educational

Secrets of Adult Lead Generation

As every adult webmaster knows, it’s notoriously difficult to convince first-time website visitors to buy a subscription or product. The severity of the American recession has reduced the likelihood of obtaining impulse buyers.

Adult entertainment companies that want to survive the recession must be smart. Businesses are dropping like flies. Blockbuster Video has been closing stores and trying to avoid bankruptcy. Other companies have been laying off huge numbers of employees.

The result is that consumers are virtually tapped out. They’re being very careful about how they spend their money. That’s why showing the standard free tour and routing consumers straight to a credit card processing form won’t work anymore. It’s now more important to focus on generating leads.

Five elements are required for a successful lead generation campaign: an enticing incentive; a clear, exciting landing page; CAN-SPAM compliant email messages; a well-organized ad campaign; and a series of personalized autoresponders.

Not every lead generation campaign uses incentives, or rewards. But it’s far easier to obtain a consumer’s information by offering a freebie. Free trials are the most common form of incentive. For example, anyone can sign up for a free one-month trial of Netflix, the online video rental service.

Adult webmasters have quite a few options as to what type of incentive to promote. Owners of subscriber sites can offer a one- or two-day trial subscription. However, this subscription would necessitate the use of an adult-verification system, which requires consumers to enter a credit card number on an online form even if they’re not being charged. AVS services prevent minors from viewing sexually explicit content such as adult videos and photos.

There’s a better option, and it doesn’t involve asking for a credit card number. Offer free access to an online collection of sex stories. Site visitors should be able to view the stories after filling out a form on the webmaster’s landing page and clicking a link sent via email. Of course, the requisite adult content warning should be displayed on the landing page, along with links to the necessary 2257 compliance notice, terms of use document, and privacy policy.

The landing page is the heart of every lead generation campaign. This page must be easy to understand, informative, and visually exciting. It must describe three main things:

• The incentive, or free product, being offered;

• The benefit of getting the product; and,

• How to sign up for the product.

Before designing the page, write the ad copy. Start by creating a benefit-oriented headline. It could read, “Learn what the sexiest women want.” That would entice just about any man.

Next, create a call to action. It could read, “Get free, reallife sex stories instantly.” The call to action must expand on the headline and describe the product.

Now, highlight the main features of the product. Write, “Learn what drove five hot women wild …” Then create a bullet-pointed list describing what drove them wild. Afterwards, repeat the call to action, varying the text to explain that users can access the sex stories after filling out the form on the landing page.

After designing many landing pages, I’ve found that it’s best to keep all text and graphics above the fold. This means that site visitors won’t have to scroll down to view the most important elements.

Position the ad copy on the left side of the page and the web form on the right side. Keep the form simple. Ask only for the user’s name, email address, and age. Below these form fields should be a colorful button for submitting the information. The footer at the bottom of the page should contain links to your legal disclaimers.

The graphics should be simple and uncluttered. Use a seductive photo and a memorable logo. Include more information about your web site with a tabbed box.

Thanks to JavaScript Tabifier (www.barelyfitz .com /projects/tabber), an easy-toimplement script, webmasters can build tabbed interfaces quickly. Site visitors can then click a tab to swap out content on the landing page. Virtually no extra loading time is required. This makes it possible to supply answers to frequently asked questions, as well as additional promotional information.

Visitors who submit the landing page form should be shown a confirmation page with a thank you note and instructions for making sure they receive your email. The spam filters used by Internet service providers can easily prevent your message from reaching a subscriber’s inbox. So, tell subscribers to whitelist, or approve, your company’s email address. Most of the time, the easiest way for them to do so is to add your email address to the address book in their email software.

Some email software requires a bit more effort for white-listing. That’s a problem. CleanMyMailbox.com offers a solution: a free tool (www.cleanmymailbox.com/whitelist.html) that automatically generates a white-listing instructional guide for your new email subscribers.

In 2003, Congress passed the CAN-SPAM Act, a law governing commercial email messages. It requires businesses to follow a set of guidelines when sending email containing commercial information.

To remain in compliance with this law, webmasters must supply an unsubscribe link in the body of the email, as well as their full postal address. Also, the “From” and “To” line of the message shouldn’t be misleading, and the subject line should identify the email as an ad.

Adult webmasters must take additional precautions. The CAN-SPAM Act has an extra set of rules for adult content. According to the FTC, the words, “SEXUALLY EXPLICIT,” must be used at the beginning of the email subject line.

In addition, the body of the first email that adult webmasters send to a recipient must not contain graphics or sexually explicit content. This is known as the “brown paper wrapper.” The FTC says, “This requirement does not apply if the person receiving the message has already given affirmative consent to receive the sender’s sexually oriented messages.” In other words, adult webmasters should use the double opt-in process to confirm that email recipients did indeed request messages from your company.

Few forms of advertising are more powerful than payper-click ad campaigns. They can be used to drive highly targeted traffic to landing pages.

Many web users who click PPC ads are genuinely interested in what’s being advertised. In fact, these consumers find the ads by conducting related keyword searches through the major search engines. However, a PPC campaign will only be effective if it’s well-organized.

In Google’s PPC network, AdWords, ad groups are the key organizational tool. They can be used to group lists of related keywords together. Webmasters should write a separate text ad for each ad group, incorporating keywords from the group into the headline and body copy.

It’s a good idea to create a separate landing page for each ad group. That way, each version of the landing page can contain keywords from a related ad group and text ad. Organizing a PPC campaign this way will make the landing pages more relevant to consumers, who are then more likely to opt-in to the offer being featured. Google also lowers the cost per click for such relevant pages.

Once site visitors have submitted the web form on your landing page, followed the double opt-in process, and obtained the incentive, or freebie, they’ll be receptive to sales messages. After all, each visitor will have been given a sample of what your full Web site can offer.

Sales messages can be incorporated into autresponders, which are follow-up emails that are sent out automatically and at prescheduled intervals. Software such as Interspire Email Marketer (www.interspire.com/emailmarketer) contains autoresponder functionality and supports the use of custom fields for personalized messages. Such messages can address the recipient by name, making it sound as if they’re personal letters. This can improve the receptivity of consumers to sales pitches.

Advertising is all about repeat exposure. The more a person sees an ad, the more likely he will be to act on it. So, autoresponders are used for this reason and are an integral part of successful lead generation campaigns.

Adult webmasters can profit in any economy by consistently generating new leads. It’s better to capture a site visitor’s information than to scare that person away with a price tag and a buy button.

So, create an incentive, build a landing page, write some catchy ads, launch a payper- click campaign, and follow up with your new subscribers. There’s money to be made, and lead generation is the way to make it.

Glenn Bossik is an Internet marketing consultant specializing in lead generation. He has worked for film director Alan J. Pakula and The Useful, a top affiliate network.

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