At its most fundamental level, a dating site is a direct marketing business. In order to ensure it’s working well, you need to have access to marketing data at a very granular level, and understand what it’s telling you.  Within Dating Factory’s “Reports” section, there’s everything you need to track your business effectively. In this article, I’ll aim to take you through some of the key metrics that are in there, and how you can use them to your advantage.
There are many metrics you can use to measure the performance of your business, but boiling things down, there are only two that really count:

  • How much it costs you to acquire a paying member (Cost Per Subscriber or CPS)
  • How much that Paid Member spends with you throughout their time on your site (LifeTime Value or LTV).

Beyond these there are many others, but if you’re doing things right they should all be helping you answer these questions…how much you pay for a subscriber, and how much they spend with you. If there are metrics you currently use which don’t help you answer either of those two questions, then they should be discarded.

Cost Per Subscriber

Taking the first half of the equation – CPS – you will be managing this through your Adwords campaigns (as long as you’ve set the tracking up successfully), and any other marketing initiatives you have underway. There’s not much you can do about this within Dating Factory’s portal. It’s their ability to drill down into revenue per member that comes in really useful.

LifeTime Value

So through your marketing activities, you have a good understanding of how much it’s costing you to get a paying member on your site. Through the portal, you can find out LTV (and therefore your profitability) by doing the following:

  • Go to Reports from the main menu
  • Under Type select “Overview”
  • Under Date Range, select “Total”
  • Select the site you want to analyse
  • Select the Traffic you want to analyse (eg your own or affiliate traffic)
  • Under earnings Owner, select which earnings you want to see (I usually choose “My earnings”)
  • Under View Reports, select “Total”
  • Click on “Run & View”.

On the resulting report that you see, the magic number you’re looking for is on the far right “PaidMemberValue £”. This is your LTV number.

Take the long view

It’s important to note that the younger your site is, the lower the LTV per member will be. It really takes between 6 months and a year for the full LTV to be identified, so you shouldn’t be disheartened if your CPS is way above the LTV for the first few months. Your LTV will build, and you should work with your Partner Manager to understand the profile of how it’s likely to build, so that you can manage your cashflow properly.

Further Granularity

As well as giving you an overview of how profitable your site is, you can break this data down in a number of ways to help inform your marketing campaigns & decisions. For example, you may be running campaigns in different countries, to different age groups…how do you know which ones are more valuable to you, and therefore which ones you should focus on?
Within the Reporting section, you can fine tune your reports to find this sort of thing out. On the left-hand side, you have the options of breaking your reports down by:

  • Country
  • Gender
  • Age

This level of granularity gives you really valuable data with which you can assess the relative profitability of marketing in different countries, and to different age groups (particularly useful for example on Facebook, or the content network, where you can stipulate the age of your audiences).
In subsequent articles, I’ll take you through some of the other aspects of the comprehensive reporting function, but for now the best thing you can do is have a play around with it, become acquainted with it, and let it help you build your dating business from a position of knowledge.