In an exclusive interview with Maria Debrincat, YTZ International’s VP of Sales Megan Sagriff, speaks about how her company’s values and philosophy keeps them ahead of the pack.
How long has YTZ been in the performance marketing industry and what have you learned from being in this field?
YTZ has been in the affiliate marketing space for over 15 years. We’ve operated in many different verticals over the years. The online marketing ecosystem is always changing and evolving. We’ve learned to be adaptive and to diversify, not to put all our eggs in one basket so to speak. Be agile. Be innovative. We got into iGaming more than 5 years ago now because we wanted to focus on an evergreen vertical. I think we’ve found a lot of success in this vertical because of our long history with affiliate marketing.
Can you elaborate more on your brand?
We’re a small team with many years of experience between us. I don’t want to say how many years because you might think we’re older than we are. We’re a group of marketers, media buyers, and technology pioneers. All of our technology is built in-house; from our ad server to our reporting interface to our optimisation algorithms.
Technology is at the heart of all that we do. We’re constantly building tools for ourselves to streamline processes and optimise data in real time. From the sales side of things, we’re both affiliates and also an affiliate network. We have access to many different traffic channels – email, SMS, display, native, push, social, etc. We work directly with operators to bring quality players to their brands and connect them with the most appropriate and best-performing traffic sources.
What are the key challenges you are facing right now?
Onboarding is our biggest challenge. As I mentioned, we’re a small team. We often get influxes of leads for new partnerships, whether it’s following an iGaming conference or someone reaching out to us via our contact form.
The onboarding process with most operators is often lengthy. You have to try to get to know one another and set expectations, negotiate a deal and then implement tracking integration. We’re based in Toronto so there are often timezone-related issues. We try our best to be as available and attentive as possible when setting up a new partner but the process can drag on.
Who is your general audience and what are the benefits of using YTZ?
We’re looking to partner with both operators and affiliates. From an operator perspective, they’re getting access to prequalified, high-performing worldwide traffic. We currently operate in over 100 geos. From an affiliate perspective, they’re getting access to hundreds of pretested brands.
We’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation for them because we only offer brands that we know convert well and have good retention teams. We also offer much more flexible commission structures and payment terms. On top of that, all of these brands are available in one place for easy management and tracking.
What do you think is lacking when it comes to tech specifically tracking?
There are so many inadequacies when it comes to tracking in the iGaming space. I’ve yet to come across an affiliate tracking software that offers everything I need. My favorite tracking platform as an affiliate for ease of use is Myaffiliates. At the very basic level, all operators should offer server-to-server postback tracking.
Ideally, this is offered in real-time so that optimisations can be made in real-time. Source tracking and reporting are also super important. The more granular the better. If I get 100 FTDs in one day from 2 sources across 13 different geos I need to be able to run a report where I can identify the deposit value and NGR by source, by geo. There are very few platforms that allow this kind of visibility. I could honestly go on forever about tracking issues but no one wants to read about boring tracking issues.
What can operators do to increase support from affiliates?
Set expectations from the beginning. Communication and transparency are fundamental. Having knowledgeable and attentive dedicated account managers is very important from an affiliate’s perspective. There’s one operator that I work with where a different person reaches out every few months claiming to be our account manager which causes a lot of confusion.
If issues ever arise, and they likely will at some point, take accountability for mistakes or errors made. That goes for both sides. I have a lot of respect for partners who identify problems and provide solutions without being asked.
Read more interviews like this one in our latest SiGMA Magazine here.
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