At times, online dating sites have paid as much as 0 per head for new paying customers, and routinely pay out at least a few dollars for new “free trial” users or other prospects.
This means anyone with the power to herd single internet users can potentially tap into a strong monetization engine.
I had visited each of the URLs I saw on the lawn signs, and each contained a multi-step form asking for a bunch of personal contact information.
This led me to suspect that the business wasn’t running its own site, but was acting as an affiliate marketer.
During this time, every radio commercial, billboard, and t-shirt bearing a domain name held a special meaning: it represented an opportunity to find the next big deal.
What I found started in my small home town and led me all the way to the secret guerilla marketing infrastructure of a multimillion-dollar company…
I was in Central New Jersey on my way to give a guest lecture at Princeton University, which is about the geographical midpoint between New York and Glassboro. The technology required to connect two people is trivial, meaning your only real expense is the cost of customer acquisition.
As my cab rolled through neighboring West Windsor Township, I saw a familiar-looking lawn sign wedged in the grass alongside the road: “Single? If you are part of the natural oligopoly, your product quality will be high and people will seek you out.
The town sits about 30 minutes southeast of Philadelphia and has a population of less than 20,000. I had about a million questions, but two immediately simmered to the top: By the time I pulled into my parents’ driveway, I had convinced myself that the site was the product of some overzealous local entrepreneur.
As I drove past my old high school, my deal-hunting subconscious noticed something bizarre. ORG“ It looked like something the local contractor would ask to stick in your front yard while he replaced your roof. I wrote off the lawn sign as an amateurish stab at guerilla marketing.
The “Your Town Singles.com” approach leads potential members to believe their area will be extremely well represented in the site’s population.