If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It: Silver Cash's Old-School Model For Profit

If a company embodies a virtue, Silver Cash's is to stay with the tried and true, no matter what the fashion of the day demands. It's a conservative outlook for one of the largest adult sponsors on the Net, but one with an undeniable appeal, especially in lean times.

A case in point is the industry's glacial shift toward active payouts. Mike Price, the founder and head of Riverside, Calif.-based Silver Cash (www.silvercash.com) - or parent company Cyber Trend Inc., if you prefer - insists that he will be the last pay-on-trial man standing. "I don't foresee us going to an active model in the next year at least," he told AVN Online. In bucking a trend that has been the No. 1 topic at the last few Webmaster shows, he gives a rather simple and convincing reason why everyone else is hopping on the active bandwagon. "Instead of making $5 million a year, they want to make $20 million. I'm happy with [$5 million]."

That, in a nutshell, is the philosophy of Silver Cash, one that Price has honored and honed from the first day he entered this business with BeaverPalace.com way back in late 1996. Of course, he was weaned on the teat of TGPs, so it makes sense that he worships at the altar of traffic, but clearly, if it weren't working he wouldn't have stuck with it.

"It's a traffic portal for us," he says, referring to his overall business model. "It's about the circulation of traffic. We don't want a bunch of junk traffic, but we're making money, we've been making money doing this, so why change? If I change and go to an active [model], I'm going to lose a bunch of Webmasters that I don't want to lose. I want to gain more. Besides, if we're continuing to make money the way it's set up now, I see no reason to change. Everybody else will go to active and all those people will come to me."

There is also a level of confidence implied in sticking with the tried and true, especially when the basic model is a break-even proposition. "After we pay the Webmasters, we're pretty much even, give or take a hundred grand either way. We make money on our other stuff - our opt-in mailers, our exit traffic, and a lot of other little things. I send CEN a hundred joinups a day. I send CE a bunch. I send ARS. I send TopBucks 40 signups a day and Babenet 50.

"What we try and do is - well, let's say you went to one of my Latin sites. When you leave that site and close everything out, there's going to be a window that opens up. One of the top links on that window should be to another Latin site, so that if they didn't like my Latin site, maybe they'll like somebody else's. And the same thing is going to happen for us by people that send to us off of their exit traffic. Then, our second exit is links that all go back to our sites, so if we do a thousand signups a day we'll do an extra hundred just to ourselves, and that's all profit.

"Our main thing is to get the signups, and the more traffic you have the better. I came from the world of TGPs, circle jerks, and Top 50s, where traffic meant everything, and we still like to get as much traffic through our sites."

With only six or so employees, Cyber Trend has made it to the top by sticking to other core values as well. "Rich Nash - 'BangWang' from Pornholio - was the first guy I met in this business, and one of the first things he told me, and I'll stand by it forever, is that the more people you know in this business, the better. To that I added 'never to have enemies.' As far the businessmen in this business, I have good relations with everybody. I don't create enemies, I don't complain, I don't whine, and I think that's important."

Silver Cash has 23,000 signed advertisers, 5,000 of who send daily. Webmaster payouts are well over a million dollars a month, according to Price, and chargebacks are under 2 percent. "We really hammer on our customer service," he says. "A lot of it's done by Epoch, but we handle most of what comes through us."

Price still regularly works 12-hour days, and takes great pride in the fact that he answers every Webmaster e-mail himself. "I like to keep things personal and will never wait more than 24 hours to answer an e-mail."

The moral? A solid work ethic goes a long way.