As someone who has recently come back to the ‘dating market’, I find myself in a strange position. On one hand I am a potential customer, open to all the hopes, possibilities and pitfalls that online dating can provide.
Which is the right site for me?
Will people like my picture?
Have I said enough?
Have I said too much?
What if I meet someone and they turn out to be 50lbs heavier/ hairier / taller / shorter than I thought!
Does online dating even work?
On the other hand- I am involved behind the scenes, running sites that are trying to do two things at once that don’t always go well together:
1) Help people find love… or whatever else they are interested in finding
2) Do it in such a way as to make money for a business which relies on paying customers for income
As a result, the things that I might want as consumer in an ideal situation are not necessarily the things that allow a business to operate at volume. Dating is odd in that people STOP paying when they are perfectly happy with the service that you have provided, ie. they have found someone! This means it is very important to ensure just enough communication happens to get people converting, but not so much that it has the opposite effect and people leave disillusioned.
It is an ongoing balancing act, which evolves as new functionality becomes available and different routes to reaching the customer effect behaviour. The real issue is there is no absolute right and wrong. It comes down to US as dating business people, through experience, measurement and plain old gut feel, to figure out what will work with US the consumer.
And to answer the final question at least, it definitely works… 😉
Paul Fitzpatrick, Global Personals.