When choosing an affiliate program to promote on your online poker site, it’s hard not to simply choose the program offering the highest revenue share. And, of course, a poker affiliate program’s revenue share should be a major factor in your choice. But it shouldn’t be the only factor. Hard as it may be to believe, bigger doesn’t always mean better here.

In fact, it may be wise to look twice at some online poker affiliate programs that offer a higher-than-usual revenue share — let’s say, over 40 percent. Why is their revshare so high? Most of the bigger brands, like Full Tilt or the Cereus online poker rooms (Absolute Poker and UltimateBet) offer revenue shares in the 20 to 40 percent range.

And that seems fair, right? Think of it from a business perspective: 25 percent is giving about a quarter of the profit to the affiliate. What is it saying when a poker website will offer almost half the profit it gets from each player to affiliates? It may be up to something; there may be loopholes that ensure you’re not actually going to get the high revshare you’re promised. Or it may be that the brand is weak, and so it has difficulty attracting players — in which case, it isn’t really going to help you bring in traffic. Now, that could make for an interesting challenge, if you’re the kind of affiliate who likes a challenge. But if you’re looking for a solid brand that’s going to bring in reliable traffic, you may want to keep on looking.

These are just basic guidelines, and I’m certainly not implying that a high revenue share automatically equals a weak or untrustworthy brand name. I’m just saying, the best brands usually offer a reasonable revenue share — and a lot more on top of that, like a solid reputation, reliable customer service (trust me, this is something you don’t always get from the smaller brands), and pockets deep enough to offer frequent promotions and bonuses. (More on this in an upcoming entry.)

And on the other hand — and it’s a big other hand — there’s CPA, or cost per acquisition. This is a big enough topic for its own entry, but briefly, it’s better for beginning Internet poker affiliates to factor in all the items listed above, including revenue share, than to put all their eggs in the CPA basket. Over at the Poker Affiliate Bible, Dealer Dan does a great job of explaining why. And we’ll explore this topic in more detail next week.

What do you guys think? Have you been burned by too-good-to-be-true promises of sky-high revshare in the past? Or do you totally disagree — is it, indeed, all about the revenue share?


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