I need an advice from the marketing gurus here regarding my website I launched about 4 months ago. My plan was to offer 6 months of unlimited membership free to members so I can build up the database. I used adwords, POF and Facebook to promote the website and got a great response. Once I had 3000 members I decided to offer paid memberships for new registrations. I waited for a few weeks and did not get a single paid membership. Members could send 6 messages a day and can search for other members. Lot of features like unlimited messages, chat, who viewed me were part of the top (Gold) membership. I found it really surprising that no one wanted to upgrade.
Finally I decided about about a week ago to change the free membership so the members cannot contact other members at all. Since then I've had over 800 signups but none wants to pay! It's mind boggling! I was first charging 14.99 for the top membership and now I'm offering it for $8.99, I am even offering the silver membership for ONLY $3.99 and I still cannot get anyone to pay! On top I have made all plans "ONE TIME PAYMENT", so members are not scared of the subscription mode.
I am familiar with the dating niche in the US and people would pay if they were seriously looking to meet other people but I have no clue what is up with the Spanish Market, Currently I'm only offering Paypal with the option to pay with credit cards. One of my thoughts was that may be some people in Latin America are scared to use credit cards online or some don't even have one but I would think if that was the case they would have contacted me, as they do for any other little thing.
I would really appreciate if you can share some tips with me. I would have kept the website free but adsense earnings are not much and it would take me ages to make any money I've already invested about 8K in the project.