In a recent XBiz Webmaster Poll, I asked the question "Would YOU Join a Pay Site?" This is a much more important question than you might think. Here is what you had to say, along with my thoughts about the final results...
I believe that this was a very important question to ask, as the backbone (arguably) of today's Online Adult Entertainment Industry is the sale, resale, or up sell , of pay site memberships to (usually) free site visitors. Contained within this of course are the monthly recurring memberships of existing pay site members, as well as opt-in email and viral marketing techniques — anything involving the selling of a site membership.
It's that last bit: "anything involving the selling of a site membership" that I'm on about today, for "selling" is really the business that most of us are in! If you believe you are in "the porn business" then you are likely harming your income, while ignoring the fundamental marketing aspects that could help you succeed.
If you (wisely) realize that you are indeed a salesman (or saleswoman), then you have a really tremendous advantage over your fellow Webmasters who consider themselves "big pimpin' porn kings" or the like, and it's with this in mind that I asked "Would YOU Join a Pay Site?" Consider the responses which I'll discuss with you below:
NO! Are You Kidding?: 37%
I thought that this number would be much higher, as most adult Webmasters know where to find all the porn they could ever want for free, and if they're pay site owners, may know first hand just how disappointingly lame many pay sites can be - despite the extravagant promises made on the site's tour pages. Still, my main feeling is I can't understand how someone could successfully "sell" something that they themselves would not buy?
While I could devote substantial space to trying to convince you that your sales will increase if you studied sales tactics and believed in the product that you are trying to convince someone else to believe in, I'd rather watch nearly 40% of our competition go the wrong way — it makes things easier for the rest of us...
Yes! I Enjoy Quality Porn!: 33%
Bless your little heart! It's good to see that there really are a few people who are still willing to pay for high quality porn, even though they likely have access to tons of smut for free! A "decent" pay site should offer content that can't be easily found for free, whether it is broadband videos, extreme quality, high-resolution images kept off the major TGPs by the copyright Nazis, or other "niche" material that while sprinkled around the Web for free, may be found concentrated in one easy to access location for a small fee.
A case in point is "Japanimation" in its various forms such as hentai and anime. 'Kitten' and I have found this content to be quite "entertaining" and we'll likely join a site or two — then vacuum 'em clean with our new cable modem. This of course illustrates another big issue: how many of you would stay a member past the trial period? Personally, while I might join a new site or two out of "professional curiosity," I would only do so with a decent broadband connection, and spend the weekend adding to my already massive porn archive. I believe this to be the "wave of the future" as more 'Net savvy porn surfers acquire broadband connectivity:
Yes, For Testing Purposes: 23%
Joining a Web site for "Testing Purposes" can be an extremely valuable learning experience for you in more ways than you imagine. If you have your own pay site, have you joined it yourself as a "full member?" When Dawn Elizabeth launched her new pay site, the first thing that she did was sign up for the trial membership, using an email address made solely for this purpose. She had never used ibill (a popular 3d party payment processor) before, and was wondering if this processor, or someone that the processor sold her email address to, would spam her with offers for competitive sites or products. She also wanted to see how easy the signup and cancellation process was, how long it took to accomplish it, whether the membership would really be cancelled as stated, and what other communications she might receive from ibill. A wise choice indeed:
If you are considering sending traffic to a sponsor site, have you joined it yourself first to examine what the quality of the pay site and its content are? This is especially important for "partnership" programs where your income is dependent on the sponsor's ability to retain members, and this is heavily influenced by the quality, quantity, and usability of the site's content. Some sponsors will provide you with a test password for site access for just this purpose, and if they don't, then you should either look elsewhere, or purchase a trial membership. I had suspected this sponsor of "shaving" me senseless, and I was right.
This of course leads into a controversial area: joining a pay site for testing purposes, and signing up under your own account. The problem (as often stated from the sponsor's point of view) is that it is unfair for you to sign up for a 3 Day trial membership for say, $1.95, and then be paid a $35+ commission on that sale. The sponsor of course is correct in this, it IS unfair for you to do it...
On the other hand, I once joined a site under my own account, using a different name, address, and credit card number. I had suspected this sponsor of "shaving" me senseless, and I was right — I was not credited for that sale, a sale that the sponsor had no way of knowing was to me, and a sponsor by the way, that is one of the most well-respected names in this business.
What's a 'Pay Site'?: 7%
"Monkey Boys" with time on their hands that would bemuch better spent learning this business, or "newbies" who are so new to the industry that they have not yet learnt what a pay site is, it's hard to tell. For the latter, a "pay site" is any site (although in our context, any "adult" Web site), that charges a direct admission fee to the surfer — but not through the mechanism of an "AVS" (or Age Verification System). By now, you should have gathered that selling memberships is the primary goal of most adult Webmasters, and you can easily learn more about "newbie" and industry fundamentals by reading through our Articles Archive.
In conclusion, I personally thought the number of Webmasters who would not join a site would be higher, the ones who would, lower, the ones who would "for testing," lower, and the "clueless," about the same: Do YOU have an opinion on this poll, the results, or my comments that you would like to share? Then click the link below, and let us know: