Yancy Naughton, Founder of HasTraffic, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
Through a multi-traffic channel platform that creates an auction environment to get fair market value for traffic, HasTraffic is continuously working to do the best they can for their clients. Yancy Naughton tells us what it takes for an affiliate business to – follow his story below.
HasTraffic works with numerous verticals globally – what proportion of your activity is focused on the iGaming sector?
It fluctuates based on a lot of factors and depends on new legislation but I would say about 10% to 20% of our activity comes from the iGaming sector.
What makes your traffic proposition/traffic sites unique? What can you offer that others don’t? Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us?
HasTraffic is a multi traffic channel platform that creates an auction environment to get fair market value for traffic.
We utilize a 5,000-year-old business model instead of a black box network environment. Essentially, all top guys want is revenue per click which makes it more efficient for operators to pay the bid price or higher, and bidders can test new operators without risking all the revenue from their current advertiser.
We have continued expansion in Europe, Asia and North America to better serve all clients, particularly iGaming clients who have reservations about paying CPC prices when nobody is watching bids. We boast coverage in five different time zones, watching bids being fed and conversion data being monitored.
We’re all living through different times with COVID-19. How has it affected your business, and how do you think it affects the iGaming sector in general?
The short term opportunities are great as we have seen traffic increase by 30% to 50% year on year, especially with land-based casinos closed. However, gambling does historically see a short term uptick when the economy tanks, but a serious depression or collapse of currency will make it simply impossible for gamblers to fund their accounts.
It would be a mistake to straight line the uptick even though we are seeing people have more time on their hands, but, after a while, they will only have a semblance of their former incomes. If predictions of 30% unemployment come to bear, there will be significant suffering and less money and credit available for online gaming or anything for that matter.
What makes your traffic proposition/traffic sites unique? What can you offer that others don’t? Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?
We use an open auction utilizing multi-channel, multi-geo and device approach which is dependent and respectful of the operators’ KPI requirements. It gives operators the ability to simply pay market values for clicks from established publishers as opposed to spending big on events or dinners in the hope a CPA or Revshare affiliate will send more traffic.
Have you found that the iGaming sector is busier at the moment due to lockdown driving growth opportunities with people at home?-
As I said before, there is currently an uptick visible due to increased leisure/ free time and high paid unemployment, but it would be foolish to straight line this growth. Countries need to open up and the economy needs to get back to semblance of 2019 to stave off a significant recession. iGaming is ultimately a luxury and the market will shrink with the economy.
What are your main traffic-driving channels? What have you seen delivers traffic most effectively for iGaming brands?
Our main traffic-driving chances are Email, SMS, Domains, Thank You pages and Push but we also effectively monetize banners from SEO pages.
The best place to trade Email, SMS, Domain, POP, Search, Redirect, Push Notifications, Social and more – HasTraffic.com.
Which iGaming markets do you focus on and which emerging markets around the world are showing the most promise?
The European market has historically been our breadwinner, and Canada emerged strongly in the last 2 years. Our focus for 2020 growth is primarily Asia, including Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Japan. We have tried South American markets with little success to date but we still have traffic there. As a multi-channel, multi-vertical auction you have to realize that Supply increases with Demand and vice versa. Not only that, but if an operator has an offer with broad appeal then the traffic will come from other verticals to the iGaming vertical. Publishers are quite non-denominational when it comes to traffic; they simply publish the offer that makes them the highest eCPM, so if the bids are high enough and the offers click enough, publishers will stop publishing e-commerce for instance and move their campaigns to iGaming.
How is the Asian market shaping-up for affiliates?
It is quite unique from Europe and is emerging greatly. Two of its largest attributes to affiliates are the sheer population size and the tendency to enjoy gambling.
What can iGaming operators do to increase support from affiliates?
Long story short, they can pay a higher cost per click. Every operator wants to spend as little as possible on player acquisition and every publisher cares about ECPM on the actions. Operators should realize that good data is not only converting on gaming sites, so data can be used by publishers to promote mainstream offers that are outside iGaming sphere. Historically, many have assumed gaming publishers were the domain but many markets, especially with the newly regulated ones today, traffic sweepstakes as gaming offers come under greater scrutiny. Even when online gaming is legal, data is often exhausted to point of publishers looking towards mainstream networks like HasTraffic which offers the advantage of being part of CPC Exchange instead of just an affiliate network.
What are the challenges in managing relationships with multiple operators?
Many operators are used to exclusive relationships. Our business doesn’t exclude but we provide a fair bidding environment and get alternative opportunities. should be Many operators are used to exclusive relationships. Our business doesn’t exclude but we provide a fair bidding environment and as a result, provide more opportunities for traffic, publishers and increased volumes based on commodity price, rather than typical affiliate management.
What are the benefits for affiliates in attending large iGaming events, and what can they do?
Herd immunity. In all seriousness though, it is our lifeline by communicating and interacting with each other face to face. Business grows and stagnation is limited.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? Would you consider attending SiGMA Manila or SiGMA Malta at some point?
Eman and I go back to founding days of SIGMA so you could call us the OGs. We have been attending both Sigma Manila and Sigma Malta for many numbers of years as both sponsors and speakers.
How did you come up with the name HasTraffic?
Before starting HasTraffic, I worked for two other businesses in the industry both which had obscure names, Elephant Traffic, which had nothing to do with elephants, and Zero Park whose name gave no hint as to what it offered. When I was pondering what to call the platform, I was milling over what the essence of a traffic platform was. I woke in the middle of the night thinking everyone either wants traffic, has traffic or both. So I got out of bed, and checked the registry for the domains. WantsTraffic.com was a hand register but with HasTraffic I needed to start with the .net until I made enough money to buy the .com from a domainer I knew. Of course I had to buy it before I got too much traction, so I cornered the domain owner at a conference cocktail party and paid him cash before he could change his mind or price. We have been transitioning to use HasTraffic since the brand recognition has solidified over the years.
Did you ever dream of selling internet traffic as a career?
I hear the term dream job a lot, and laugh. I have succeeded and failed many times in my life at many things, almost none of which I dreamt of. I would advise people to have dream hobbies and master the opportunities in their path. Early in my career before I started my businesses, I worked as a dishwasher, a sous chef, a car salesman. I founded many startups before HasTraffic, including a School Report Data service, Golf magazines, Travel Services and Real Estate magazines, Restaurant and Real Estate investments, none were passion projects yet those were all successful. They were opportunities which presented themselves in my path, and I strove to master them. Passion projects of mine never fared as well. I am proud of what HasTraffic has become over the last 9 years and love my work. My advice is aim above your ‘dream job’, some dreams are nightmares.
Tell us a bit about yourself – after all, business is done between people, not just companies!
Diamonds are created under pressure.
Where would you relocate with family if you had to pick one city?
I did relocate the family to Prague 11 years ago from the US and have no regrets.
Animal most likened to?
A deer. It crosses the road at the same spot and although I travel 150K+ miles a year on plane, I seem to hit the same handful of places such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Florida, New York in the US for instance. Most recently, I’ve travelled to Iowa which brings my US state count up to 43/50 states!
Get to know other great affiliates, responsible for killer traffic! Click the link below to read more insights from affiliates:
SiGMA LatAm Focus:
This event brings the Americas closer to delegates from Europe and Asia, with an interesting agenda featuring a line-up of speakers that showcases the company’s commitment to covering the various gaming verticals. Explore the full agenda here and register now, this one’s on us!