In this episode I had the delight to discuss the world of affiliate marketing with Fintan Costello from Bonusfinder.com, a professional in affiliate marketing. Learn how to take the first steps towards becoming the seller and know what to avoid in order to save yourself from embarrassment.
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Artem Daniliants: Hi guys, welcome to another episode of Daniliants Ventures Podcast. Today I have a pleasure of talking to Fintan Costello from Bonusfinder.com. And today we have a really interesting topic, affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing can be an amazing opportunity for companies to promote their product. But there are a lot of misinformation on the internet. So I thought, hey, why not bring somebody in, who actually knows? Well, maybe everything, maybe most of the things we need to know about affiliate marketing and just, you know, talk shop and talk about affiliate marketing, how you can leverage it what it is, and maybe in turn Fintan can share some of his successes and failures so we can learn from them. So thank you very much, Fintan, for being here, and welcome to the podcast.
Fintan Costello: Thank you very much for having me, Artem. Awesome. I'm very excited.
Artem Daniliants: Alright, so maybe you can tell a little bit about yourself, what do you do? And, you know, sure, when it comes to affiliate marketing, especially, like, what have you done previously.
Fintan Costello: of course, so, um, when it comes to affiliate marketing, I've actually sat on both sides of the table. So my, my entry into the gambling industry was to run the online marketing department for an Irish company called PaddyPower, who have since become part of the biggest gambling online gaming group in the world. And as part of my team, we had the affiliate team. So, so affiliate marketing's very, very important in the in the gambling space. So my introduction to affiliates was, was the guy signing the checks. So you're kind of looking at, like, Oh, we've we've got 1000 affiliates, these 100 guys do all the business. And these five guys are making, you know, six, seven figures a month type stuff. So it was it was amazing to see just the kind of the distribution. And obviously, I got to know a lot of the affiliates during my time there, and you know, super smart guys very hard working. And there was a there was a lot of lot of lot of things going on there. And we can we can touch on those in a bit. Um, I moved move marketing [inaudible] So eventually, I've kind of come full circle. And now I'm the affiliate. And so I'm part of a much bigger team. We run Bonusfinder.com. So it's a bonus comparison website. We're very focused on the US market. So we're licensed to operate in the US, I think we've got about 12 licences at this stage. US is obviously very fast growing, but we operate in another country. So the UK, Italy, all over the world, we've got we've got a bunch of different websites. And we've got offices around the world, we've got a big team, about 35 staff now. Are growing fast, things are good, we're having fun. And but the key thing is we're delivering great value to our to our users. So that's the, that's the most important bit. So from an affiliate perspective, I've sat on both sides of the table. So I can really sympathise with the marketing managers who are under pressure to hit their KPIs. And I also sympathise with the affiliates dealing with some of the marketing managers who don't quite get it. So I think this is a great topic.
Artem Daniliants: Wonderful, wonderful. Thank you. So you mentioned already, like the key word there was gambling. So you know, obviously, when it comes to gambling, many opportunities that are available to normal, for example, ecommerce are not available to a gambling company, right? I mean, when we talk, the way that I understand it, and please correct me if I'm wrong. It's all about affiliate marketing. And it's all about the SEO, you know, getting the traffic from search engines, working with affiliates, and you're not able to leverage many of the traditional paid channels. So you cannot just set up marketing campaign in Google Ads and so forth. So or how does
Fintan Costello: It, it really depends on the country. So so the gambling is obviously a very regulated industry. And so as an operator, so as I say, a casino or a sports betting website, they would have a very different experience in the UK, which is a regulated market, where licences are issued, versus say, Finland, where you've got a state monopoly. But then you've also got a lot of offshore brands, targeting Finns, because Finns 'cause like to gamble. And so they're two very, very different scenarios. Within the industry, there's kind of the, the term they use is like white markets versus grey markets. And so if in the UK, you can absolutely do Google AdWords, you can run Facebook Ads, you have to be licenced, and approved by Googleor Facebook. You can run TV ads, you can buy newspaper ads, they sponsor sports and stuff like that. So it's short sponsors things in Finland, it's very it will be like if I just say Finland's example. It will be a very different experience, right? So you would have have an
affiliate to be very important, SEO will be very important. But then if you look at what a lot of the brands do, they do a lot of sponsorships. So you sponsor a guy to drive a Porsche up a mountain, and you put your logo on the side of the car. So there's a lot more brand experience type things. They'll also do tricks around, say TV advertising. So it could be advertising on TV channels that are international, but are watched by so I think EuroSports a good example. And so there's, you get very good at working around the edges of things, you can also do display advertising. And so probably quite a lot of adults websites or torrenting websites will have quite a lot of gambling ads, because they're gambling friendly. So there is but and also sports, any just general sports website or websites blogs go to. But affiliates will be regardless of the country affiliates are a very, very important part of the mix. And I know that that was one of the big things I learned PaddyPower was.. Because I was looking at the
guys because it was this really the.. Is it the Pareto Principle like where there's Yeah, so but it wasn't even like the 80/20.
Artem Daniliants: Yeah, 20% of the... 80% of the results you get from 20% of effort or something
Fintan Costello: exactly right. So it wasn't even that of an event
Artem Daniliants: it was maybe 5%, right, or a few percent
Fintan Costello: it was like five guys that mattered, right. And when you looked at that, so obviously a lot of time to sit there and see how much money they were making. And it was very new to me. I didn't I at the time, like I was more a digital market, but I hadn't, hadn't gotten there near affiliate marketing. And it kind of blew my mind. But then when you looked at what they did, and what they did really well, it was kind of a, it was a couple of things. But when you combine them, you created magic. So they all had some sort of value added service. So they were doing something that was providing value to the customer or to their user. And then they either had really good SEO, or they had a really strong community. Some of them had all three, some of them only had two. But as long as you had at least two, you had a good business. Under some [inaudible], a lot of the guys out of that, like say the odds checkers or [inaudible] and stuff in the UK are better collected even, like they're still huge today. So that kind of longevity, obviously, the last 15 years is, is insane when you think about it. And particularly given how competitive affiliate marketing is. And I think I think this is something that that affiliate managers don't realize is that anybody, there's no barrier to entry. Right? So let's, let's ignore the gambling industry. So let's just take generally e-commerce in general, so if we want to sell podcasting microphones, and we want to be the world's biggest podcasting, microphone affiliate today, me and you, we could go start right now. And it doesn't matter who the incumbent is, it doesn't matter who the big comparison website is, or whatever, we can go come up with a great idea and go for it. So there's no barriers to entry. So what you end up with, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, but you do end up with your classic million monkeys at a million typewriters, and somebody is going to figure something out, that's amazing. And it's going to work for their for their niche for their vertical. Um, so there's, there's always people who are going to disrupt your business as an affiliate. And the competition is relentless. And every day as an affiliate, you've got to wake up and basically beat the internet. And that's tough, right? That's, that's super... I like I've aged, but I do enjoy the challenge. But you know, I, I do this because it's difficult, not because it's easy. And, but, but I think a lot of marketers or affiliate managers tend to forget this, because they just see the, say, the 1%, or the 5% that are doing really well. And they all look at these guys, they seem pretty relaxed, and they're making lots of money, that's they've got an easy life. When when actually you know if, if your business if you lose your rankings, your traffic source or whatever it is, that affiliate manager is not going to pick up the telephone to you anymore. You're so you're only as good as the traffic you can send them. And so it is a very difficult thing to do. But obviously, hugely rewarding from a you know,
it's exciting. It's you've got to keep thinking you've got to keep planning and. You know, I'm worrying about stuff we're gonna be doing in six months time. And so that's that's really good as well. I'm sending you so that I kind of went a little bit off topic there, but that's a little bit about me.
Artem Daniliants: No, no, no, it was really good. It was really good. So a few things that come to mind right away is when you think about affiliate marketing, right the the underpinning like scheme is very simple. You pay upon you know, risk delivered, right? That's the, that's the like the whole idea. So a lot, for example, if you're doing Facebook advertising, right, you're paying for clicks. And those those clicks might convert and actually become paying customers or they might not. In affiliate marketing, you're paying substantially more, but only when result is delivered. So you can be paying 20%, 30%, 50%, maybe commission on that purchase. But if there is no purchase, you don't have any associated costs. Like I guess that's how it looks like, if you look at it, you know, without knowing the details, obviously, you still have to have people outreaching, right, there are still costs. But from the from the programmatic perspective, basically no results. No,
Fintan Costello: what so the big benefit is it removes the risk. So if you're, if you're a big company, or if you're a smaller company doesn't really matter, you've got a fixed marketing budget. And you know, there's the old advertising joke about.. I'm not sure which 50% of my marketing actually works. Well, you're definitely sure which bit of your affiliate marketing is working. And so what it does is particularly like it's very attractive to startups or to companies need to scale up quickly. Because they can put in a number and say: Well, we're willing to pay x for y delivery, can you make that happen? And so on one level, it's very straightforward. Where I think it goes wrong. And I'll talk about the brands themselves for so I think where it goes wrong into brands is, because it's so simple on paper, they take it for granted. And so we don't have a magic wand, we can't make miracles happen. If people don't like your brand. If your website sucks, if your checkout process sucks, if you don't have the right payment methods, if your customer support was slow to do things, then you know, your your, if your conversion funnel sucks, it doesn't matter what affiliates you're working with. Yeah, it's not going to work. And then what happens is, if you look at it from the affiliates perspective, at the end of the day, they're sending traffic. So they're they're effectively selling clicks. So I could send you 100 clicks, or I could send your competitor 100 clicks, I'm going to look at those clicks, I'm going to look at how much revenue I'm getting back. And I'm going to calculate a revenue per clicks score effectively. And whoever is winning, is going to get 200 clicks next month.
Artem Daniliants: So it's a numbers game, basically, there is very little loyalty in it, you know, you're in it to make money, obviously. And maybe you have some established relationship with some of the managers. But in the end, if one
Fintan Costello: it's not, obviously there's if if let's say your competitors, a really bad brand, and it's going to abuse the customers are not delivering what they say they're going to do. Or you know, if there's anything that we're worried about, of course, they're not going to get the clicks. And we're just assuming all other things being equal. Of course, we have to revenue optimise. And so it's really important for brands that want to work with the... And honestly, the the affiliates are the best peoplethat ask for feedback. So some of the best brands we work with, will ring us up and say: Hey, we're looking at entering this new market. What do you guys know? Do you have any insights? What can we do? And we'll walk them through the checklist of things that they need be at payment methods.. Or like we've got people on the ground so we can help them test their SMS verifications, or are the emails going through? Do they, are they, do they read correctly in the right language.. There look at their landing pages. Like we spend all day long worrying about this. So it's taking advantage of the free consultancy is also really, really good. So this, you should do that, because it's in the affiliates best interest as well. So if I can get your if I can help you improve your your conversion funnel, percentage points, that also benefits you as well. And it's a win-win situation. So there's there's definitely some things there. But it is it is just it's a very simple equation. And for the affiliate managers to get the best out of for for marking matters to get the best out of affiliates as a channel. Being really good on your conversion funnels, being really good on your reporting. We're always going to preference people that have got live reporting, if we can use a postback URL so we can pull it into our system and if we can optimise these clicks even better, and that's great for us, we'll always prioritise that. How fast are we getting paid? Like we've got to chase you for money, like it happens. You know, so there', there's there's a big bunch of basic things you can do that you should be doing anyway. And that really help turbocharged the finish.
Artem Daniliants: Okay, so um, okay, you sold me on the whole affiliate marketing, you've done a really good job. Let's imagine I have a, I have an e-commerce store, right, and I'm selling something something that has, you know, margin that can easily withstand, you know, paying commission that is, let's say 20%, 30%, or even maybe more. So how do I get started? Right? I mean, I have maybe webshop on Shopify, or WooCommerce. And I'm interested in affiliate marketing, I want to leverage that, and I'm willing to, you know, work with affiliates, I'm willing to invest into making changes to my website working on the funnel, but how do I get started? As a company? Where what, like, what prerequisites do I need? And do I go just searching for bloggers in my space and offer them a coupon? And then pay them every month? A commission on every single coupon used? Or how does that look like?
Fintan Costello: I would always start with the data. So I would get my tracking set up properly. Because without the tracking, you're running blind. And there's we can we will, let's come back to coupons for a second because that opens up a whole range of issues. And somebody just straight up like making sure I've got a really good Google Analytics implementation. The second-
Artem Daniliants: So I have e-commerce tracking setup, I have Google Tag Manager set up, I have re-marketing, [inaudible] set up, I have maybe some back-end
analytics. And so
Fintan Costello: yeah, how good is your like, making sure yeah, you're seeing your re-marketing set up how good your CRM, and just getting the the basics in place is super important. The second thing I would once have done that, I would then look at affiliate tracking software. Because even if it's only five affiliates that you say launch, whatever you end up working with, they all want creative tracking links reporting. If you're the one doing.. Like the like the second you take a screenshot out of Google Analytics, they've already stopped caring, right? It's yeah
Artem Daniliants: They're like okay, this guy is just not on the same level as.. You know, it's gonna be a pain in the ass. Yeah, I don't want to work with him. So basically, I can, I can go for some ready made solutions, right? So some platforms, there's like, there's zillions of there's loads.
Fintan Costello: So there's the really like, big ones, like the kind of the, the marketplaces like a like a Tradedoubler, or an Awin or Impact. There's also kind of the
more do it yourself. So like a Post Affiliate Pro, and there's a lot of off the shelf solutions you can use, you don't have to go for a big expensive solution.
There is really straightforward ones that work perfectly fine.
Artem Daniliants: And if I have something like WooCommerce, or Shopify, there's probably a plug in, that I can just install,
Fintan Costello: they'll have integrated with these a billion times. So it'll be click, click, click, and you're done. And so I wouldn't worry about that. And I would then look at things like, okay, what cookie duration do we want to attribute for? And I would look at my competitors. And I would see how much they're paying.
Artem Daniliants: So can you maybe explain a little bit about the cookie? Yeah,
Fintan Costello: so it because so so there's a lot of a lot of affiliate marketing is still based on click attribution. So this is like the affiliate, your traditional affiliate tracking link, user clicks on it, a cookie gets stored. What can happen is the user could convert in that session. And by your by your widget, or maybe they've looked at it, they go back to Google, they read some reviews, they do some comparison shopping, but then they come back to you again, say the same day or 20 days later, or whatever, whatever the period is. If the cookie is sash, you can pick a duration on the cookie. So how long is this cookie valid for? Sometimes it can be session based. So it's just for as long as you're on the website for the first time. And other times, it can be like 100 days. And you can then attribute success to the affiliate that set that cookie. And then, and then.. So if the user does convert 20 days later, the affiliate still gets credit for the sale, because it was the [inaudible] to introduce that visitor to your product into your website. And what can also happen then is if the user then clicks another affiliate link in the meantime, it's kind of the last click attribution. So the affiliate, the whoever, whoever the last click was, gets the sale. And the smarter guys will also have what they call an assist. So if they see that there's two cookies, they'll see that Fintan was introducer but Artem was the closer so Fintan also got a little bit of credit for being part of the sales funnel.
Artem Daniliants: But basically all the platforms probably have something there that it can set it up. There's all of it is even though it sounds a bit more
technical. All platforms already have like ready made solutions for it. So you just have to
Fintan Costello: Just decide how long you want it to be. And you click go, and the system takes care of you. So that's super easy. And I would then do a competitor benchmark. And there's nothing more embarrassing than when an affiliate manager rings you up. They make you a great offer. And you're like, you're off, like, the the market rate is here. And you're way down here off the screen and turn.
Artem Daniliants: So I offer 5% And everybody else offers 50. And I'm like, okay, that's embarrassing.
Fintan Costello: You're like just not gonna be like, nothing's gonna like it's not even worth sending you clicks. Or it's not even that it's not even worth the hassle of the paperwork and the admin to get you live on the website. That's so you really need to make sure you're credible. And so I make sure I understand that. I'd look at their creative, I'd look at their landing pages, I wouldlook at like, is there anything extra that they're doing, and then the sudden you've got the basics in place. So that's, that's kind of table stakes, right? So you're, you're allowedsit down at the table. Now for a conversation. Obviously, money is, is important. So like your commission structure isimportant. What's more important is your conversion rates. So I could offer you I could offer an affiliate, a 30%, revenue share, and you're offering 50%, or whatever the deal is, but if my conversion rate is 90%, and yours is 5%, that always make more money for me. Yeah, alright. So it there's, there's always money's always
important, but it's it's money times conversion ratio, is that it all goes back to that revenue per click, like that's the ultimate metric. And so really kind of testing your, your funnels and making sure everything your conversion funnels are on point is, is super, super important. Because at the end of the day, if you can't convert the traffic, you're not going to get the traffic,
Artem Daniliants: there's no point in sending you the traffic if it's gonna just bounce back. Exactly.
Fintan Costello: And what I would do then is I would try and find.. I probably wouldn't start with the biggest people. So like, there's always going to be whatever vertical you're in, there's always like the couple of absolute giants. And, and they'll show up and it'll be a sales team. And they'll have a PowerPoint, and they're going to charge you a load of money up front. Because they're really good at what they do. And they know you need them more than they need you. I would probably start with some of the mid-tier guys. So these are guys who are they know what they're doing. They've got a good business.
Artem Daniliants: But they're, they're not arrogant yet.
Fintan Costello: Not yet. Right? And I call it the receptionist test. So they don't have a receptionist. So once an affiliate has a receptionist, it's a very different relationship. Yeah. So I would look at those guys first, because they're probably going to be.. You're probably more likely to be speaking with the.. Owners are probably more hands on. They're running the business. And a lot of affiliate marketing is relationship-based. So if you talk to any great, any great affiliate manager, it's as much about their relationships that they've built up over time. And it really is relationship is still okay. It's businesses still, personal
Artem Daniliants: Between people, not between CMS system
Fintan Costello: Exactly, exactly. Like we obviously, we can do business through spreadsheets. But ifit's somebody who's easy to deal with, and if it's their response, like from my perspective, if they're easy to deal with, they're they're polite, they're responsive. If something goes wrong, and things do go wrong, they own it, and get it sorted. You know, like the just basic kind of.. It sounds silly to say, but it can be your best surprise, of course. So I would, you know, try and build some relationships. These guys probably get a million emails a day. And so really thinking, okay, how can I connect with them? Maybe I can find them on LinkedIn, maybe I can find them on Twitter, maybe, maybe email is not the best, maybe I could meet them at an event. There's a lot of affiliate events, there's a lot of networking, the networking places, yeah. Do you know somebody who you could do an introduction? Could you take them for lunch? Have a chat? SoI would I would really try and make that connection. And be upfront and say, Look, we're like you said like, we're a new brand. We want to get into affiliates. I want to ask you a question, you know, really show that you want to do a good job. And I think that's an obviously deliver on whenever you promise. Or so that's that's kind of how I would get started.
Artem Daniliants: But if, for example, let's say so basically, you know if I summarise a bit, so I have to make sure my funnel works. So, so that's like I shouldn't.. So if I have, you know, a Shopify store that I created in during weekend, it doesn't mean that I'm ready to do you know, affiliate marketing I should be. How should I say I should already have the data driven mindset already in place, I should be understanding, like, where my funnel is good, where I need some improvements. What is the customer acquisition cost? What is my CTRs? You know, all of that stuff. So I have to know the lingo, I have to understand what works, what doesn't. And now that my funnel is working well, and I'm confident that it's working well, and I have a good offering for affiliates, and I have affiliate tracking in place and understand how it works. And I've done some benchmarking and understand how my competitors are using affiliates. Maybe I can now start hunting, you know, for affiliates, but where do I..Where do I find
them? So if I'm selling, I don't know, if I sell, if I sell, for example, like hiking equipment, right? So I can you know, for me, the easiest would be to go to a platform, right? Like to platform like cg.com, tradetravel, and all that.
Fintan Costello: I wouldn't, I wouldn't start there.
Artem Daniliants: Yeah. But again, I get in where do I find those? You know, so I had, I had experienced, for example, one of the customers. So they actually just reached out to a blogger who wrote a review about them anyway. And they set up affiliate, kind of like a deal commission sharing and so forth. And it worked amazingly. But they got lucky. I mean, in a way, he reached out to them. But but if you're not waiting to get lucky, you know, how do you how do you find the right people? Like what would be the tools, maybe like, what would be your first steps.
Fintan Costello: So honestly, it really, like I'm.. I've.. In my view is very simple. So let's say we're selling hiking equipment, so one of my key products, so it's going to be tents, hiking boots, whatever. So let's say it's tents, I would type in, you know, camping tent, review, counting 10 comparison, maybe pick some of my big product. So let's say I've got a I don't know, I'm trying to think of a brand a North Face two man tent review, or whatever the product name is. Put that into Google, and just see what shows up. So I take a bunch of queries that a potential customer would put into Google. And then I would see what would show up. So obviously, you're going to have the.. The. So you're going to the E- commerce listings, you're gonna have some other bits and pieces. And then I would look at the, the organic listings, and maybe even some of the paid listings as well, it could be affiliates. And there's a lot of PPC affiliates. And I would just take all of those websites, an I would have just a big look
through them. Read the content is like, is it proper? Like is it actually written by somebody who's seen this tent and us this tent? Or is it like a fake kind of thing? So I'm going to read through the website and I create a shortlist from there. And then I would outreach there. And my fear with the with the networks, and I've had a little bit of experiences in the past is that there's a great sales presentation. And that they'll tell you, we've got 20,000 affiliates, and they're all super keen to promote you. And you go through a massive technical integration process that takes way longer than they promised. And then you're live. And maybe they've sent an email out to the database that's completely untargeted, and tumbleweed. And then you're sitting there as the affiliate manager, and they're just giving you a big data dump of 1000 websites. And you're just clicking through the websites trying to find somebody who wants you can work with and.. Where you could have saved yourself that hassle with 50 Google
searches and just gone directly and there's.. Well the benefit we're directly is you're not paying the networktheir cost of whatever the transaction.
Artem Daniliants: How much is that usually?
Fintan Costello: I haven't, it's.. It can be 15%, 20% of the commission bill, I believe. Now obviously, depending on size and scale, you can negotiate of less integration costs, and whatever else you need to do so... And there's probably a software fee, or a minimum guarantee. So it can be pricey. But you could just pass that straight like I did. I can go into building better creative, it can go straight into your affiliates pocket with better deals, and just kind of cutting out the middleman. And it's typically quite easy to find the top 20 affiliates for your vertical with a few Google searches or look at and communities so Facebook groups or YouTube channels or like just.. What would, what would a shopper put into any of these tools or platforms or networks? Or wherever they hang out online? So like if it's Bitcoin you'd go look at Bitcoin talk and see what's going on over there or whatever, right.. So like where were they hang out online or what what are they reading that's related to their, to the product or to the their hobby that they're interested in? And there's, it's very easy then to find contact, how to contact somebody to just talk about advertising.
Artem Daniliants: And, okay, I now have an Excel spreadsheet and everybody loves Excel. So I have an Excel, a huge spreadsheet. I asked my colleague to do some serious work and have some really good solid websites. How can I know if they they even do affiliate marketing? So should I? Should I search websites that have affiliate tracking links are like what will be the?
Fintan Costello: Yes. So there's two sides. So If they're already doing affiliate marketing, it's actually easier for you. Becausethey, you don't have to explain
they know the game yeah, that you speak the same language, they understand, they are on the same wavelength with
Fintan Costello: Exactly, so it can be I think what I have seen happen before is with publishers who don't do affiliate marketing. And they, they underestimate becoming an affiliate, how difficult that actually is. And even though they've got like the, you know, the Oh, they'll show you the Google Analytics, and they've got hundreds of 1000s of visitors. And oh, we'll make a fortune from this. This is fantastic version, just the the nuance of the intents that their users have, versus the intent that's required to buy. It can be very different. So just kind of like browsing for interest, or like, I'm actively shopping, and I want to buy something today. I've got my credit card in my hand. And there are two very kind of lean back and lean forward type attitudes. So, and the easiest thing to do is like, look at a review page, or look at something on the website, hover over all the links, CFT, you can see any tracking parameters, it can be quite easy to spot. Or there's like I think some of the, I think there's
two of that there that'll show you, like there's probably browser plugins and stuff that would do the same for you. So I would prioritise the guys who were already doing it. For speed, but don't.. but like like you, you said, your, your friend example with the, the your client example of the blogger where they got really lucky. Loads of those exists as well. And a lot of down to the relationship. And a lot of will be down to your experience as a marketer, helping them maybe reposition things slightly or... Could you maybe optimise for some of these search terms to or like get your users thinking in this kind of way, or this type of content. So working closely with them, can be can be a great way. And because you know, you've had that relationship from day one with them as they grow and stuff as well, you grow with them. And there's a there is that kind of long term trust. So we will always prioritise people, we've had a, you know, a 5, 10 years track record. And
just because thatm that trust has been built up over time, that that's super important.
Artem Daniliants: And since you mentioned my example, as well. So actually, you know, they set up a deal with the blogger, where they gave to all of his readers a coupon code with a discount, 10% discount. And for every single coupon code used, they pay 10% to the blogger as well. Right? So kickback basically from all the sales. And you kind of smirked a little bit when I mentioned coupon and you're like, let's come back to that. So would that be a good time to go back to the coupon?
Fintan Costello: I don't know about you. But I know when I'm in a checkout process, and I see that coupon field. It's an instant new tab, brand name coupon, Google search.
Artem Daniliants: Do you use something like Honey or other coupon aggregators, right?
Fintan Costello: And, 90% of the time, I can't find a coupon. But I've definitely found coupons. And when so you're triggering people to just do that one final search. So if I was your client, I would make sure I optimised my, I would have a page dedicated to that brand name and the coupon just to try and see if I could pick up some of that traffic. And it's an ongoing battle. It's an ongoing discussion. There are some good checkout solutions where it's not so obvious. Some brands, some some checkout solutions really bash you over the head with like, it just makes you feel like an idiot if you're not putting in a coupon.
Artem Daniliants: Yeah, I know. I know the feeling.
Fintan Costello: so I it... Look, it's a known affiliate tactic. I get it. And there's massive websites dedicated to this and they just scrape every possible brand name and whatever. So it did. There's a big, big, big business behind it for a reason.
Artem Daniliants: Yeah, but if you think about it, coupon code doesn't have to be so obvious, right? It could be coupon code can be just used to facilitate
the attribution. It can be part of the email and it out of automatically applies that
Fintan Costello: You can do it, you can do it through the cookie, you can do it with a custom landing page. So anything that comes through this custom landing page, you got credit for. The cookies are the neatest way to do it because it's out of the way But it's really then is making sure that if the blogger istalking about this 10% discount. If I click that link, I see the 10% discount. And then I see it all the way through the checkout process. And that's where a lot of brands go wrong, because it's like the big reveal at the end. But if you click through and you start, oh, but he said, a discount, where's my discount? You're already confused.
Artem Daniliants: And you need to display this right away and get it.
Fintan Costello: And what's hilarious about this is it's so obvious, and so many people don't do it. So there's, there's so many, like..The way I look at all of this is.. My.. Digital marketing is so much about doing the basics really, really, really well. And it's not about like, because look, we've all got lower tension thresholds. That's why we're in marketing. And it's not about the big shiny campaign and the new tool and the new tech and the new plan. Oh, my God, we've got to go sort out our TikTok strategy. Yeah, that's great. Go do that. If you've got the basics in place. Yeah. And this, just just do the basics really well, is my my big plea to everybody.
Artem Daniliants: Yeah, I have same issues with my customers where we're talking about like a maybe a blogger outreach campaign, but the title of the homepage is homepage. So they haven't even like done some basic SEO audits. And that would be like money well-spent compared to anything else. But when it comes to coupons, I actually found out like, there is a very good example, Pipedrive, a CRM system that is very popular in Estonia, theyactually noticed that a lot of people were searching for Pipedrive coupon codes, and they created their own landing page. And, you know, when you go when you search for Pipedrive coupon code, you actually go to their page, and they say, well, welike smart people who search for coupons and searched for discounts. Here's it, here's a discount for you, you know, enjoy, you know, and, and great that you're considering Pipedrive. So you can actually use that to your advantage because you know, people are searching for those coupon codes. But you mentioned Cookie, cookie on many
occasions, and cookies are going away, no? I mean, it seems that there's a lot of hate for cookies, and third party cookies are blocked nowadays by default in some browsers. AdBlock is installed on most... Well, no, of course, not most, but let's say 20% to 40%. You know, desktop browsers have AdBlock installed in one way or another? And how and then obviously, Apple came up with this whole privacy solution that prevents tracking and Facebook, you know, made a big scene about it. So what's happening? Like, like, how can we make sure that there are still attributions and affiliate marketing still works if it heavily relies on cookies?
Fintan Costello: Now, I'm, I'm not a tech expert. So I don't want to basically just some of your listeners to be pulling their hair out if I startpontificating. Yes. Because always completely wrong. Yes, is the short answer. It's getting more complicated. But it's also still very simple. So most affiliate tracking solutions is first party cookies. Yes, brands can get blocked by ad blockers. And like I said, we do try and keep an eye on kind of blacklists, just to make sure. But realistically, it shows up in our revenues per click numbers. And it's the merchants problem, and they need to figure it out. We'll just send the traffic elsewhere. So we can be quite like... [inaudible] But it is the same like with Google updates and Facebook policy changes and this happening is happening. You could... I've been in the industry like.. I've been doing digital marketing for so long. Now. I could, you know, there's always a crisis. There's always a [inaudible],
Artem Daniliants: Of course, of course, cookie crisis. And this is there it is not dead, Google Penguin update and whatever, right.
Fintan Costello: So there's always a thing. And a lot of it's an echo chamber of people trying to sell stuff. And so kind of filtering the signal from the noise is a important job for any marketer. I'm being [inaudible] like obviously, there's there's always new and being open to things. But in my view, like I'm not losing any sleep over it. It's fine. If, if cookies are really dead, people still want to buy traffic, and we'll find out a solution. And some-, something will happen. Have people gone too far with third party tracking? Yeah, absolutely. Data collections' ridiculous. Like I installed a F-secure on my phone recently and it's just just the amount of stuff it's blocked in like 24 hour periods is ridiculous and I didn't even use my phone much that day. And it's like, okay, that's pretty interesting. So yeah, there's lots going on. If I was a DMP, I'd be very worried. And if I was a big ad network, I'd be very worried for your typical affiliate and your typical advertiser, like, look, all your money
was like, from an advertising perspective, all your money is going to Google and Facebook anyway. It just means it's really all going to Google and Facebook anyway. Now, because they've got the data. Because they've got the first party data. It's everybody else who's in trouble. You know, these new Apple things, it just means Apple's search. Ads are more valuable. Yeah, Apple Search Ads are just way more valuable than they were six weeks ago, or six months ago. So it's just bigger walled gardens, which I'm never a fan of. But there you go.
Artem Daniliants: Yeah, my guess there are always ways to track. You can do back end tracking, right, there will be solutions. Somebody will come in and sell you something that will allow you to still continue a business as usual, that you will just have to maybe fork some cash fo it. I'm sure. I'm sure there'll be something like fingerprinting like browser fingerprinting and whatnot, there are solutions.
Fintan Costello: there really is. But it could just go back, hey, we're all using coupon codes again.
Artem Daniliants: But, but that would be the day.
Fintan Costello: But this is the thing. It's really about from our perspective, if we're delivering great value to our users, they're gonna come back to our website. If we do have to go like exclusively on coupon codes, because they're coming to us for a reason. We're giving them what they need, we're giving them the coupons, we're helping them on their journey will be fine. So from an affiliates perspective, it's really about...Don't forget about, like, it's quite easy to justfocus on the money bit. But it's actually all about the user. Because you're one of 5 billion websites doing the exact same thing. Why have they chosen you? And that's really important. So always putting the user... I don't know, it's everyone, always put the user first I get, that's a very easy thing to say. But it takes a lot of courage. And that that that's the habit.
Artem Daniliants: But if you think about it, like some people have association, like with affiliate marketers is that they just create a junk website, use text generation to just write some absolute BS text and try to rank as high as they can for a specific keyword, and then give that traffic to the highest bidder. So obviously, it's been at some point like this there, there have been times where, you know, you didn't have to put so much effort into creating an affiliate website. But nowadays, I think, you know, it's all about providing value. And it actually takes a lot of work. So you mentioned how many people you have working for you
Fintan Costello: Now are getting work to 35 and we're hiring more.
Artem Daniliants: Okay, nice. Congrats. That's awesome. I'm glad to hear it. Obviously, you're doing much better on this side of the table, right? Compared to the, to the other side of the table where you were actually paying affiliates.
Fintan Costello: PaddyPower was was a big, big, big, big company. So there was 1000s of stuff an stuff. So it's very, very different.
Artem Daniliants: Okay. But you personally, I mean-
Fintan Costello: Look, I'm one of you know, there's a big team. There's a big team.
Artem Daniliants: Okay, good, good, good. So what I'm trying to say is that it actually takes a lot of effort. So, so many people, for example, who I know who became affiliate marketers, are people who are actually were selling SEO business to companies, like, like SEO, consulting, and all that. And at some point, they realise, like, why am I doing for them? I could do it for myself. And then all the sudden next year you see them and they're driving Porsche, you know? And doing really, really damn well. So
Fintan Costello: just to be clear, I've got a secondhand VW Polo.
Artem Daniliants: Okay. No, no, I wasn't pointing fingers. Now. No way. I'm just saying that. Once you know how to generate traffic, you know, how to create value online and so forth. It kind of becomes natural to just, you know, do affiliate marketing and start, you know, start start earning some money with it with the skills that you have. For example, one of my employees actually left my company because his affiliate business started to take off. He had a few websites, and he kind of did it as a part time job, you know, and so forth. And at some point, he just told me, Well, Artem, you know, things are really good. They're like really, really good. So I think I'm gonna quit and I was really happy for him. But he was a like a SEO Wizard. You know, he like knew what he was doing. And he just was grinding at it for about three years before he was able to completely substitute his income.
Fintan Costello: And I think that so a well done to him. I think that's fantastic to hear. And I think the three years is the magic bit. So regardless of his SEO skills, the... For me, we're a bit big believers in consistency over time as the one of our biggest advantages. So you know, we're thinking about the next 10 years. We're a private company, so we don't have to, like we've got competitors who are publicly listed. So they've got to do quarterly
They're really big.
Fintan Costello: Yeah, huge, huge, guys. Really great guys, super guys. But they've got to do a quarterly earnings call. You know, so they're really like, so, you know, some of them are, can take a longer term view, but the markets are fickle. And, what have you done for me this quarter? What are you going to do for me the next six months. And, so, being able to take a longer term view of things is super important. And being able to write out the variants is very important as an affiliate. And it's also like the, the time and perspective also. Because one of the biggest issues with being an affiliate is counterparty risk. And so if one of your advertisers that you work with decides not to pay you, all right, that that's, that's one of your biggest risks. And that happens, they've gone, they've run out of funding. They've gone bust, they've over promised, they decide they're not going to pay you. And like these things happen. And nobody really talks about that as well. So the advantage of time is it, it does
help you build up that experience. And it does take time to build up traffic. Andunderstanding okay, these brands convert really well these ones don't. That's a good deal. That's a bad deal. So, but I, it's something to consider because it can be.. Like I said, it's the Porsche example is kind of the stereotype. Yeah, yeah. But there's the million guys who have probably really good SEO skills as well, who aren' driving Porsches. So there is the, the winners, but it's a bit like when you look at hedge funds. Yeah, there's the you only see the hedge funds that survive, you don't see the ones that blow up. I do think it.. Slow and steady and boring. Over time is boring, [crosstalk] as good as the trick. If [inaudible] if anybody... Oh, I should do affiliates. Could you, could you do this for five years before you saw a dollar? Because that could happen very easily.
Artem Daniliants: Yeah. So the way that I think about it, and I'm actually thinking of... Obviously, I have some projects going on and so forth. And I want to learn by doing that's the way that I learned myself personally. So I'm thinking, hey, I could start a blog. And I could write about things that I'm very passionate about. So I'm, I'm an office supplies nut like that's my, that's my stick. I love the pens, I love all the supplies, and I have like 5 billion post-it notes, different types, transparent and whatnot, and so forth. So if I have passion for something, I could write about it. I could create videos and so forth. Wouldn't that be kind of like, if I wanted to try affiliate marketing, I wasn't sure, I should maybe pick a topic that I'm very passionate about already. Topic that I can write about. I can, you know, discover latest trends, and I can talk with my peers and so forth. And maybe start there because if I'm grinding away, if I'm passionate about the topic, that will be easier. Because many
times affiliate marketers that are selling this course is you know, okay become an affiliate marketer. Same BS as with drop shipping, you know? Make, you know, six figures by dropshipping crap from China or something like that. So many times, affiliate marketers, the say like, Hey, you know, you need to find your niche, you know, you need to understand, you know, where's the biggest payout and start grinding there. So if I am, you know, if I want to learn affiliate marketing, I want to, you know, test it out, test my skills, you know, and I'm alone. So I don't have a huge team like you get you do. And you have rather small team compared to some of the biggest, right, affiliate affiliate companies. So where should I start?
Fintan Costello: Okay, so you've got two routes. Route one is exactly what you said. If it's something you're interested in, and you can take you can take it to a super nerdy level.
Artem Daniliants: Yeah, right. Like really nerdy make it like
Fintan Costello: there's a guide website, so I do a lot of running and stuff. So there's a guy called DC Rainmaker. [crosstalk] Oh, I know. The level of detail [crosstalk] He's awesome. He puts
into... Say, if I want to buy the latest Garmin watch, I will go to his blog. And I will read his review. Because I know this will be the most unbiased, comprehensive in depth review of
this 700 euro watch on the internet, hands down. Yeah. And he's done that over time. And he's phenomenal at what he does, right? And he's built a good business off that and he
deserves every bit of success.
Artem Daniliants: I think he does affiliate marketing. That's that's his main. That's his main source of income. Yeah.
Fintan Costello: But he will also do the [inaudible]. He's so big now as well. I think when there's new product like he, I think you'll get
Artem Daniliants: He does like sponsored content and so forth. But I think he's pretty open and transparent about it.
Fintan Costello: Super transparent about it. And he's built a loyal, loyal audience around that. So that's, that's route one. And that'd be my preference. However, if you're a little bit of a pirate or a little bit of a mercenary, you don't really care, then you're just in it the money [crosstalk] for the money. You're in it for the lambo, right? Or Where's where's my [crosstalk] Yeah, yeah. So what I would look at then is, I would look... Personally, so my checklist would be... Has to be a high margin product. Ideally, one where I don't have to talk to anybody. And the level of sophistication of the either the competition or the say the the advertisers from a, from a digital perspective is low. Okay. Um, because what that means is the... So like, okay, I'm in the gambling industry. So not only am I competing against every affiliate, who are all absolute, you know, killers and are brilliant, what they do. We're also competing against every gambling firm. Some of them will have
Artem Daniliants: They're marketing as well
Fintan Costello: Some of them will have like teams of 200 people doing SEO. They'll have budgets of hundreds of millions in marketing budget. And so, the level of sophistication is through the roof. If you can find a business where the level of sophistication. So a lot of small business, like it's kind of... I'm trying to think of an example, like construction related things or handyman, or there's a lot of industries or businesses or products where there isn't an Amazon for it or maybe there's a few, but just look at the level of sophistication, look at themarketing budgets. Do they really get the Internet? Are they still kind of in an old school, you've got to come to the store to buy this product or service. And then it's quite easy to create a benchmarking score of verticals or products and kind of, okay, there's enough margin where I can get paid. Because if it's a tight, if it's a really tight margin product. Like if you take even something like a high ticket item, like a car, like the the profit
margin on a car is tiny, because it's it's all about the financing. It's all about selling you the extras, and computer equipment, very, very tight margins. And, but then there's lots of other products where there's huge margins.
Artem Daniliants: Digital products, for example, right?
Fintan Costello: Digital products are a great example of this. Supplements are a great example of this. But then I would say that the level of sophistication for say something like supplements or digital products? Well, the digital products is different. Because it depends on the-
Artem Daniliants: It depends. It's a very, like it's a huge, huge industry. I mean, there can be anything from editing software to like, I don't know, like weight loss.
Fintan Costello: So, so looking then at your competitor set and kind of scoring them on, how good are they basis? How sophistic- How good are the merchants themselves, the advertisers themselves as well. And then it's quite easy to stack up 20 different products and kind of score them and say, okay, we're going to start with with this one. And so did that that'd be the more mercenary typeish. But I would tend, but I would look for the most boring thing on that list. Like literally... So I many, many years ago I had a... So on your desk, you've probably got on hold in your desk for the cables to come through. Yeah, yeah, there's probably a little plastic thing in that hole. That's called a cable grommet [crosstalk] Okay, okay. I was a years ago story. Years ago, when I lived in Dublin, the guy who manufacture, there was the guy manufacturing cable grommets, and he was about a kilometre from where I lived. And old school, he would go directly to say electricians or furniture guys and sell them like with a
catalogue and literally sell them stuff. I bought a website an exact match domain, did some... Drop a very simple website did some basic SEO, and all of a sudden I'm the cable grommet king of Europe. And and my biggest one of my biggest regrets in life is I actually sold the business to him because he couldn't understand... I was initially just classic. Just sending the orders directly through him. He was shipping on my behalf. I was charging a massive premium. And he couldn't understand where all the
Artem Daniliants: What's going on. [crosstalk] So this business like, he's happy, right? I mean, he's getting orders left and right. So he's doing
Fintan Costello: But he's also a bit like, why aren't I doing right? There's always great.
Artem Daniliants: Oh, yeah.
Fintan Costello: So, I... But lovely guy a really nice guy. And he had a great business, but like, it was so boring. It's so niche. And you could have Europe to yourself. Like it was that easy. So I would always like add a boring index, and then add more points... How, like, weight loss or Forex trading or crypto, like they're all kind of sexy kind of type stuff.
Artem Daniliants: But yeah, but they're, but they're way too hot. I mean, they're way too hot. I mean, everybody in the I mean, my mother in law, you know, called me and told me like, hey, did you know that now you can make money out of thin air. Put your computer on a balcony and it just does something it creates money? And I'm like, okay, when my mother in law says that then then it's overhyped. The Bitcoin is way overhyped. So I think you're absolutely correct. I mean, construction like space heaters, you know, maybe some things like oils for the car or whatever, that is something that is very boring, something very basic right?
Fintan Costello: But then go super nerdy on it. So like, give up like, like think of the mats you put in your car. Your feet, right. So but, and it's like, okay, making it easy for them to find the model, the different styles. You're bringing stuff in from America, your custom print, you know. Go super nerdy on it, and then just be the king of it. Or the queen of it. Yeah. But it has to be so boring nobody else would even consider doing it would be my, my dream scenario.
Artem Daniliants: So, can you tell me a little bit about your own project now? So what like do you do? And you mentioned that you are now on the other side of the table? So what does your company do in?
Fintan Costello: Yeah, sure. So Bonusfinder.com. We are a gambling affiliates, regular gambling comparison website, we're primarily focused on casinos. And our promise to our users is to help, to help people play with more. And so the way our websites designed is and the way our filtering and our search functionality works, is it doesn't matter if you show up. If you've got 10 dollars or 10 euros or whatever your currency is you play with, we'll help you find the best possible value for that 10 euros. So you'll get the best gameplay, the most spins, the most game time that you can. And then obviously, if you show up with 50, 100, 1000, will also show you the best things for that for your favourite games and stuff. So it's really helping, everybody depending on no matter what their level is. Find safe places to play, where they get the best possible value for money. So it's really simple. It's helping people have more fun.
Artem Daniliants: So basically, you work with casinos and other companies, right? But isn't there like a bias? And like you're promoting ones that paying the most or like, what how does that work? I mean, that's obviously a touchy.
Fintan Costello: No, look, it's, it's something every affiliate needs to that needs to grapple with. And so the way.. So I, many years ago, I worked for Google. And one of the things that was always drummed into us is that our competition is just a click away. And it, really like, if we take this podcast, this podcast has to be so good people don't flip over to watch Netflix. So we're competing against the two of us right now. We're competing against all of the entertainment available to your viewers
Artem Daniliants: In the world, basically online
Fintan Costello: on everything. And like, are we more entertaining than Pornhub? Right now? Probably not.
Artem Daniliants: You never know. But yeah, maybe I'll be with you on this one. Yeah. So.
Fintan Costello: So if we think of, we think if you think of everything you're doing in, it's quite a silly example. But like, an extreme example, but if you think of everything you do, or everything you produce, from that perspective, then the money will take care of itself. If you've got an audience, if you're providing a value added service, the money will take care of itself. And I think we're, we're it's easy to and I've done it in the past in previous companies, it's easy to fall in the optimise for revenue at all costs. It's really optimised for the user. And I know again, it's a bit preachy and it's a bit I feel like I'm one of these. I feel like we should be selling a marketing course right now. We just kind of know, we're not [crosstalk] just you just... Throw out these kind of stock phrases. So I acknowledge how wacky that sounds. But what we're doing is, so we've got a really tough screening process. So to get on our website means you're a great casino. Yeah, right. So we get... It's so easy. Like, it's never been easier to launch a gambling website. And we get a lot of emails every week, people who want to work with us, and we have to politely decline and, and send them on their way. So to get on our website is a huge step anyway. And then it's not about how much you're getting how much we're getting paid. It's always about the user has selected, they want to play slot games, and they want they've got 10 euros to play with. And the bonuses. So what we do is this, every sort... Of anybody doesn't realise every casino or sports betting website has what's called welcome offers are welcome bonuses. [crosstalk] Yeah, for new for new users, because they're very focused on bringing new customers. So the welcome offer could be something like 50 free spins on this game, 100% match deposit bonus up to 100 euros. What we do is we take all of that, and we break it down into its components in our back end. We also read all the terms and conditions, because there's always there's always sneaky terms and conditions, [crosstalk] there's always there's no free money in the internet. Yeah. And our tool takes all of that. So when you say I want to play this game, and I've got 10 euros. We then calculate from our back end, okay, the best place for you to play are these. And we've ranked them based on how many spins you're going to get, or how much value you're going to get for your... So we think in terms of gameplay, and how much value you're going to get for that 10 euros. And that sort, it's really a case of the better their offers, the better they're going to be. So the more value we can provide our users, the higher the brand is on our, on our website. So we're providing, we're fulfilling our promise to play with more. And then the revenue takes care of itself.
Artem Daniliants: Yeah, so I always said that, you know, money is a kind of side effect of passion and drive, and so forth. So if if you focus on money in like short term, you
could be making a lot more. But long term, you'll be all this-
Fintan Costello: You look, you can, you can do all the right things and still be incredibly unlucky. And there's always a luck element to these things. And our timing, you can have it the world's best idea. But you're just and I've seen this too late. I've seen this happen to be present. Brilliant idea five years too early. Or do you think in Silicon Valley, they call it product market fit? I think that's the new trendy way to say yeah, which is just a polite way of saying does anybody care. And I thought it was great. All my friends told me I'm great. And that just shows what great friends they are, rather than how great the idea was. But when you test it, nobody gives a shit. And so it... But you know we've obviously got a proven business model. So we're not kind of reinventing comparison websites, or people looking for bonuses, that, that's proven. We're just doing it [inaudible] we're putting our spin on it. I never like to let... Our competitors do other stuff that we don't do that.. There's, there's so great stuff happening out there.
Artem Daniliants: Basically, you're on sauce, right? You're doing like everybody's selling pizza, right? I mean, but you still go to different places there is your favourite place and so forth. [crosstalk] That's a very somebody puts, yeah, somebody puts a good spin on it. Maybe there is basil that they put, or maybe the tomato sauce is a bit different. Or maybe it's a nice, you know, support stuff, right? There's always cheerful and positive.
Fintan Costello: It's the atmosphere or it's convenient or whatnot, I think that's a very good way to put it. So we, we don't really spend a lot of time worrying about our competitors. We know they're good. We know they're working hard. We just really focus on our roadmap and how we think we can bring more value. Because it's also quite easy to end up chasing. So like oh my god, these guys have done that. We should do that. Oh my God, these guys have the night we should do. And you kind of end up zigzagging around and you're chasing a lot of stuff. And maybe it works maybe it doesn't work. It probably doesn't. And so we yeah, we take inspiration, but we really focus on our own.
Artem Daniliants: Good, good. That's amazing. And before we wrap up so far, this been like really, really good episode for me personally, I've learned a lot and I really thank you for your time. But before we wrap up, what what is like, how can I say what will be the optimal product for affiliate marketing, right? So if my margins are like 2%, maybe it's not very good for affiliate marketing or like, what kind of product would fit affiliate marketing model? The best I would say would be you know optimised for affiliate marketing. Obviously, we talked about software and so forth and you.. You mentioned maybe a product that doesn't require a lot of interaction.
Fintan Costello: Well, that's well, that's more looking at it from a if I was an affiliate starting out, where would I start out? If I was an advertiser and I had a low margin product? There's still loads of options. And oh, yeah, because it's like if you've let's say you're selling like TVs, it's got a low margin.
Artem Daniliants: electronics or something like razor thin margin
Fintan Costello: but then you make up for it in volume. And but the affiliate is used to that. So the affiliate now so that the affiliate you'll be dealing with will be the guys with millions of users, or visitors to their website. So there's a scale. Like if you think of it like a Walmart versus your, your massive supermarket hypermarket versus your local corner store. And they're operating on very different business models. So it's pilot high, sell it cheap versus, you know, we're convenience, we're going to charge you a bit more. And so I never worry about what the product, what the industry was, or what the product was. It's more about the finding the affiliate, that... If we go back to the secret sauce, do they have traffic or a community? And can they add value. So it could be the the index product review, it could be the comparison, it could be the alerting their new users to the there's a deal or there's a discount or whatever the value and you'll know it's for your own industry, I'm just trying out
some generic ones, you'll know it for your own products, your own industry. But if they're actually adding a value, and they have an audience of some description, then it's just a case of okay, can you know and you've got your conversion funnel tidied up and ready to go? Then it's there' no reason not to do business.
Artem Daniliants: Yeah, but I kind of feel that affiliate marketers are expecting like crazy commissions. And I like when I go to aggregate platforms, everybody's competing, you know, for the same publishers, and they're trying to offer as good of a deal as possible.
Fintan Costello: Sure, but if you've got [inaudible], but then it goes back to have you invested in your brand, right? So you could have, like, if there's like, okay, let's say you've got a let's say you've got some sort of electronics comparison table, right? So there's like, there's a Sony, there's a Philips, there's a either, I'm thinking TVs in my head, right? So you got a couple of big name brands, Samsung, Samsung, LG or something, Samsung, LG, Sony, you've go those three and and then you've got some random Chinese manufacturer names. Right? Yeah. And the specs are twice as good. The price is 50% Less. Are you going to pick any of those? Are you going to pick one of the brands that you know? Right, you're going to be a very brave person to pick one of the brands you don't know or have never heard of, or, you know, it's in bad English, or whatever it is, right? It's a, it looks like a typo. And so investing in your brand, investing in your product, have a product that people want. And, you know, these
kind of things as well, you can cut through, you can also cut through and other ways with affiliates in terms of... It's not like, like I said earlier, and it's not all about the money. Like if you can show up with maybe exclusive content. If you've got a marketing department, can they create extra assets or custom assets, custom landing pages, invite the affiliate to your office to your store to your factory. What else can you do that's not your normal hey, here's a link here's a banner ad, crack on. And that can add value to their users. And so you can compete in a lot of ways that doesn't come down to money. And that's actually probably relatively easy for the advertiser to do. And, but could be very hard for the affiliate. So it could be like, uh, you know, we'll we'll link to your website.
Artem Daniliants: Yeah, it could be we fly you to our to our headquarters, you know exactly your private tour. So you get like an awesome video out of it
Fintan Costello: Meet the CEO, to [inaudible] like there's loads of things you could do that's not money related. That builds relationship, provides value added content or services. And, like custom, custom creative works, great custom landing pages. There's loads you could do that. Even if you are a smaller brand, you've got a smaller budget. You can definitely outwork the bigger guys.
Artem Daniliants: Yeah. So again, if I sum it up, you have to do your homework and you have to go that extra mile for the affiliates that you work with because that will go a long way [crosstalk] Agreed. So in the end, everybody's making money they have to pay, you know, salaries and you know, pay bills and all that. But it comes down to a relationship. In the end, if everything else is equal, you will always stick with an advertiser that you've known, who pays on time and treats you well, right?
Fintan Costello: And, don't underestimate cash flow. So if you're, if you're an advertiser to pays on 90 days or your advertiser topays on seven days. Like that's, if you can be a smaller brand and have a huge competitive advantage over your bigger, like. Don't underestimate an affiliates' cash flow and how important it is, particularly if they're buying media. Yeah, it's again, it's another, just do the basics really well, that that's the summary.
Artem Daniliants: Yeah, as with everything when it comes to digital marketing, right, handle the basics fail. And then if you have some time and extra cash.. you can do those fancy growth hacking techniques that everybody talks about.
Fintan Costello: I was, I was I remember the first time I read growth hacking, and I'm like, somebody got contacted about a job. And I'm like, What's a growth hacker? And I'm reading through the description on when oh, it's marketing. Oh, okay. Now I just,
Artem Daniliants: Yeah, yeah, so even the growth hackers that actually like, that actually well known and written books and so forth that just say like. Hey, growth hacking, you know, if I honest about it, it's 80% you're just doing the boring stuff, but you're doing it really well. And 20% you're just testing more crazy ideas. Exactly. You know, that's exact that's just basically it and and that's growth hacking, but again, it became sexy right? [crosstalk] Oh, it's of course, we're marketing growth marketing, growth hacking and all that and it looks good in a CV right? I growth hacked my company to bankruptcy.
Fintan Costello: [laughter]
Artem Daniliants: So you know, you can always put a nice spin on it, you know, for sure. Yeah. But Fintan I just want to say a huge thank you. This has been a pleasure. You're such a cheerful and positive person. It's it's such a pleasure to talk to you. And thank you for your time. And again, guys. Remember a Bonusfinder.com? That's Fintan's company. So if you're interested in gambling, want to get you know, most value for your cash. Yeah.
Fintan Costello: Or look, if you want to connect on LinkedIn, just find me on LinkedIn super easy. I also co host the gambling files podcast. So it's an industry focused podcast as well. But look, always feel free to drop me a note on LinkedIn. Say hello. I'm happy to answer any questions or do any follow up as well.
Artem Daniliants: Awesome. Great. Thank you and you will find the links in the description box below and thank you very much Fintan again, thank you