How our partners are profitably expanding into the USA
USA performance and how we're refining geographical niche capabilities
In recent weeks we’ve talked about impressive conversion rates in the USA. The rate at which US traffic is upgrading has made it a no-brainer for our partners to look at expansion opportunities into this region. In August, our USA same day conversion rate, which is the rate at which members upgrade to a full paying subscription on the same day that they join the dating site, was +24% higher than in January earlier this year, which is historically the highest converting month in the dating calendar. The average rate for September so far has grown by +35% in the USA, which would mean our partners would finish this month seeing a +67% increase versus January, should the rest of the month remain the same - a record breaking ending!
The key thing to remember about the USA is that due to the large land mass and huge population, there is a large number of niche interests that vary hugely from region to region. It is important to understand which niches work and which states would work well with these niches.
Last month we talked about how we’re refining geographical niche capabilities to allow our partners to create hyper-niche and hyper-localised sites. One of the main benefits of this is to reduce acquisition costs and increase their return on investment. Our partners will be able to narrowly target specific areas of interest when they have a better understanding of which niches will work well within those targeted areas. For example, some areas may have a larger Christian population that wants to date within their own religion, or some regions may have strong political beliefs and want to date within those.
The way our partners are starting their USA expansion plans, in the run up to narrowing their targeting, is by working with their account managers to identify the states and regions that are generating the largest number of upgrades, whether organically or through paid search, then combining this with the active member count in these areas to give some direction as to where to start. This also gives a good indication of where they can expect a healthy upgrade rate due to heightened on-site engagement.
Which niches and regions do we recommend
Some examples of niches that are currently working extremely well for partners with sites in the USA are Christian dating sites, with some giving an initial revenue per basic of £5, based on a three month average view. This metric helps to highlight areas of opportunity and concern within dating site portfolios. As initial revenue is the first payment made by a member, this figure will grow as members’ subscriptions go on to rebill, increasing the amount our partners can afford to spend on buying traffic, as a result.
A second example that is working well in the USA is widowed dating sites. Our partners are currently seeing same day conversions of up to 6.5%! That’s just the members that upgrade on the same day they join. Conversion rates and lifetime values as a whole, as members mature, is mind-blowing.
The regions that are currently the most populated with full members in America are Orlando, New York and Minneapolis. As more and more WLD sites are being created in the States, these regions will change, fluctuate and overtake one another, but as it stands, these three regions are top of the board for full paying subscribers, closely followed by Los Angeles and Bakersfield.
One of our partners that has recently launched sites in the US has seen conversation rates of up to +16% and CPA’s, the amount a partner can afford to spend for a paying subscriber on their sites, of £30. CPA’s this low means our partners are likely to break even in month one of spending and generate a profit extremely early, in a usually more competitive dating market.
Our brand new mature niche is just around the corner
The history of our mature niche
Our mature niche offering has adapted over the years to ensure our partners have always been able to achieve the highest return on investment possible. In 2010, we split the general network into two, optimising the user experience (UX) for mature daters. In 2016, due to advanced platform capabilities, we saw an opportunity to increase conversion for the higher age range on the general network and lower age range on the mature network by merging the two. In 2020, however, we wanted to do even better!
We’re proud to share that following last month’s update that the core infrastructure of our brand new mature niche is complete, our team has made considerable progress towards launching the new niche at the beginning of October. The mature offering is just the first of many new niches across both our mainstream and casual networks.
What does this mean for our partners
Many of our partners already run mature sites on the platform as part of our general niche. These are set apart from other sites through refined age targeting of 40 or 50 years old and above, as standard. But, we know from years of industry experience and intensive market research, that simply targeting a site by age doesn’t provide the tailored user experience that mature singles look for when searching for a dating site online.
The aim of our new mature niche is to provide mature users with a truly unique service and one that offers an exceptional UX to those that want a community where a mature lifestyle is important and where they require a site that can offer features that fit this. All of which will enable our partners to charge higher subscription fees and take advantage of increased conversion rates and LTVs, as members invest more heavily in their dating profiles in the short term and long term.
Why is the new niche going to be even better?
Our mature niche will offer a number of brand new features, including a detailed Q&A section that will allow members to present their personality in a very detailed way. As well as this, we are introducing a large number of new interests and characteristics. All of these will ensure that the members they search for and communicate with are the best match possible, resulting in a first class on-site experience that will enhance their desire to upgrade and continue to use the site.
Another new feature of this niche is the ability to make engagement emails site specific. This means that if a mature site is targeted to the age of over 70, the emails sent out will match this criteria, for example the highlighted member suggestions. Currently in our general network these will include members that fall outside of the site’s age targeting. With a large number of upgrades coming as a result of the branded engagement emails we send to members after they have signed up, the opportunity to further boost conversions through an improved email UX is huge! Our Partner Team will work closely with partners to discuss and plan a comprehensive comms strategy for all new sites.
Tune into this month's Inside Track (launching later this week) to learn how we will be populating the database and learn more about our unassailable launch plan.
What's to come
We're improving our search functionality
As well as the exciting new features we will be introducing, we are also making some considerable enhancements to our onsite search facility - the tool that members use to search for others whilst on site. This will be going live across all new and existing niches, and will improve the user interface on both mobile and desktop devices, as well as the overall user experience.
The changes that we are making to the search function, that will also be rolling out very soon, include the addition of new search fields and the addition of filters. Both of which will allow users to more effectively search for potential suitors. Users will also be able to save multiple searches and name their search criteria for ease of use when they return to site. At the moment, the search filters simply default to the one, most recent search. We’ll provide more on this in the coming weeks.
The biggest release for White Label Dating in over a decade
In addition to our new niches and onsite search improvements, we are in the final stages of work on DatingDashboard.com, our brand new portal for partners. It has been rebuilt from the ground up and the functionality and reporting available is lightyears ahead of our old portal. The Dating Dashboard is a fully cloud based tool with cutting edge, fast reporting, forecasting and site optimisation tools. With this new tool, partners will be able to create new niche sites in just a few clicks. It will be incredibly powerful and will be the biggest release for White Label Dating in over a decade.
We're introducing a brand new messaging system and on-site video features
Not only this, with all of the above projects nearing completion, we’ve started work on our next generation messaging and content platform which will be a similar technological leap from our existing messaging system. Work is already underway on this next-generation platform which will allow members to communicate using images and videos, as well as enabling video profiles, video calling and much more.
We’ve also got some additional monetisation features lined up to help grow partner revenues even further. Video and content monetisation is a key part of our strategy for next year and we’ll be rolling out these features progressively in the next few months.
Look out for this month’s Inside Track to learn more about opportunities for the USA and obtain more detail about the launch strategy for our new mature niche, starting next week.
All the best,
The team at White Label Dating