The Easy Way Out

Stephen Yagielowicz
I was reading an interesting thread on another webmaster message board the other day, part of which had the very well known owner of a popular affiliate program criticizing one of his affiliates (himself a very well known player) for offering membership cancellation advice on his website.

The program owner’s attitude was “what the hell is this guy thinking?” but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say “what the hell is the program owner thinking?”

One of the biggest problems webmasters face today is generating signups and part of the difficulty lies in the fact that so many prospects have previously joined paysites, only to be burned, by among other things, an inability to easily cancel a membership.

This occurs intentionally when unscrupulous operators purposefully hide “cancel” links (or do not display them at all), or unintentionally when due to negligence or carelessness they simply “forget” to add them.

The fear of repeated, unwanted billing and the troublesome process of having to contact the paysite operators (which is often a difficult process as well), or the billing company (if they know it), to dispute these charges and then cancel the membership – or worse yet, the member’s bank, where he’ll have to discuss his porn purchases prior to demanding a chargeback, keeps many prospective members at bay.

Sadly, many programs rely on these “difficulties” as part of their business model, but by clearly outlining the cancellation process beforehand, you can ease these concerns and as a result, encourage more signups.

“Tricks” intended to keep members recurring without their knowledge or against their will have no place in the legitimate online adult entertainment industry. If your site’s content and presentation is good and worth the monthly fee, then you’ll easily retain members – using deceptive trade and marketing practices isn’t a replacement for this. If the customer wants to cancel, then you should make it easy for him or her to do so. Not only will this reduce chargebacks, but encourage him or her to join another site in the future – perhaps a site that you own, or can refer him or her to.

Play it smart: make it easy for folks to join your site – and cancel their membership when they have exhausted their desire for what you’re offering.

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