Montreal, QC (PRWEB) June 29, 2005
A war is being waged on the Internet for dominance of the online dating world and surfers are caught in between. ItÂs being fought by behemoths, wielding grotesque marketing budgets that seem to hold the market captive, and countless other smaller sites that are looking to gain a foothold on the field of battle. Some of these smaller dating sites have come to fight and have prepared very well.
ÂWhen you think of dating sites, portals like Lavalife, Match and eHarmony inevitably come to mind, in many cases because they have huge marketing budgets to work with,Â said Doug Glazebrook, editor of CupidsReviews.com (http://www.cupidsreviews.com), which independently reviews and ranks online dating sites. ÂOther companies can outshine the heavyweights and provide thriving communities for singles, often at less cost to the consumer. However, finding them isnÂt always easy.Â
As examples, Glazebrook points to two dating sites that achieved the highest marks under CupidÂs review criteria. Casual Kiss, a five-year-old Toronto-based dating site, and Love Match, which was originally a chat site, both outscored a field of industry giants.
ÂWhen I first saw (the) review of my site, I was shocked,Â said Jeff Mayhew, owner of LoveMatch.com. ÂCompeting in the online dating market used to be really easy. But in the last two years it has gotten a lot harder. So many dating sites come to the market with huge budgets and little knowledge.Â
Mayhew says LoveMatch has been around for five years and heÂs seen many dating sites disappear. The return on advertising revenue is slim so heÂs been forced to take a cautious approach. LoveMatch spends about $30 a month on advertising, relying heavily on top lists and smaller sources of traffic to populate the site. Jordan Ravka, owner of CasualKiss.com, said he spends about $50 a month on marketing. Then there are companies like True.com, which recently sent a press release advertising its need for an ad sales company to manage a multi-million dollar advertising budget. This can put pressure on sites that have a lot to offer but are missing the financial firepower to make such a big impression.
ÂIn all honesty, I have no idea how people find out about CasualKiss,Â said Ravka. ÂWe charge about five times less than our competitors, therefore we will never be able to spend as much to acquire new customers.Â
Charging less and providing more for consumers seems like a decent way for smaller companies to compete, but not all practice this approach. There can be many differences between dating sites, and in this market, like any other, it pays for the buyer to beware.
ÂWeÂve reviewed over 70 dating sites and youÂd be surprised how unique each one can be,Â said Glazebrook. ÂObviously, there are many that donÂt stack up, but thereÂs a lot of value out there that if you know where to look.Â
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