Review of Direct Matches

by Mark Worthen, Psy.D.

Review of DirectMatches.com

Review of Direct Matches: Pros

1. A huge number of newcomers to online marketing, home business, network marketing, etc. are members of the site.

It presents a great opportunity to offer assistance and useful information to newbies and thereby attract them to your products or services.

2. The site automatically matches you with other members ("direct matches") with similar interests. In a sense, it does some of the networking for you.

3. It's not all Internet and network marketers on Direct Matches. There's a good number of brick & mortar small business owners and service professionals, e.g., insurance agents, as well as artists and musicians. That's more interesting on a personal level and can be more profitable for some businesses.

4. It's one of the most diverse sites in the Internet marketing, network marketing, or affiliate marketing areas in terms of ethnicity and class in particular.

Review of Direct Matches: Cons

1. The usability (user-friendliness) of the site is mediocre, at best. Specific examples include:

  • Their email program inserts a large blank rectangle over the top part of the email you're trying to compose. You cannot move it or delete it, even though it obscures part of the email you are trying to write. I wrote Direct Matches months ago about this problem, as I'm sure other members did. Last time I was on DirectMatches, it was still there.
     

  • The forum requires you to use raw HTML code. Since a lot of people don't know how to do that, the posts end up having no structure; just once sentence after another, all smushed together.

2. You can send and receive a very small number of emails. To make the site worth it for meaningful networking you have to upgrade to the "Customer" level at $9.95 a month. I didn't find that it was worth it--I was a free member for a long time after I dropped my Executive membership; I tried it at the Customer level for a few months; shortly before writing this review of Direct Matches, I went back to Free since the fee wasn't worth it for me (I hear it has been for other people).

3. You are inundated with promotional emails from other members. You would consider these emails to be spam if they arrived in your regular email Inbox but as a member of Direct Matches you agree to "network" with other members. Unfortunately, the majority of Direct Matches members do not know how to network properly and instead they bombard you with their business opportunity.

4. If you join as an Executive, you will see (and hear) what I think is a major problem in network marketing: Overemphasis on the business opportunity to the exclusion of the product or service.

The conference calls and emails pound home the concept that "building the business" is what it's all about. If you should dare to suggest that a) You can build a business with customers too; or b) That the site needs some improvements to improve the customer's experience, you might very well be laughed at or ridiculed. Not usually, but I heard it happen, and the response to such questions was always negative.

I went back and forth several times with their tech support department (I never saw the owner or saw any correspondence from him that I recall) and leading (upline) distributors about the usability problems. The support staff saw what I meant to some extent but they tended to minimize the problems. The upline guys just kept repeating the mantra, "Don't sweat the small stuff man, focus on building your business!"

Review of Direct Matches: Conclusion

Combining a business networking site along the lines of Ryze or LinkedIn with an MLM distribution and marketing model was--and still is--a superb concept. Unfortunately, Direct Matches has fallen prey to the age old problem in MLM: Overemphasis on the business opportunity to the detriment of the product itself.

Despite all the hoopla on the Direct Matches conference calls about it being "the next MySpace," if you visit the site and register as a free member, it doesn't take long to realize that the site pales in comparison to MySpace, Ryze, LinkedIn, etc. For an MLM to work, it must provide either a unique product or service or it must beat the competition on quality. My review of Direct Matches indicates that it is neither unique nor does it provide superior quality compared to its competitors.

If you enjoyed this review of Direct Matches, you will also want to read an informative discussion of DirectMatches.com on the following thread (click the link below), from the ConquerYourNiche Forum:

Do Communities Like DirectMatches Work?

 

The author of "Review of Direct Matches" is Mark Worthen, Psy.D. Dr. Worthen is a Phi Betta Kappa graduate of the University of Maryland's Honors Psychology program. He earned his Doctor of Psychology degree from Baylor University after serving as a Clinical Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. In addition to his work as a psychologist, he earns income as an Internet & Network Marketer.

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