Dating sites cater to a primary human emotion; for some sites it’s lust, for some sites it’s love and for some sites it’s companionship. But how do people make meaningful emotional connections over a digital network? The dating site is an intermediary that categorizes and organizes the site’s members so they are more likely to find suitable partners. Out there in the dating world of flesh and awkward comments the basic connection was traditionally flirting. People who know how to flirt with each other can break the ice and begin interacting towards a romantic or lustful interaction, but how does that work out online? It’s a bit less subtle online. As I understand it from research (full disclosure – I’ve never used any dating site – I’ve been married for 31 years) the people on a dating site approach each other by looking at pictures and a small amount of information, and then decide if they want to show interest or not by leaving a contact icon of some sort. This is flirting at an arms length – it’s digital flirting.
People have been doing matchmaking forever so it’s not surprising that dating sites developed quickly online. But above all else, dating sites make money. Internet marketing is all about finding people’s pain spots and leveraging that pain to make money. Someone who wants a companion and really wants to go out on a date is vulnerable. A marketer can play on that emotional raw spot by offering solutions that may or may not work, but which will bring in a dependable monthly fee. Among internet marketers (IM) the three most basic niches are tied to feeling better (dating), looking better and making money. Yet what does any of that matter if a dating site can, in fact, bring people together and make them happy.
It’s possible dating sites offer a win/win digital network. The dating site owners are making money and the dating site users are connecting with dates. Maybe that’s happening but for sure the dating site owner’s side of the equation is working. There are dating sites all around the world and many of them are making money. Because these sites’ activity is so closely tied to primal emotions (lust, love, companionship) they generate lots of traffic and that means there is broadly distributed opportunity for people entering this niche to build dating site businesses. And, there are more than one type of dating site. There are specialty dating sites that are for select groups of people that share some unique circumstance, ethnicity or ideology. There are dating sites that are really designed for sex hook ups. And, there are the general (and usually large) sites that simply attempt to find a partner for each individual; someone to date.
The Way The Game Is Played
Online matchmaking and traditional matchmaking share a few things. Clients have to believe, at least to some extent, that the matchmaker, traditional or digital, can and will help find the right match. I don’t know a lot about traditional matchmaking, but what I know about online matchmaking is the services often point to a proprietary algorithm that sorts through candidates in order to make the best selection for potential dates. The marketing for the dating site is done by promoting the questionnaire that is used and the algorithm that makes selections.
Do those algorithms actually work? Do they make good choices for which individuals should be placed in contact with each other? Dating sites all point to the number of successful couples and even marriages they have arranged. But studies find that in pairing up couples one of the most critical issues is narrowing down the field of candidates. When there are too many options the individuals are confused and less likely to make a commitment, or at least less likely to see who their best match might be. So simply by finding a small collection of potential matches for an individual, each of whom fits the general profile that is appropriate for that individual’s needs, is the best way to produce a successful match. The algorithm really doesn’t have to do all that much; just toss out the obvious bad candidates and offer a limited selection of potential good matches. The client then does the rest.
Love For Sale
Pricing on dating sites is all over the board. There are free sites and there are sites that charge expensive monthly fees. Recently the dating industry has become mobile, using apps, many of these apps are free and that’s the new disruption in the world of online dating software. But there are so many opportunities for new dating services simply because there are so many different cultures around the world. Even within a big city there are so many different cultures that dating software has lots of opportunities. This may be a digital niche where there is some semblance to broadly distributed opportunity. Investors should look locally and at specific cultural spaces that might offer opportunity for a software programmer to devise an app or a site that specially services that local culture or subculture.
For the sites and apps that offer free dating service connections, there are other ways to monitize the site. Some sites offer special add on services that purport to give a client special attention. Other sites use advertising to make money. The point is, if you have an active list of people that have identified themselves as interested in making new romantic relationships, there are lots of auxiliary items that can be offered along with the potential dating matches. Clothing, restaurants, chocolate, movies, hipster type entertainment venues and jewelry are all items or activities that often accompany those who have restless hearts. Those items also offer great marketing opportunities to the site owner’s of niche dating sites.