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Markus at PlentyOfFish has found some interesting statistics about Match and eHarmony.

56 million first emails sent per year
132 million winks sent per year
12 couples got married or engaged today thanks to
Users go on 6 million dates each year. ( ya right)
1 in 1369 dates leads to marriage on (6 million / (12*365)) makes 1 Million dollars a day from subscription revenues.
That is $83,000 in subscription revenue for every marriage that comes out of the site.

These numbers are staggering. Finally, some public transparency about the effectiveness of the two most prominent dating sites. I don’t necessarily have a lot of faith in the raw numbers from either company but I’m glad to see them at least sharing something about their members.

I would like to see those 132 million winks go away permanently, send an email instead and don’t waste people’s time. Either you’re interested enough to send an email or you’re playing around and wasting people’s time. I would love to know how many of those winks turned into actual email conversations.

It’s amazing that Match makes PlentyofFish’s yearly revenue every 10 days.

Read the rest at The Paradigm Shift.

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  1. is making lot of money. they are leading dating company on the net.

  2. You seem to be implicitly assuming (by quoting the $/marriage figure) that “effectiveness” relates meaningfully to “marriages instigated”. How many committed long term relationships have been created as a result of people meeting through the site? Wouldn’t those figures be just as valuable?

  3. I was pleased – but a bit confused – that Markus highlighted this.

    Paid dating makes far more revenue than the free dating sites – we’ve got individual partners that will soon be making half what Markus makes, without any of the costs that Markus has.

    Will be interesting to see Markus move towards paid dating when he sets up his own site – I wonder how much more time he’ll spend on a free site when he sees how much more revenue there is in paid dating?


  4. I personally hate the winks as well — but how else are the 90+% of’s member base (you know, the ones that don’t pay, can’t send or receive emails) supposed to contact anyone? And how else are the paying members supposed to be able to show the non-paying members that they’re interested.

    Personally, I agree that winking is a waste of time. However, many women still feel uncomfortable about making the initial contact with men, and find that a “wink” isn’t quite as bold as sending a true email.

    Now a comparison of dates to marriages, that’s interesting. But with a dual tiered membership like, I don’t feel using emails or winks as a way to judge success since their members often can’t reply or even know who contacted them without first upgrading their membership.

    First step towards transparency in my mind would be one tier of membership. If the person receiving your email doesn’t even know that you sent it, are they really a member or just window dressing?

    Thanks for the data, Markus and Dave

    – The other Ross

  5. I’m not sure why Markus doesn’t believe the 6 million date figure, since has millions of subscribers each year, I kind of think 6 million dates is actually on the low side.

  6. Laura Frisson says:

    Plentyoffish makes 36.5 million a year?? Where on earth are you getting that figure?

  7. Markus Frind says:

    I don’t believe the numbers because 1369 dates per marriage is statistically impossible.

    There are 56 Million first contact emails. That would mean 1 in 10 users contacted goes out on a date. Now lets take out at least 50% of users that aren’t mmebers and can’t respond that leaves 1 in 5 users contacted.

    does anyone actually believe that 1 in 5 emails sent leads to a first date ? Not only that you need 1400 dates to get to a marriage, where as any other medium is under 100 dates…

  8. Your right about the dates per marriage and I think that is probably a goof on’s part in either how they calculated it or the actual release of the information, especially with the eHarmony number being 10 times higher. Does a site that does the matchmaking for you like eHarmony work that much better than a dating site that allows you to specify your own matching criteria? If you look at their Sell sheet PDF file now you will notice the numbers have been removed.

    I still don’t think 6 million dates is high, especially with their subscriber numbers, but does contacting on average 10 members (free and paid) lead to a first date? I’m not sure but you are in a better position to answer this question. Maybe poll your serious members to find out.

    Anyways these types of statistics can be looked at many different ways and lots of information is missing , so all we can do is speculate.

  9. Actually, as Dave reported in another blog posting (and based on’s publicly release info) less than 10% of’s “members” can actually receive and reply to emails on the site.

    So … 56 million first emails sent per year … that’s great. I want to know how many first emails actually get RECEIVED each year that can be acted upon without first upgrading their membership.

  10. Good to see you guys digging into the numbers. Valid or not, something’s not right. As Redg at Skout says, let’s measure number of emails *responded to*, thats a much more valid measurements of a positive online dating experience.

  11. Fernando Ardenghi says:

    Those numbers were disclosed by Match in a brochure to attract prospective advertisers in order to improve its revenue by ads.

    “Engage 2.8 million Match users who connect online and meet offline. These socially active consumers spend millions to primp for and go out on 6 million dates each year. With 20% growth in the first three months of 2009, it’s no surprise that daters recommend Match more than any other site.

    Connect with our engaged and social users
    * Spend 60 minutes per month on Match
    * View 30 pages per day
    * 56 million+ first emails sent per year
    * 132 million winks sent per year
    * 12 couples got married or engaged today thanks to
    Source: comScore PlanMetrix, December 2008; comScore MediaMetrix, six-month average, July–December, 2008; internal data, June 2008.”

    Those numbers show:

    – Persons use Match for fun, for entertainment purposes, for instant gratification but nor for serious dating with commitment.

    Perhaps Dave, you can call Ms. Mandy Ginsberg and ask if those numbers were only for USA&Canada or they are for all countries; where in some of them, persons can communicate for free, like many in Latin American countries.


    Fernando Ardenghi.
    Buenos Aires.

  12. Sincerity is the key.

  13. I don’t care if people believe the stats. I’ve met the girl of my dreams last year and we’ve just got engaged! I used winks originally and it lead to e-mails so it works. However, I made an effort to only contact active members within the last 24 hours so I knew I was not contacting old accounts. works!

  14. I can’t believe that,they made so much even a single day

  15. I have tried so many dating services and a lack of girls interested in me. I rarely get responses on Plenty of Fish and OK Cupid. I haven’t lately on and I am using’s profile pro. It’s 6 to 7 years I have been looking for a girlfriend. I know some guys who found thier wives or girlfriends on Some guy who met his wife on had his first child 9 months ago.

    I have many times contacted for help. As of a lack of girls interested in me and my matches not responding I even got help from about every adult that I know to find a girlfriend.

  16. Tim:

    I’m sorry to hear that. Without seeing your profile, I don’t think I can help you. That said, in spite of the forum here, online dating isn’t the only method to meet people. I’ve always recommended that like job hunting, daters should use a blended approach that includes online dating, speed dating, and other in person events that cater to things you enjoy. You can find many such groups on

    That said, there are a number of companies that specialize in redoing / revamping profiles to help gain better success. Sometimes it’s a small thing, sometimes it’s a huge mistake that could be holding you back. Now, I apologize in advance for being blunt, but something that often annoys women (and men) on dating sites is poor grammar. I’m sure that you were typing your post above quickly, but if you weren’t, there are more than a few grammatical errors that could be off-putting to some women. One of the services I’d recommend is

    Online dating can work. Three years ago I met someone who I just married about 6 weeks ago. I did online dating on and off for about 10 years. I went out on more dates than I’d like to count – but it was all worth it. But like everything else, you get out what you put into it (minus whatever roadblocks the dating sites put in your way – i.e. paid / unpaid members etc.)

    Good luck out there.

    • I turned to online dating because of not driving and I want to drive. This makes transportation an issue as I have the worst bus company I could petition have made better. I couldn’t find available women in real life. I even tried the beach. My bus going home from work was a reason I turned to online dating.

  17. I disagree about winks. I actually like that as a function as it allows me to find out who is interested without wasting my time writing a long email only to find I get no response. However, what I would like to get away with is the auto mailers, you know the ones where you can write one email and send it to 50 people or whatever.

    You should only ever be able to send an email to someone who you have actually viewed their profile in my opinion.

  18. @Dating Reviews:
    Here’s the problem with your idea (based on my research). Most women I’ve talked with hate the winks. Generally speaking they thought that meant the man was either too lazy to read their full profile and to create a customized email. If they can’t be bothered to write a 2-3 sentence email indicating while they’re interested, the women aren’t interested. The alternative is that they think he’s cheap, and he’s sending a wink because he isn’t a paid member.

    Sad to say, JDate has their click feature which is actually a step above. If I’m not mistaken, I believe OK Cupid has something similar. On JDate, you click a “y” on the users profile in whom you’re interested. JDate then sends an email saying one of these 6 people was interested in you. If they click “Y” on your profile, it then says that you both “clicked.” As a result, a) you didn’t go through the effort of sending a full email, and b) you know that she’s interested too, and would welcome an email from you and c) it’s a way for women to express interest without having to truly “make the first move.”

    Anyway, I think the industry is in need of a major overhaul. It’s not all about the dollars and cents .. it’s about find a way to help members while making money, not making money while occasionally helping members.

  19. started it all. However, I am finding alot of the dating sites are there for people’s instant gratification. Maybe land of phone call or text message and that is about it.

  20. I think Match is great, first man I met introduced to my friend, going strong, next I adored and had the best 3 months with but didn’t fancy him, it is a great place to meet people, I email and then ring then see or don’t. People seem normal and it is the way to meet these days.

  21. Winks are naff, just email people and see if you have anything in common and I love the men out there that turn the 20 year olds down,,how wise! Apparently women lie about their age and number of kids, why bother and the men, good so far…

  22. This service is great if you’re looking for serious or casual dating. Their goal is to have you meeting other singles quicker following their “1-2-3 Meet” process which starts with filling out a very in depth profile, letting their automated system do all the work and send you compatible matches to have you then filter out the potential profiles.

  23. Absynth_Amy says:

    Have you seen the advert for It promises you’ll find THE one. Wonder how long it’ll take in reality. It’s too corny to be believed.

  24. I really like the service. They have a ton of members and their rates are pretty standard.

  25. I subscribed to on and off for about 10 years. I too used to hate the winks, but then started using them after I spent a lot of time writing thoughtful introductory emails without even a single courtesy email reply of, “Thank you for your interest, but I do not think we are compatible.” I finally started winking and would only reply to emails responses to my winks or return winks. This strategy was highly successful. I met the love of my life and we were recently married. Like all relationships, the key is to finding someone who is actually looking for a true committed relationship based on honesty. provides no guarantees; it just provides access to a larger pool of single people. How who construct your profile and select profiles to respond to is key in its success. If you portray superficial traits in your profile and seek out profiles with the same, you will have poor results.

    • You said: provides no guarantees
      This isn’t actually true. Match DOES make a guarantee. You have to keep you profile public, send out five emails per month and there is a third requirement. They state that IF you do these required steps you WILL find someone in 6 months and if not they will pay for the next 6 months. (this is, of course, for paying customers)

    • Exactly what Elaine said. You wink at people you find interesting. If they wink back or write then you can establish a rapport and take it from there. Depending on what part of the country you live in, you may have a huge imbalance of women or men in your region. If you are in NY for example and a woman, you’re probably getting tired of writing well crafted emails that never get read. In San Diego the situation is flipped, with a lot more women than men.

      Features like wink are helpful. I just wish the search and match engines worked better and could pair you up with people you’re interested in. Don’t get me wrong, Match does a better job than PoF and OkC of directing you towards people you’ll like. It could learn however from OkCupid which I think has much better criteria in their Q&A section (when people bother to fill it out).

      These statistics in the article are interesting but likely not relevant and may be inaccurate. If it took 1369 dates to get married, then you would need 273 weeks of dating 5 different people a week, never taking time out for an actual relationship or 2nd date, then finding the one on 1369. Ok on average it would take 273 weeks of impossible levels of dating. I don’t think this data is useful.

  26. Hi, I just had a question. After just being told by a girl I met on Match and went on about three dates with that she does not want to continue seeing me, and on top of the fact that every “connection” since I joined a year ago has ultimately failed, I’m beginning to become concerned that there is an underlying problem, perhaps about my background. What I mean is that I live in NYC, just finished my enlistment in the Air Force and am now pursuing a bachelors degree at NYU…at the age of 27. I honestly don’t think I am an unattractive person, so I’m wondering, do women in this age bracket have a problem with a 27-year-old undergraduate (i.e. looking for someone with a career at this age)? I have contemplated numerous possibilities as to why I have had no luck, but am starting to become convinced that this is more of a problem than I initially thought. Any women or experts have any insight? Also, I do send winks 9 out of 10 times just because I feel it is honestly a good system, is it really a huge turn off in reality? Thanks

    • Here’s how I feel about winks. I am a little old fashioned so I feel like if a guy is really, truly interested in me he WILL make a full on effort and contact me via email and starting a conversation. If a man just winked at me in real life for instance- I would hope at some point he would do something to get the ball rolling. A wink to me is a mere flirtation but nothing of substance. I also feel it’s a somewhat lazy approach, as then it puts all the work and courage on the girls lap, with the ball being in HER court to respond. So she makes the effort to write an email, but not the guy? I also agree that when sending out that first email, it’s tough. I have used no winks to initially contact a guy and have had very few men respond to them. I’ve got a great profile, have lots of likes for my pics, am told I am gorgeous, so I’m not sure what is going on other then, for a guys perspective, this just seems to bold. So as a girl, I am now considering sending a wink instead and let the guy make a move in responding. I agree with the gentleman that said, he got tired of sending emails to not get a response back. It’s very difficult to make that first move and try to think of something personal etc showing you have taken the time to read a profile and then never hear a thing. So us gals get that too! Having said that, I have been guilty of not responding. This is because early on in match, I sent a reply letting a person know thanks but no thanks and why, and I got an “ouch” back. I read my answer to several people, who thought there was nothing wrong with my explanation, but instead of appreciating my answer (he was a smoker)- I got an ‘ouch’ as a reply. So now I am hesitant to even send out declines. You really almost can’t win for losing.

  27. gridirongirl says:

    i’m currently trying to site because i’ve heard so many people have had success. i don’t know who these people are, but i’m sure not finding it to work as advertised! you can read my story at

  28. Following on from the earlier posts about how those stats can’t be possible re dates per marriage, I’d be interested to know how they find out how many marriages result from Match dates! I met my fiancee through, my brother met his wife through and my to be bridesmaid met her husband on there too – none of us has ever had a questionnaire from the site or gone back to match to let them know that we rank among their success stories. I do wonder how many other long term and married couples just don’t think to let them know either – maybe it’s not as bad a ‘return on investment’ as it seems….

    Oh, and I winked at my fiancee before I wrote – I just couldn’t think what to write that day, but luckily he wrote back.

  29. My brother and his wife met on – they have been married now for almost three years and have a lovely one year old son.
    I would however like to know more statistics down the line about how many or eHarmony marriages last.
    I think having the ability to make contact with people who are like minded, which you are probably more likely to do via the internet dating world than probably out there in the wide world. Saying that, I married my husband last year who I met on the bus, so for those not successful online – dont give up on ‘offline’ dating!
    As for Matt D’s comment – if you are getting insecure about what it is about you that seems to be putting women off – why not just ask the girls you’ve been out with why they didn’t want to see you anymore and to be truthful about it. It might not be anything about your career choice etc and may just be down to simple incompatibility. I was with someone for 6 years and was engaged and really tried hard to make it work, took me far too long to actually take a step back and look at it properly to see that if I stayed with him I would just spend the rest of my life banging my head against a brick wall. Now I am married to someone who is really on my wavelength, and it was a brilliant journey meeting him and getting to know him and falling in love.

  30. I have tried Plenty of Fish and it was just plain creepy, every date I went on the guys expected way more than I wanted to give…but that is what I get going on a free site….I have had Match for a few weeks now and have connnected with several nice guys rather than horn dogs. I am going on a date tonight!

  31. I actually like that as a function as it allows me to find out who is interested without wasting my time writing a long email only to find I get no response. i have had match for a few days and have to connected with several guys.

  32. I am one of the match success stories, online dating does works and works well. Dating site is the best way to meet people, but you do still need to have the strategies of meeting right people and don’t waste time. I used my experience of years of dating wrote a few dating books to help people want a partner in their life like I am. I met my husband on Match, we very happy. Check out my site:
    Thank you

  33. doesn’t work. I tried for years.. not one date… nothing.. nada… zip.. zilch..


  1. […] She declined to name that source. The company now says the 12-marriages-and-engagements figure, used by one blogger to estimate the number of dates per marriage, is […]

  2. […] Evans, David. “ Success Rate.” Online Dating Insider. Accessed: December 29, […]

  3. […] of online daters reported that their breakups occurred via email. Source: Article – ‘ Success Rates‘, David Evans (June 2009) Via: Random Facts l Studies show that men are put off by groups of […]

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