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Old 03-22-2010, 08:05 AM  
So Fucking Banned
Industry Role:
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: A magical land
Posts: 15,807
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

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 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 and his blog

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…


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.

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

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:

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, has open rates of around 50% and click through rates of 25%. Astonishingly successful.


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.


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 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)

Open source email clients

Last edited by DamianJ; 03-22-2010 at 08:11 AM..
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