Dating Services Form the Perfect Match

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The Right One, Hingham, MA, and Together Dating, Houston, have seen a surge in date requests just one month after the companies merged to form what they tout as the world's largest dating service. Terms of the merger were not disclosed.

The companies have gone from dropping 600,000 and 3.4 million mail pieces a month, respectively, to dropping 7 million pieces a month, and the two have increased overall responses to about 750 to 1,000 people a week.

Under the merger, The Right One and Together Dating will keep their respective names and will promote each other in their newly designed mailings.

"On one of our pieces we will tell people that they can visit an affiliate site of Together Dating," said Paul Falzone, CEO of The Right One and Together Dating.

The Right One also will be promoting its new book, "Finding The Right One," which will be released within the next month, in both its and Together Dating's mailings. The book will be offered free to those who respond to the mailings or to the 1 million to 2 million personalized e-mails that are sent out each month.

The pieces contain basic information on the companies, what they can offer to the potential client, along with testimonials from people who have taken part in the service. Some of them contain a personal profile fact sheet to fill out and mail back.

Whether a respondent calls the number provided, sends in the personal profile sheet or contacts them via the Web site, they are immediately given an appointment time to come in and fill out their applications. They are then matched with someone who fits their profile.

Once a person responds to a mailing, he is entered into the databases of The Right One and Together Dating. Follow up calls also are conducted.

What may surprise most is that not only do The Right One and Together Dating see a high response rate, but the majority of the mailings they send out are saturation mailings and not personalized.

"We personalize a portion of the mailings we do," Falzone said. "The personalization is done when we are looking to fulfill a particular segment that we may be lacking, like blue-collar women in Iowa."

According to Falzone, they conduct saturation mailings so that they can reach as much of the market as possible.

"Singles are also very transient and they don't stay in one place very long," said Brad Megahan, president of The Right One. "That's why we take a blanketing approach.

"We put the names of all the respondents into our database, which helps to keep us from mailing to the same person twice," he said. "We may even be mailing to married couples. But in the pieces, we include a paragraph asking them to pass the piece along to a single relative or friend if they have no use for it."

Falzone said most of the other dating services he is aware of in the country are small mom-and-pop stores with no more than one or two locations and with mail drops up to 5,000 pieces a month.

With the merger, the companies will have 89 retail locations throughout the United States.

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