With the ever increasing number of websites within the online dating community, it’s not surprising that we see more and more ‘free membership’ niche dating sites, who seem to rely on their income from advertising such as Google Adwords or Yahoo Search Marketing. But is offering free memberships the way forward?
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The main difference between online dating websites and other membership sites is that on joining a dating website, you are required to make an attractive profile, which is used alomost as a marketing tool to present yourself to other members in the best possible light. Without a completed profile you haven’t a chance of attracting other genuine members who are seeking a partner.
Completing a profile of one’s self is regarded by many as the most boring, time consuming chore you could ever be asked to perform by any website. And a large percentage of surfers will “put it off till later today or tomorrow” which in most cases means it will never be done. And in fact oftentimes they will never even return to the website.
Most researchers will agree that those who join a website community solely because its free rarely return to the site or sustain an interest longer than a few days. And it’s not because they are forgetful and don’t remember registering, because the website administrators will almost certainly send out reminders on a daily basis.
The online membership communities which includes dating sites would not exist if it weren’t for the members in their databases and it’s important that all members who bother to sign up, take an active part in the community and the services it offers. Otherwise it is a waste of not only the indolent member’s time, but also the time of the website administrator and other genuine members.
Whereas, on the other hand, in the case of those membership sites that charge a monthly fee to become a member, they will have very few users who register, then stay away or don’t bother to complete a profile. Once a user has been tempted to take out his or her credit card, they will be much more inclined to take their membership seriously enough to create a decent profile and visit it several times a day to monitor interest from other members.
The ‘fee charging’ sites will find it much tougher to get sign ups, but whats the point in having a couple of thousand members in your database if fifteen hundred of them are dormant and don’t even respond to your emails? Much better for all concerned to just have five hundred interested members who pay regular visits to the website and use the facilities to the full.
But what of fee charging dating sites that offer a free period as a trial membership? Well that word “free” continues to cause complacency, but to a lesser degree. Whilst a free period may attract prospective members to a trial period, there are still a large percentage of these free users, who do not return to the website after subscribing.
Many dating sites who offer a free trial period, require the user to complete a profile before they are accepted as a free member. Some users however, will want to explore the member database before joining, and if required to join before they are allowed to search, a large percentage of these users will simply move on, and prospective members will be lost.. perhaps to a competitor website.
The highest number of long term signups per 1000 site visitors is enjoyed by those dating sites offering a free trial period, along with a script that will auto delete profiles not completed within a given period of say seven days.
The lowest number of long term signups per 1000 site visitors reflects the success rates of the ‘absolutely free for all’ membership websites, dating or otherwise.
Trevor Taylor – SugarDaddyHaven.com