Paysite Power: Take a Look at the Text

As website owners we spend a lot of time thinking about page layouts and designs. Sometimes we fixate so much over wanting things to be perfect that we overlook one very crucial design element and neglect to give it the attention it deserves —text.

Text serves a couple important purposes. First, it helps build rapport with customers. When the salespeople, aka “vultures,” swarm and one of them approaches you on a car lot, part of what they’re trying to do is build rapport. Second, text builds comfort. When we walk into a retail store and are greeted by someone we usually tell them we’re just browsing but they know that by saying hello and asking if we need help we’re more likely to feel comfortable seeking them out later —and ultimately buying from them.

The best-selling sites don’t put the burden of closing the sale on content or on text alone. When text and content work together it makes the buying decision easier for a visitor.

Online it’s more difficult to create a feeling of comfort for a customer. Established brands have it easy because they come with a built-in level of familiarity that gives people a feeling of comfort and safety. This is a big part of why companies put so much effort (and money) creating a brand.

Branded or not, one of the best ways a web site can build comfort and rapport is through text.

People gloss over instructions and ignore user manuals all the time but we do read some of the time. Sales copy carries more weight than we give it credit for. Even amidst a whirring blur of visual imagery that’s become our life’s backdrop our brain somehow manages to filter out important bits of information. We somehow manage to identify and read small amounts of text amidst the visual chaos.

Unlike big brands, we’re not showing ads to a captive audience staring at a screen during the Super Bowl. With this being the case, we need to use our website page real estate wisely and be aware of what we’re showing and the message we’re choosing to send. If we do a bad job at this we lose sales.

While this article is about “good text” it also pays to be aware of “bad text.” The following are a few examples of things to avoid:

If your site isn’t updated that often, avoid showing dates on your tour content. Similarly, if you don’t have a lot of content and/or models, don’t show totals on your tour. Focus on your strengths. Never give a visitor a reason to exit because your site appears small. Instead, make them wonder what else lies inside — just past the join page. Try to replace single word generalizations like “Live Shows” or “Interactive” that leave room for a visitor to make assumptions that may be incorrect. Resist the temptation to fill your header and prime page real estate with lots of buzz-words and selling points that might detract from your two-to-three strongest selling points.

The best-selling sites don’t put the burden of closing the sale on content or on text alone. When text and content work together it makes the buying decision easier for a visitor.

The three best ways to use text are to inform a customer, to elicit emotion and/or provoke thought and to reinforce the decision to buy.

Rather than using text to describe to a person what they can already see, use bigger text and utilize space strategically — to speak to the viewer.

When it comes to adult tour sales copywriting, one way I like to go about this is to think about dirty talk. I ask myself “If you were going to whisper dirty things into someone’s ear as they’re looking at this preview, what would you say?” And then I start writing.

Working text into a site’s header and peppering it throughout tour pages is more of an art than a science. There are no rules. When you’re happy with what you’ve done, invite non-industry friends or a person whose opinion you value to look at your site. If they’re honest they’ll tell you if a page is too text heavy, text-light, hard to read, boring, confusing or whatever the feedback might be.

Content descriptions are a great opportunity to help build rapport, increase comfort and sell memberships. The dirty talk method works great here. If you were to talk dirty to someone about an update featuring a guy getting a blowjob it’s highly unlikely that you would say, “Look at Jane sucking Bob’s cock,” which is common on a lot of tours. What you would probably say is something more along the lines of “Look at how hard Bob’s cock is getting. Wow, Jane can barely fit it in her mouth. She’s turning a little red, I bet her pussy is soaking wet right now. Do you want to see her get fucked by that big cock?”

Talking about your content from this perspective engages viewers. If you have live cam shows — great! Talk about them. Remember to keep it brief and follow the three uses of text above — inform, elicit — reinforce. An example of this might look like this on a pay site tour: Live cam shows — 90 minutes every Wednesday. Watch, chat and direct the action — Intimate Q&A, toys and hardcore sex!

The message above informs the visitor of the fact that there are shows, the length of the shows, when the shows take place and what happens during the shows. Mention of Intimate Q&A and direct the action provokes thought and makes the visitor curious about the shows. In a potential customer’s mind he may already thinking of ideas and writing the script he wants to share during the next show. Notice that each phrase is about three to five words in length but provides a lot of information.

Things like limited trials and introductory offers are great things to try if your site is packed with value and offers a level of intimacy a customer is hard pressed to find elsewhere. Text for this might look something like: Want to get to know these models personally? Start chatting with them now! Sign up here for your no-risk trial membership.

Content samples and video trailers are fantastic. The only thing that makes them more effective is when they’re accompanies by text. Lead your customer around your site and/or to your join page with words. Peppering your tour pages with short phrases is like baiting a fish hook. Not every fish will take your bait and not every visitor will read every piece of text but just as baiting more hooks catches more fish, chances are every visitor will come across text that speaks to him and helps him make the decision to sign up.

Here are some examples of how text can be added to any page:

“Want to see more?”

“Inside you?ll learn what he/she really gets off on!”

“Did you know men/women were so into ______? Wait until you see the videos inside!”

“Inside you?ll see all the action that?s too extreme to show on the free area.”

“That toy was just a warm up. Want to see how big a toy he/she can take?”

“Nasty, huh? This is nothing. See him/her _______ inside! Click here for your instant access login.”

Don’t be afraid to work in a little extreme talk as well as humor, clichés, jokes and media references. If you have content with a model smoking a cigar you might make a presidential intern reference. If you have an overly busty model you might make references to live saving floatation devices. Mixing in little bits of personality isn’t a bad thing. Subtle or clever humor can help build comfort.

Let’s not forget join pages. Text can be used in creative ways there too to help close sales and remove obstacles. Simply saying the site is safe and secure and that discreet billing is provided by XYZ billing company is helpful. Letting people know that their statement will reflect a charge from ____ is even more helpful and can go a long way to ease fears if someone is worried about a porn site showing on their bank or credit card statement. A lot of sites show a list of the key features and benefits. Doing this is a must but it’s a good idea to also include a few familiar phrases that offer additional comfort: Cancel anytime. No spam. We never share your information. 100 percent anonymous.

Don’t worry too much about what kinds of things you should say. Play with text until you like the way it reads. Experiment with different text, just be careful not to add too much of it. Remember the key points: three to five words on average, inform, elicit, reinforce. Once you get into a groove you might find that writing effective tour text is a lot easier than it seems and you can really get creative and have fun. With a little bit of practice you’ll become great at this and it will have a positive, noticeable impact on your sales.

AJ Hall is a 12-year adult industry veteran and the co-founder and chief executive officer of Elevated X Inc., a provider of popular adult CMS software for the online adult entertainment industry. Elevated X powers more than 2,000 leading adult sites, has been nominated for industry awards 11 times and won the 2012 XBIZ Award for Software Company of the Year.