Making the Sale

Stephen Yagielowicz
This special focus is on “Content That Sells Today” — a topic that has multiple facets, including the need for marketable material, the need for a price point consumers feel is “worth it,” and the actual “selling” of your products and services. Let us take a closer look:

Sell something worth buying. Underpinning the whole concept of porn worth paying for is the operator’s ability to offer a product that other people want. In today’s mature and overcrowded online adult entertainment marketplace, having an offer that stands out from the crowd is important — but finding that originality and exclusivity within legal limits is ever harder to do.

If you cannot find an underserved niche to satisfy, then perhaps what will make your porn worth buying is the way in which you present it. For example, repackaging an old set of images as a new collection of wallpapers for mobile devices creates a new revenue stream from a company’s existing investments and gives consumers a new reason to buy — even if they already own the original images — and why stop there? Those same old photos are still usable as desktop wallpapers, screensavers and fodder for “bonus sites” — and even given away as marketing freebies and retention bonuses.

The tailoring of content for individual display devices is a perfect example, but only one example, of the new realities of adult entertainment marketing, and can lead to the production of other forms of content that consumers are willing to pay for.

Focus on what distinguishes your offer from that of your competitor’s: do you offer higher quality, a smoother check out, lower prices, more selection, safer transactions? Identify each advantage you have and then develop convincing selling points around these unique advantages, ensuring that your offers and pricing satisfy these selling points — you will end up with a marketable product — at the right price, of course.

Set a worthwhile price point. What are the quality and convenience, the format and nature of your content worth? Part of the adult content development process is determining worthwhile price points — for both the consumer as well as the merchant.

For example, micro-transactions enable very intriguing, low cost yet premium priced content options, such as generating ringtones from the audio tracks of your existing video productions. The cost of this material is almost nothing if your video licensing agreement covers such uses; as are the other costs involved for hosting and marketing, etc.; allowing such items to be attractively priced. This enables the offering of very low price points — but it’s vital to ensure that the overall sales volume will justify the relative profitability of these small-margin items — in context of the costs and time involved in developing and servicing them.

Worthwhile pricing does not have to mean “cheap” pricing either — and while old-school “blowout” paysite pricing at $9.95 per month is attractive to some, my lovely wife (a dedicated “value” shopper), says that $9.95 for three hours is “worth it,” for easy, non-recurring access to the right content. This shows a wide range of consumer tolerance for various pricing options and supports an attitude of “if they want it, they will pay for it.”

From my own standpoint, being able to profitably produce and market worthwhile erotica at a 99-cent price point is the key to sales today, as consumers will readily accept this “iTunes-friendly” pricing model for premium content. You do not have to make the entire offer at that price: use a download pass or wallet system to sell credits for that low price point, and bundle the transactions into higher-value amounts. Doing this might turn that $29.95 paysite into an $89.95 individual clip download page — once the surfer got all of the clips he wanted.

As with other aspects of online adult marketing, testing your price points to find the optimum profitability curve is an ongoing process, but one which will pay handsomely.

Selling your products and services. Particularly among non-professional marketers, merchant offers are simply “offers” — passive, non-engaging placards with a price tag and express lane checkout by a clerk. While this method has produced many sales, those sales can often be almost by accident — and accidents are not a good way to build an ongoing enterprise.

Better yet is to actively engage your audience and encourage them in the direction you want them to go and the actions you want them to take. Porn is an impulse purchase for consumers — whisper in their ear and plant the suggestion that they should buy now.

All too often I see adult websites using a “here it is, take it or leave it” approach that has to be leaving money on the table. The added effort of providing a good reason for the consumer to buy your product, as well as the information and sample content that will counter all of the prospect’s purchase objections will invariably increase sales volumes.

Remember, there is a world of difference between a clerk and a salesman — and their earnings reflect it.

Examine your website’s sales technique: does it explain the benefits of your offer; justify its cost; and reassure the prospect that you will be there to support him or her after the sale? Would the copy convince you to buy whatever it is you are selling? If not, then it is time for a sales pitch tune-up, to put you on the road to making the sale.