So, the seventh Free Communication Weekend has ended. How did you fare? Here’s my experience:
eHarmony called for a party but nobody came
- I received 25 new matches over the last four days. Wow, 100% of them acted on the match (e.g., closed it or initiated). This is monumental for an FCW, I think.
- From these 25, I got two email addresses out of the deal. This is low, compared to earlier FCWs. Why? Because people only started moving along Day 3 (Saturday) afternoon. Indeed, eH’s four-stage process needs more than 36 hours.
- It was dead during Thursday and Friday. The two days felt like ordinary December days in eHarmony — slow responses, little participants. eHarmony called for a party but nobody came.
- Two of my previously-dead matches resumed communication, despite the large amount of nudges I sent on Thursday morning. Either nobody cared about me or nobody cared about the weekend. This is also low, compared to earlier FCWs.
- Few of my active matches (i.e., the few who were responding during the past week) moved forward, too. None of the regulars came to the party, either.
So I am not surprised to hear that you got nada out of the weekend. Moreso if you didn’t nudge people on your list.
FCW7 is a flop
I’m sure eHarmony’s metrics for the success of the weekend are signups, participation and conversion. I can’t say much about the other two, but participation was terrible.
- The announcements came late. Members got their notice on Thursday afternoon, or saw the TV ad on Thursday evening. Thursday was certainly a day lost. eHarmony Blog has its ears set to hear about these things, yet we ourselves didn’t hear about this until late evening on Boxing Day (Wednesday).
- Paying members got no announcements. More on this below.
- eHarmony should have FCWs from FRIDAY to MONDAY, as usual. Thursday is a busy weekday. The spur of activity will be on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. Monday is for “day after” — anticipating whether he responded to her initial OC message.
- They messed big by skipping December 31, where people not on holiday break are sent home early, and most people are HOME for New Year’s Eve.
- Reannouncing the 3-for-1 promotions that “end” on December 31, and marketing the event as ‘New Year, New Relationship’ would have helped too.
Do successful runs through the system entice participants to subscribe?
And why don’t unpaid members get announcements in advance? Can’t someone PLAN for the FCW?
This is an insightful question. Perhaps eHarmony wants participants (paying or not) stranded in the middle of the process. (I doubt paying members appreciate this, by the way.) I consider this a possible reason why eHarmony started the FCW on a dead Thursday, and why no one got advance announcements. Let’s think about it. If a participant gets a chance to write
I must say I really liked your questions as well as the answers you sent me…very interesting. My time on eHarmony is coming to a close so if you want to continue chatting then you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
will this participant subscribe later? Will the ‘successful’ experience sway the undecided participant to a buying decision? I say, Yes, absolutely!
On the other hand, we must also consider the paying participant.
eHarmony has a long-standing policy regarding freeloaders. They insist that everyone must pay. Do paying participants agree with this policy? Our December 2007 survey shows a close draw (57% vs. 43%). One half (57%) would rather have dead profiles than deal with those not financially committed. The other half WILL communicate to them. (You know which side I am, because I stay up extra to participate in FCW.)
Since the survey showed a draw, and I believe successful FCW runs DO lead to conversions, I posit eHarmony’s Free Communication Weekends have room for improvement: Earlier announcements and Friday-to-Monday schedules.
What do you think?