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Old 03-22-2010, 08:05 AM   #1
DamianJ
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GFY Educational Series: Email 101

Hello. My name is Damian. Some of you may know remember me from shows as "That rubbery faced British bloke that does magic at Internext". I have worked in online marketing since 1998 and been focussing on adult since 2004. I offer creative marketing services for many adult sites, run affiliate programmes and consult on opt in permission-based email marketing. In short, any part of marketing from corporate branding to clever ideas for banners. I worked for Playboy UK and Epoch before setting up on my own. I now consult solely with companies that I like and want to work with, like NSCash, and I help them make more money. Oh and I also do a vaguely amusing rip off of diggnation at www.pornbeer.com.

In this post I shall be showing you how to use email to engage, acquire, retain and especially win back customers. Let's start with a precis of a blog post I wrote over at http://www.adultmarketing.co.uk about permission marketing. If you want to read more about the idea of permission marketing, check out Seth Godin's book (4 chapters free here http://www.sethgodin.com/permission/) and his blog http://sethgodin.typepad.com/.

There's no point running into a singles bar and running up to every girl in there, one at a time and shouting in their face CAN I FUCK YOU? Really, I've tried. The best you are likely to get is a slap. However, this ballsy approach is what you're doing with your current advertising. Just interrupting people and saying BUY MY PORN. Banners, print ads, sponsorships at shows. All are just shouting CAN I FUCK YOU. I suggest, politely, this may not be the best approach.

If you go to the singles bar and see a girl you like, smile and walk over and ask if you can buy her a drink, you might get her attention. You chat for a while. You ask for her number. She likes the look of you so you get the number. Then, after the obligatory 3 days you call. You arrange a date. It's dinner. It's great. She laughs at your jokes, she seems interested. You do NOT try and fuck her. You are trying to get her to trust you. You can get laid any night of the week, but this is special. You would like to get to know her better. To build up relationship that might last more than 24 hours. You have another date, and another, THEN you try and have sex. Oddly enough, the odds are MUCH more likely you will get some sweet loving' now. She knows some stuff about you. She thinks you're funny. She trusts you. And she puts out. And puts out again, and again, and again. She likes you!

Thanks for the sex tips, Damian. But how does this help me do email, I hear you cry? Simple. It's just the same. Ask permission to email people, and then email them what you said you would. Don't spam them. Just send them a newsletter…

Acquire

The cheapest way to acquire new members is to use email newsletters. Put a harvesting box on every page you can. I would have them on every page on a site. Put them on 404 pages. The works. Make it a very simple call to action that gives the surfer a clear benefit.

"Sign up for our free weekly email with free hot pics and videos. We promise we'll never, ever rent, sell or giveaway your email address to anyone. Ever. We value your privacy."

Then, once a week, send them a newsletter with one gallery and one 30 second video clip. Just the promo content you would give to an affiliate. No extra work needed from you. Also, obviously, put in adverts and sales messages.

IMPORTANT - make sure the copy in the email is free of commonly blocked words. i.e.

CHANGE THIS:
Watch this teen sluts show their shaved cunts and get covered in hot spunk

TO THIS:
See this naughty girl show you her lady parts and get drenched in manmilk.

I am trying to change the obviously 'blocked' words to similes or euphemisms in order to get the email past the filters. Don't just put the text as a graphic. In order to get delivered to the inbox you need to have a mixture of text and graphics in your email. For more on email deliverability read this: http://www.email-marketing-reports.c...troduction.htm

After you run this campaign for a couple of years you will see something interesting happen. Sales of up to 1:200 from the newsletters. You have turned strangers into friends and friends into customers. You are not shouting CAN I FUCK YOU. You are letting people get to know and trust you. And oddly enough, when you do that, they are much more likely to buy from you.

Good open and click rates for general consumer email is 20% open, 0.5%-1% click. One of my clients, 3wayscash.com has open rates of around 50% and click through rates of 25%. Astonishingly successful.

Retain

When I worked at Playboy UK I set up their email programme. We started a retention idea I had. Basically, the site was updated frequently but when people cancelled the reason they gave was not enough updates.

So, I decided to email the members the weekly updates. People thought I was crazy. They said that I was reminding people they were paying for a porn site and this was suicide. They said much better to hope people forget it rebills and get more cash out of them. I initially planned to do it for the TV customers and the online. The TV were adamant I couldn't mail their customers. So, I just mailed the web customers.

⁃ The retention went up around 18%
⁃ It stayed there
⁃ The open rate on the email was very high

2 months later the TV department came to me with their tails between their legs asked if I could please email their members as well as mine.

Obviously, your mileage may vary. But, the best bit about email is you can test and measure. If you - like the TV boss - think this won't work - just take 10% of your members and mail them the updates. See the difference. Then decide if you want to roll it out to everyone.

Winback

This is the thing you have no excuse not to do. You have a list of people with credit cards, who bought porn from you. Why the HELL aren't you mailing them asking them to come back? They have credit cards. They like your content. As a minimum, send them a mail saying "We miss you, please come back. We added all this new hot content, you'll love it".

I do a very detailed plan for this with a "logic tree" that governs the mails they get. Pleads, price offers, etc. You can start off very simply. Send them a mail. If they do NOT open it, send it again in a week with a different subject line. If they open it, but do NOT click, in a week send them a different creative. Job done.

I would send only one email per person per week.

At Playboy UK I got between 8-11% of cancelled customers to come back using this method.

It really is this simple. Be nice to your potential customers. Send them free porn. When they cancel, ask them nicely to come back.

I'd love to hear how you get on. Please email damian AT adultmarketing.co.uk with any questions or comments. I love feedback.

If anyone wants to discuss this, or any of the other creative marketing services I offer, I will be the British dude at Phoenix doing magic tricks at the bar. Come say hi.



Recommended reading:

CAN-SPAM - where you stand legally (US only)
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/busi...rce/bus61.shtm

Open source email clients
http://dadamailproject.com/
http://phplist.com
http://infinite.ibasics.biz/

Last edited by DamianJ; 03-22-2010 at 08:11 AM..
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:10 AM   #2
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Intressting, tnx m8te !
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:10 AM   #3
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This is a really good piece. We have been doing an email newsletter for the past year and a half and it has helped us bring back a bunch of customers.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:13 AM   #4
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This is a really good piece. We have been doing an email newsletter for the past year and a half and it has helped us bring back a bunch of customers.
Thanks very much.

Here's another ridiculous tip. Want to increase your click through on your existing newsletter? Of course you do. Add "Click for more" as a corner flash overlay on your thumbs. I did that once and it DOUBLED my CTR over night. True story.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:15 AM   #5
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Great post DamianJ, thanks!

I use social networks like a mailer..

Social networks allow people to connect with you, that want to hear from you. The Social Network does the contacting/connecting for you, no spam filters or complaints. And you can move people around too, so if you lose them in email, you have them on twitter and can maybe move them to a different list later.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:15 AM   #6
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Excellent post re email marketing DamianJ!

Last edited by clicker; 03-22-2010 at 08:17 AM..
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:23 AM   #7
DamianJ
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Great post DamianJ, thanks!

I use social networks like a mailer..

Social networks allow people to connect with you, that want to hear from you. The Social Network does the contacting/connecting for you, no spam filters or complaints. And you can move people around too, so if you lose them in email, you have them on twitter and can maybe move them to a different list later.
Very good point. I added the facebook/twitter etc buttons to the mailers a while ago, but it is the best addition to that permission approach. Quite right. Also, I like the idea of losing them on one medium, but still having access via another. Nice add.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:24 AM   #8
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:26 AM   #9
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Damian, thanks so much for this delightful and informative Email Marketing thread. Much needed addition ot our GFY Educational Series!
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:29 AM   #10
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Great post. Thanks for the info.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:33 AM   #11
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Very nice read.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:38 AM   #12
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Thanks for the info.
I just bought www.thanksfortheinfos.info

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Old 03-22-2010, 08:42 AM   #13
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This is a fantastic article! We have looked into setting this up and either consulted the wrong people or have run into some road blocks along the way that we couldnt solve. If you would/could hit me up on ICQ and spend about 5 minutes playing 20 questions I would truly appreciate it.

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Old 03-22-2010, 08:43 AM   #14
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Good read DamianJ, thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:49 AM   #15
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interesting
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:49 AM   #16
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This is a fantastic article! We have looked into setting this up and either consulted the wrong people or have run into some road blocks along the way that we couldnt solve. If you would/could hit me up on ICQ and spend about 5 minutes playing 20 questions I would truly appreciate it.

ICQ - 84541273
Hitting you up now
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:54 AM   #17
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Good read DamianJ, thanks for sharing.
Glad you liked it man, thanks.
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:10 AM   #18
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Nice nice very nice
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:18 AM   #19
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do you know this guy ?

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Old 03-22-2010, 09:24 AM   #20
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See you in Phoenix!!!
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:28 AM   #21
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do you know this guy ?

What a stud! I hope he is at Phoenix so he can turn me gay.
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:29 AM   #22
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See you in Phoenix!!!
Lol, you bet mate!

Looking forward to seeing ya!
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:18 AM   #23
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To add to your Winback paragraph...

First... almost the entire industry does subscriptions wrong...

You should offer free subscriptions at no cost, no CC required. You want to cap as much information as possible for offer emails in the future. You need to track your lead to conversion times. Everyone's are different but you should be scheduling "Offer Emails" to subscribers after the point where your conversion rates drop...

For example, you may find that after 30 days the likelihood that a user will sign up drops from 25% to 1%... On the 30th day you should be sending a special offer to that user. You are going to lose them if you don't do anything so why not a "free 5 day pass, risk free blah blah" or a "Special 50% off the first month"... etc...

Sell your free signup with some extra sample content, maybe a little FHG index for them with limited content...

You have to imagine your traffic like a funnel, most of you probably do this already but may not realize this one simple fact. Opening up the mouth of the funnel will open up a wealth of revenue. It's all about percentages of success and with a much larger mouth you have a LOT more to play with. Right now I see most people pissing away all traffic that doesn't immediately convert... WRONG!
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:21 AM   #24
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To add to your Winback paragraph...

First... almost the entire industry does subscriptions wrong...

You should offer free subscriptions at no cost, no CC required. You want to cap as much information as possible for offer emails in the future. You need to track your lead to conversion times. Everyone's are different but you should be scheduling "Offer Emails" to subscribers after the point where your conversion rates drop...

For example, you may find that after 30 days the likelihood that a user will sign up drops from 25% to 1%... On the 30th day you should be sending a special offer to that user. You are going to lose them if you don't do anything so why not a "free 5 day pass, risk free blah blah" or a "Special 50% off the first month"... etc...

Sell your free signup with some extra sample content, maybe a little FHG index for them with limited content...

You have to imagine your traffic like a funnel, most of you probably do this already but may not realize this one simple fact. Opening up the mouth of the funnel will open up a wealth of revenue. It's all about percentages of success and with a much larger mouth you have a LOT more to play with. Right now I see most people pissing away all traffic that doesn't immediately convert... WRONG!
Great addition. Nice points! It's a tad more advanced than I wanted to go with the first post, but everything you said is spot on right!

Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:46 AM   #25
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Great addition. Nice points! It's a tad more advanced than I wanted to go with the first post, but everything you said is spot on right!

Thanks!
Anytime, I like contributing to valuable posts ;)

The amount of money the adult industry leaves on the table is absolutely ridiculous and it is the main factor that drew me to this industry. I could probably work with just about any program and show a 30% - 50% growth in revenue in less than six months...

Between registration / conversion funneling, email campaigns, customer retention, and reworking signup pages alone you could see, possibly, even greater than a 50% lift... depends on the current state of things...

The best advice I can offer to this industry, as it stands right now, is to pay attention to main stream sites... not just what they're offering and doing but look, specifically, at other subscription based models. Check their email frequency, the content of their emails. Setup multiple accounts and keep some active and some not... see what the differences are. Look at registration pages, look at subscription and billing pages.

I'm fortunate enough to work with nine figure monthly marketing budgets and marketing teams that understand the value of stats and statistical user tracking. Running eight and nine figure A/B tests provide very accurate results and reveal some very interesting information... The bottom line is, if you aren't tracking what you're talking about, it's all just a guess. It may be an educated guess but it's still a guess.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:46 AM   #26
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do you know this guy ?

you can tell he's a Brit by the teeth

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Old 03-22-2010, 10:48 AM   #27
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good guide

/stickied
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:00 AM   #28
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Id love to have a chat with you on icq if you are into helping someone who has a 50k user db and not even a clue on how to email them.

Would it be possible for you to contact me?
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:05 AM   #29
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Id love to have a chat with you on icq if you are into helping someone who has a 50k user db and not even a clue on how to email them.

Would it be possible for you to contact me?
You bet.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:25 AM   #30
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Nice read. Will read it again a couple times I think.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:30 AM   #31
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DamianJis a star and a very helpful star at that!
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:35 AM   #32
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Id love to have a chat with you on icq if you are into helping someone who has a 50k user db and not even a clue on how to email them.

Would it be possible for you to contact me?
How would you like me to contact you?

My ICQ is 142246474
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:36 AM   #33
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Nice read. Will read it again a couple times I think.
It works for business to business as well as consumers. We can chat about it in Phoenix. Look forward to seeing ya.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:38 AM   #34
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Some good information, thanks.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:38 AM   #35
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DamianJ is a star and a very helpful star at that!
Thanks, very kind of you to say.
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:32 PM   #36
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is it really a good idea to send emails from your own servers ? isn't it a risk of being reported as spam by a sensitive customer? what about third party emailing services (eg Mad Mimi) ?
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:57 PM   #37
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is it really a good idea to send emails from your own servers ?
Well I wouldn't recommend stealing someone else's

Get some clean IPs and try.

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isn't it a risk of being reported as spam by a sensitive customer?
Not sure I understand? Are you asking if you email an existing customer your update you risk them reporting you for spamming? I would say that risk is low. Always have working unsub links etc.

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what about third party emailing services (eg Mad Mimi) ?
3rd party solutions for adult are far and few between. I have no experience with Mad Mimi, but the ToS says you cannot send obscene content. So I would assume they would put porn in with that. Worth contacting them and asking though. Most decent mainstream solutions are brilliant, but they won't do porn. If you can convince someone then go for it, should give you better deliverability from the get go.
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:30 PM   #38
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Thanks for a quick reply and great article! i noticed that campaigner.com has in their ToS that they don't accept any content or references to ch... porn or teens. I hope that other than that they will be ok with legal xxx content.
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:32 PM   #39
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Excellent post. I've had great conversions from my newsletter over time, but there are definitely a few new ideas in this thread I can look at Thank you Damian!
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:34 PM   #40
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Great read. Thank you.
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:46 PM   #41
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Thank you Damian, great post
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:27 PM   #42
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nice read
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:59 PM   #43
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Aces bro! a bump for business!
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:48 AM   #44
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Thanks for all the great feedback! I will be at Phoenix if anyone wants to chat face to face about any of this.
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:59 AM   #45
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What software do you recommend for mailing? With an automated unsubscribe link and everything...
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:23 AM   #46
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What software do you recommend for mailing? With an automated unsubscribe link and everything...
Hi Andrej, there are links to three in the piece. I use PHPlist at the moment.
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:14 AM   #47
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Hello. My name is Damian. Some of you may know remember me from shows as "That rubbery faced British bloke that does magic at Internext". I have worked in online marketing since 1998 and been focussing on adult since 2004. I offer creative marketing services for many adult sites, run affiliate programmes and consult on opt in permission-based email marketing. In short, any part of marketing from corporate branding to clever ideas for banners. I worked for Playboy UK and Epoch before setting up on my own. I now consult solely with companies that I like and want to work with, like NSCash, and I help them make more money. Oh and I also do a vaguely amusing rip off of diggnation at www.pornbeer.com.

In this post I shall be showing you how to use email to engage, acquire, retain and especially win back customers. Let's start with a precis of a blog post I wrote over at http://www.adultmarketing.co.uk about permission marketing. If you want to read more about the idea of permission marketing, check out Seth Godin's book (4 chapters free here http://www.sethgodin.com/permission/) and his blog http://sethgodin.typepad.com/.

There's no point running into a singles bar and running up to every girl in there, one at a time and shouting in their face CAN I FUCK YOU? Really, I've tried. The best you are likely to get is a slap. However, this ballsy approach is what you're doing with your current advertising. Just interrupting people and saying BUY MY PORN. Banners, print ads, sponsorships at shows. All are just shouting CAN I FUCK YOU. I suggest, politely, this may not be the best approach.

If you go to the singles bar and see a girl you like, smile and walk over and ask if you can buy her a drink, you might get her attention. You chat for a while. You ask for her number. She likes the look of you so you get the number. Then, after the obligatory 3 days you call. You arrange a date. It's dinner. It's great. She laughs at your jokes, she seems interested. You do NOT try and fuck her. You are trying to get her to trust you. You can get laid any night of the week, but this is special. You would like to get to know her better. To build up relationship that might last more than 24 hours. You have another date, and another, THEN you try and have sex. Oddly enough, the odds are MUCH more likely you will get some sweet loving' now. She knows some stuff about you. She thinks you're funny. She trusts you. And she puts out. And puts out again, and again, and again. She likes you!

Thanks for the sex tips, Damian. But how does this help me do email, I hear you cry? Simple. It's just the same. Ask permission to email people, and then email them what you said you would. Don't spam them. Just send them a newsletter…

Acquire

The cheapest way to acquire new members is to use email newsletters. Put a harvesting box on every page you can. I would have them on every page on a site. Put them on 404 pages. The works. Make it a very simple call to action that gives the surfer a clear benefit.

"Sign up for our free weekly email with free hot pics and videos. We promise we'll never, ever rent, sell or giveaway your email address to anyone. Ever. We value your privacy."

Then, once a week, send them a newsletter with one gallery and one 30 second video clip. Just the promo content you would give to an affiliate. No extra work needed from you. Also, obviously, put in adverts and sales messages.

IMPORTANT - make sure the copy in the email is free of commonly blocked words. i.e.

CHANGE THIS:
Watch this teen sluts show their shaved cunts and get covered in hot spunk

TO THIS:
See this naughty girl show you her lady parts and get drenched in manmilk.

I am trying to change the obviously 'blocked' words to similes or euphemisms in order to get the email past the filters. Don't just put the text as a graphic. In order to get delivered to the inbox you need to have a mixture of text and graphics in your email. For more on email deliverability read this: http://www.email-marketing-reports.c...troduction.htm

After you run this campaign for a couple of years you will see something interesting happen. Sales of up to 1:200 from the newsletters. You have turned strangers into friends and friends into customers. You are not shouting CAN I FUCK YOU. You are letting people get to know and trust you. And oddly enough, when you do that, they are much more likely to buy from you.

Good open and click rates for general consumer email is 20% open, 0.5%-1% click. One of my clients, 3wayscash.com has open rates of around 50% and click through rates of 25%. Astonishingly successful.

Retain

When I worked at Playboy UK I set up their email programme. We started a retention idea I had. Basically, the site was updated frequently but when people cancelled the reason they gave was not enough updates.

So, I decided to email the members the weekly updates. People thought I was crazy. They said that I was reminding people they were paying for a porn site and this was suicide. They said much better to hope people forget it rebills and get more cash out of them. I initially planned to do it for the TV customers and the online. The TV were adamant I couldn't mail their customers. So, I just mailed the web customers.

⁃ The retention went up around 18%
⁃ It stayed there
⁃ The open rate on the email was very high

2 months later the TV department came to me with their tails between their legs asked if I could please email their members as well as mine.

Obviously, your mileage may vary. But, the best bit about email is you can test and measure. If you - like the TV boss - think this won't work - just take 10% of your members and mail them the updates. See the difference. Then decide if you want to roll it out to everyone.

Winback

This is the thing you have no excuse not to do. You have a list of people with credit cards, who bought porn from you. Why the HELL aren't you mailing them asking them to come back? They have credit cards. They like your content. As a minimum, send them a mail saying "We miss you, please come back. We added all this new hot content, you'll love it".

I do a very detailed plan for this with a "logic tree" that governs the mails they get. Pleads, price offers, etc. You can start off very simply. Send them a mail. If they do NOT open it, send it again in a week with a different subject line. If they open it, but do NOT click, in a week send them a different creative. Job done.

I would send only one email per person per week.

At Playboy UK I got between 8-11% of cancelled customers to come back using this method.

It really is this simple. Be nice to your potential customers. Send them free porn. When they cancel, ask them nicely to come back.

I'd love to hear how you get on. Please email damian AT adultmarketing.co.uk with any questions or comments. I love feedback.

If anyone wants to discuss this, or any of the other creative marketing services I offer, I will be the British dude at Phoenix doing magic tricks at the bar. Come say hi.



Recommended reading:

CAN-SPAM - where you stand legally (US only)
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/busi...rce/bus61.shtm

Open source email clients
http://dadamailproject.com/
http://phplist.com
http://infinite.ibasics.biz/

btw if your tracking open rates and click thru rates accurate then you are missing a world class oppertunity

resend your body message with a different title to all the people who did not open the first message.

remember those people will not consider it spam because they have not SEEN your first message.

you can usually squeeze your open rate X unopen rate out of your list.

this is also a great way to test your alternative lines to the same message and if the open rate is better the second time around you can simple start making that your primary mailing.
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:24 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by gideongallery View Post
btw if your tracking open rates and click thru rates accurate then you are missing a world class oppertunity

resend your body message with a different title to all the people who did not open the first message.

remember those people will not consider it spam because they have not SEEN your first message.

you can usually squeeze your open rate X unopen rate out of your list.

this is also a great way to test your alternative lines to the same message and if the open rate is better the second time around you can simple start making that your primary mailing.
Yep, that is what I tried to explain at the end of my article! Maybe I wasn't clear so thanks for breaking it down.

I wouldn't recommend using that method to test your mailing subject lines though. Deliverability issues. If you got x non opens for your first mailing, a % of that will be delivery errors. If you then mail those non opens your alternate subject line, you will be resending to probably failures. This will firstly look bad from the ISPs and secondly totally skew your test results. Obviously if someone didn't open it because they don't like the Display Name, sending again with same display name will not lead to an open. And will mean your test is flawed.

I would do a proper split A/B test with 10% of your database. Whichever is the winning subject you can then send to the remainder of your list.

Then you can start testing display names. And then you can get onto testing the content!
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:56 AM   #49
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You bet.
Thanks.

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How would you like me to contact you?

My ICQ is 142246474
Doing that right now!

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Hi Andrej, there are links to three in the piece. I use PHPlist at the moment.
Checking out phplist!
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:36 AM   #50
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very informative! thanks!
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