I met Adrian at the January InterNext in Las Vegas, where I was impressed by the program he was there to launch: AuctionPoints was a revolutionary concept in pay site member retention, and a glimpse of the innovative steps that adult Webmasters must take to stay competitive.
First of all, How long have you worked for AuctionPoints, and what are your duties?
I am the founding partner. I started AuctionPoints as a direct result from my other businesses that already create successful Member Loyalty and Permission-Marketing programs for mainstream industries.
At the start, my job was focused primarily on research and business development and then shifted towards overseeing and managing the development of our software engine. Now, my job is primarily sales and marketing.
So, tell me what your service is about?
With the flick of a switch, our service provides a “points-based” Member Loyalty Program for adult web sites. When a Webmaster signs on with us, his or her website(s) will reward their members with points.
The member will accumulate points by two ways. One, the member will receive points for each month they remain a member of the site. Two, the member can further receive points for each day they log in. In a nutshell, the longer they remain a member, the more points they get.
The members can then use their points to bid on auction prizes such as Adult DVDs. Just to note that these prizes are provided by our partnership with Adam & Eve. Also, if the member has gained enough points they could redeem them or “buy” the same prizes with their points. It’s a total cashless environment.
Furthermore, our system is designed to be “private-labeled” so the member loyalty system looks like its part of the adult web site.
Why did you choose to offer this service to the online adult industry?
As I mentioned earlier, we were already doing Member Loyalty Programs for mainstream businesses and through our research we noticed that the online adult industry was the natural “next move” for us. The online adult industry has been very successful in gaining large amounts of memberships and therefore making money. However, this industry has become rather saturated and combined with the struggling economy it needed something else in order to “stay ahead”. Installing a Member Loyalty Program does just that.
It works for other industries so naturally from a business perspective, it will also work for the online adult industry. It increases the desire for a member to stay on. Instead of paying the Webmaster each month for just content, the member would now get something back for their hard earned dollar. Thus, increasing retention for the Webmaster!
How easy is it to set up your service?
Very easy! Our system is designed so that a Webmaster can literally get set up within 24 hours. A small script and a PHP file are put on the web site and that’s it! Should the web site be hosted on an NT environment, we have similar files for that type of server also.
On the business side of things, what should the Webmaster be aware of regarding a Member Loyalty Program?
I think the most important thing for a Webmaster to be aware of is to learn and realize what a Member Loyalty Program is capable of doing. It is designed to create “loyalty”. Nothing more, nothing less. This loyalty will thus increase retention rates.
Many webmasters focus on selling new memberships instead of retaining current ones. Why isn't this the best business model in today's market?
I really don’t think that is a good method in any market. Many of us have heard the saying "It costs 3-5 times more money and energy to get a new client (member in this case) than it does to keep an existing one".
In response to that, I would say that yes of course it's important to gain new members BUT one should not forget about the existing ones. They are already paying you, so keep them as long as you can!
But especially in times like these, clients (and members) are not as loyal as they used to be. They’re always looking for "the better deal". That is why Member Loyalty Programs are successful nowadays because they’re finally getting something back for their hard earned dollar. But especially in times like these, clients (and members) are not as loyal as they used to be. They’re always looking for "the better deal". That is why Member Loyalty Programs are successful nowadays because they’re finally getting something back for their hard earned dollar.
Is this program just for the big name affiliate programs, or can smaller, independent pay sites benefit as well? That is the beauty of the program. Any adult web site (big or small) that charges a monthly fee for a membership can and will benefit. The small sites will add that unique "edge" which will help them grow. The larger sites will confirm their commitment and desire to reward their valued members.
Will members be able to combine Auction Points they earned on my site with those they earned on a competitor's site? What about combining points they earn on multiple sites within my own network?
First of all, webmasters will not see any value by having members combine their points from one site and then from a competitors site. That defeats the purpose of having the Member Loyalty Program installed.
Again the system is designed to create "loyalty" so the last thing a Webmaster wants is for their member to accrue points and then leave to join another site so they can gain even more points.
Our system caters to the webmaster/owner. If that Webmaster has only one site, then they will have our system just for that one site. Should the Webmaster own 30 sites, he/she would have two choices. One, he/she can invoke our system on a 1-to-1 basis so each site will have it's own auction, points system and prizes. Two, he/she could invoke our system so that all 30 sites "share" the same features. The choice is really up to the Webmaster.
How customizable is your program? Can it be branded with my logo and tailored to fit with my site's theme?
It's very customizable. Yes, you can upload your own logo and in fact, the entry pages to our engine can be designed by the Webmaster so that way it will flow nicely with their web site theme. Should the Webmaster not want to design the entry pages, we also provide the page templates which they are more than welcomed to use.
Should the Webmaster want something different and unique, our design team will be more than happy to help out with ideas and graphics.
Finally, where do you see the adult industry headed, over the next three to five years?
Obviously it's hard to predict the future but one thing is certain. Porn (or sex) in one way or another will continue to sell. That's a fact.
What I think will change over the course of time however is the delivery method by which we get access to this content. We have to remember that the Internet is still a baby waiting patiently to grow. As broadband access gets more efficient and more accessible by different means, I can definitely see the potential for growth in the online video and interactive markets.
People love to "interact" with other people but even today, online chat forums and video chat sessions will seam archaic when we look back 3-5 years from now. One day, I don't believe the Internet will even be called the Internet anymore. We'll take it for granted that it's just there and available (which is great for this industry).
Adrian shed some interesting light on AuctionPoints and member retention, and is the kind of ‘new blood’ that this industry needs. Thanks, Adrian! ~ Stephen