If you are not familiar with API or Application Programming Interface please read this Wikipedia article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Applica...ming_interface
API postings are becoming very popular with dating sites both mainstream and adult.
In order to explain the benifits lets look at how I use API posting.
1. Surfer goes to one of my dating sites such as http://realfreedate.com/x2-dating.php
(if you signup use a fake email addy)
2. Surfer inputs his information in the fields and hits the search button.
3. When the search button is hit I API post his information to a dating site that is paying me.
4. That dating site(buyer) creates a free dating account for that surfer and emails him a welcome email. In that welcome email is a url that when the member clicks logs him into his account at the buyers site and also acts to confirm his account there.
It's that simple. There are many advantages to this sort of posting.
1. The person generating this API posting has complete control of what dating site or sites he signs his members up to.
He can in real time switch from one dating sponsor to another without having to change out banners and links. We all have seen how a dating site can do great for many days then for some unknown reason thier ratios and conversions drop like a rock. That is normally due to inboxing problems on their end but we will talk about that later. API posting allows you to quicky switch from posting to one dating sponsor to another. It also allows you to make and test your own signup pages. Surfers see the same dating site pages all the time. Unique and different pages is the key to getting surfers to signup. Being able to make your own signup pages is a big advantage.
2. You can API post the same surfer to more than one dating site at a time therefore increasing your chances of him upgrading and you making a sale. This is the tricky part so be carefull. The average dating site member signs up for 3 to 4 dating sites. Use this figure as a guideline. Signing up a member to 20 different dating sites is going to fill his email box with so many welcome emails that he will know that YOU are the source of these unwanted emails. Using API you can post him to a dating site at time of signup at your site, then another one 24 hours later, another one 48 hours later etc. This is much better than signing him up at multiple dating sites at the time of join. And this is most important: DO NOT sign him up at dating sites that are known to sell this same information to spammers or other dating sites.
Now for the disadvantages.
The main disadvantage of API posting is problems with the dating sites you API post to themselves. I have yet to see a single dating site that has worked out all the bugs and learned how to fully monetize API postings.
Here's some common problems I have encountered
1. Some dating sites require too many fields.
Some dating sites require the "Description" and "Looking For" in order to post. This is simply not practicle for most sites that API post. My join form http://realfreedate.com/x2-dating.php
has the required fields that is most common and practicle. In fact the sites that I do the best with only require the email address of the surfer, his IP address, and gender. The less the better. Some dating sites tend to think that the more information they gather at signup the higher the quality the lead is. This is true to a degree but requiring a lot of fields can mean 100 signups at 50% productivity versus 1000 signups at 25% productivity. The math is in favor of less fields.
2. Most dating sites do not return a auto login/confirm url upon posting.
When you API post a member to a dating site you REALLY need thier API to respond to yours with a url that acts as a autologin and a confirm url. And this url needs to always work, not just the first time. Members bookmark this url and can use it to login and you can advertise this url to them so they do login the dating site you are trying to promote.
Some dating sites send the login url and the user name and password in their email so the surfer has to copy and paste it to login. Surfers are lazy, hell I know I am. If its not one click them I'm not interested. Surfers EXPECT urls to log them in. Copy and pasting your user name was great back in 1999. How many times have you went to a site you had a account with and couldn't remember your user name and password and didn't feel like bothering with doing a password reset or reminder? Most people will just say to hell with it and go join another site.
HAVING A AUTO LOGIN URL/CONFIRM URL IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN MONETIZING API POSTINGS.
3. Many dating sites direct the surfer to the credit card page when they click the confirm url.
Aggressive is one thing but sending someone directly to a page where they have to pay right away in this situation is quite frankly the poster child of bad marketing. This tactic may work great if its a member that signed up for your site at your site, but for API postings its a sure fire way to lose a potential sale. A member API posted to you has never seen your site so why would they pay before they can see what your site has to offer? This is a no brainer yet many dating sites continue to do this. Use dating sites that send the new API posted member to thier complete profile or home page.
4. Some dating sites sell your members information.
Avoid these sites. While it may be in their TOS, you don't get paid for this and the end result is that the member you worked so hard to get will soon have his email address rendered unusable due to the large amounts of spam. It's real easy to find out what dating sites do this, simply make a yahoo email address and signup as a free member and check daily for spam.
5. Some dating sites are not proactive in getting your members to confirm.
Use dating sites that send reminder emails to members that have not confirmed at least once a week. Many send 1 or 2 reminder emails then stop sending. I recently attended a google conferance where it was stated that the average dating site member will take 2 to 3 weeks to decide what dating sites to join after finding them. Common sense tells us that if this is the case then it probably takes them another 2 to 3 weeks to upgrade once they have joined a dating site. API post to dating sites that are agressive.
6. Most dating sites do not allow the same email address twice.
Most dating sites will not allow someone to signup with the same email address more than one time. Many people may have created a account 3 years ago at a site and forgot all about it. Try to use dating sites that allow them to make a second account with that email addy so you can get paid if they upgrade. Helping a affiliate from 3 years ago is not my idea of good business. If you send the signup YOU should get paid for it.
Last but not least cover your ass. Put in your TOS that you can and will sell and share the members info with third parties.
I even have a checkbox at the bottom where members can opt out of this.
While API posts are not as high quality as a click on a banner, the sheer quantity has a big advantage. Look for other programs that accept API posting besides dating sites. The market is wide open. Thank you Choker