On Wednesday, January 8, 2003 at the InterNext Expo in Las Vegas, I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel alongside industry veterans Samuel Agboola (DHD Media), Farrell Timlake (Homegrown Video), and Steve Wright from DeviantCash.com. Steve made some great points, and he was generous enough to allow me to share them with you all, here at Xbiz. If you didn’t get a chance to take in this seminar, or have never attended a seminar at InterNext, here’s a bit of what you missed ~ Stephen
The amateur/fetish/niche markets are different than mainstream! Many of your tried and true tricks will not work on amateur traffic. Surfers seeking these markets are generally a little more knowledgeable and a lot more selective about what they purchase. That being said they are also willing to part with more money, and repeatedly so, once they find what they want. (I include fetish and niche in this presentation as they generally fall under ‘amateur’ and benefit from the same marketing strategies).
Picking A Good Partner for Your Traffic
Check all the sites you will be promoting. If they look like every other ‘cookie cutter’ adult site out there, it most likely will not convert well. You want original concepts, designs and content if possible. You should also check applicable laws when promoting extreme fetish sites.
Good amateur sites should have a unique look that sets them apart from so-called ‘corporate sites.’ For example, the majority of my client base is unaware that my sites are inter-related because each employs a different look and feel. We frequently receive e-mail from members letting us know about another hot site we should check out – and we own it! (Note on e-mail: if you are considering starting an amateur pay or free site you MUST have a working e-mail and be prepared to play the role of excited site owner and chat with your customers – both actual and potential).
Ask around: Check out the adult boards (check http://www.DeviantCash.com/inxt/ for a list of my favs under newbie) people in the community will be happy to tell you if a program is good or not – read these responses with a grain of salt: one person’s bad experience does not mean that the whole program is worthless.
Talk to the program operator: send an e-mail! If the programs’ site has no e-mail contact information – be warned. Pose your questions in a friendly, respectful manner and wait for a response. A lot of good programs are smaller, and run by a one-person powerhouse, while a lot of the larger ones receive an unbelievable volume of mail. Give the operator at least 48-72 hours to respond.
Examine your traffic sources: where is it coming from and where it should go. Seek a site that most closely matches. If you are trying to reconvert your own mainstream traffic, then you will want to talk to a program operator and get their opinion on the best marketing strategies to cross-convert. Remember, it’s in the program operator’s best interest to pre-qualify your traffic as much as possible.
Learn to love stats: Join many different programs! Give each one a week in the same traffic spot and count your clicks / conversions and impressions. Figure out which one gives you the best return.
Experiment: Use different banners from each program. Ask if you can design your own. Try text links.
Partner or One Time Payout: This has a lot to do with personal preference. In my experience one time payout programs have a lower conversion rate. Partner programs will convert higher AND in the end you will end up with more money (IMHO) due to high price points and longer retentions.
The myth of longer retentions: Often bandied about but never confirmed. It is my personal observation as both a program Administrator and consultant with many other programs, that most amateur / fetish / niche sites, when done well, will retain around 2.5 times longer than mainstream. My tenets for maintaining high amateur / fetish / niche traffic conversions:
- Be knowledgeable and true to your market
- Be honest
- Be least invasive
- Be respectful
Be knowledgeable and true to your market: As much as possible keep the flavor of the community you are promoting. Learn the lingo. Do some research.
Be honest: deceptive marketing strategies will only come back to haunt you. Period.
Be least invasive: In the amateur world multiple pop-ups, mouse-trapping and desktop takeovers will only lower your conversions and hurt your marketing. The amateur community talks! A few negative surfer comments in the right places can and will hurt your business.
Be respectful: Again, learn the lingo! Especially in the ethnic, gay or true-lesbian markets. Nothing will prevent a click through more than an offensive link. “Watch the dirty faggot work it hard” may work for a BDSM / Dom / Hum site, but use that for a gay twink jerkoff site (this is a real life example) and people will complain! If you are not Ethnic / Gay / Lesbian, ask your program operator or their staff for help – that is part of why they are there!
Above all experiment and enjoy the benefits of partial or full self-employment! With the right knowledge and patience it is possible to sell almost any type of site. Best of Luck! – Steve
All information contained within this article is based upon my personal opinion and experience with almost 5 years in this industry. I make no claims as to its efficacy or accuracy. These strategies / methods of operation have worked for DeviantCash. Send Comments to firstname.lastname@example.org