trends

Selling Phone Sex

Kath Blackwell
Knowing your target audience — what they want, when they want it and how they want to get it — is all part of marketing and selling successfully on the web. Some of your visitors will prefer traditional membership programs with unlimited access to photos, videos and such; but there are others who scour the Internet day after day looking for something unique and different.

Phone sex programs aren't exactly "new," but in a world where Internet-based adult content is king there is a growing interest in "outside the box" opportunities that include alternative content delivered via alternative means.

Like everything else in this fast-moving, technology-enhanced world we live in, the phone sex business model has evolved. This isn't the same "phone sex" you might think of from those tacky "976" commercials that dominated late-night television a few years back — the ones with the outrageous fees and tons of chargebacks. Today's most popular phone sex companies market online, in print magazines and yes, even on television, to reach their target demographic. As an adult webmaster, you should definitely be taking advantage of their online affiliate programs.

What's changed?
With new technologies come new opportunities; the "Information Age" has brought with it new types of phone "sex" beyond the "talk dirty to me" model of the past. While regular sex talk is still a hot commodity, sex advice, tips — even counseling — is now available via various telephone services. Imagine, your own Dr. Ruth available at your fingertips to call 24/7!

Beyond information and sexy chat, there are now adults-only dating services available via phone lines, recorded erotic fantasies — and some programs even offer unique "eavesdropping" experiences. Think of it as "voyeur" sex for audio. New programs and opportunities are becoming available every day — and as a webmaster, you should definitely be taking advantage of this growing market and offer telephone sex affiliate programs as an option on your site.

What's stayed the same?
One of the biggest selling points behind the continued success of the phone sex industry is the personal connection opportunity that the customer has with the phone sex operator. It is not unlike the success that we see within the amateur markets — that one-on-one communication with a "real human being" that most of us crave.

Sure there are videos, one-on-one video chat and other content options that have become possible due to the power of the Internet, but sometimes "old school" is a good thing. Just because technology keeps moving forward does not mean that some of your customer base won't be interested in pre-Internet adult programs and resources. The world of audio sex is a large niche that should not be overlooked.

Making money with phone programs
So how hard is it to get involved in marketing phone/audio sex programs? It's pretty much just as easy as it is to market any other type of program. How much will you get paid? Most phone programs — such as AlwaysPhoneSex.com, one of the programs we investigated for the purpose of this article — currently pay a percentage of sales, similar to product/toy/video sales programs. 20 to 25 percent is the average payout with most affiliate programs, and webmaster referrals range from five to 10 percent.

Other programs offer payouts "per caller" that you send to their program, or a revenue sharing deal that pays you "per minute" spent by callers that call in via your special affiliate code number. Some offer both non-sex versions as well, such as psychic hotlines and/or horoscope type programs.

Charges to your customers vary depending upon the type(s) of services they choose. A menu of options is given to users who call in through your access number or account, and you get paid based upon whether they choose to talk with a phone sex operator, join a group chat, take part in phone-based dating or listen to an erotic story or niche-based sex fantasy. Stories run under a dollar each and most one-on-one calls are under two dollars a minute. Again an improvement over the high-charge horror stories of the past. Today's phone sex services offer up-front pricing at more reasonable rates.

By adding a new service program to your offerings, you provide something "different" from the typical Internet-based experience, as well as offer your visitors more options. The more quality diverse programs you make available, you will ultimately improve consumer feelings towards your site overall. Good feelings equal increase sales, generate higher conversions and more repeat sales over time.

Marketing phone sex services to your existing traffic
Getting started is easy — just sign-up, grab your codes and promotional tools and you can be selling phone sex opportunities to your site's visitors in no time. Most web-based phone sex affiliates have modeled their programs after more "traditional" membership site affiliate services. Some phone sex companies offer webmasters an individual toll-free number for their traffic to utilize so they will get credit for each "sale." Other services offer more traditional web-based options such as banners, full page advertising, approved text and pop-up ads.

Because phone sex covers a wide variety of niches and fantasies, you can use it on just about every type of site. According to statistics posted on PhoneSexPartnership.com, "60 percent of adult men use (or have considered) a phone sex service on a regular basis," and they claim that 1:10 visitors to their site utilize their phone sex services.

Options are also made available to site owners who want to take calls themselves — such as cam girls, solo/amateur site operators, etc., to earn even more money by going through their system. Even if you don't run your own site or have a cam girl or other performer available to work for you, some programs let you promote specific performers; offering photos and bio information to help personalize the experience.

Users can choose from blondes, brunettes and redheads; American, German or Filipino girls; fetish, straight or gay — and some sites even offer more niche-specific options. After just a little research you will find that there are lots of ways to benefit from the renewed growth in the phone sex market as it expands even further through exposure on the Internet.

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