OPW INTERVIEW - Feb 19 - PAR Program (People Acquisition & Retention) helps you capture users who would have otherwise left your dating site, convert them to paying members and retain them. Here is our interview with CEO Jeremy Shoemaker, the affiliate marketing expert and “The Most Influential Person on the Internet”, (Fast Company, 2010).
What work have you done with the iDating industry?
I was an affiliate. In 2009-2010 I had two full time people running Facebook campaigns, spending $70,000 to $90,000 per day. We were the largest advertiser on Facebook. I then became part of an advisory team that gave us a lot of access to tools they were testing at the time (api's, mass CSV uploads, etc). I gave a keynote talk at Affiliate Summit East in 2010 about Facebook advertising.
While it sounds eye opening that we were spending that much money, we were operating on pretty slim margins. 15% max profit on good days and -2% loss on bad days. Thank god for our American Express Plum credit card with 2% cash back that added a significant lift to our profit. (It’s now 1.5%).
At first we sent the traffic directly to the dating site but then later realized it was more valuable to send the traffic to our own landing page offering dating advice. This more than doubled our ROI as an affiliate.
Unfortunately, Facebook put a massive strangle hold on what you could do in ads for dating. It got to the point where it was no longer worth it.
Which affiliate programs do you respect the most?
Zoosk was a pleasure to work with. It was strange with True, Mate1 and some others because they always wanted us to go so slow and would only accept a limited volume. But I never dealt with a company that I did not respect from an affiliate’s point of view.
Where are the greatest opportunities for iDating companies to retain their users more effectively?
Email is by far the biggest way but nobody does it right. They don’t understand effective copywriting. All they do is push sale. They need to engage with the user, offer them value, build a relationship with them, and measure engagement and look at its effects.
My team and I have been doing copywriting for sales for 11 years and have sold tens of millions of dollars of our own and other people's products through email marketing. Most of these customers being repeat buyers. This is because we have built a relationship with them.
You've launched the PAR program, which stands for People Acquisition and Retention. How would this work specifically for iDating companies?
PAR Program was born because of our previous experience in the dating industry.
Dating companies have 4 problems from an outsider looking in:
- Getting new customers to fill out a free profile.
- Converting them to paying customers.
- Retaining those paying customers.
- Bringing back people that cancel.
Our PAR Program can solve all of these issues or at least drastically improve them. We have the ability to not only segment by the criteria above but also by gender, age, social interests and other key demographics. The best part is its done 100% automated. We even do the copywriting.
What's the PAR program cost?
It’s a $2500 setup fee then a monthly fee based on the amount of active emails in your account. The beginning package is $995 for up to 15,000 active emails. The bigger the monthly package the more cost effective it becomes.