NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Beverly Hills, CA, United States, 2006/02/26 - Only one-third of Internet users who went to dating sites in the last year became paying subscribers, but one company hopes to beat those odds with technology that allows customers to keep their dating activities a secret.
A research company has bad news for people looking for love through online dating services this Valentine's Day, but the news is good for those who want to keep their dating activities secret.
JupiterResearch has found that fewer people are subscribing to online dating services, but Private Date Finders is bucking that trend with proprietary technology.
Industry revenues continue to climb because of higher monthly fees, but only 5 percent of Internet users paid for online dating subscriptions in the last year, down from 6 percent the previous year, according to a report that JupiterResearch released last week.
"Only one-third of Internet users who went to dating sites in the last year became paying subscribers," said JupiterResearch Analyst Nate Elliott, who authored the report. "Thirty-seven percent of visitors who don't convert say dating sites cost too much, making it their leading complaint."
Social networks don't appear to be a significant threat. Only 14 percent of people who don't pay for subscriptions said they use free sites, like social networks, instead, according "Online Dating in 2006: Pricing Strategies to Drive Subscriber Growth."
Elliott said that dating sites can use targeted discounting strategies to improve their conversion rates.
Private Date Finders takes a different approach.
"Our business is almost completely different from the others," CEO Jerry Klein said during an interview Monday. "Our service is outperforming because we're coming out of the traditional online dating sandbox."
Klein said that his site responds to needs identified from other research showing that 35 percent of people using dating sites are married or in a relationship. Many of those people were reluctant to pay for subscriptions because they feared being caught – either because they were in a relationship or because they browse on work time.
The site uses a free proprietary service called EverPrivate (patent pending). A Web-based anonymous browser and a Web-based eraser promise to erase all traces of user activity, including: cookies, cache, history, temporary Internet files and transactions without installation or downloads. The site also provides private log-ins and a "virtual" MasterCard, a Debit card issued online and replenished at retail stores. Private Date Finders boasts a conversion rate close to 10 percent and claims to operate the only dating site where visitors can find partners without anyone else knowing. As for the ethics, Klein said: "The truth is we're not going to create behavior patterns. Somebody is going to either be good or bad. We're just filling a void."