Are you trying to market an online casino?
Casino advertising is a specialty subject in the digital marketing world. It’s a tough business. You don’t have the dazzle of a blinking slot machine or the allure of a cocktail waitress to attract customers.
You need some serious know how to execute online casino advertising. Here are eight pro tips you can use today.
#1 Stay on the Right Side of Mr. SpamBot
One of the key parts of marketing any website or digital service is sending out email blasts to either customers or potential customers. Emails from online casinos, however, are often flagged as spam.
Email campaigns are frankly the most complicated aspect of marketing a website, period. It seems like it should be simple: just send out a bunch of emails. But emails aren’t like regular snail mail at all!
First of all, at the post office, you pay for a stamp. Since you pay, they’ll deliver anything 100% of the time. Email is generally free and relies on “relay” servers to get the email from Point A to Point B.
Each one of those relays has it’s own spam filter. Now they shouldn’t be able to READ the email, but if you have a new domain that contains certain words [casino, slots, poker, etc.], you may be flagged as spam. THIS CAN HAPPEN EVEN IF YOU ARE ONLY SENDING TO RETURNING VERIFIED USERS.
Having your domain flagged as spam can have all kinds of unpredictable effects. It doesn’t even mean it will hit your customer’s spam box, it may never even get there.
The only thing to do is hire a professional email service who can navigate the spam filtering system. This involves contacting each and every relay that blocks you and “whitelisting” the domain. It’s labor-intensive and requires technical know how.
#2 Keep it Cool With the Lords of Search
The big three search companies are Google, Bing, and Facebook [Yahoo and Microsoft have combined their efforts at Bing]. You need to be good with these companies if you want a chance at the casino target market.
The best way to do that is to pay them. All three have advertising networks you can simply put money into as a PPC (pay per click) or search campaign. Even investing a dollar puts you on one side of a particular line within the engines.
#3 Targetted PPC
A PPC campaign should run continuously for your online casino. As mentioned above, this is the best way to stay on the good side of the search engines. But there are also many other PPC channels available beside the big three.
Specialty advertising companies, affiliate networks and the like also have their own PPC structure. You should investigate all possible sources and try them at a small number if you can.
#4 Bonus Hunters
Casino players are a special breed, always looking for the edge and online casino tips. Face it, gambling is about getting something for nothing. Running a casino is about capitalizing on that basic desire, and reversing it!
As brick and mortar casinos have known since the days of Bugsy Siegal, give ’em something for free to get ’em in the door! This generally takes the shape of bonus money and free booze [in brick and mortar joints].
You can’t give away free alcohol or free rooms, and you probably don’t have show tickets to give away. You do have bonus offers and sign up offers. This is the manna from heaven for casino marketers.
If you give away free cash, people will come to your site. You’ll also go broke very quickly! The key is the basic bait and switch.
Of course, you don’t want to actually lie to your players. Casinos have mastered the art of the deceptive pull.
The best example is the “sign up bonus”. For instance, you can offer your players a 300% signup bonus. If they deposit $100, $300 is credited to their account.
The trick and the fine print that retains the money on your site is the “play through ratio”. This is some kind of restriction on how much the punter must play through to receive the bonus. Pit and slot game sites usually use a per dollar metric, poker sites usually go for a certain number of played hands.
#5 Social Media
Social media is one of our favorite cheap advertising methods. Gamblers hate it when they loose [duh!], but everybody loves a winner. Allow your players to post to social media when they win. “Jill won big on MySite.com!”
Physical casinos put their loosest slots in well-trafficked areas. They want winners to scream out and induce others to gamble. The same effect can be had online with social media.
Just like any website, your online casino needs to follow basic SEO strategies to promote itself. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is just about keywords or something very simple. SEO promotion is a complicated and specific marketing field, and you ignore it at your own risk.
Hire an SEO company to help you create content and optimize your site.
Whatever bonuses and games your site offers, it won’t make a difference if it looks like crap. Get a designer and have them continuously improve the look of your site. Slight improvements to your site over time will signal to your players that you are an ongoing business and not some fly-by-night operation.
#8 Understand America
The United States is the second-largest gambling market [after China]. However, wonky laws in all fifty of them make online gambling almost impossible there except for connected local companies. International sites have taken different approaches.
The Bodog group for instance simply defies American law. The CEO, upon being arrested in New York, declared that he is a billionaire and would be living in Costa Rica for the rest of his life, but they’ll still be taking bets!
Other groups, like Amaya [PokerStars], have decided to stay legal. They incorporate in a place like the Isle of Man and restrict bets from the United States. This keeps their bank accounts from being frozen but obviously halves their potential market.
Place Yer Bets!
Running an online casino can be rewarding, but it’s a fraught business with many twists and turns. You need to stay on top of current trends and make business decisions with a strategic mindset. It’s like running a regular website with a huge overlay of complexity.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Check out our site for lots more pro tips for promoting your online business.