The foundation of the adult entertainment industry is the notion that folks will pay to see naked photos and videos of other folks having sex. In the digital media world, this is the realm of the paysite — which although it can take many forms, for the purposes of this article, will mean “any website that distributes adult-oriented content for a fee.”
In an era of free porn, however, getting that fee is not as easy as publishers would hope — yet quality, customer care and safety, among other factors, continue to bring profitability to pornographers that can walk today’s tightrope of carnal commerce concerns, while enticing new, and retaining old, fans.
What has proven to work for Bang.com is WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). We show you exactly what the members’ area looks like, along with all of our features (playlist, watch later, etc.). -Clement, Bang.com
Recently, XBIZ asked a number of top paysite operators about their favorite techniques for attracting new members and for cultivating long-term customer loyalty. Here’s what they had to say:
Bishop from AEBN told XBIZ that the key to a successful paysite in 2017 is frequent updates of new, quality content and periodic rotation of old content.
“Creating stickiness with your site or brand is important to long-term loyalty,” Bishop said. “We spend a great deal of time hand-curating the movies that we present to our consumers each day.”
Bishop explained that product-placing the best new movies so fans can find what they are looking for is a full-time job for several people.
“Selectively exposing fans to great older content that they might have missed the first time around is equally important,” Bishop added. “Giving quality older content a second chance at a buying audience is a great way to further monetize the long tail in an extensive catalog of content.”
Bishop noted even mainstream media outlets are increasingly doing this.
“I noticed ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ is playing at a local theater to me,” Bishop concluded. “That movie came out 30 years ago and I would pay to see it in the theater again. New is a relative term in the eyes of the consumer when it comes to entertainment.”
YanksVR CMO Todd Spaits said the company has cultivated loyalty using the same recipe since 2002.
“Stellar customer service and doing everything we can to make sure they stay or leave happy, not ripping them off in the first place, and delivering what you say on the front end in the backend,” Spaits told XBIZ. “I think all three of these can be boiled down to simply caring about loyalty in the first place — something dozens upon dozens of companies in this industry simply don’t care about, to begin with.”
For Grooby Productions’ president Steven Grooby, branding and customer service are a big deal.
“We get Grooby everywhere we can — whether it’s sending out t-shirts, temporary tattoos or stickers to models, creating silly social media campaigns for our DVD releases, and growing our own mailing lists which aren’t shared,” Grooby explained. “Our customer service is 100 percent internal, so our marketing director can deal with issues one day, and the CEO the next.”
Grooby told XBIZ this process provides an insight into where problems are and how to fix them on an individual level.
“Long-term loyalty is gained by delivering above what a customer expects,” Grooby explained, adding, “A few personal words or some free access can go a long way.”
Vette Nation owner Vicky Vette told XBIZ that the keys for attracting new members are the same today as when she started many years ago.
“Give the user more bang for the buck with no bullshit so they are satisfied after using their credit card,” Vette explained. “For us, that has meant making sure that we offer live content.”
Vette said this is important since “there’s too much porn for people to watch for free on the internet.”
“If a guy joins a site and most of the content can be seen on a tube site he is going to be disappointed,” Vette said. “We offer live shows every single day of the year free for members and we really have a great community of people to interact with when they join.”
Vette noted she has personally retained members for more than 10 years as a result.
“If you put up a paysite with just porn, I personally think your long-term prospects are not too good,” Vette concluded. “Members need interaction, otherwise they simply sit on Twitter tweeting girls all day without paying.”
Clement from Bang.com told XBIZ it is important to be upfront with customers, revealing what they will get by joining — and then delivering on that promise.
“What has proven to work for Bang.com is WYSIWYG,” Clement confides. “We show you exactly what the members’ area looks like, along with all of our features (playlist, watch later, etc.).”
Although he has many favorite techniques, Wasteland CEO Colin Rowntree found one in particular that works well for promoting his network of sites.
“One of the most effective ones is to be an active part of various consumer communities and provide new photos and video clips in our profile almost daily,” Rowntree revealed. “For Wasteland, our favorite is FetLife for gaining brand awareness and trust that leads to people checking out and joining the site.”
For James Deen, cultivating long-term loyalty to the JamesDeenCash.com family of sites includes having a very clean business model.
“I don’t sell off user data,” Deen explained. “I don’t hit people with aggressive upsells. I make sure my internal ads are not spammy. I make sure all site’s billing is more transparent than required and I try to offer fair prices with lifetime discounts on a regular basis. I refuse to let anything be off brand or let the quality of content slip in any way. I always try to evolve and provide better experiences, content library and usability to my members.”
Deen told XBIZ he focuses on anything that would make him want to join or stay a member of a site.
“I am extremely proud of my retention,” Deen concluded. “I feel that it is important to not just get people in the door, but to make sure that they stay, and aren’t just thought of as a revolving door of masturbators — but as your clients who you work for.”
CrakRevenue’s Jean-François Laverdière explained that in today’s ever-competitive market, having good HD-quality content that’s shot in 4K is paramount, and users must find what they’ve been looking for.
“As soon as a user opens his or her wallet and payment is involved, users are right to expect the content to be of a higher caliber than what they can easily find on the web for free,” Laverdière said. “We work very hard with our affiliates to create the best funnels that will, for example, lead a user that likes a banner to a precise pre-lander and — eventually — the exact scene he or she originally saw or was in search of.
“Fortunately for us, we have access to hundreds of products with exclusive HD content,” Laverdière added. “That allows us to create the perfect funnels for every niche.”
Echoing the beliefs of other operators, CrakRevenue’s Maxime Côté told XBIZ that to cultivate long-term interest and loyalty, paysites need to add new content on a weekly basis.
“Providing access to exclusive content, special promotions or giving out loyalty points are some fantastic options,” Côté confided. “In the end, the members’ area needs to be clean and consistent in showcasing exciting, brand spankin’ new content that’s not only tailored, but content that your user has likely waited all week to see.”
Jesse Garza, Kink’s senior marketing manager, told XBIZ he would rather try to sell a user on value than just pull one in with a discounted rate, and noted that despite a number of discounts available through affiliate sales and seasonal promotions, the majority of Kink’s members come in at full price. Of course, getting members in the door is one thing, keeping them around is another.
“If you’re a site with a large library,” Garza advised, “giving users the tools they need to discover content is key to their staying around.”
Garza said offering multiple tiers of membership can also help attract and keep new members.
“Trials, streaming only, upsells to downloads and the like, all help get users in and keep them at a price and feature set they’re comfortable with,” Garza revealed. “Regular updates that both stay in line with market data, and user feedback, will always give them a reason to stick around as well.”
YourPaysitePartner.com founder Kenny B. agrees that attracting new members with hot content is the easy part, and said “keeping them around month after month is what takes a lot of work.”
Kenny B. told XBIZ he noticed a significant boost in retention ever since the site’s producers and models started really engaging with members.
“Whether it be on the site itself, through social media or on various boards,” Kenny B. said, “interacting with customers and listening to their feedback has been working wonders when it comes to retention.”
Rocky Andrews, Lucas Entertainment’s marketing and affiliate relations manager, told XBIZ that “nothing beats strong content and consistency in quality.”
“With the ease of accessing pirated materials, or even just sending a dick pic,” Andrews explained, “you need to make your content really shine for potential customers to see the value of membership.”
Asked how to attract and keep new paysite members, Yannick Ferreri, head of business development for Porndoe Production, told XBIZ there is no secret — just run a solid product offering “healthy updates and consistent quality with available customer service.”
“Our product is in itself ahead of its time, based on our plethora of exclusive content in varying niches; 33 sites with 15 more in production,” Ferreri said. “We are increasing our social presence and using our production power to acquire more and more interest in PornDoe Premium and its products. The iceberg is moving at a crushing, yet steady pace.”
It is clear from these comments that paysites remain a dynamic and viable online adult business model, but one that continues to increase in competitiveness — with consumers benefitting from porn that is worth paying for, from publishers driven to excellence in their quest for new, longer-staying fans.