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eHarmony Makes Play For Married Demographic

As the online dating industry has reached the point where steady growth is more the norm than huge spikes in revenue seen earlier in the decade, new services are being rolled out by all competitors to differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

One such competitor, industry leader eHarmony.com, has made a play to expand its potential customer base from singles to those in committed relationships by unveiling a new marriage counseling service.

The benefits are obvious for eHarmony. The company's claimed success rate is the highest in the industry and with so many couples finding love through eHarmony, the inevitable problems that occur in any marriage can now be taken straight to the source of the union in the first place.

That kind of relationship vertical integration, if you will, speaks volumes of the efforts being taken by all online dating agencies to expand service offerings and maintain growth in their customer bases.

Match.com, one of the chief competitors to eHarmony.com, has also launched a relationship counseling service. While not branded as a marriage counseling service, it is intended as a relationship advice resource and touts Dr. Phil McGraw as its main asset.

The real aim of any online dating site is to capture as much of the market as possible and while eHarmony has shot itself in the foot by not offering services for same-sex couple or short-term daters, they are trying to make it for it by going after the much larger married market.

The question here remains whether eHarmony, even with its success and notoriety can draw couples with real problems to the online medium. Obviously, couples that have met through eHarmony might have a special sense of credibility for the site, but that segment is still much smaller than the married market eHarmony is going after. Will married couples that have not gone through eHarmony consider relationship counseling through the site as reliable and worth the money? My gut says no, but there is certainly a market out there for assistance and kudos to eHarmony for making a splash in an unexpected segment for an online dating powerhouse.

Posted by eDatingCentral.com Jan 15, 2007 5:02 pm

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