In the Executive Seat: Rick Bennink

Stewart Tongue
As the adult online industry continues to evolve, many webmasters are becoming acutely aware that ten sales out of ten thousand uniques are worth more in revenue than eight sales out of ninety thousand uniques. Also in many instances, greater sales ratios are easier to acquire than massive traffic volume.

A new set of join page tools are now being marketed with the specific intent of coaxing the maximum earnings out of any traffic that reaches the point of sale on a merchant website. One of the premier third-party tools for this purpose is the intuitive chat emulator from

XBIZ sat down with Exit-Chat CEO Rick Bennink to discuss the product and the future of 'saved sales' in the adult online industry.

XBIZ: You've mentioned that you believe is much more than a software service provider. Can you elaborate on that and explain your role more accurately for people unfamiliar with your services?

Rick Bennink: We're not a software service provider; we're a full service marketing team. When we get the chance to work with your website we realize you're looking to our team to increase your revenue. Our technology and our team approach allows us to become a true partner and we don't take that lightly.

We are never satisfied with the lift in revenue we generate for you — as a 100 percent performance based company we strive to squeeze every dollar out of the traffic we're given the opportunity to engage. Our team never stops working for you.

The software is what gets us in the door; the work we put in on your behalf is what grows the relationship. We have clients that have been working with us for more than four years running and with some clients we have increased revenue in the millions. We have a team of over 25 people that created the automated chat business; we are the market creator and market leader. will be here long after many copycats will have come and gone.

XBIZ: Your website suggests as much as a 25 percent increase in conversions for customers that use Exit-Chat. Can you give us an idea of the 'average' increase a webmaster can expect?

Bennink: This is an interesting question and often one of the first that we're asked. Simply put, there are three variables that affect the end lift a site can expect to see using our technology.

1) The quality of the incentive: With a free trial offer or a drastic reduction in price, the lift will be immediate and tangible.

2) The exposure the chat receives: If we are just on the order page our lift will be smaller than if we are on all the tour and landing pages as well. Obviously we want to capture as many abandoning visitors as possible, and for a 25 percent lift we need the exposure to do so.

3) The time we've had to optimize: After the incentive and full-rollout have been achieved, the real value we add is in the optimization processes. Our team is aggressive and knows their business. Optimizing means testing script-openers, making sure questions are being answered, adjusting agent attitudes and playing with different chat-skin styles. Our team has gotten very good at this and that's why all-things-equals we'll double our conversion rate within the first 30 days.

With all 3 of the above working, 25 percent is the average. For other clients that don't put the same energy into the process, we will see about a 10 percent lift in sales.

XBIZ: Exit-Chat uses a revenue sharing model while some other products on the market require a flat fee. Can you explain why you chose to price your product this way?

Bennink: One of the advantages of working with Exit-Chat is that we are upside-down on your account at the very moment you launch with us. We've put money into the scripting processes, the creative team's work, our technical team's implementation and the QA of the processes. This means that the only way we've been successful as a company is by the continued success in generating revenue for our partners.

With a flat fee we can't guarantee that our partners are making money. The value of each individual order is dependent on their traffic sources and rebills. If a lower quality of traffic comes in after launch they might find that a saved sale is no longer worth the flat bounty we're being paid and suddenly they take us down. This is especially true for our partners who offer discounted trials.

With a revenue share or per sale we know that our partners will always be making money and the time we spend on implementation will not go to waste due to an unforeseen change in traffic quality. We are true partners, as when our client's succeed we succeed.

XBIZ: Some website owners fear complicated new systems. How much technical savvy is needed from the site owner?

Bennink: With thousands of implementations under our belt over a five-year period we can confidentially say this: minimal tech time or knowledge is needed on our partners' side. We implement through the drag-and-drop of a JavaScript tag and we find that we can handle the customizations on our side. If you can implement Google website Analytics, you can implement us. The technical details (such as launch times, AB tests and the handling of JavaScript page elements) are all handled by us.

XBIZ: Does Exit-Chat interfere in any way with more traditional webmaster tools like pop-under ads?

Bennink: Far from interfering, our Exit-Chats can actually enhance your exit chain. We don't affect pop-unders at all. We actually can assist in increasing the pop-under exposure. Most modern browsers have built in popup blockers that stop window open exit pops. For many of our partners, we launch their exit-chains through the exit-chat window close button. This works because our chat is embedded in the page and not subject to popup blockers. In addition to saving sales through the chat, it can be used to spawn more "second chance" exit-pages as well.

XBIZ: How did you get started in online marketing?

Bennink: Originally starting in offline traditional media in the early 90's, I moved to Southern California and started working for a major mainstream ad network as a senior management strategist working with Fortune 100 companies on their online strategies.

With over 13 years in online marketing and business consulting, I've worked with some of the country's largest advertisers, technology groups and Internet start-ups to expand their strategies and overall business objectives from start to finish.

With an extensive online mainstream and adult media and technology background, I founded Columbus Integrated Advertising in 2000 to work on expanding and launching many different Internet properties and technology ventures. Over the past 10 years the company has successfully launched many online businesses that include, an Internet media buying firm, PrivacyRevenue an online affiliate network, Modern Mobile Marketing a mobile promotions company in Hollywood and

During that time I have also been very influential in assisting in the development of new emerging advertising and technology companies including, a leading online record label,, a mainstream advertising and publishing company and, one of the countries largest virtual medical record safety box companies as well.

XBIZ: What lead you to the idea of Exit-Chat?

Bennink: Over the past five years I've been influential in assisting, the mainstream market creator of automated chat, in developing and launching its mainstream business. In 2005 a joint venture was formed between the partners of upsellit and Columbusinc to develop and launch Exit-Chat, the market creator and leader in adult automated chat customer recovery technology now powering some of the largest and most well-known brands of the adult business including Playboy, Hustler, Vivid, Python, BangBros, Digital Playground, Webcamclub, Camz and Traffic Cash Gold to name a few.

As we secured our first clients to test with the likes of Hustler and GirlsGoneWild, we realized we have created a new way to increase revenues for the adult webmaster market. We quickly grew and started powering customer recovery for some of the adult businesses largest and most well know brands.

Our CTO and the founder of the technology, Chris Wampler, started his Artificial Intelligence project as a hobby more than nine years ago. The original prototype was a rudimentary bot named "VixenLove" that he used to challenge a concept called the Turing Test in AOL chat rooms. The test version of his code was quite risqué and meant as a lark.

Ironically, the first applications of the technology he developed for a business purpose went to mainstream. During the first pilot the chat conversation went marvelously. The playfulness and patience of his chat system's artificial intelligence has since talked tens of thousands of would-be abandoners into taking advantage of offers in every adult vertical from dating to free-page lead generation.

XBIZ: How do you expect this technology to evolve over the next five years?

Bennink: Our R&D processes is never-ending. Many of our innovations are driven by the needs and requests of our partners who now view us as the go-to company for revenue enhancement. From the integration of real-time search feeds to the Artificial Intelligence to the integration of mobile technology, our rapid development cycle has allowed us to stay one step ahead of the market.

In the next five years we expect our technology to be a full work force. From sales to support to data-management and turn-key solutions, there's not a lot our expanding Artificial Intelligence technology can't be used for. No matter what way the market moves we're sure that our company can help webmasters big and small make more from their traffic.

We are just releasing a few new platforms right now that include an "Adult Search Assist" chat for non-paysite clients, to assist in generating more revenue on the exit by redirecting affiliate and search results to generate new revenue for tube sites, parked domains and non-paysite traffic groups. We believe our new "Adult Search Assist" will really increase revenue for our non-paysite clients in an all new way.

Our new "Mobile Recovery" platform will add a layer for the fast developing mobile market that will include a platform to assist in recovering lost sales on mobile sites. Our proprietary mobile recovery platform is showing incredible recovered sales results and we are eager to expand this market with our clients.

Website owners interested in 'sale recovery' tools can visit for more information or to get directly in contact with Bennink about the ways the product can be used to improve sales ratios on existing traffic.