OPW Interview -- Feb 8, 2006 -- Why are we abandoning users on online personals sites when they want to talk on the phone? They subscribe for email, IM, chat...and then they disappear from your revenue stream when they pick up the phone. Anonymous calling services connect online personals sites with users, and satisfy their need for a safe anonymous means of communication. Phone Matrix has the most implementations and the slickest service I've seen. They've been at it longer, had more experience than anyone else, and darn if it isn't available today, not tomorrow ... they have an app. available now.
What does Phone Matrix do?
Phone Matrix has one very focused mission - delivering state-of-the-art anonymous phone contact services on personals sites. It's our only business Mark - and it's what our PrivateCall product sets the standard of excellence for. The people on our management team have unique backgrounds combining web development, telephony, dating and creative design. We've pioneered phone introduction services since before the Internet was commercialized and also been long-time customers of the major dating sites. Anyone watching the industry closely over the last couple of years has seen the proof that you don't get the personals phone formula right by asking some engineer or a product manager to "build me a personals phone service please". It's important to realize that from the moment that a fellow first lands on a site, then gets a gleam in his eye from spotting a great girl, to the time that we get them talking on the phone, involves dozens of very key elements of design, and if any are screwed up, you're going to lose a whole heap of potential business. The formula for our PrivateCall service was born from our unique experience to maximize member participation and site
Why do online dating users need to be connected anonymously?
Before daters arrange to meet face to face, they need to talk on the phone to get to know each other better. But a lot of them, particularly the women, don't want to take chances with their safety. After all, giving out your phone number, or having it show up on someone's call-display, can instantly expose your name and address to a total stranger. So. there often needs to be a whole lot of back-and-forth messaging before a cautious dater will finally get on the phone and move ahead. But then you have a lot of busy guys out there, without propellers on their heads and with testosterone in their veins, who just don't feel they have the time to mess with all the keyboard courtship needed to finally get the ladies on the phone. The guys just want to get to first base fast, and will do what it takes - and PrivateCall lets them play their field of opportunities much faster by eliminating the perceived telephone safety risk. That risk, by the way, is a lot greater than most folks realize. Did you know Mark, that anyone can just call forward a regular phone to a toll-free service to see your number - even if you used call block? Now that's a scary piece of stalker trivia.
Why should online personals companies care?
It's all about increasing market share and revenue. With the average personals customer registered on a couple of sites, there aren't any market gorillas out there that can act as if they have a captive audience. The audience migrates to where they're being served most effectively. And PrivateCall can play a key roll in that effective service. And obviously, why not tap into the revenue opportunity of those thousands of "first calls" between members that are happening every day? When you consider that the install time of our PrivateCall service is measured in days, it's a no-brainer to move forward and quickly pick up on that revenue opportunity.
What kind of revenue increments should online personals companies expect from adding such services?
The amount of direct new revenue from PrivateCall is going to depend on the culture, demographics, size, and business model of each site. As a rough rule of thumb, for most personals sites with reach ranks in the top twenty, you can figure that, on average, each premium male that's active in a week will generate roughly a dollar of net revenue for the site that week. And since Phone Matrix's share of revenue typically covers all aspects of service delivery, including customer support and billing inquiries, payment processing, and chargeback responsibility, that dollar pretty much goes straight to the bottom line.
Do you have any new products in the pipeline?
Sure do! Our product plan is mapped out to the 4th quarter. But there are things that we all need to keep under our hats, and I'm sorry to say that you'll just have to have to wait for each launch Mark.