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Go On A Winning Streak!

Go On A Winning Streak!

January 11, 2003
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" Apply this line of thought to the ‘free site’ vs. ‘pay site’ issue. If there is no difference between them as far as the surfer’s experience and enjoyment goes, then why should he pay for access?  "

On the way back from Dinner one night at InterNext, Dawn and I decided to play some slots, and not being a gambler, for me that means tossing a roll of quarters into a slot machine: $10 isn’t a very steep price to pay for a few minutes of flashing lights, exciting sounds, and the occasional melodic clanking of a few additional quarters into the ‘payout bin.’ As luck would have it, on this late evening stroll I came upon a shiny ‘New Hampshire’ Quarter (my home State), and with a whispered “Live Free Or Die” (our State Motto), I pulled the metal “one-armed bandit’s” handle, and watched the wheels spin…

That slot machine sure got happy; and after brightly blinking and loudly clanging for awhile, disgorged an amazing pile of Quarters! Dawn squealed joyfully as I gathered my treasure into a plastic pail; and as I proceeded to stroll across the gaming floor carrying a big ol’ bucket o’ money, a pretty girl (scantily clad, of course), came up and handed me a nice cold ‘Sam Adams’ (“Cocktails are complimentary if you play the machines, sir…”)! God, I LOVE Las Vegas! A 25 cent investment with a $56.25 dividend – and a free bottle of beer, to boot!

Lessons Learned
There are several lessons to be learned from this little tale – lessons that will help you to make more sales by understanding the wants and needs of your prospects, and how to best exploit them. For instance, while I had planned on playing a few slot machines, it was only after I had taken care of our dinner needs; since the game was a want, and dinner a need. Unless your prospects are really serious porn addicts, their desire to view any adult site is not mandatory, but a choice.

And just as I had many similar choices when selecting the machines that I wished to play, so too do your prospects have many choices when selecting an adult site to view. What sets one slot machine apart from another, even among ‘identical‘ units? In my own case, it may be its position – I want to sit and play in an easily accessible, yet secure place – where I won’t feel ‘vulnerable.’ Does YOUR site make its visitors feel comfortable and safe? Do you offer easy navigation and a fast, cross-browser friendly surfing experience? Are your privacy policies, billing terms, membership conditions, ’cancel’ and support information easily accessible, and designed to make the prospect feel safe in making a positive purchase decision?

Even before I decided to make a choice of which slot machine to play, I made the decision to ‘pay to play’ in the first place. Consider that I could have just watched other people spend (lose) their money, and also sometimes win, as well. While I could enjoy the spinning wheels, flashing lights, and happy sounds, there is a missing ingredient to this detached gaming experience: personal interaction. Without being directly involved in the process, enjoying a much more engaging and ‘personal’ experience (even when I have to pay for it), something vital to the overall experience is ‘missing.’

Apply this line of thought to the ‘free site’ vs. ‘pay site’ issue. If there is no difference between them as far as the surfer’s experience and enjoyment goes, then why should he pay for access? It’s the interaction with the target of your attention that makes the process ‘worthwhile’ – and worth paying for.

But why even bother playing at all? While it’s easy to answer “Because you could win a ton of money!” That argument doesn’t cut it for me, and it’s not why *I* play the slot machines. You see, Las Vegas wasn’t built on ‘winners’ – and I expect to lose when I play. But I expect to only lose $10 (really a quite reasonable amount, and less than going to the movies), and see it simply as what it costs for me to be “entertained.” Yep, I’m not looking to ‘gamble’ – I’m looking to be ‘entertained!’ Many adult sites try to offer ‘porn’ to their customers, but how many focus on offering ‘entertainment?’ The operative point being that different prospects are searching for different things, and those things are not always what you expect – or understand – them to be…

Finally, not only was I rewarded for my efforts and investment on this little escapade of ours (Dawn won about $20, too!), I was given an unexpected bonus (a cold beer from a pretty girl) – all of which served to leave me completely satisfied with the experience. Are YOUR customers left as satisfied as I was?

Spend some time considering every possible want, need, desire, and benefit that your site could satisfy or deliver to the consumer, then develop your concept, approach, tour, and marketing materials to convey the message that YOU are the one who can supply these benefits, and satisfy these desires. Good Luck! ~ Stephen


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