The credit card processor does not know who is gay and who is straight: to them it is just dollars and at the end of the day, all money is green, even the pink variety. When times are as challenging as they are now, and making that initial sale is exponentially more difficult, one of the first places many straight companies look to shore up their balance sheet is in the gay market and chasing the mythical Golden Calf of endlessly easy gay retention rates.
So a handful of sites are thrown up, a splashy promo and big bonuses are touted. But when the rebills crest like the Fargo tidewaters rather than flow like a financial Tsunami, the programs behind these sites are often left scratching their head rather than counting the money and wonder where they went wrong — often forgetting it's the same reason they went wrong the last time they tried "Going Gay."
Much more difficult to do, and considerably more important to long term economic success when it comes to any adult program, is that generating the initial sale is a cake walk compared to sealing the deal every 30 days and keeping that surfer recurring.
The less you understand about your surfers and what they are looking for, the more trouble you are going to have pulling that off.
The fact that the profitability in a membership program is in the rebills is not any more of a gay or straight thing then understanding your surfer's wants and delivering that in your content area, so you can sustain yourself to post another update, so why do straight companies often falter when applying that to their new gay sites?
We will explore this in detail over the coming months here is this column, but the short answer is, it's easy to get people to order off of a pretty menu, but the jig is up if the food doesn't taste good and no one goes back to the restaurant that served them a bad meal. If you are going to open a bakery, you better have a sweet tooth — or at least find a chef that does.
When all is said and done and we look inside, outside and around the many issues we all deal with in the crazy way we have chosen to make a living, the gay and straight webmaster communities have a lot to learn from each other. And the most valuable information comes from a sobering truth: the only thing more overlooked then the ways in which we are different is how many more ways we are the same.
Unlocking the mysteries of those truths starts right here.