not risking as much as before due to the insecure economic situation.

Which markets do you focus on? What are the advantages of the most commercially successful markets?

We  focus on WW and have got some good traffic in some very unexpected markets, but in general the best markets are still Nordics, UK, AU, CA, DE, NZ, etc.

Those markets are well tested and have been working great for a long time, so it’s easier to find players but of course it also means that players have tried many of the betting and casino brands before and might be harder to find FTDs from those markets with the big and famous brands.

Tell me about the main features of working with publishers in your vertical.

The most important thing is to listen to their needs and understand how you can be of service for that specific publisher. All of them are different and some of them can be hard to work with at the start, but usually when you get to know each other and  work together for a while, you're able to interact well together and everything flows smoothly.

Do you think that attending huge iGaming events has any benefits? 

It has A LOT of benefits in my opinion. Business is made between people, so of course you need a personal connection with your partners, which is best done in real life, face to face. So I think without these yearly events, this business would not be where it is today.

Personally, I love these events to meet both old and new partners and people who I wouldn't usually get to meet.

What’s the most frustrating thing in your job? And what’s your favorite part of being an affiliate manager?

The most frustrating part of this job is that sometimes you don’t get any response from iGaming brands or from affiliates for a long time . I know it’s something we need to get used to as people are super busy and, as all business is online, we can’t just tap on someone’s shoulder to get the answer, haha.

My favorite part is talking to all the great people in the industry and together doing business that is profitable for us all. My happiest moment is when we reach a deal that is a win-win for all parties. Then you can go home with a smile on your face.

Let’s forget about business for a moment. What do you like to do in your spare time? Tell me about your hobbies.

A perfect day for me is to wake up on the west coast of Sweden on a summer day, have a long breakfast outside in the sun, and after take a walk down to the sea, spend all day on the boat, go out for fishing, swim, and have a great seafood lunch.

As that isn’t so often, I spend the rest of my time in the gym, watching sport, preferably football, formula 1 or ice hockey, and of course spending time with family, friends and loved ones. My next mission is to start playing golf, so perhaps next time you ask, I will say that is my hobby too.

Now, returning to affiliate marketing, tell me about your plans for the future.

The next step is to grow my team and company to achieve bigger and better results and to learn more about this industry, as it’s a never ending learning curve when working in iGaming.

Also, I want to test out other parts of the verticals inside iGaming like Esport, Bingo, Lotto, and, perhaps, horse racing. 

That’s it from me. Thanks a lot for this interview and wishing you all a great and successful year