The International Dating Industry is a Mature and Refined, Online Entertainment Industry That Serves a Niche Market.
I know what you’re thinking, “What the Hell?”
I think differently about things, and I’ll explain what I mean and why it is so important for you to thoroughly understand this concept before you start trying to meet women overseas.
First, A Little History:
It’s not “The Mail-Order Bride” Industry anymore. You don’t order anything. You can’t find women on Amazon.com and choose the size, style, and country of origin. The original, now antiquated, “Mail-Order Bride” Industry started about 150 years ago, and you did send away for a wife who showed up to live in whatever life into which she walked. Most of the time, she consented to this situation, but the laws were different in those days, and her father may have sold her into this new marriage. Today, we would call this “Human Trafficking,” and it is wrong!
Businesses started using newspaper advertisements and catalogs to advertise women seeking marriage in the middle 1800s and continued for more than 100 years. In the ’70s and ’80s, companies worldwide published subscription-based magazines with mini-profiles and contact information of women from various countries. A man would subscribe to one of these publications, write snail mail letters, and then hope the US and foreign mail systems would deliver the letter. There was an obvious lack of language-translation for these letters that was considered a problem. But things started changing with the arrival of the Internet.
The Wikipedia article for Anastasia Date, one of the largest internet providers of international correspondence, describes how the founders started by selling catalogs of women profiles before transitioning to the internet-based letter writing format in 2003. Anastasia Date would translate your message and deliver it for a fee. Anastasia Date reported in 2012 that they had over 4M users worldwide. If you check their Internet Traffic Analytics on Alexa.com, you will learn that they have over 200K unique visitors each day and 4M pageviews/day (that’s 20 pageviews per visitor on average for each visit to their website).
The International Dating Industry has had over 17 years of revenue to establish, refine, and then modernize their business models, value propositions, offerings, pitches, sales copy, and services as new technology has become available. E-commerce has grown immensely over this period, with new capabilities, technologies (video streaming, etc.), and much-improved worldwide access to broadband capability. All of these new changes allow for inexpensive communications with Voice Over Internet Protocols (VOIP). Yet, almost all international dating websites maintain proprietary communications channels that prevent you from using these less expensive methods for communication. The present annual sales estimate for International Dating Industry is approximately $800M to $1B and growing. That is why I opine that they are Mature and Refined.
Where Men Go To Find International Women:
Now let’s consider the second point of my initial thesis, which is the characterization that the International Dating Industry is primarily an Online Entertainment Industry. For this point, I used some research that I developed for a book that I’m writing for the International Dating of Slavic Woman (e.g., Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Georgia, or any of the other former Soviet states). In the graphic below, I counted up the websites that I could locate on the Internet and estimated how much traffic these sites were getting.
The most important metrics that I could reliably find (without paying several hundred dollars a month for an Alexa.com membership) were “unique visitors per day” and the “average number of pages visited by that unique visitor.” I then put this information into the simple table below. I was not surprised when this quick analysis showed that Letter-Writing internet sites dominate web traffic metrics. These websites hold most of the photographs of beautiful Slavic women found on the internet. These sites imply that these women are looking for a husband and can entertain your correspondence as a prelude to a possible relationship.
The Scourge of Modern Times – Terms and Conditions:
I have a unique opinion on how these electronic letter writing companies (ELWC) conduct their business. I think they are brilliant and successful business people. I don’t believe these ELWC websites do anything wrong, or illegal, or fraudulent. I think they do a fantastic job of providing communications and entertainment.
Whenever anyone uses any online service, the website owner defines the relationship and agreement between the website owner and the user in the “Terms and Conditions” portion of their website. On these webpages, electronic letter writing companies clearly warn you that they cannot “warranty” any communication that occurs over their network. Many companies admit to using “suppliers,” which are the small marriage agencies in cities worldwide that recruit the ladies who provide profiles that reside in the ELWC databases and displayed on their websites.
“Terms and Conditions” are established for just about all websites, and they generally are to the benefit of the company or person who launches the website. Just like any brick and mortar store or restaurant, business owners get to set the terms of the business relationship between the two of you. You can’t escape “Terms and Conditions,” you either have to agree to them, or you can’t use the website. It is always up to the individual to read, comprehend, and understand the limitations of a website’s “Terms and Conditions.”
This situation means you have to go with the flow if you want to use an ELWC’s website. The website doesn’t guarantee or “warranty” any communication content that comes across their website. And how could they? Many use suppliers who recruit women to provide profiles in their databases. These women are people just like you. You are free to write what you want to write, and so are the people recruited by the supplier agencies for any particular ELWC website. The ELWC simply provides the electronic network over which all communications between members of the website flow. The ELWC website cannot and does not police the other members of the website. You are clearly warned on the Terms and Conditions webpage that you bear all the risks in communicating through their website.
ELWCs provide guidelines and instructions in the “Terms of Agreement” with their suppliers about how the system is supposed to work to allow the properly translated communications between members to flow. Since these suppliers are not “agents” or “employees” of the company, an ELWC has limited action that they can use with a supplier if that supplier, or one of the website members recruited by the supplier, violates their “Terms of Agreement.”
I’ve read many Terms and Conditions webpages for all sorts of companies in all kinds of industries. There is nothing unusual or illegal in the Terms and Conditions webpages for International Dating Agencies. If you don’t believe me, ask a friend who’s an attorney to review the Terms and Conditions webpage of an ELWC website and explain in simple words what these webpages say. Then ask your lawyer friend how well the website serves your interests and how well the website serves the company’s interests. Unfortunately, far too many websites in many different industries have very lop-sided “Terms and Conditions” in a company’s favor in today’s world. Ultimately, the user or consumer of these websites suffers.
I remember reading in one company’s Terms and Conditions webpage that the site’s purpose was “for entertainment purposes only.” And that’s when I put two and two together finally. If none of the communications across a dating website’s channels can be warranted to be real, or sincere, or sourced from the actual person in the pictures of the profile you are interested in, why would people use it? Maybe it’s because that person using the website doesn’t need it to be real. That’s an interesting hypothesis. So I did some thinking about any company’s whole business model, whether or not it is an internet dating site.
For internet businesses to survive, websites must meet the needs of their customers. What if the vast majority of ELWC website customers want entertainment more than they want a real relationship? This theory, and it is only a theory since I haven’t tested it thoroughly, makes a tremendous amount of sense. This theory fits the common opinion that 95% to 97% of the people who use these ELWC websites never travel to another country to meet the person with whom they are corresponding.
Traditional business practices would suggest that ELWC companies meet the needs of this vast majority of their customers. These customers may only want the entertainment of writing letters to a woman in a foreign country, and the potential of a long-term relationship adds to the entertainment value. But these men have no real desire to create a long-term relationship or marriage. So, I believe that these companies perform a valuable service and are very good at what they do. It may be a happy by-product of their value proposition, but a majority of men that use their site (i.e., the ones who will never travel to meet the women with whom they are writing or chatting) are obtaining precisely what they want. There is nothing untoward or illegal or immoral going on with ELWC websites. When considering this theory, these ELWC websites have a legitimate business model, and their value proposition appeals to most of their customers.
However, it is fair to say that not all ELWC websites use suppliers, have the same business model, or use the same value proposition. There are ELWC websites that do not use small marriage agencies as suppliers, and foreign individuals directly create their profiles and upload their pictures to these ELWC websites. These individuals write their letters and sometimes translate their words and words when communicating with you. These other ELWC websites have modeled their value propositions on several western internet dating companies in the West. Match, Zoosk, Plenty of Fish, OkCupid, eHarmony, Tinder, and several other internet dating websites and phone apps come to mind.
This difference in ELWC websites is important, not only in their services but also in their effectiveness. Efficiency and effectiveness should be very important to you if you are serious in your pursuit of finding a woman to date and eventually marry. Can you find a wife on any ELWC website? Absolutely! Is it an effective and efficient way to find a wife? That’s a question that many men don’t stop to ask themselves, or that may even know that they should be asking.
Is this letter-writing method better than other methods that men have tried in the past? What is the most effective way to meet, date, romance, and marry the international woman of your dreams? I strongly suggest that you ask yourself many questions as you begin your search to find the perfect type of international woman for your specific needs and desires. I wrote this report to hopefully get you to start thinking and learning how to travel on your journey more effectively.
Honestly, I Only Read The Profiles:
I have one more point to make about the entertainment value of most ELWC websites. Back in the day, you’d hear men say, “Oh, I read Playboy magazine for the articles.” And one could do that. It was a fantastic lifestyle magazine when I was in high school and college. But when you read a woman’s profile on one of these ELWC websites that have only gorgeous women in their database, what do you remember? Do you remember all the beautiful women’s photographs, or do you remember their profile descriptions, likes and dislikes, and ages of their children? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that 99% of the men will remember her cleavage or her tight-fitting dress over an impressive derriere much more often than any fact that she likes theater, active sport, and cooking. Sex sells in advertising and entertainment, and that’s because we are biologically wired to respond to sexual stimulation. That’s why I opine that these websites that make up the main segment of the International Dating Industry are mainly online entertainment.
Exactly How Big is a Niche:
To my final point, this industry serves a niche market, I hate to say it, but any $1B industry in the world economy is not that large. If you compare the different entertainment markets, you will find the international dating market is pretty small. Take a look at the following graphic.
Now granted, both men and women are participating in these recreational activities in this graphic. Still, suppose you cut these numbers in half to adjust for women in the population of potential customers. In this case, many recreational activities are three times (Tennis), five times (Bowling), or 20 to 25 times (Boating, Recreational Fishing, Porn, Video Streaming, Movies, and Gardening) larger than the $1B international dating industry. Some are significantly larger, like golf, online or computer games, sports entertainment, home improvement, and outdoor recreational activities.
So a mere $1B is pretty small compared to the amount of money spent on recreational boating ($48B), going to the movies ($50B), watching TV programs on a streaming service ($51B), or even playing golf ($70B). That’s why I opine that the International Dating Industry is a niche market in the overall entertainment and recreational industries.
Don’t Confuse International Dating With Online Dating:
“But wait?” you ask. “Isn’t the International Dating Industry part of the Online Dating Industry?” Well, that’s an interesting question. Let’s go down that road for a while. It turns out that the majority of online dating companies are owned by a single corporation known as the Match Group.
According to the website Visual Capitalist and Yahoo Finance, the Match Group accounts for almost one-third of all the global online dating companies. It receives nearly two-thirds of the Online Dating Industry’s revenue. The Toptal.com Finance Blog  on Online Dating Industry shows the most popular players in the Online Dating Industry, and the International Dating websites are not discussed. Their main graphic for the Online Dating Industry shows the Match Group, the Spark Network (JDate, ChristianSingles, EliteSingles, etc.), the Meet Group (Meetme, Skout, Tagged), and then eHarmony, Zoosk, Bumble, Badoo, and Grindr.
You can argue that the International Dating Industry is part of the Online Dating Industry. Still, the financial people who analyze and invest in the Online Dating Industry don’t think so. And with close to $1B in revenue each year, the International Dating Industry would be a substantial player in the $7B – $10B Online Dating Industry. But the financial analysts won’t make that linkage. I think it’s fair to say that it’s probably best not to confuse or conflate the International Dating Industry with the Online Dating Industry. A majority of these international ELWC websites are not functionally the same as the online dating websites.
Who’s Out There Making Money:
Suppose you exclude the 80-90% of small marriage agencies paid to be suppliers for large ELWC corporations. The remaining 10- 20% of marriage agencies actively seek and support male customers to come and meet their ladies. But there is a caveat, and my wife and I are still working on proving the following theory. Nevertheless, we think that more than half of these matchmaking/marriage agencies probably also act as suppliers to these large ELWC corporations to generate additional revenue for their business. I have developed a methodology to identify matchmaker/marriage agencies that do this, but I haven’t completed an exhaustive canvassing of the companies to establish a defendable number. So, for now, I acknowledge that this is just a theoretical opinion and an estimated percentage.
Here is a quick overview of what I found in our research on International Dating is a single country. In this example, Ukraine. Over the last ten years, Ukraine was the 8th largest source of K-1 visa recipients for entry into the United States.
- There are over 154 total websites related to assisting the international dating process. Eighty-two, a little more than half, were PPL or monthly subscription fee ELWC websites. These ELWC websites will use their supplier networks to decide you want to travel to a city to visit a lady on what would be considered an individual tour.
- There are 14 websites from 2 different companies that offer group and individual tours for men seeking a Ukrainian woman relationship.
- About 41 Marriage Agencies offer Matchmaking services. Another 17 agencies do not sell formal matchmaking services, but who will advise you on your potential and how you are doing while dating ladies from their agency? This point may be a difference without distinction for some guys, but it does have an impact. Out of these 58 different marriage agencies, some have better reputations than others. Some have also aligned into a small collection of networked matchmaking companies. These marriage agencies (matchmakers and dating agencies) will support a client with an individual tour if he so desires.
Your research may vary. New websites and marriage agencies pop up all the time, and sites disappear all the time. Anzhela found one Russian Language website that teaches Ukrainian’s how to start up a marriage agency business. We don’t expect these numbers to stay the same in Ukraine. We are working on getting the stats just like these for other countries and will have those numbers in a little while. But we expect the situation to be very similar. That’s because we have already learned that almost all ELWC’s have cloned their websites and business models to the Asian, South American, and African markets.
You Don’t Have Time For The Pain:
I have spent a lot of time describing the International Dating Industry, but I feel like I have just scratched the surface. There are so many more insights and aspects of business models to discuss, but they’re not absolutely “Essential.” Unfortunately, I haven’t the time to go into these other points now, and besides, I haven’t even talked about why this point is so important.
It’s important because you can avoid 90% of the International Dating Industry’s pain if you simply choose a dating strategy that doesn’t include writing letters to someone you have never met. Your best chance of success comes from using a dating strategy that has you meet someone face-to-face first before attempting to develop a relationship.
You can’t avoid all risks because unethical people will infiltrate even the best companies and websites that provide introduction services to foreign men. But you can avoid 90% to 95% of the risk. You simply must stay away from writing letters to women you have never met using websites that won’t vouch that the person writing the letters to you is the woman in the profile pictures or that she is even a woman.
There are many more effective and efficient ways to meet and romance a woman than by doing it remotely over an ELWC website. I understand the appeal and the ease of using internet websites to reach out remotely and make a connection with someone. Unfortunately, most ELWC website customers do not appear to be interested in efficiency or effectiveness in building a real relationship with a lady. They are happily consuming the entertainment value of the communications.
But if you are serious about finding a wife overseas, ELWC websites are not the right choice for you as the basis for an introduction and dating strategy. You don’t have time for the pain, hassle, and frustration that can come by starting down the wrong path on your journey to find the International Woman of Your Dreams.
Why You Should Stop Writing Letters Now, and Maybe Never Go Back To Them:
I always advise that if you are using any ELWC’s website, you should check out their “Terms and Conditions” page, followed by their “Testimonials” page. You can also input their web address on Alexa.com and see how much internet traffic they have. If they have a second or admin server, then there’s an excellent chance that “supplier” marriage agencies access this alternate server to post their supplier agency letters.
Almost all ELWC and marriage agency websites will have a page that shows you photographs of the happy couples that found each other on this website. It would be best to evaluate these “Success Stories” on their Testimonial page for a few things. First, find a man in your demographic with a lady like the one you want to date. How many examples are there? What appears to be the average age difference for the success story couples that the website does show? Be sure to check to see if they have some sort of time stamp on the photo or story so you can figure out how many successes a company has each year.
And ask yourself the obvious questions. Why am I being shown this couple? Why are there so many or so few testimonials? If the company is that good, or that big, or has that many unique daily visitors, why are they not showing more testimonials? Why are all the testimonials published on the same day and have never been updated? Why do the testimonials have no date stamp or time where you can learn what year this couple got married? It’s not a privacy issue, as most sites will try to tell you. Typical human behavior tells you that most people will be extroverts and will want to declare proudly that they married a beautiful young woman.
You also want to make sure that the photos are actual photos from a wedding or where you can quickly tell that they are a couple. Some websites use images from social mixers (name tags are a dead giveaway). Those photos only tell you that you can meet women like those in the pictures, not that you can actually date or eventually marry women like that.
So, look carefully. You want to see happy couples that look like you and the type of woman you want to date. For example, you can find this kind of photo on the Dream Connections website under Testimonials. They have documented almost all their Tour Events, including their “Final Dinner” celebration. The pictures from these events will show you exactly the kinds of women that men find during their tours. You want to find similar transparent reporting and results from any agency or website you choose to use.
When it’s time for you to evaluate a marriage agency, ask them for the contact information from 10 happy couples (and settle for 3 or 4 satisfied clients) that were your age when they used the company’s services and give each couple a call. Ask each couple about their story and maybe 100 other questions about how their dating process went and what things were the most important for their success.
Most ELWC websites aren’t strong on success stories. For soaking up the vast majority of the industry’s revenue, one would logically think that these websites would have the lion share of success stories documented on their websites. If you are presently using an ELWC website, go check out their success stories or testimonial pages. Then ask yourself some obvious questions that I mentioned earlier, and maybe a few more too. At the end of your evaluation, be sure to ask yourself if this ELWC website serving your best interests.
If you are serious about finding a special someone in a foreign country or different culture to marry, your success in finding her will most likely be found in the smaller marriage agency or tour segments of the International Dating Industry. There are appropriate ways to use ELWC websites that allow you to email directly with another member. But only if this letter writing is part of a broader dating strategy and used in a very particular manner.
Been There, Done That, Got The T-shirt!
I wasn’t always this knowledgeable or experienced in international dating. I’m just a guilty as many men who have written letters on these ELWC websites. Many years ago, after my second divorce, I was knocked down and licking my wounds, but I still felt the urge to connect with someone. I didn’t stop to think things through critically. I bought into all the myths and marketing information that ELWC websites sent my way. The International Dating Industry was much smaller then, and there were not as many options as there are today.
My desire was only to connect with someone new, and I wanted to know if I could make a connection with a beautiful young woman. I decided to dip my toe into the water to see if the possibility was even possible. It is easy for me to believe that many men start writing letters for the same reason. I wasn’t serious back then. I was simply trying to assess what the potential was with this type of online dating. And I made all the typical mistakes and didn’t ask myself any of the questions about which I just wrote.
I still have all those letters and profile materials saved in one of my archives. Maybe one day, I’ll write a blog post about not making the same mistakes that I did. But I can tell you now that I was thoroughly entertained during my interactions with the ELWC websites. I didn’t mind spending the money, and ultimately, I knew that it was too expensive of an indulgence for me to continue. I was divorced and broke. I stopped writing letters and invested my spare cash in improving my golf game. My golf buddies would argue that I still wasted my money, and they aren’t exactly wrong.
After completing my journey to find romance and marry my fantastic wife, I have several other reasons why you should stop writing letters now and maybe never go back to them. The eBook, The Ten Essential Things You Should Know Before Dating Overseas, our blog posts, and Global-Romance.com’s other resources are filled with them. This first most important thing is one of the significant reasons, but there are others. You’ll learn a lot more when you explore the rest of The Ten Essential Things You Should Know Before Dating Overseas.
You can find this book for 99¢ on Amazon.com. You can find this book by using either www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08K3J4KBT or www.books2read.com/u/bMPe2X.
Since this is a new beginning for our second blog post on our new website, here’s a Selfie of Angela and me at sunrise on the beach in Torremolinos, Spain, right after I proposed to her. The theme of my proposal speech was the sunrise or a new day, and our “New Beginning.” We hope you can create your new beginning one day in the future.
Have a good one!
John and Angela