Member Retention. These are two words that are used often in the Adult Internet industry. Some webmasters have fairly good member retention, while others struggle. Either way, we all desperately need it to survive. No matter how well your retention rates are, they could always be improved. So in this article, I want to talk about (you guessed it) retention and what it really means. I will also offer some valuable tips that can potentially help build your retention rates.
Remember this saying: “It takes 5 times the effort and money to attract a new client (or member in our case) than it takes to actually retain one“? If this is the case, then why do so many webmasters still mainly focus on trying to ACQUIRE, ACQUIRE, ACQUIRE?
I totally agree that acquiring new members is very important. That's a given. However, I am a firm believer that it is even more important to retain your existing ones. You already have them, so don't let them go!
We all know that step #1 to retaining your members is to consistently add new content. The more content the better. That’s great! But one of the underlying keys to successful retention in any business is to know what kind of business or economic climate you are operating in. For example, when times are great, retention is just there and you really don’t need to worry about it. But when times are tough (in any sense), retention is harder to manage. It’s in these tough times like we are having today that one must take a hard look at their retention because it could literally make or break a business.
Let’s Face Reality and Deal With It
Do some of you remember what it was like back in the mid-90s? Simply adding content (and not very much) was enough to keep your members hooked for many months (some even longer). But these days, it is ever more clear to all of us that the online Adult Industry has become totally saturated. This is not a bad thing however. It does prove that people want their porn! However, add this weak economic climate into the mix, and it’s clearly obvious that members are not wasting any time in shedding their “loyalty skin” and going off to hunt for different sites to explore. The end result? You’re losing out on revenue from a member you used to have. And while trying to get them back is virtually possible, in a case like this, it’s highly IM-possible.
While this last paragraph may sound “doom and gloom”, its actually not. It’s a simple wake-up call for all of us to realize that when any market or economic climate changes, the players in the market must adapt and invoke new ideas and methodologies to increase their client retention.
Just “Adding New Stuff” is Not The Answer – Have A Plan
Client retention is not something that should be taken lightly. Some companies (along with their business plan) have an actual Client Retention Plan or “CRP”. While some of you may not want to get into a full-blown 200 page CRP, I will discuss the fundamentals which will assist you in understanding how retention works, why it works and how to start thinking of retention ideas for your business. A key component to proper Client Retention is to understand the difference between a “Satisfied” member and a “Loyal” member.
Are Your Members Satisfied or Loyal to Your Service?
The terms “satisfied” and “loyal” may mean the same thing on the surface but if we see them in use, they mean two totally different things. In these examples we will look at buying gas and coffee. Two things that most of us buy on a regular basis.
The Word “Satisfied”
Do you buy your gasoline from the same place every time? Probably not. Is it because you were not satisfied with the last place you got it from? Most of us would again say no. Chances are that you were indeed satisfied but let’s face it…gas is gas. You probably just bought your gas wherever you needed it at the time. How about coffee? Same answers. Whenever you need it, just grab a cup of coffee from wherever you are at the time and off you go. Client retention is not something that should be taken lightly. Some companies (along with their business plan) have an actual Client Retention Plan or “CRP”.
A lot can be learned from these two industries however. Sure enough, they have both managed to hook us into buying from the same places more consistently. Thus, shutting out their competition as you will see here.
The Word “Loyal“
In order to convert their satisfied clients (and grab clients from the competition), the gas companies and coffee shops (amongst other industries) have implemented simple retention tactics, and before you know it, these very same clients became LOYAL ones.
A perfect example is whenever I buy gas from a certain place where I live, they give me a free fill up whenever I spend a certain amount of gas with them. On top of that, they give me frequent flyer-miles. Throughout the process, they are friendly and more than happy to serve me.
As for the coffee shops, this is a great story! I used to buy my coffee from wherever I could find it. Then, I heard that an existing coffee shop in my office building is offering a free muffin with every coffee between the times of 7:30am and 8:30am. On top of that, they give me a card which they stamp every time I buy a coffee. Get stamped 8 times and I get a free cup. While the dollar value of the coffee or muffin is not much, I automatically feel the need to be loyal to these folks. I feel like I’m getting something MORE in return for my hard earned dollar.
By the way, another coffee shop opened up a few months later around the corner and guess what? There’s nobody there. Meanwhile the other coffee shop has consistent line ups throughout the day. Same coffee. Different approach.
Now it’s your turn to learn from these proven industry tactics and convert your members into LOYAL members rather than just satisfied ones. In part 2, I will discuss real-life methods for planning and increasing retention. Get ready for it. It’s going to be fun!