Having a steady flow of qualified prospects is vital for all commercial websites if they are to profit and succeed.
On the adult entertainment front, the profound changes in search marketing and other traditional traffic avenues have led to an increased reliance on advertising networks and the predictable consistency of traffic flow they can offer.
Once a company enters our platform, they gain access to a pool of more than 20,000 affiliates — the largest in the adult industry.
One such network is CrakRevenue, which has long been favored for its affiliate-focused approach and innovative marketing techniques that have kept it at the forefront, and which is set to expand further with the upcoming release of its next-generation 2.0 platform.
To learn more about the company and its platform improvements, XBIZ turned to CrakRevenue COO Axel Vézina for his insights.
XBIZ: CrakRevenue is widely regarded as a pioneer in the adult CPA network field. What exactly is a CPA network, and how do CPA networks benefit adult affiliates, advertisers, and publishers?
Vézina: Cost per action or cost per acquisition (CPA) is the main formula of our whole business model — we get paid per action.
For publishers and affiliates, the CPA network model is an interesting one since it’s a one-stop-shop — and this is especially true regarding CrakRevenue in the adult industry. Publishers only need to create one single affiliate account to track all of their conversions and stats under a platform that offers access to more than 1,000 products to promote. Under the direction of fellow marketing professionals serving in an affiliate advisory role, affiliate managers are around to address the campaign needs of each and every publisher so that publishers can reap the fruits of all their hard work under one single payment.
With the ever-growing number of advertisers and adult-targeted products appearing online, going through a CPA network like us is almost inevitable at a certain point. It really begins to make sense from a numbers standpoint because there is strength in the numbers. Indeed, having access to a large pool of qualified publishers and traffic allows us to deal better payouts for our affiliates.
For advertisers, there’s great appeal with respect to working with a CPA network. There’s no better place to instantly gain access to a large pool of publishers, and consequently, new traffic. Since the business model is based on a CPA model, advertisers only pay for the user desired action — the acquisition of new leads or sales generated by affiliates (i.e., new customers). This is way less risky than traditional media buying or of a more widespread branded campaign where the results (and customers) are not always guaranteed.
On our front, for the past decade, we’ve enjoyed our role as self-described affiliates. We’ve been named the biggest CPA network of the adult industry over the last 10 years. We know our pool of affiliates well and how to continuously maintain and achieve only the highest of standards in quality adult traffic (and that includes a thorough, extensive application process and a portfolio of the industry’s most reputable fraud-prevention programs on the market).
XBIZ: What distinguishes CrakRevenue from other adult CPA networks?
Vézina: Something I touched on just a moment ago — what I believe distinguishes our CPA network from the rest out there is our longstanding experience as affiliates. We knew what the average affiliate wanted. CrakRevenue was a platform we created to optimize our own numerous marketing campaigns. Along the way, that’s actually how we came up with our brand’s main message, “Follow the Whale!”
This allowed us to improve our traffic acquisition skills in every facet of web marketing. We now have one of the largest media buying teams in the industry, a highly skilled SEO team, as well as managing an impressive network of our own tubes and paysites, in our own right. The expertise that we’ve acquired along the way has trickled down all the way onto our very best affiliates, allowing us to provide helpful advice to valued affiliates for the betterment of one’s campaign.
We’ve also invested a lot in our design team. By creating our own landing pages and creatives and constantly optimizing and tweaking our sales funnels, our videos and content have amassed billions of views. That’s how we became leaders of traffic monetization in a competitive industry.
XBIZ: Your partnership with Fleshlight is one example of how many companies rely on CrakRevenue to leverage affiliates. What are the benefits of such partnerships?
Vézina: We’ve always felt advertisers have nothing to lose and everything to gain by starting a business relationship with us at CrakRevenue. Once a company enters our platform, they gain access to a pool of more than 20,000 affiliates — the largest in the adult industry. We’ve found that the most successful partnerships start with an offer, service, or product that has a lot of appeal. If the appeal just isn’t there, our vast network of marketers will only do so well pushing that product.
Fleshlight’s a real leader in what they do and the product they provide serves a real need and that’s why they’ve been so successful for so long. Without a doubt, the main benefit of such a partnership starts with immeasurable exposure and reach of one’s product. We work with many motivated professionals in this industry and there couldn’t be a greater crowd out there to have actually promoting your product.
When a company works with us, they become a trusted partner. If it takes time on both of our ends to hone the right marketing strategy, we’ve got the time, and approach each partnership with a long-term view. As I always say, there’s no such magic formula for success. I know I can speak for our entire team when I say we all believe in putting in the necessary work to achieve stellar results.
XBIZ: CrakRevenue is strong in the dating market. What would you attribute this success to?
Vézina: The dating market is really something else at the moment. It’s unbelievably hot. In all honesty, this market has been on fire and a major success for many years now. When you have something with so much worldwide appeal and interest, the potential is endless.
This has to boil down to the human need. The need to seek and maintain interpersonal relationships is a basic need for so many. People crave companionship. At some point along the way, the internet made something once very difficult — meeting other people —a whole lot easier to do. Heck, it’s almost funny to think about: Remember when meeting people online used to be so stigmatized in the early days of the internet? My, how times have changed!
For this reason, dating sites and hookup-related offers will always be a successful vertical. This vertical has dominated the mobile market year after year and it isn’t a surprise to us that the revenue stream has been so great.
But you did ask what we attribute our success in Dating to. On top of everything I just mentioned, there’s no question we invested a lot in this growing market. Thanks to a large number of dating niche offers currently out there, we’ve been able to think locally and globally in our efforts to expand our dating-related partnerships to a level that provides more tailored offers to individuals all over the globe, rather than just the top most obvious markets.
XBIZ: Where do you see casual dating in the future? Will cams, haptics, and VR play an increasing role in online dating?
Vézina: Oh man! We’re probably among the biggest fans of VR. We have all the latest virtual reality headsets and devices at our office (and we must confess, we use them a little more than we probably should). Every day during our lunch hour, many members of our team have taken quite a liking to playing with their Oculus or HTC Vive.
Without a doubt, in our opinion, VR is definitely the future. We’re sure someone out there will find a way to transform and revolutionize “casual dating,” but right now, the price tag on all these VR headsets needs to drop considerably before we see more business opportunities in this super-cool market.
The current price for the top VR headsets has prevented this amazing technology from being [embraced by] the masses, but we believe that companies will keep investing in it.
XBIZ: Technology continues to evolve all things digital, with one issue impacting advertisers and publishers alike being the move to a secure web, where HTTPS is the default. Likewise, Flash is dead, with HTML5 and responsiveness keys for 2017 and beyond. Add in the huge potential of Big Data and the challenges of compliance with privacy and other laws, and it’s easy to see running an ad network is demanding. How is CrakRevenue responding to this evolution? Will v2.0 help affiliates keep pace?
Vézina: Yes, our 2.0 platform is the perfect all-in-one solution to keep up with the pace of technology in an ever-changing web environment. With regard to HTTPS, counter ad-blocking solutions and HTML 5 creatives, we’ve got affiliates and partners covered.
Business intelligence matters, and that’s why we’ve invested millions of dollars into a pretty substantial project. By hiring numerous specialists supported by a BI consulting firm, we’re able to dig even deeper into the data and explore the new trends in web marketing that evolve. This also gives us a serious edge with regard to campaign optimization, which affiliates will appreciate.
With any major project, there’s a lot of moving parts. That’s why we invite all publishers to try out our new platform and see for themselves.
XBIZ: What other market segments or technological evolutions is CrakRevenue focused on?
Vézina: In a sense, now that we’ve reached a certain point of business maturity and experience developing more advanced tools, we’re redefining some of our focuses. As such, one market segment we’re really eyeing right now is mainstream.
Adult advertisers and publishers can rest assured that we’re determined to keep being number one at what we do on the adult front with regard to our most popular verticals (cams, dating, paysites, etc.). However, we’d like to enter the nutra and gaming markets more than we have up until now, on top of a foray into a wider range of products and offerings, such as financial, gambling, health and beauty offers, and so on.
Currently, the adult vertical has allowed us to reach the 13th position of mThink’s Blue Book “Top 20” list of the best-ranked CPA networks worldwide. With our expertise, our business and work ethic, and the incredible amount of resources and efforts we’re putting into our new 2.0 platform, we have our sights on moving to the top — and we feel going mainstream from a business standpoint is one surefire way to achieve this.
XBIZ: CrakRevenue is known for educating webmasters through its blog, knowledge base, and other outreach effort. Why is this so important for all involved, and are other companies missing out by not investing in their affiliate partners and clients’ growth?
Vézina: Nobody becomes a whale overnight. We believe in the power of education and that includes a mix of providing top notch content and support to all our affiliates and not only the biggest because we’ve seen some real web marketing talent emerge from the masses.
Of course, as a company, providing affiliate training and good support can be costly. That’s why a lot of networks haven’t chosen this path. However, in the long run, nothing makes more sense than this.
This has proven to be extremely beneficial and lucrative on both sides. Indeed, by adding and factoring in all the small traffic sources we’ve helped to create, we’re now able to provide a much larger and steady volume of quality traffic to our advertisers.
XBIZ: Finally, what’s in store for CrakRevenue and the industry at large in 2017?
Vézina: We want to take this opportunity with XBIZ to announce that CrakRevenue 2.0 will officially come out of beta at the end of March, just in time for The Phoenix Forum.
We’ve been working hard for a year and a half on the platform development and believe this will continue to be the next major step in our continuous growth. We’ve made a ton of improvements between the legacy and 2.0 platform and we’re sure it will continue to make a lot of affiliates and advertisers happy. With better tracking and better reporting, this new platform is also more flexible, more intuitive, more responsive, and it offers the best of the best in campaign optimization.
The new CrakRevenue 2.0 has been built with a material-design philosophy in mind, which enhances the user experience and remains a work in progress that we will never stop improving, with lots of new features released in the coming months — such as new native ads tools, a custom survey creator, a new affiliate ranking system, and more.
Until then, we remain the biggest one-stop shop for the entire adult affiliate marketing industry, and invite all respective and aspiring affiliates, webmasters, publishers, and advertisers to follow the whale.