At the meta level there are really two major ways to get into the rakeback game:
1. Develop your own accounting system and go negotiate deals with all the major poker rooms
2. Use a pre-packaged backend solution like Poker Affiliate Solutions (PAS) and set up your own rakeback site.
Even though I have a lot of industry contacts and the technical skills to write my own backend, for Rakeback Report I went with partnering with Poker Affiliate Solutions. I’ve read a lot of good things about them in the poker affiliate circles and I have been very impressed with them.
But a large percentage of the readers of this blog are other poker bloggers or owners of smaller sites who might be interested in offering rakeback but don’t have the time, energy, or expertise to know how to go about it.
I guess the first step is to determine whether or not you actually want to offer poker rakeback. I think it’s an interesting alternative for some poker bloggers because as I wrote several years ago in a post called The Futility of Affiliate Programs for Poker Bloggers poker blogs really don’t convert well. Most of your readers are already die-hard poker players so slapping a banner ad up for a well-known poker room isn’t likely to get many clicks.
But offering rakeback is something that might convert for a lot of sites since their readers might click on a link to the same poker room if there is a rakeback offer involved.
Mind you, the payouts are much smaller for rakeback affiliates but the conversions are much higher. In case, you’re not sure how this works, allow me to explain. Let’s say ABC Poker is paying out affiliates 35% of the monthly gross revenue (MGR) of each player you refer. A rakeback affiliate simply offers to refund 32% or 33% of the rake to the player and keep the difference for himself.
And whereas a typical poker blog might get a signup every month or two (or even less frequent depending on your traffic) a rakeback offer might get 3 or 4 players signing up every week. And they’re less likely to be complete newbies which means you have less of a chance of the player going onto a site, stacking off their initial deposit in the first hand, and then never returning to the site. Players seeking out rakeback deals tend to play pretty frequently which means they become a source of steady revenue.
So how does one go about becoming a rakeback affiliate without the hassle of the do it yourself approach? Well one option is to piggy back on an existing rakeback affiliate. For instance, you can become a sub-affiliate at Rakeback Report simply by signing up for a rakeback account (you don’t need to actually play) and selecting the “Tell A Friend” menu item.
There you would be given an HTML link with a referral code that you could insert into any sort of advertising you wanted. Banner ads, emails, and obviously text on your site. You can even use the backend system to create a custom landing page if you so desire.
So what’s in it for you?
Well if the players you send generate between $0 and $14,999 in rake then you get a 2% cut of the MGR. Between $15,000 and $49,999 you get 3%. Over $50,000 you get 4%.
Obviously these amounts seem small in comparison to the 35% that you might get for referring a player directly but chances are you’re signing up a player who would have never signed up under a non-rakeback deal. So instead of looking at it as the difference between 4% and 35% a better way might be to compare 4% against 0%.
Even if you don’t want to offer it to everyone you can always sign up and create your links for friends. They still get the same high payouts except you get a piece of the action.
And everything is pretty much handled by PAS and Rakeback Report. Your referred players have a backend system where they can choose what rooms they want rakeback on and monitor their MGR. Payouts are handled by PAS so you don’t have to keep spreadsheets and ship money every month to your rakeback players. For the most part, it runs itself.
So if you’ve been thinking that you might want to start offering rakeback to readers of your blog/website but haven’t been sure how, simply go to Rakeback Report:
2. Go to Tell A Friend and copy the links into any ads you want to run
It’s that easy!
Photocred to greggoconnell