Phone Billing Today

Marc Jarrett
In an increasingly saturated and difficult marketplace, it is important for content owners to offer as many payment options as possible in their billing armory. The premise behind this thinking is simple: The more options you have to turn all those bytes into bucks, the better — which is why phone billing should feature in yours.

Over and above offering a $29.90 monthly credit card subscription that might not recur, you can and should offer microbilling for lesser periods of time. While such billing is not recurring, if you have compelling content, chances are good that the surfer will come back again and pay you again this way — not least because you gave him the option not to commit to a monthly subscription in the first place.

Thankfully, the pics and vids we peddle really do say more than 1,000 words and need no translation per se. But remember, we all have access to a global audience, and porn has worldwide appeal. With a little time and effort, you can take your brand global and, more important, make more international money in the process.

Sure, you can elect to go the easy route by simply adding another English-only payment option on your join form. But by doing so, you are depriving yourself of useful extra income now and for years to come. Alternatively, by fully exploiting your processor’s platform, you can embark on your globalization adventure. For example, you can create an “international” version of your site using ours.

Think of such a page as a tour/join combo. Surfers automatically will see expressions such as “hardcore video streaming” and “instant access” in one of 45 languages, based on a combination of the surfer’s IP and browser algorithms.

The call to action to pay you (by phone) also will be in the surfer’s native language, as is the greeting he or she will hear when calling to get access to your or our content. Although you can include links to your card processing, these might not depict the Visa or Mastercard logos since those brands do not want to be associated directly with adult — but are more than happy to profit from it.

Next, find out from your third-party card billers which countries they do not process for and start sending traffic from such countries straight to it. If you have your own merchant account, your country scrub list probably will look pretty similar.

Other applications for such a page might include for 401, 402, 403 and 500 redirects, TGP/MGP/tube traffic in conjunction with geo-banners, foreign-language SEO and keywords, cascades, declines — you might be able to think of some more. And hey, presto, you will be communicating with prospective customers in a language they understand: their own.

If you operate an affiliate program, make such a page available for your affiliates to promote. They will be grateful for the extra money it creates and enjoy seeing money being made in real time from all over the world, including from the growth markets in Asia and from counties that they might not even have heard of.

If this all sounds like too much hard work and you simply want to add phone billing buttons on arguably the most important page of your site, the join page, then at least remember to use geo-targeted ones. A surfer from Iraq is pleased to see anything in Arabic.

With phone billing, bear in mind that your processor does not dictate the end-user costs. Rather, the phone company with which they have an interconnect agreement does. This is why the out payments vary, according to the country of the customer.

There are two main access methods: pay-per-minute (PPM) and pay-per-access (PPA). With PPM, surfers are granted instant access to the desired content, which is maintained for the time that their phone is connected to a premium-rate number. With PPA, the ordering process that generates the revenue takes longer, and payouts are fixed; how much access time you then grant per sale is up to you.

Phone billing should be included in your processing mix, not least since the whole world has access to one. Cellphone penetration in developing countries is beginning to rival those in more developed ones.

As credit dries up worldwide, you might even want to consider making alternative billing your primary, not secondary, method of monetizing your content. While you might not earn as much per sale, your target market is much wider. Sometimes, less is indeed more.