In my previous installment, I discussed how there are ways in which to deal with your traffic that will be remembered as helpful, rather than be resented as intolerable. That as important as being nice to people on the way in is, it's also important to be nice to them on their way out the door. Now I'll reveal some of the mechanics of profiting from your exit traffic:
Previously I laid out a philosophical foundation for dealing with the "people" that make up your traffic, but now we must go further and explore the methods best suited for us to profit from their presence. The last thing that we want to see is a prospect leave our sites unhindered, and unexposed to the offers we wish them to see. These offers can be for our own products and services, or those of our sponsors. In either case, before we can bend our traffic to our will we must understand what we wish the surfer to do.
Generation vs. Retention
There are two main issues that we face when dealing with traffic. The first is generation, or the actual acquisition of the visitors to our site. As I said in my first installment, this is not a topic that we'll deal with now. The second issue, retention, is something for us to consider, however. When I say "retention" in this context, I'm not referring to a pay site's ability to sustain a member month after month, but our ability to retain surfers within our own little network of sites. This of course assumes that we have more than one Web site, and indeed if you do not, then you should get busy and start building now!
Passing surfers from one site to another within your own network is the key to maximizing the profitability of your traffic. If you don't make a sale on one site, then you might make a sale on another of your sites. Keep passing the surfer along until he bites by washing, looping, and filtering your traffic ~ all of which are techniques that I've written about here before. This is the exact same concept that you will find in use at most major pay sites. Visit one and don't join, and you're likely to be sent from one "family" site to another via exit consoles until you end up at their last console page which advertises THEIR sponsors. You can learn a lot by studying your favorite sponsors:
A Private Affair
One of the main considerations that you have when implementing the traffic filtering, looping, and washing mechanisms discussed above is whether or not to make them available to other adult Webmasters. While opening your own TGP to outside gallery submissions will drive significant amounts of fresh traffic into your network (providing that you require reciprocal links), opening other parts of your network may have adverse effects, depending on the quality, quantity, and flow of your existing traffic.
For instance, one of my favorite project sites, The Smut Factory, incorporates a private Top List and WebRing. I say "private" because all of the listed sites are part of The Smut Factory AVS Network. The index page of each listed site contains a WebRing bar at the bottom. Most of these sites then feed the Top List by popping a "blurred" Stealth Console from the main "member's area" page. This means that surfers I receive from the CyberAge Link List as well as regular members have a chance to see all of the sites that I offer to those with the appropriate level of membership. Providing these prospects with easy access to all of my offerings this way is a great example of traffic retention.
I had originally decided to keep these traffic pumps to myself as the listed sites are all AVS sites whose traffic comes from Search Engines and the CyberAge Link List, and I don't want to dilute the quality of this traffic by listing outside sites who may be pumping TGP or any other less productive forms of traffic into my network. While I'm happy to carefully wash my own TGP traffic into this mix, I can't rely on others to be so cautious. So once again, I'm back to my strategy of focusing on the fruity bits of the pie, and leaving the crust to others:
The last thing that I want to discuss today is selling your exit traffic. Now this is not an alternate approach to trying to hold onto your traffic for as long as possible, but the "final" destination for surfers leaving your site. Think of it this way: if you were Wal-Mart, and you had shoppers who roamed your aisles and were on their way out the door without making a purchase, wouldn't it be cool to round them up, put 'em on a bus, and drive them over to K-Mart? Would it be worthwhile if K-Mart then paid you $40 for everyone of these people who bought something in THEIR store? How about if K-Mart paid you in advance for a boat load of these folks? Life would be grand:
This is where you want to be: in a position to reliably deliver predictable amounts of quality traffic that will convert well for your chosen sponsor. Then you can get on the phone to your account manager and negotiate special deals and special terms ~ including higher payouts; IF you can deliver sign-ups as promised. You will then discover that you are not in the porn business, but in the relationship business. Depending on the amount of traffic flowing through the system, this could make an attractive bulk traffic source for just the right sponsor.
One technique that I want to implement for this is a "switchable" exit console. Simply, all of my sites will pop a single exit console that will run off of one of my sites. For instance, say I build a console page at pornworks.com/exit.php and feed this console from my 50 or so sites. It is a simple matter to then change this one page to send ALL of my exit traffic to one sponsor or another, or to a Top List, or banner exchange, or:? Depending on the amount of traffic flowing through the system, this could make an attractive bulk traffic source for just the right sponsor ~ or my own pay site; but that is a story for yet another day.
As you can see, traffic isn't just about "getting" but also about retaining, and then selling off to let somebody else have a crack at it. Your compensation can be either fresh traffic in return (such as you'll receive from feeding a Top List or banner exchange) or money, by sending it to a sponsor such as HELMY Cash. The choice is up to you... ~ Stepehen