International Marriage Brokers – Why Not Go Free
International singles, dating, personals, marriage, and matchmaking sites are holding onto an outdated model of charging clients for initial contact info, either postal mailing address or email, in an time where social media communication can bring down governments. Mail order bride catalogs are over. It’s time to go on. As soon as men and women get beyond initial chemistry, IMBs can offer upscale services like travel and translation to earn real money.
8 Reasons Why Web-Based Dating Sites Should Go Free
1. Spirit of the Internet
The Web started as a free service that developers in the Defense Department gave back to the public. Free information has been the coin of the realm from the start. As more women abroad gain access to the Internet, free social networks will compel IMBs to go free for the first contact. A free online marriage service provides value and trust before it asks for money for upgraded services.
2. The Money is in the List/Network
Internet marketing gurus have made fortunes by compiling email lists. The value of a network or list is in the number of individuals who sign up free of charge and who open emails. As soon as you have a huge network of Western men searching for brides abroad, you have a perfect list you can rent to advertisers or for marketing affiliate products on your own account. Joint ventures with other list owners are an added possibility for monetization.
3. Member Demographics
Nothing is more valuable to advertisers than information about probable buyers. Dating profiles are an ideal tool – users voluntarily give up mailing addresses, email addresses, age, marital status, income level, whether or not they have or want children, and more. Your list can be sold over and over to marketers who can target the exact individuals for their products and services. Since it’s free, and if you divulge that you will share their profile information with select merchants, most members will understand that you need to make money to provide a free service.
4. Build a Niche Social Matchmaking Service
Maintaining a server and databases requires expensive labor and equipment. AnastasiaDate alone has over 240 employees in the U.S. and Russia. I fully expect nimble international dating agencies to come in and use low cost social networking platforms like Ning to steal business and put the big agencies on notice. A free social network also frees dating site members from the evils of IMBRA.
5. No IMBRA Issues
The “International Marriage Broker Regulation Act”, or IMBRA, demonstrates that noble intentions make awful law. Or more like evil domination over the human rights of individuals to meet and marry whoever they choose. In short, IMBRA prevents American men from filing K-1 fiancee visa petitions for foreign women if their marital and criminal backgrounds were not provided to the woman before first contact, and she has given written approval to receive the first letter, email, or phone call.
Supposedly, adult males who shell out for the international marriage service to introduce them to stunning matches have a “power” advantage greater than the bride abroad who joins at no cost, which can lead to mistreatment. The law is so immoral on so many levels, I will save a thorough examination for a later commentary.
Big online dating services like Match.com and eHarmony fought hard to be exempt from IMBRA, as did non-profit organizations. If your online dating agency goes free, you can forget the background checks for American customers unless you provide international socials that could be attended by hundreds of women who have no previous contact with the American customer.
Postal mail is a remnant of a former era. Even in poor countries, women who are desperately in search of a Western spouse will unearth a means to set up a free email account on Gmail or Hotmail or whatever. It might be through a friend, Internet cafe, cell phone, or work. If she is too poor or too unconnected to have email, she is not ready for prime time international dating.
Traditionally, small marriage agencies around the world recruit women for the web sites, set up their listings and images, and share revenue with the big agencies like AnastasiaDate or A Foreign Affair. All contact is completed through the agencies which charge subscriptions or per item fees for email, phone calls, translation, and other contact. A free of charge service run on a forum or Ning site enables a woman to set up and have power over her own images and profile, and to communicate inside the network without exposing her info to non-members.
Free means freedom. Each man or woman is released to make contact with anybody in the system who strikes their fancy. We are all adults. In what I think are hard financial times ahead, finding your picture perfect spouse without shelling out tons of cash only to determine if she is interested makes sense.
In the Internet era, mail order bride catalogs are outmoded, and free flirting online is in. International dating services need to use low cost tools like Ning to construct their niche social networks and create profits that go way beyond selling addresses.