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One & Only

Online matchmaker give Cupid a run for his money

December 30, 1997

Dallas - At One & Only, love often begins at night. When the clock hits midnight, the online matchmaking service's Agent of Love pores through the new profiles for the day and makes matches. When subscribers to this free service check their e-mail the next day, new profiles await - profiles that perfectly match their pre-selected criteria for the ideal mate.

Although One & Only, a two-year-old Internet matchmaking service, prides itself on its more than 80,000 active, searchable romance profiles, the massive database can be intimidating. So One & Only developed a system that conducts the search for its users. One & Only uses agent technology that allows subscribers to select 11 traits that characterize their perfect mate. At that point, their work is done. The Agent of Love does the rest.

"We realize that people are particular about certain characteristics, including whether the person smokes or has children," said Dave Kennedy, co-founder of One & Only. "But rather than put the burden on the subscriber to ask those touchy questions, we screen their search to only include profiles with their specifications."

With about 800 new love seekers adding their profiles to the site each day, and more than 77,000 subscribers to the Agent of Love's free service, the possibilities for matches are pretty high. Will Bunker, co-founder of One & Only, said the site's agent technology is doubly beneficial to One & Only users. Not only do agent subscribers receive value, but those placing profiles on the site can, within 24 hours, be matched with someone looking for their qualities.

"It's an almost immediate return on the minimal time investment users make on our site," Bunker said. "Our client base consists of active, busy people. One of the top reasons visitors to One & Only look for romance online is lack of time. The agent feature meets that need."

Agent of Love subscribers won't get the same ads sent to them over and over. The agent only searches new profiles and One & Only has a strict policy of no duplicate profiles. The database is swept monthly to remove all bad e-mail addresses. Stringent cleaning and monitoring of the database is a distinctive feature of the service. One & Only also values the users' privacy. The site's strict privacy policy prohibits selling the database to anyone.

One & Only caters to young, upper-middle class singles, tired of the singles scene. Clients are educated professionals with an average salary of $60,000. Personal romance profiles are free and screened for content. Users of One & Only can even upload pictures - One & Only offers free scanning - to accompany ads. Singles can respond to profiles through the All-You-Can-Email (AYCE) Club for $14.95 a month.