Dialers in Europe

Eric Larcheveque

In the adult biz domain, Europe is a market with huge financial potential and a very efficient payment method: the dialer. Note that we are not referring to the international dialer sending calls to Guatemala or Madagascar, but rather premium rate domestic lines managed by the main European telecom operators.

With these European telecom operators, there are no chargebacks, and payments are guaranteed. The lines are high quality, with irreproachable service: 56kps lines, reestablishment time guarantees operators various price levels available, and quasi-complete coverage of phone lines. In addition, and most importantly, Europeans are accustomed to this type of time-related payment by telephone. In France (the El Dorado of the dialer), this technology has been available since 1984 with Minitel - the antecedent to Internet in France consisting of a terminal in each household and permitting access to a large number of users via payment per connection minute.

However, setting up a European dialer is not easy: each country has its own operator with which you must negotiate lines, numbers and service codes. You then need to negotiate payments, centralize phone lines, develop tracking tools and develop your dialer. Fortunately for webmasters, there are companies specialized in this domain that offer turn-key solutions with or without content. The big difference between a European dialer company and an "international" dialer company are that the rates for European countries are generally much higher with the European dialer, because they use domestic lines as opposed to international lines that service almost all of the countries in the world. Good rates are negotiated individually in each country, with immediate benefit to the webmaster.

What kind of revenue can be expected from dialers in Europe? Are visitors really willing to pay $1-$2.99 a minute, when they can subscribe at $20 a month for almost exactly the same content? Statistics show that they are. Users like to connect instantly, and without any commitment. For example, the affiliate programs, Eurodialer and Fastmanbucks, generates more than 3,000,000 minutes a month in Europe, a total revenue of about 2 million dollars. Surfers are connecting, and they're coming back for more. As you can see with these figures, European traffic has a strong intrinsic value: a potential of tens of millions of dollars a month, generated 100% by dialers. If you're wondering how you can take advantage of this market, or if your business is primarily in the United States and attacking the European market seems to be too complicated or not worth your time, take a look at your site statistics. You may realize that you have already begun your attack, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

Most American sites have up to 30% European traffic, and for the most part, this traffic is unfortunately wasted by webmasters that have not properly adapted their sites for these visitors. It is relatively rare that French, German, Spanish or Italian visitors subscribe to American sites for two main reasons: language and credit card. The French don't like to use their cards on the Internet, most Germans don't even have cards, in short, converting your European traffic with the traditional American affiliate program is difficult. By using language identification software provided by your European affiliate program, an exit console in your visitor's language will open for European surfers.

So with all this potential in their statistics, why are webmasters still holding back on optimizing their European traffic? There are three main reasons: language (it isn't easy to promote your site in a foreign language), dialers have a really bad reputation in the United States and most webmasters don't know that it is possible to make as much money in Europe as in the United States. It is certainly legitimate to be concerned by the fact that you don't speak one of the four languages essential to the dialer (French, German, Spanish, Italian). But with the right partner this problem can disappear: certain old-world sponsors are specialized in the transformation of existing European traffic on U.S. sites. By producing ready-made solutions based on language recognition, these sponsors offer simple and efficient tools that don't require any special linguistic talents.

An example: you have an English language pay site with 30% European traffic. You want to exploit this traffic without the risk of detriment to your American traffic. By using language identification software provided by your European affiliate program, an exit console in your visitor's language will open for European surfers. The American visitor on your site won't see any change. There are also scripts to target banners by language: surfers in the United States will see American ads, European surfers will see ads in their native languages sending them to a service that is accessible by dialer.

European affiliate programs offer sites entirely translated in five languages with optimum marketing tools and high performance technology. This results in a diverse palette of services targeting European traffic that can be adapted to your sites in no time.

In just a few minutes, it is possible for a pay site or free site webmaster to begin exploiting this orphaned traffic, without an effect on expected revenue originating in the States. Even if until now, the dialer has not gone over well in the States, this is not a reason to condemn it in Europe. Pay-per-minute is part of the European culture, and our estimation is that for each dollar earned in credit card sign ups, ten are earned in connection time.

European webmasters have a considerable chunk of the American market, yet American webmasters are only gathering the crumbs of the European market though it can be just as prosporous, isn't it time to reverse the trend?

Eric Larcheveque, is the CEO and founder of Carpe Diem (Eurodialer/ Fastmanbucks), the first French adult affiliation program. They have the largest Webmasters Community in Europe ever.