Jaimy Bakkenes, Account Manager of LeadLegends, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
Jaimy Bakkenes speaks about LeadLegends and how they live up to their name. He says that they translate the knowledge of the market and expertise into their daily work, that their goal is to provide their customers with optimal service, and that they make a rigorous selection of affiliates that they know guarantee quality and legal traffic – follow his story below.
How did you first get into the affiliate space?
After working in sales for a number of years, I wanted to get a taste of a marketing-related job and so accidentally ended up in affiliate marketing. I didn’t know it existed beforehand, but was hooked from the first moment. Through another performance agency, and after a detour, I eventually ended up at LeadLegends, with which we now generate worldwide casino traffic. I can’t imagine ever doing anything other than affiliate marketing.
How did LeadLegends take off? Is iGaming your only vertical?
Our two directors started as casino affiliates back in 1999, worked on many affiliate SEO sites and started LeadLegends in 2017 as a new project to generate more and especially a different type of traffic to the casinos. This is how the idea arose to start LeadLegends as a casino CPL network. At the time, we started with a number of brands from a friendly operator, but it went so well that we are now the exclusive partner for about 40 brands worldwide on CPL.
You are LeadLegends. How do you live up to your name?
We know this vertical like no other and with so much knowledge and experience on offer we can safely call ourselves experts. Not only in the field of online gambling, but also in the field of affiliate marketing and lead generation, together we have decades of experience. We translate the knowledge of the market and expertise into our daily work, so that we can strive for the very best every day.
Tell us a bit more about who you are, what you do, your strengths, and culture.
LeadLegends is a casino CPL affiliate network in which we mediate as an intermediary between online casinos and affiliates. By using our reliable affiliates we generate quality casino traffic all over the world. We are a small, but close-knit team and work hard for our customers in a very informal atmosphere. We treat our customers in the same manner. We really have an informal culture. We have very short lines of communication, work closely together in a relaxed atmosphere, and all this with one common goal: to provide our customers with optimal service. That is our big strength. So you can actually see us as an extension of the marketing department. Why hire an expensive affiliate manager when we can do the work for you? Of course, everything is performance based. If we deliver nothing, it will cost you nothing. Another strength is the fact that we work on the basis of CPL. So we generate signups for the casino and the retention team does the rest. It is a relatively cheap way to buy traffic, but if the CRM of the casino is in order it is a very valuable way.
Which products and services does LeadLegends offer? What do you specialise in? Can you elaborate?
As I just said, we work on a COST PER LEAD basis. We are aware that this type of traffic can be tricky for a casino, but that is exactly where our added value comes in place. We are specialised in this type of traffic, which makes it interesting for the casino because it is a relatively cheap way. Over the past four years we have made a rigorous selection of affiliates that we know guarantee quality and legal traffic. This has created a select group of partners who help us generate traffic every day. This way of working requires a great deal of discipline and involvement because we do the necessary quality checks every day, 24/7. We actually do the entire preliminary process and then send the players to the casino. They should do the rest from there. That is why we also work closely together with our advertisers. We don’t want to be seen as just another traffic partner. We want to know what happens with our traffic in the casino so that we can use that knowledge to optimise up front.
What sets you apart from the competition?
Up and foremost, our colleagues. It may be a cliché, but affiliate marketing is a branch of sport in which the goodwill factor plays a major role. Any casino can buy its traffic from anywhere and affiliates are offered up to 100 different campaigns every day. By deploying our knowledge, with our feet firmly on the ground, and especially the personal approach I think we make the difference. We do not see our clients as customers, but treat them as colleagues. We have fun together. Because having fun is just as much part of it and it creates a bond.
In addition, we only focus on the online casino vertical and more specifically only on CPL deals. That is not necessarily a USP, but unlike many other parties who have tried it, we do know how to achieve the maximum return from this type of traffic. In recent years we have seen a lot of parties come and go in this market who thought they would make it fast. It’s really not as easy as it seems. It is a profession in its own right and we are committed to it day and night. Every minute of the day, 7 days a week, we check the quality at subid level, we try to optimise where it’s needed or we stop sources that do not perform well enough.
How do you drive success for your partners? And how do you measure and prove ROI?
We are of course a network and that means that you have to find a balance between volume and quality. Affiliates benefit from volume and advertisers from quality. We try to find a middle ground that makes every party happy. We are actually in the middle of the marketing process that is split into two related activities within the online gambling world: player acquisition and player retention. We are judged on KPIs on both sides. Measuring and interpreting these KPIs in the right way is crucial for us. By making data-driven decisions subsequently, we ensure the success that is expected of us.
What ensures your long term partnerships?
As in any healthy long-term relationship, business relationships also require time, patience and understanding. We have been involved in many collaborations over the years and have learned several lessons along the way. Most importantly being honest and transparent, always finding a solution when problems arise and understanding your customers’ business very well. A good partnership is one of the driving factors for success and revenue.
How does technology play a part in your day-to-day?
Technology and data are inevitable in the affiliate business and therefore very important to us. Growth targets can only be achieved with a combination of data, intelligent marketing, and technology. We do not advise our partners on the basis of gut feelings, but purely on the basis of data and results, and this because we are judged on that result. That’s the beauty of our work. If you do nothing, you earn nothing. And that is why we invest so much energy in analyzing data. For this we have custom made features and tools in our platform that help us guarantee quality. This includes fraud detection and technology that helps us track, analyse and effectively optimise the data. Because the technology is in order, we have more time to invest in our relationships with our partners.
The Netherlands has recently opened its regulated online gambling market and online gaming licences have been granted. What can you tell us about this? What does this mean for you?
We are a traditional Dutch company so this is really a home game for us. We’ve been waiting for this moment for years and now it’s finally here. In general it was a pretty rough start with only a few operators who got a license and who especially didn’t have the affiliate part in order yet. But it is getting in gear slowly. Next year, when the big established names from the online casino world will get a license, I expect it to really take off. In any case, we are ready for it. In recent months, we have focused on making sure that the legal requirements are optimised so that we can serve the casinos with qualitative traffic in a safe and compliant way. We know this market like no other and being Dutch we are of course on top of it. With the legalisation of the Dutch market, we have another top and focus GEO that immediately looks promising.
What are the current trends in the market? Which are the growing ones?
More and more people are finding their way to online casinos. This means that you spend less time, energy and costs playing the same game as before, while still meeting these expectations in an affordable, safe, and convenient way. You only need a smartphone or a laptop and an internet connection. This trend has accelerated in the light of the outbreak of the pandemic. Following on this, we have witnessed emerging trends in the iGaming industry, especially the use of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Most casinos now accept cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. This trend is slowly catching up with fiat payment methods for online gamblers.
Mobile phones have revolutionised many aspects of human life. iGaming has not been left behind. Nowadays, you can gamble very easily via your mobile phone, even when you are on the go. This is a significant technological improvement that has brought more people into online gambling.
With regard to growing markets, I have to mention the Netherlands, of course. We cannot ignore the fact that online gambling in the Netherlands has already been very popular, but now that licenses are being handed out, fortunately this market is better regulated to prevent gambling addictions and money laundering. And, of course, the Dutch treasury benefits as well. We also see that online gambling in Latin America is becoming more and more popular and that player value is increasing, making it interesting not only for our affiliates but also for our operators.
What are the benefits of attending large Gaming events and exhibitions?
Since we do business with operators and affiliates from all over the world, the fairs are an excellent opportunity for us to meet our partners again. You don’t just fly to the other side of the world for one appointment. That is why those events are the ideal time for us to meet and speak to everyone again. In addition, trade fair visits contribute to knowledge of the market, you gain new ideas and get to know new people. It ensures a transparent market where supply and demand come together.
Have you ever been to SiGMA?
Yes, I’ve been to the Affiliate Grand Slam in Dubai this year and I attended SIGMA Malta. Since 2021 is almost over, I am already looking forward to 2022. Hopefully, if the Covid situation allows it, we can visit many fairs again and the Affiliate Grand Slam and SiGMA in Malta are two of them!
Tell us a bit about yourself – after all, business is done with people, not just companies! Your hobbies, favourite book, favourite quote, whether you are into Gaming yourself, etc.
It’s funny that you say that. That is absolutely correct. The nice thing about this business is that you have a lot of contact with a lot of people every day. I love that. Also in private, I am a gregarious person and in my spare time I like to be with friends and good company. One of my favorite quotes is “Be the person you want to meet”. I’m not a big gambler myself. I sometimes go to the casino for just a nice night out. Then I like to play roulette and eat and drink something. Every now and then I gamble on football matches with my brothers while we watch live. That makes watching a bit more exciting.
I have been enjoying golf for a number of years and I am on the course once a week. I love being able to put my phone away and be offline for a while. We have quite a hectic digital existence in our business. Being offline for a while is great and I can recommend it to everyone.
Read more about SiGMA Affiliate Grand Slam here.
SiGMA Asia 2022
After the exciting set of conferences that was Malta Week 2021, the SiGMA Group plans to take the world by storm with the golden steeples of Kiev and the snowy city of Toronto being hubs to draw the best and brightest of the iGaming world together. Our next expo takes us to cutting-edge metropoli of the United Arab Emirates for three days of networking, panel discussions and festivities. Stay up to date with the latest and greatest through SiGMA News.