PR WEB -- June 29, 2005 -- A war is being waged on the Internet for dominance of the online dating world and surfers are caught in between. Some smaller dating sites have come to fight and have prepared very well. Said Jeff Mayhew, owner of LoveMatch.com, "competing in the online dating market used to be really easy. But in the last two years it has gotten a lot harder." The return on advertising revenue is slim so he's been forced to take a cautious approach. LoveMatch spends about $30 a month on advertising, relying heavily on top lists and smaller sources of traffic to populate the site. Jordan Ravka, owner of CasualKiss.com, said he spends about $50 a month on marketing. Then there are companies like True.com, which advertised it's need for an ad sales company to manage a multi-million dollar advertising budget. "In all honesty, I have no idea how people find out about CasualKiss," said Ravka. "We charge about five times less than our competitors, therefore we will never be able to spend as much to acquire new customers." Charging less and providing more for consumers seems like a decent way for smaller companies to compete, but not all practice this approach. FULL RELEASE @ PR WEB
Mark Brooks: When users sign up for online dating sites they expect to be able to search from as large a pool of people as possible, for the best possible matches. Small sites that pretend to be large sites, offering extremely limited pools of users, are a huge disservice to the industry. The smaller the pool of users, the less the utility. $20 a month fees are 'throw-away.' Everyone can afford $20. Monthly fees simply demonstrate user commitment. We're seeing companies such as True and eharmony up the ante on fees for two reasons. 1. Marketing costs are indeed rising. 2. Higher fees filter for those who are committed to the process. Users put more time into searching, responding and dating when they are paying $50 a month; higher response rates, overall activity rates and a better user experience overall. This is good. I urge users to conisder the value of their time and the importance of finding a good match, rather than the paltry fees the online dating services charge.