In every business, the cost of maintaining an existing customer is lower than the cost of acquiring a new customer. In fact, it’s 1/5th of the cost of finding a new customer, and increasing customer retention by 5% can increase revenue by 25-95%. I know that’s alot of math to start with, but just so you know how serious customer retention is and how serious these numbers are allow me to share my source: The Value Of Keeping The Right Customers . That’s right it’s directly from the Harvard Business Review and this article quite possibly could solve many of your camgirl problems. Just like most mainstream businesses you’re income will mainly consist of regular customers who rely on your consistency and ability to keep them coming back for more. Camming isn’t that different, whether you perform live on camsites like Streamate, MFC or live on Skype, having a large group of repeat clients is essential to success.
When business is brisk, it’s easy to get used to cruising along by simply responding to and serving the clients that come to you, but the extra time you spend on tending to your garden of regulars during the good times will pay off in the slow times. I didn’t make that plant-based reference lightly–maintaining client relationships really is a lot like caring for a living thing. Some clients are like air plants–mist them with water once in awhile and they’ll be just fine–while others are delicate orchids, requiring expert care and attention out of all proportion to the beauty of their bloom. Before I stretch these similes too far, let’s get to 3 steps to maintain contact with regular clients to increase their spending on you, and to reduce the impact of the slow season.
Step 1: Open up the lines of communication
If you’re doing shows on Skype, this is simple–once you’ve done a show with someone, you have their Skype ID and can easily contact them at any time that way. Live streaming sites sometimes make direct one-on-one contact with your clients outside of your chat room slightly difficult, but I found a simple way around this when I worked on Streamate, which I’ll outline here. I used this method both before and after the “group message” feature debuted, which allowed you to mass message your spenders from the previous 30, 60, 90 days. While the group message feature is undoubtedly useful, I still prefer the individual contact method and will address the usefulness of mass messaging later on.
For several months on Streamate (usually 2 month stretches with 1 or 2 months in between) I offered incentives to every member who took me for a private/exclusive show, joined a successful Gold Show, or tipped me a cumulative amount of gold over the course of a week. It’s been quite some time since I ran this, and I can’t recall what all of the tiers were, but I gave away photo sets and videos 5 minutes or so in length, all my choice of content. Members had to send me a message to collect their goodies, and once a member sends you a message for the first time on SM, you are then able to message them whenever you want. Yes, to get this kind of direct communication to my customers entailed giving away some of my content for less than I felt it was worth. If this is something that bothers you, I would strongly suggest that you consider building a customer base on another site in addition to SM (Cams.com makes it easy to contact customers, as well as potential customers who’ve visited your chatroom without spending money on you). Direct one-on-one contact converts at a far higher rate than mass mailings, so carefully consider your choice with that in mind. I determined that the small loss in potential video or photo set sales was more than outweighed by the ability to contact my customers with targeted messages on my own schedule.
Step 2: Maintain customer notes
A list of your past paying customers that you can contact is great, but without accurate notes, every interaction feels like the very first time–great for a Foreigner song, but offers little benefit to the returning customer. Many of our clients enjoy variety and “fresh meat”–this explains the “new model” label often prominently displayed on sites, and the associated drop in earnings many models experience after their first month of camming. To avoid losing customers to the next hot young thing, you need to offer value that the new kid on the block can’t. Your main advantage over a model that is new to the customer is your past experience together.
Leverage that experience by using your notes to “remember” each customer. I keep track of customer information including screen name, real name (if I know it), date of most recent show, average show length, details of any special requests/fetishes/outfits they have enjoyed in the past, and any other details that might help build a connection (I am a big sports fan, so I tend to note down any comment made about sports during our interactions). Each client gets a VIP experience because I “remember” their preferences from one show to the next, which also saves time when setting up shows, as I already have an idea of what they are looking for.
Step 3: Create an outreach plan
There are two ways to organize your customer outreach communications plan: regular time-based schedule, and flexible one-to-one messaging when you notice a certain period of time has elapsed since your most recent show with a client. I have tried both methods and don’t really prefer one over the other. Choose your plan based on your style and the amount of time and effort you are willing to put into communication to maintain a connection with regular clients in between paid shows. However you choose to structure your plan, try to include a mix of the following communication types:
- Targeted sales message: New fetish videos up for sale? Write a short 2-3 sentence message mentioning your new content and send it individually to the clients on your list who enjoy that type of fetish. I write one message and copy-paste it to each with their name at the top, so that it has a more personal touch. This works best for content and scheduled themed cam shows. Anything that specifically applies to that customer–if it is more of a general interest type of thing, it may be more time-effective to send a mass mailing.
- Personal note: As I mentioned earlier, I’m a sports fan, which sometimes comes up in conversation with clients, especially those that follow me on Snapchat or Twitter. I note down the favourite teams/sports of my regular clients, and will occasionally drop them a message about a big game, send funny sports GIFs, or trash-talk a bit when my teams play theirs. Sending personal messages about common interests creates a nice rapport for very little effort. Some clients may read this as an open invitation to talk more about the shared interest for free, but I find that ignoring or redirecting their replies once or twice re-establishes that boundary for most.
- Mass mailing: When I am offering discounted rates for content or services, if I’m working with another model in the near future, or if I just want to remind clients that I’m alive without wanting to take the time to customize the content of the message, I send out mass emails. On Skype I copy-paste the same message to everyone, on sites I use the group message function to send out identical information. It’s very handy, but if you overuse mass mailings it becomes quite spammy and can turn off some clients.
Some cammodels prefer not to communicate with their customers in any unpaid fashion–there is nothing wrong with any approach to customer communication that works for you. If, however, you struggle to maintain a steady flow of repeat clients, the steps above may be worth trying to improve your retention rate. Remember, though, that all customers have an expiration date, and that the best regular client may suddenly stop doing shows with you for reasons that have nothing to do with you. Also, please note that none of the steps above are aimed towards maintaining a client as yours and yours alone–I do not think it is productive or sustainable to try to force clients to make you the only model they spend money on.
I enjoy reaching out regularly to my repeat clients, and I find that keeping up with my communication helps keep my income stable across the slow times, because I am not constantly searching for new spenders. It takes some time to set up and test the different ideas to see what works for you, but over time it becomes easier and almost automatic. Water your garden regularly and reap the rewards at harvest time!