educational

Adult Design Perspectives

Bruno Dickman

The Adult Internet is becoming more professional day after day. This is almost a cliché, but I am amazed whenever I look back in time. Every aspect of this business is increasingly more complex and at the same time more interesting; with innovation playing an essential role. Adult design and billing are two fields where major changes occurred during the years of 2002 and 2003. While the changes to billing came from external regulations, the changes to adult design came from a blend of increased competitiveness and technological improvements.

The Science of Common Sense
Look around you right now and you will find design everywhere. Commoditization is invading all markets, and today, good design is a superb advantage. Apple knows it. Nike knows it. Chrysler, Gillette and Sony do too! Successful design starts with common sense. You don’t like a headphone only because it looks good. You like it because it looks good and it’s useful. It doesn’t hurt your ears, it doesn’t fall from your head every 30 seconds.

Good design works because it makes the user comfortable. It leads your customers to the join page – naturally. No pushing needed – just provide him something that makes sense, give him a pleasant surfing experience, and you will be happy that you did!

(B2B) Show Commitment and Ethics
Before getting into the adult business, I worked in a well structured advertising agency. The boss took me under his wing, and the most important thing I learned from him was that business should always be a win-win situation, conducted with honesty, commitment and professionalism.

The B2B game is all about creating and maintaining positive relationships with your customers. They need to trust your company and your services, knowing you will always be upstanding and caring. In a research conducted by Forum Corporation, it was concluded that poor customer service was the reason why 49% of the people switch to a competitor. So you better start to know your clients and give them not only what they want, but what they never dreamed they wanted! Get obsessed with service!

(B2C) Transparency and Respect
One of the things that some people seem to forget from time to time is that there’s no such thing as traffic. “Traffic” is a group of human beings visiting your site. When you walk into a good store with trained personnel, the salesperson doesn’t think of you as traffic. He thinks of you as a human being with desires and money in your pocket. His job is to show you the products they have on hand, describing the features of anything you are interested in, with transparency and respect.

For instance, when you walk into CompUSA looking for a digital camera, the salesperson will show you the items he has in stock, telling you all the features and prices. What would happen if he promises a 11 mega pixel camera for $299 and you find out you got a 3.2 mega pixel for $399? Do I hear charge back? Well... that’s what happens when a pay site tour promises 450,000 exclusive pictures and 500 hours of full screen movies for $29.99 and delivers a bunch of plugins for $29.99 plus $49.99 on some previously checked cross sale.

Of course, many unethical surfers signup, leech and charge back, but our industry numbers would certainly look better if the porn surfers were treated with transparency and respect all the time. It starts with a coherent sales pitch – a responsible design team will always keep this factor in mind because it will not only improve conversions; it will improve retentions and charge back ratios too.

Importance of Team Work
The number of players in the adult design business has increased a lot during the last two years, while the demand for adult design services didn’t increase as much; and as a result of this market saturation, two things happened: Some companies lowered their costs by outsourcing designers overseas and lowered their profit margins tremendously, starting a fierce price war. On the other hand, some companies worked on becoming more efficient and professional, with the sole goal of providing their clients quality.

For companies that decide to walk the “premium path” instead of joining the price wars, successful team building becomes one of the most important factors. It takes much more than Photoshop skills to provide a premium service. Caring customer service, exciting copywriting, superb creative direction, eye catching flash integration and production that pays attention to all the tiny but definitely important details cost money, but deliver results.

Importance of Focusing On ROI
The saturation of the adult online industry is contributing to an increase in competitiveness between the affiliate programs out there. Webmasters want the most money possible for their “traffic.” This means that affiliate programs need to convert better, retain better and give as much as they can in terms of percentage to stay competitive in the game. The design of their pay sites is strategic for their success as an affiliate program. An increase of 5-10% on conversions can mean thousands of extra dollars in their pocket every month. The decision of paying a very low price for a tour and getting 5-10% less conversions (on a very conservative perspective) can cause the pay site owner to make thousands of dollars less than he could with a high end tour.

This works the exact same way when affiliate programs buy content or pick their hosting, development and billing companies. Teaming up with leading companies on every field is a must for those who want to be on top of the game and will be crucial for survival in the coming years.

The Dickmans Design Portfolio Approach
Around here, everything is done with one clear goal: to obtain the “Wow!” effect. There’s nothing better than working hard on something to receive a rewarding “Wow!” from a client. With the competition getting bigger everyday, consistency is a must – one or two good creations per month just doesn’t cut it anymore. When a company creates a high quality standard, clients will not consider paying a higher price risky. They will understand that quality has a price, and they’ll stay with you if you deliver what they paid for!

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