In this exclusive interview, Maria Debrincat joins Mr. Alexander Riddick, an accomplished entrepreneur and affiliate marketing expert as he delves deep into his journey in the industry, the unique features of his program, and his plans to drive PIN-UP.PARTNERS towards becoming a dominant player in the global arena.
What are your hobbies?
In terms of leisure activities, my primary interest is my career. With 15 years of experience in the traffic and affiliate marketing niche, I have been serving as the Head of PIN-UP PARTNERS for the past six years. In addition to my professional endeavors, I have also diversified my portfolio with various niche businesses, including luxury car rental in Dubai and media holding Origin Creatives.
As for personal hobbies, I have a passion for collecting rare and unique alcohol, watches, and automobiles. Furthermore, I enjoy participating in drift racing.
How did PIN-UP.PARTNERS come about?
PIN-UP.PARTNERS was established following an encounter with Marina Ilyina, the CEO of PIN-UP Global. Given my expertise in traffic, I was referred to her in anticipation of the launch of the PIN-UP product. At that time, my CPA network ranked first for gambling traffic in the CIS region. Following our initial meeting, we promptly embarked on organizing an affiliate program, which yielded favorable outcomes during the 2018 World Cup. Despite our competitors’ reluctance to engage in traffic acquisition, we procured over a million players within a month and achieved an average payback period of 2.5 months, paving the way for accelerated expansion.
Could you elaborate on your background and initial foray into the industry?
I was born into a middle-class family and my initial exposure to technology was when I received my first personal computer at the age of 18. It was then that I began to explore the limitless potential that the internet holds. My first employment opportunity came at the age of 14, when I worked as a loader presser at a waste-paper warehouse. My past experiences have seen me diversify my revenue streams through playing the guitar for money, trading in vintage coins and stamps, and marketing a wide range of products, including Faberlic merchandise, Christmas trees, and flowers for occasions such as Valentine’s Day and Women’s Day.
What was your first job or entrepreneurial venture, and how did it generate revenue?
At the age of 18, I embarked on my entrepreneurial journey with the establishment of an advertising agency that specialised in printing. However, it was not until I turned 21 that I achieved significant financial success. My business partner and I launched an innovative taxi service in Omsk, which was distinguished by its pioneering Symbian and Java-based mobile applications for drivers, enabling them to efficiently process orders. This was in an era long before the emergence of Uber, Android, and iOS, and the prospects of where it could have led us were exciting had our partners not scammed us.
Unfortunately, crime was rampant in Omsk during that period, and as we were inexperienced, we were unable to reclaim the business.
How did you get into affiliate marketing? Tell us about your first business in this industry.
In 2007, I accidentally discovered the world of traffic. It was during my foray into the taxi service industry when I came across e-mail marketing as an effective means of advertising. In order to promote our taxi service, we had been distributing advertising cards in various establishments such as restaurants, beauty salons, and travel agencies.
However, the cost of printing and distribution was prohibitive, and I was reluctant to hire sales managers. As a solution, I decided to conduct an e-mail marketing campaign. Using 2Gis, I manually collected 50 e-mails from various travel agencies and sent them an offer with a clickbait subject line: “1000 business cards for 3 USD.” Surprisingly, I received 15 responses, leading to nine meetings and five sales. This experience led me to realize the potential of advertising through e-mail marketing. Subsequently, I discovered that the high conversion rate was due to the fact that at the time, only CEOs and business owners had computers, and there was very little spam online.
Can you elaborate on the events or circumstances that led to your entrance into the gambling industry?
Initially, my foray into the realm of gambling dates back a decade ago, during my tenure as a proprietor of a Clickunder traffic platform, where the primary client base comprised online casino operators. It was a transformative experience when I became acquainted with a client who disclosed their key performance indicator (KPI), which entailed a target of $100 on first-time deposits (FTD) in a specific region, while the prevailing market stakes stood at a range of $30-$40. In response, I established an affiliate network and capitalised on a re-sell offer, which precipitated a market upheaval that led to the displacement of conventional niches such as e-commerce, mobile subscriptions, commodity offers, and Nutra.
Unfortunately, this phenomenon proved to be short-lived as other product affiliates began to emulate our methods, prompting the evolution of networks into app providers for affiliate marketing, which ultimately brought about the end of the re-selling business. Consequently, we pivoted to become an affiliate team.
What are some of the unique features and qualities that differentiate PIN-UP.PARTNERS from other affiliate programs operating within the competitive gambling and betting industry?
PIN-UP.PARTNERS has consistently demonstrated a competitive edge over its counterparts, spearheading the industry with a multitude of features that are unparalleled in their scope and magnitude. Our distinctive attributes are a testament to our unwavering commitment to transparency, with a transparent rev-share formula that ensures complete accountability and transparency in reporting each player spin count, at any given time.
As a company policy, we do not implement retroactive changes to our terms, thereby fostering a sense of trust and reliability among our partners. Our impressive year-on-year growth rates bear witness to the efficacy of our strategies, which are well-aligned with our long-term business objectives.
Can you give our readers more context about your new upcoming project CPA.club?
CPA.club is the premier community for Russian-speaking webmasters and affiliates, utilising a forum format and offering in-person meeting opportunities to foster a unified community with a significant impact on the market.
While the project has not undergone significant development in recent years, we aim to revitalize it by establishing a fresh vision and returning it to its former glory. Our focus for this year is to expand the project’s reach in the Western market, while still maintaining its independent status. To achieve this goal, we will be launching a series of entertaining events, meetups, webinars, and conferences to promote the project and bring the community together for the greater good of the market. We also plan to redesign the project and integrate new features to enhance the user experience.
‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, Jordan Belfort is invited to your meetup. Why did you choose him specifically?
The CPA CLUB CONNECT Meetup is our inaugural event, and we have meticulously crafted its format to ensure a top-tier experience for our audience. After much consideration, we have chosen to feature a single speaker, but a world-renowned one, whose topic is certain to captivate our attendees. Jordan Belfort is widely regarded as one of the most exceptional speakers in the world, and his recent resurgence in popularity following the film “The Wolf of Wall Street” has made him an ideal choice for our event.
I have personally watched many of Jordan’s speeches and have been eager to invite him to our meetup, as his insights into sales, which are ubiquitous in business, everyday life, and the workplace, are truly invaluable.
What can you tell about the future development of affiliate marketing? What markets do you consider the most promising?
The market’s growth trajectory is expected to continue, propelled by the emergence of new technologies and tools, including neural networks and artificial intelligence, which will provide a significant boost to all market players. In recent times, traffic teams have displaced solo affiliates, evolving to function more like large corporations.
The market is also poised to consolidate, as it becomes increasingly challenging for new entrants to gain a foothold. Nonetheless, I remain optimistic that new teams will emerge over the next 4-5 years, capable of competing for traffic with existing players. Among the most promising markets, gambling and betting stand out, and it appears that no other sector is poised to challenge their dominance in the near future.
Could you give some tips for people looking to start their own company?
I would like to offer two valuable pieces of advice. Firstly, perseverance is key. Failure is an inevitable part of the entrepreneurial journey, and I have personally started from scratch three times, once with a negative balance of 1.5 million USD. The key is to learn from your mistakes and use them as stepping stones towards success.
Secondly, it is crucial to avoid complacency after achieving initial success. I have witnessed many entrepreneurs succumb to this trap and have experienced it myself. It is easy to fall into the mindset that everything is running smoothly, and the business can be left to managers while attention is diverted elsewhere. However, this can result in a decline in profits and, more commonly, lead to the downfall of the business.
Read the rest of this insightful issue and gain more valuable knowledge here.