Saturday, June 07, 2008

Poker Affiliate Business - Spotlight On Poker Tools

Time for another business post. While the majority of my income from the 'Planets' comes from referring people to poker sites, my best poker tools section is also making a small (but growing!)contribution each month.

I currently work with 3 companies and have just introduced a 4th. This post will look at the tools that they offer, the pros and cons of each and the kind of visitor I am targeting for them... hopefully an idea or two for bloggers and poker webmasters out there.

1 - SuperPokerAffiliates

This is an affiliate site who bring together some of the best known tools under one 'roof'. I currently offer 2 of their tools. SNG Shark and Texas Calculatem, both are 'advice engines' which monitor play by reading the cards and offering odds / outs information (both on the Poker Stars 'allowed' list).

My personal view on these is that they seem pretty basic once you have a year or two experience with poker... but, wow, if I could have had them when brand new to the game they would probably have paid for themselves 10 times over in preventing stupid mistakes alone (ah well... too late!). The target is thus newer players and the adverts for these are in the beginner level articles.

The SuperPokerAffiliates website is well organised with prompt payments each month. Sales get you $50 to $55 in general, some buyers use the subscription option which nets you $17 instead. As an example last month I had a 4% conversion rate from unique clicks and double digit sales... plan to expand coverage of SPA tools (they have several others!) shortly as there are several aimed at cash game players and guess who has a site for this almost ready??!?

- Super Poker Affiliates (non affiliate link)
- Sit And Go Shark Review(Review On SNG Planet)
- Texas Calculatem Review(Review On SNG Planet)

If anyone out there would like to promote this brand then you can send me your name + contact e-mail via a comment (I will not publish it!) and I'll ship the info to the SPA team (would be appreciated!

2 - SNG Wizard

This one is an ICM calculator with some nice features, the idea is that you feed in your SNG hand histories and it shows you the (mathematical) winning and losing plays. Either this tool or one of its rivals (SNG Power Tools for example) is a must-have for pro SNG Players... without a solid bubble understanding of $ equity decisions the good old variance will catch up one day! Aimed at players with experience (newer SNG players do not think this applies to them), I have an advert in most of my ICM articles for this.

Sales for me are a consistant higher single digits per month... nothing special and certainly room for some improvement. The income is $20 on sales of $99 (or sign-ups). No data on the clicks to sales but this is around 5% of downloads... SNG Wiz offer a 30 day free trial.

My personal opinion is that the trial is way too long - the 3 days offered by PPL (see below) would be much better... my feeling is that people go off the idea of becoming a pro SNG grinder fairly quickly, and the 30 days is losing up to half (maybe more?) of those who start enthusiastically down that road!! There is no sub-affiliate scheme, though payments are extra-fast and reliable.

- SNG Wiz (non-affiliate link)

- SNG Wiz #2 (same link with my affiliate Id)

3) Poker Office

This tool is great... but to sell it? The idea is a combined hand history database + a heads-up display (of opponents statistics from hands you have seen). Great combo and even available free with poker site signups - yet - every month I send these people visitors and every damn month they send me bugger all back. Oh how I dream of Poker Tracker getting an affiliate program one day!

A little frivolous here, I have not pushed this anything like the others, the conversion rate is 2.5% for me on a relatively small sample. The frustrating thing is that, while this is actually an excellent tool, the part of the market it is totally dominated by Poker Tracker.

- Poker Office (Non-affiliate link)
- Poker Office #2 (same but with my affiliate link)

4) Poker Pro Labs Suite

Here is one I am very excitied about (relatively speaking of course!)... the latest and greatest tools and a suite which is both held in high regard by the poker pros and is also great value. I will be promoting 2 of their tools to start with:

- Tournament Shark: Easiest thing to imagine is shark-scope + pokerDB in real time attached to the bottom of each table. Have tried it out and win / losses + average buy-ins and finish distribution data all appear on screen. Easy to see how this could improve your descision making, works with both SNGs and MTT.

- Poker Pro 2007: This is an advice-engine with a serious amount of neat features including player type icons and real time probability data. As far as I understand it, this tool will start to read opponent's betting patterns after you have built a good sample of hands too. These kind of fit snugly between the basic and advanced tools... perfect - many of the 'intermediate' articles on my sites do not yet have an advert!

Both are reasonably cheap to own and have a 3-day free trial. I will get $15 or $20 for each sale (will need to check... forgot the exact number!), no data as yet... in fact this blog post will be timed along with the improved Best Poker Tools page at SNG Planet going up. We will also advertise these ones across the network as the month goes on.

- Poker Pro Labs/ (non-affiliate link)
- Poker Pro Labs #2 (affiliate link)

So, there you have it - my thoughts on tools.

Anyone promoting different tools? Have a strong opinion on the ones I have chosen? Feel free to let me know!

GL at the tables, Mark

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