One of the toughest things about a paid dating site like Match.com is figuring out if someone has a paid subscription or is just a free member.
There’s no marking on their profile to indicate if they’re paying, and if you email someone who hasn’t paid, they can’t see their inbox. Your perfectly crafted first contact email could be rotting away, never to be seen by your potential beloved’s eyes.
WTF, right? Well, this is by design, in a clever marketing ploy that catches thousands of people a year.
Sucks, right? Well, you have to remember that the majority of online dating sites are businesses first and humanitarians second.
Here are some tips on how to tell if someone is a paying member on match.com:
They have a colored profile box
When you’re scanning search results and see a colored profile box, that indicates the person has paid extra for a highlighted profile. (At the moment, that’s only $1 extra a month if you buy a 6 month package.)
They say, “Email me!“
This is a pretty obvious one, but if someone says “Email me” at the end of their profile and they haven’t squeezed in “illegal” details on how to do so outside of match.com, chances are they are (or recently were) a paying member.
Their profile references emails they’ve received
Girls are especially guilty of this one. They write a nice profile and then a few weeks later, when they’re tired of an inbox full of cut-n-paste emails, creepy emails, and the subject line “hi”, they write an addendum that goes something like this:
Please don’t email me to tell me I’m hot. Or to invite me for drinks at your hotel for the 3 days you’re in town. Or if you are still “technically” married. Or if you’re a “young 54.” If you don’t match my ideal man, I’m not going to write you back, so just don’t waste your time. Thanks.
I hate those paragraphs, but I fully understand them because I’ve gotten those emails. It gets frustrating, and sadly, adding that paragraph doesn’t make the undesirables email you any less frequently. (It also scares away some of the good guys.)
But! If she’s got one of these in her profile, she can get email! (Just make sure you don’t add yourself to the list of undesirables.)
They are almost always active
Match.com allows you to see when the person last logged in to their account. Chances are that if the person’s been inactive for more than a week, they are not a paid member. There’s always the odd case of someone being on vacation, but more often than not, it means they set up the account, poked around for a bit, and forgot about it.
Save your emailing efforts for people who have been active within the past few days. These are the folks who are most serious about finding love, and most likely to have a paid account.
Option: Get Email Read Notifications
This option is currently on the list of add-ons you can get for $1 a month with a new subscription. It is a LIFESAVER if you’re one of those people who gets antsy about wondering if someone can’t email you or hasn’t emailed you. Saves you a lot of worry, wonder, and heartache.
Option: Get a Platinum Membership
Platinum membership is an add-on service being test-run in certain markets. It includes the following features:
- You are able to email with ANY member, paid or unpaid.
- Unpaid members will be able to see you as Platinum in search results and will be able to email you.
Moral of the Story
There are going to be people who don’t email you back. However, there are also people who are unpaid members who see the little “You have email!” notification and curiosity eats at them for two weeks until they finally cave, pay for a membership, and read your email.
It better be a good one!
I solve many, many more Match.com mysteries in my ebook: You Geek, They Grok: A Geek’s Guide to Leveling Up Your Online Dating Game. Click here to check it out.
Happy dating, geek friends.