Which strategy will you use for launching a dating community website?


Imagine a dating community like meetic, where you can register for free, but you must pay every 6 months for using all the functionalities. Which will be your strategy for your launch, taking into account a mix of user captation and future monetization?

  1. The first x users (say, 10.000) will have premium access for free forever? (this will generate traffic, but no money)
  2. The first x users (say, 10.000) will have premium access for free for a limited time (6 months), and then they will have to pay the regular amount for mantaining the premium access?
  3. Offer a premium account for everyone but for a very small amount (for example, 1$), in order to have their credit card, with the aim of charging the regular amount in the next payment?
  4. Any other possibility/strategies?

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asked Feb 19 '12 at 23:16
4 points

2 Answers


I hope you are in a niche market (low competition) for this product and found an inexpensive way to get users to your site because given the nature of the product you need a lot of people on the site already in order to get new users to register and/or subscribe.

I am not clear on what "premium" access means on your site - is it access to matches or prospective dates info (something critical to success of the experience) or just some features that offer convenience (a nice to have add-on)? In the freemium model it's important to structure the product in a way that allows users to really try the product and invest time (fill out profile) before they are asked to pay so the free product is hard to give up on.

If you ask to pay for access to "matches" - yes, I would start with giving the product for free (consider a free trial or super low price like 99 cents so you have CC on file) to your first X customers.

If you plan to charge for add-ons that are just convenient to have than you can start charging immediately and can tell early on if people are willing to pay for the premium service and adjust your strategy as needed.

Read this post by Joel on strategy for companies that need to grow big fast:
http://joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000056.html Extra unsolicited suggestions:
1. To get your "premium feature" right, survey your customers - those that subscribe and those that walk away to see what's heavily used and what's missing.
2. Read this post in pricing strategy by Joel:

answered Feb 21 '12 at 01:10
2,835 points


These days, I can't imagine a paid dating site.
There is no tangible product offered, and "access" to the group of people of questionable quality (typically very low) is not good enough. People have made general experience there are almost no serious members on most dating sites (perhaps 1 out of 100) then they won't pay.

It works as a three-way union. You offer a service to your customers for free and you charge a third party for access to your customer base.

I'm not quite sure what good is to "to have their credit card". If you intend on charging people's credit cards without their permissions, then you should know in most countries people can go to the bank and issue a chargeback, and when there are many chargebacks, then your payment processor will shut you down and probably freeze your account. In addition in many countries people use virtual credit cards with a prepaid amount, so they expire immediately after the first use. Some banks even use one-time verification codes so you can't charge the same card twice using the same code.

answered Aug 19 '12 at 04:34
Visitor From Down The Street
92 points

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