Buoyancy Digital - Digital Media Buyer

Relationships Matter - Even in the Adult Industry

Let’s face it, the adult internet game has always been rife with competition. Everyone is trying to get their slice of the porn industry pie. When competition is fierce and the amount of porn available online is so staggering, it is almost serendipitous when someone lands on your porn site, especially if you aren’t actively advertising.

As a site operator, it can be difficult to compete in the adult content landscape, but there are ways to do so. One is niche - the narrower the niche your content covers, the better your chances of competing are.

Relationship is another way that you can set yourself apart from the competition. Relationship has been a difference maker in sales since the beginning, when the first cave man was selling his buddy a new club.

What do I mean by relationship as it relates to your sites? Simple. Any interaction between two human beings results in a relationship. In our case, your websites act as an agent for you in the interaction with the other party. The better the interaction, the better the relationship developed.

I learned the impact of relationship first hand as one of the founders of Adult Revenue Service, more commonly known as ARS. In the early days of the internet, it was difficult to find places that were selling website traffic. And we needed website traffic to sell porn site memberships.

There came a time when I had exhausted all the available inventory and had to look elsewhere to further our growth. It was in the affiliate market that we focused our efforts with the creation of Adult Revenue Service.

There were other affiliate programs operating and they all had a policy of not communicating with the affiliates that were referring customers. With Mancash, and ARS, I took the opposite approach. I embraced communicating with affiliates. I made the phone number, email address and ICQ contacts available. And I personally answered affiliate requests for a long time.

During a time when contacting an adult affiliate program operator was nearly impossible, having the ability to pick up the phone and speak to another human being on the other side was a huge deal to affiliates. This resulted in many, many relationships developed that created not just loyalty, but a word-of-mouth growth machine that brought us new affiliates by the hundreds.

Once we learned the lesson of relationship, we doubled down on our efforts. We introduced weekly payouts one week after the end of the payment period, in many different formats. We introduced the first rewards program, designed to improve our relationships with affiliates and earn their loyalty.

We designed the only program of its kind called Experts in the Field. This program recruited experts in a certain niche that were available to any affiliate to help them learn how to sell in that respective niche.

All of these were driven by our desire to build profitable, trusting relationships with our affiliates, who kept us supplied with customers, so much so we didn’t have to spend much on advertising our porn sites directly. We set the bar for all other programs to try to reach in order to attract affiliates and our numbers proved it. We were paying out over $1M a month in affiliate commissions in late 1999.

This is how relationship makes a difference and helps you compete in a highly competitive market. If you want to build relationships as a strategy to compete in your market, you need to first solve for your customers happiness - by giving them what they want. In the case of porn sites, that usually comes in some format of valuable content.

You can infer what your customer wants by narrowing down in terms of niche offering. You can infer what they want by how they got to your website. But the best way to know what your potential customers want is to ask them.

“Ask what people want, then give it to them.”
- Ask. by Ryan Levesque

If providing value through content is the engine that drives your sales funnel, it’s user intelligence that helps you create the valuable content they want. The user journey is where you collect this intelligence. Each piece is integral to growing your relationships, which will in turn grow your business.

What are you doing to grow profitable relationships with your visitors, leads, and customers?

If you’re interested in leveraging relationships to amplify your adult business, talk to me and my team. Let’s make the relationship better.


Becky is COO and head of Marketing Technology at Buoyancy Digital, the premier digital advertising team for age restricted industries, including adult entertainment. For more information, contact her via email at becky@bdllc.org , on XBiz.net or at BuoyancyDigital.com

You May Also Like to Read