When you are just starting out in the sportsbook industry, you want to keep your margins as wide as possible. This means keeping overhead as low as possible and funneling revenue into marketing and other ways to build your clientele.
You certainly don’t want to have to fork out a lot of your money each week for a pricey pay-per-head service, right? However, the cheapest pay per head service is not always the best one – but it is also not always the worst one. Take a look at some factors you should keep in mind as you decide which site should manage your sportsbook business for you.
Walking the Fine Line Between Satisfaction and Price Point
Most pay per head services will offer different tiers of service to the sportsbook owners that they provide work for. The bottom level is almost always called the “basic” level and provides the absolute minimum that you would need to operate your book with them. This consists of the backend software, which provides the system that your bettors will use to find their games or matches of the week. On your end, you’ll see how the numbers are working, and you can make all the changes you need – loading new games, matches, or props; adjusting lines when necessary; shutting down accounts for clients who are no longer active, so you do not get billed for having them; and so on. This “basic” level will be mobile-friendly so that your bettors can water on their smartphones; even the cheapest pay per head services claim to provide this.
For most new sportsbooks, this basic level of service is all you need. However, “basic” can vary widely from one provider to the next. The variance does not necessarily come in the services that are provided. Instead, the variance comes in quality. How does the website look? How easy is it to navigate? Does it crash frequently? Do the production values come from 1970s television, or does it read like a state-of-the-art website? These are questions that you need to answer.
Remember that You Get What You Pay for – The Cheapest or The Best Service?
If you have ever subscribed to emails from such discount companies as Groupon or LivingSocial, then you know that you can get terrific offers that seem too good to be true. You know your mother would love a bracelet for Mother’s Day, and then you see a bracelet on a discount website listed at 90% off retail. You order the bracelet, and then it comes in two weeks later than you thought, and the clasp breaks the first time your mother finally puts the bracelet on.
So that picture of the bracelet, which looked so enticing, has little to do with the actual experience that showed up. This is just one example of the maxim that “you get what you pay for.” If you are looking for the cheapest pay per head service, go in with a list of non-negotiables – features that you insist that your website provides.
Near the top of this list of features will be information security and privacy. People will be making payments to this website; some may link their bank accounts or debit or credit cards, and if you have to report a hack to your client base, that base will dwindle to zero by the close of business.
Another important feature is quality customer service. Look up reviews of a pay per head service before you sign a contract; just because a company offers the cheapest pay per head management available does not mean that they have the best service. Your players (and potential new players) will read the reviews too, and if your book is set up on a website that offers shoddy service, either to the bettor or to the bookie, you will have a harder time growing your business.
How Long Has the Website Been Up and Running?
Some startups are fine – but you want an established service if you want your betting clients to trust you. Finally, consider the extra services that you want. Do you want to add access to virtual casino gambling? How about virtual sports and eSports? During the summer, there is often a lull in professional sports that these options could occupy. Your costs might go up a small amount, but you also might get a boost in traffic and business that would more than cover the added expenses.
Before you sign any contractual paperwork, as for a free trial. It might run for a week; it might run for a month, or even longer. This gives you time to “kick the tires” as you evaluate whether the “cheapest pay per head” service you selected really is the right one. If a service will not offer you a trial period, then move on to the next competitor. You are making a significant decision when you choose the cheapest pay-per-head software, and you want to choose the right one. If you have to move your action from one provider to another multiple times, you may lose clients who are tired of having to keep up with your latest changes. Notify your clients that you’re moving online and that you are going through a trial period; after that, move it if you need to, but pick carefully. All of this is to say, do not throw all of your eggs in one basket just because the pay-per-head cost of that particular provider is lower than the competition.
Reputable PPH sites like Ace Per Head.com, know they’re worth and set their pricing accordingly. If one company with negligible reviews offers basic service at half the price of the rest of the competition, you might save money in the short term but you will lose business – and money – over the long haul. The difference is not worth it. Instead, choose the service that offers you value – and the utmost in quality.
How to Get Top Value from your Pay Per Head Provider
When you have an opportunity to buy something at a deep discount, think before you sign on the dotted line. The chance to save what seems like a lot of money today can end up leading to you having to pay out more money over time – or losing income that might otherwise have been yours. This is true about many things – and it’s also true about price per head sportsbook platforms.
Watch out for “value” pay-per-head platforms
One reason why you should watch out for cheap pay per head comes from the Boots Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness. Consider a man, working back in the day, who earned $38 a month, give or take. He needed leather boots to keep his feet dry on the job, and he could find a pair of boots for $10. They would last about a season or so, but when the cardboard liner went out, he would have to get another pair of boots. Because of the money, he was making, he would wear those boots until the soles became paper-thin. However, you could get a pair of boots that would last for years for $50. Over time, the man who could afford $50 boots would be ahead, because he would buy one pair that would last a decade. The man who could only afford $10 boots would spend $100 on boots over that same period of time.
How does this apply to pay per head? Let’s say that you sign up with a cheap pay per head service that only charges you $5 per client per week. You get a steady clientele of about 50 betting clients, but every month or so the server goes down, and you lose some of your clients when the server happens to crash during a particularly important sporting event. You’re able to market and build back up to about 50, but you never get any bigger. You change to another $5 PPH per week, low-cost service, and you have to keep building up to get to 50.
So while you’re saving money on your fees, you’re also having to keep changing out services, and you’re not building your business over time.
A watermelon is better than a grape
Here’s another example. On the television show Shark Tank, investors listen to pitches from entrepreneurs looking to get people to buy part of their business in exchange for a cash infusion (and the benefits of having one of the celebrity investors as part of their team). Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has a saying that he likes to make when entrepreneurs balk at giving him the amount of equity that he wants in exchange for his investment, and that is this: “60% of a watermelon is a lot more than 80% of a grape.” His meaning is that his investment and participation in a business will make it grow to the point where having less equity in the business still means having more money over time.
What if you joined a sportsbook platform, like AcePerHead.com, that had a slightly higher weekly pay-per-head fee than some of the cheap pay-per-head platforms? It is true that you would have a bigger expense each week than your competitors who are on the value platforms.
However, there are several reasons why this would pay off for you over time.
The Advantages of the Ace Per Head.com Experience
- You have access to a platform with servers that don’t crash, even on the biggest betting days. Is it a fall Saturday, with college football games and baseball playoffs? Is it Super Bowl Sunday? Is it the middle of March Madness, with some key NBA and NHL games going on at the same time? On some of those value platforms, the servers tend to crash at just the wrong time, and your betting clients will be calling you all sorts of names – and canceling their account with you. That’s not a problem you would face if you were part of the AcePerHead.com sportsbook agent team.
- With AcePerHead.com, you get access to a greater variety in terms of the sports leagues that we offer, the props that you can set up as side action, as well as the number of horse racing tracks that you can offer wagers on for your clients. Our pay-per-head casino is also better in terms of game variety – which means more revenue for you. On the cheapest pay-per-head platforms, the options are limited in all areas, which means that your betting clients are more likely to stray as time goes by. You’re paying out less – but you’re also making a lot less over time.
- When it comes to secure, third-party payment systems, no platform out there offers more reliability in terms of sending and receiving payments. Given the fact that people are more and more worried about hackers than ever before, if you can offer your clients the peace of mind that comes with a secure betting platform, they will be more likely not just to stick around but also to tell their friends about how great your sportsbook is. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get your business bigger because people are more likely to put their money where one of their friends tells them they’ve had positive experiences. Want to learn more? Don’t hesitate to talk to one of our AcePerHead.com sales staff. We have put together a solid reputation as one of the best pay-per-head sports betting platforms in the industry, and we have a solution that will work for you and your business. Give us a call today!
AcePerHead.com has an affordable price for its pay-per-head service of $10 per active player a week. This is not the cheapest bookie service site online but is not the most expensive either, and for everything, they offer the price of $10 is a great deal.