“What to play? Where to play?” – Oleksandr Shapovalov, SlotCatalog Ltd

Darlene Zammit 1 year ago
“What to play? Where to play?” – Oleksandr Shapovalov, SlotCatalog Ltd

Oleksandr Shapovalov, Business Development Manager of SlotCatalog Ltd, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam

Oleksandr Shapovalov, speaks about SlotCatalog’s main goal, benefits, and their SlotRank. Among other topics, he also speaks about email marketing and responsible gaming – follow his story below.

How did you first get into the affiliate space?

I got into the affiliate business in 2017. I was 21 years old, and I was looking for a field that would be interesting to me. To start with, I wanted a remote job to have more time to search for the “business of my life”. It so happened that the remote job I found was what I was hoping to find. I got a job as a content manager at SlotCatalog, and I’m still working here. I am now the Business Development Manager.

How did SlotCatalog take off?

The SlotCatalog project started as a small startup to determine the most popular slots based on data from open sources. We are still working on this and improving the algorithm that determines the popularity of slots but on a larger scale. Over time, we began developing other areas, created the largest database of slots on the Internet, and worked on expanding the casino database and we are still doing this.

What is SlotCatalog’s goal?

Our goal is to answer 2 players’ questions: What to play? Where to play?

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What are SlotCatalog’s benefits?

Our main benefit is probably the accuracy of the information given to the players. For example, when players open the page of any game on our site, they can immediately find a casino where this game is presented for sure. We also provide the most detailed information on slots and allow playing a demo before moving on to play in the casino.

Also, I can’t help but mention our unique Hot/Cold Games service, which shows RTP games in real-time. This service is built on the actual slots’ round history, which is shared with us by our dear data sponsors.

Furthermore, our site is popular not only among players but also among industry representatives and has benefits for them as well. Using information gathered during the construction of Slot Rank, game developers can track slot trends in different markets.

What is SlotRank? How do you calculate it?

SlotRank is our unique ranking system of slots based on data from open sources. Every single day we scan our casino database and gather information about slots from casinos’ lobbies (main pages). Our crawler bot checks what slots the casino’s lobby has and in what spot they are presented. Then we aggregate this information and calculate the average lobby position with some additional points like casino weight (based on the amount of casino’’s organic traffic). The rank is aggregated on a country basis and currently covers 50+ markets.

What is your email marketing philosophy?

Send, track, improve, repeat.

How important is audience segmentation in email marketing? What importance do you give it?

Segmentation in email marketing is essential if you want to increase email campaign conversions. In our email campaigns, we segment subscribers by country to send accurate information on where to play the latest slots.

In your view, which is the best email marketing campaign that you have created?

This is probably our first e-mail newsletter, which is still active and constantly bringing in new subscribers. Every week we send an email with all the latest slots releases and where to play them.

What sets you apart from other affiliates and what is it that makes you unique?

I’d say it’s our data-driven approach to ranking and providing the players with accurate information. And of course, the biggest slots database!

What importance do you give to responsible gaming?

We try to educate players and encourage them to do their own research before choosing a casino. We also comply with all regulations of the authorities of the countries where gambling is legal like the UK, Sweden, Spain, etc. Moreover, we only promote brands with local licenses in GEOs where gambling is regulated by law.

Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?

Currently, we mostly focus on the UK and German markets. We see great potential in LatAm and Asia and are already taking steps in these directions.

How important is social media activity for your affiliate business? How difficult is it with Google’s constant updates?

We are not very active in social media and mostly focus on SEO. As for Google updates, we courageously take the fight and most often emerge victorious with minimal damage to ourselves. In short, they are not as scary as many describe them.

Which emerging technologies like AI and Big Data will impact the affiliate industry in 2022 and beyond?

I don’t think any of these technologies will have a significant impact on the industry this year. Over the years of working in this industry, I got the impression that radically new technologies are introduced here very slowly. If we talk about the future, then sooner or later AI and Big Data will be ubiquitous. Without them, it will simply be impossible to cope, as the industry is oversaturated with content and the help of technology will definitely be needed to satisfy players and provide exactly what they want.

How can affiliates be more unique in their approach?

Our industry has become more competitive than ever. Creating something unique is really difficult, but not impossible. First of all, you should think about the players and what they lack. Find an opportunity to collect their feedback and I am sure that you will get several unique ideas.

What does it take for an affiliate business to thrive?

Create a website for players not for Google.

How do you choose your operators and how do you manage relationships with multiple operators?

Whilst gathering as much information as possible to improve SlotRank and make it more accurate, we are adding almost all licensed casinos. Sometimes it’s hard to manage the number of accounts we have but we handle it pretty well.

Have you ever been to SiGMA? SiGMA Europe, Africa, Asia, or Americas – which of these four expo shows would you likely book on your diary for 2022?

I’ve been to SiGMA Europe in 2019 and 2020 and I loved that.

Unfortunately, this year I won’t be able to attend any expos because Russia has invaded my country. However, I’ll surely visit SiGMA Europe again after our victory.

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.

I am fond of cooking. This is my passion and I like to cook fancy dinners for my friends. Also, I like video games, especially retro ones from NES and SNES. But unfortunately, I rarely play.

Also, I like anime and manga and encourage everyone to watch and read Berserk.

I like to gamble sometimes but do it pretty rarely. I mostly play slots in crypto casinos.

Read more about SiGMA Affiliate Grand Slam here.


Join us for SiGMA Americas – Toronto:

Toronto is the perfect hub for SiGMA’s growth in North America, making it a nexus of networking and business development in the region with regards to land-based gaming, eSports, iGaming, sports betting, and more. Playing host to a massive iGaming industry, Toronto will be the home for the SiGMA Group’s initiative to link the industry pioneers of the continent together for 3 days of networking, workshops, and awards.

To learn more about sponsorship and speaking opportunities or to inquire about attending the event, please contact Sophie on [email protected].

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