December 4, 2012

2012 - we're happy

If you're reading this you either just got here or you want to keep up with what we're doing. Either way, we hope this post gives some context.

Massage Republic launched in Feb 2012 (sort of), we managed a decent site by May 2012, then busted our guts to get somewhere towards a cool site over the last months.

The feedback we got from users and advertisers has been fantastic. We have taken those comments and pushed them into the development of the site. What happened next was even better, stuff like this:
Thanks for the note, I have checked it out and use your site regularly. If I am honest I thought when you said "We will remove all the fake listings", in your last mail, that you were pulling my leg (so to speak..!!). But hey you have done pretty much what you said, and the site is greatly improved. Do you know how much your site has improved in Dubai........You cannot find a forum here now which does not talk about Massage Republic and the verified profiles being real.
We are really happy we have provided a bunch of working girls and guys with over 120,000 contact actions (messages+clicks on phone number+clicks on website) in the last three months. We think you are great and look forward to doing so much more in 2013.
October 2, 2012

September Success

In September we concentrated on some of the 'small stuff' that makes a difference. Most of that was behind the scenes improvements to make some of the processes work better. The presentation of search results was improved and we added a new section called 'What's happening' so users can see the latest reviews, questions and listings for a specific city.  We also made some changes to make the site work better on mobile devices - we still have some work to do in that area, but we made a good step forward.

Last month, we reached an important milestone for us (and our advertisers) - since we launched in February we have generated over half a million of what we call 'contact actions' - this is a user sending a message, clicking to see a phone number or clicking through to see an advertiser's website. We know it is sometimes difficult for service providers to evaluate how useful their marketing is, so we are sending a summary out on a monthly basis to each advertiser.

We are trying to do something different and better for providers and thanks for all the great feedback we got from some of you directly. You are all beautiful and thanks for your support so far.

I would like to ask that you get in touch in the forums here if you have something to say (good or bad) as we really love feedback!
September 3, 2012

What did you do this summer ;) ?

Whatever it was, we hope you had fun doing it!

In between a little R&R, the Massage Republic team has been busy pimping up the site to make the hard return to work more fun for our users and more profitable for our advertisers.

A few days ago we launched a new look for the pages where we show results for user searches. We already got some positive user feedback and the stats show people are viewing more pages and contacting more advertisers. The only downside of this change is that it does mean that paying advertisers will get more visibility on the site than before (only fair for them and we do have to make a living somehow ;). Having said that, the increase in contact actions from the redesign also means people with free listings are also getting more leads than before. Looks like this is a win-win for everyone! But if you want more customers, you should definitely consider upgrading.

Last month we started building in more features for users to be able to share their favourites, reviews and a little bit about themselves. We will add to this start over the next months based on feedback and how people use the site and hope this will add value to the user experience for those looking for a little more.

Kisses, Claire
August 1, 2012

Progress in July

For advertisers

We've now finished all of the changes for listings moderation. Current process is producing a fairer environment for everyone as the quality of the listings has improved and the 'fake listing problem' is resolved. Thanks for all your feedback as we have progressed through these changes.

For users

We now have more consistently reliable listings on the site. We have also upgraded the reviews and questions functionality so you get give your opinion and get feedback from an advertiser. We have a new design coming soon which we hope will make the site easier to use.

July 4, 2012

What we did in June

Busy month and we have made some great progress in delivering some new stuff.

For everyone

Advertisers can now place their Twitter feeds on their listing. Over the last few weeks over 50 feeds have been added, a real surprise - some faves:
Advertisers can also include a YouTube video (if you have a video hosted elsewhere and want to get it on the site, ask in the forums). This went live yesterday and several videos went straight up, including: Bella Amore in Auckland. Update: now deleted, but this one's better ;)

For users 

We have changed the layout for the listings and search to present information more clearly and help people get around the site.

For advertisers

We have changed the process for new and existing listings as we were getting swamped with fake ones. We know this is a bit of a pain for some people, but believe this is important for us to be able to deliver a viable service.
June 6, 2012

Fighting Fake Photos

One of the main complaints from users of the site is that there are too many advertisers using photos that don't represent the individual on a listing. We have also had complaints from advertisers about it not being fair is someone else is using photoshoots of famous film stars or models. For Massage Republic to provide a useful service to users and results for advertisers, this is obviously not a great situation to be in.

Over the last couple of weeks we have put in place a new process for dealing with fake photos. This is now live and over the next weeks we will be proactively going through listings and evaluating them alongside all of the user reports we have.

This means advertisers who post fake photos will get their listings blocked and persistent offenders will get their accounts blocked. You have been warned!
May 28, 2012

What we did in May

First, thanks to all of you who have got in touch to send comments and positive feedback. Equal thanks go to those who complained something didn't work as expected - we love to hear about any problems as this helps us get better for everyone.

For everyone 

We have added in questions and improved reviews. Questions mean users can get in touch to ask individual questions about the services advertisers provide and everyone can see the answers (if they are useful) or they can be answered privately.

For users 

You now get a page where you can see all of your reviews, questions and favourites on a single page. When you make a review or question, it is now linked to your page so others can see this info. This is the first step we are making to creating a space you can share with others on the site.

For advertisers

We just launched a new individual listing view. This layout gives us more space to present listings better and we hope you like it. At the beginning of June you will also receive your first performance report. This will tell you about the activity on your listing in terms of views, messages and other contact actions.

I have to take this opportunity to ask the small amount of advertisers who are: posting fake photos, making multiple user accounts and generally trying to get better results by cheating to please stop. We are having to get really tough on blocking accounts and moderating listings; none of this will help you get better results in the long-run. Please get in touch if you have needs which are not covered today and we will try to help.

What next?

We're working hard to make Massage Republic a place where users and advertisers both get benefit from the site. Suggestions are welcome here. To keep updated, subscribe by RSS below or by email in 'Follow by email' on the right.