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Meet Leigh and Casey Isaacson of Dig – The Dog Person’s Dating App

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leigh and Casey Isaacson.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
In 2016, Dig Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer Casey Isaacson was dating a guy who tried to be a dog person for her. By the end of the relationship, he didn’t want her sweet Cavapoo in his apartment or he would put towels down on the couch so the dog didn’t touch anything. (It’s important to note that Casey’s Cavapoo Layla most closely resembles a Teddy bear.) Casey said to her sister, and now Dig Co-Founder and CEO, Leigh Isaacson, “I wish I just knew from the start that this wasn’t going to work because of my dog.” Quick market research by the sisters showed that dog lovers everywhere were anxiously waiting for this platform to exist so they could find a compatible, dog-loving partner of their dreams. The sisters officially started the company together with the next summer and launched the app on the App Store for iOS by Valentine’s Day 2018 and on Google Play in October of 2018.

The most striking research to the sisters showed that 55% of single adults in the US are pet owners, with dogs leading the way – especially among millennials. The 72 billion dollar pet industry is clearly booming, and the dating app world is also growing quickly at the same time. Dating app users spend an average of 9-10 hours a week on their dating apps and use 3-4 dating apps at a time. Dating app users are dedicated, emotional, and are spending lots of time and energy looking for their right match, but all of that effort is a major pain point in the dating world because many say it feels like a second job!

The sisters were also intrigued that ⅓ of people on dating apps never make it out to a real, in-person date. Many say it’s in large part due to the gamification of dating. The Isaacson sisters wanted to create a dating app that cut to the chase to find you, someone, you were very compatible with but also have it be an app that encouraged you to get off the app and really meet the other person. So, they developed a dating app that connects dog-people based on what is important to them: their need for their future significant other to be compatible with their four-legged companion and the lifestyle of being a dog owner or lover. It’s the best way to find a compatible match and plan a dog-friendly date. You can search for someone with a dog or without a dog (yet)! The user base is growing quickly with the enthusiasm and excitement from thousands of dog-loving Dig users, the help of dog-industry leaders such as Rover, thousands of attendees who celebrate dogs and love at Dig events, and from the attention from press such as NPR’s How I Built This, Forbes, Cheddar TV, and more.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Our plan of growing our user base first before focusing on revenue is great for quickly getting Dig in the hands of as many people as possible. It cuts down on barriers to entry for Dig users, and it allows us to trade “daily deal” space on the app for marketing opportunities with influencers and companies rather than focus on sales. However, this growth plan meant we also had to split our time raising investments. At the same time, we quickly started getting a massive amount of inbound messages from Dig users and fans who wanted to join the Dig team or to help spread the word about Dig in their city. Some people were willing to work as interns, but we realized we were missing out on a huge opportunity to harness the enthusiasm of Dig lovers everywhere. So, we created a brand ambassador and event specialist program for people to work and earn money based on commission. This has allowed us to bring on an incredible, dedicated, and enthusiastic group of people who are getting the word out about Dig in unique ways in their own cities. Still, however, we need additional investment to bring these incredibly dedicated Dig ambassadors and fans on to build out our team and scale even more quickly so Dig users have more people to match with everywhere.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Dig- The Dog Person’s Dating App story. Tell us more about it.
We’re proud to be known as a brand truly dedicated to dogs and love in all forms. Refinery29 even called Dig “one of the most wholesome dating apps” out there.

So far, one of our biggest accomplishments has been creating strategic and powerful partnerships with dozens of companies in the pet industry and with companies that want to be dog-friendly such as WeWork. Before we had a single dollar for advertising, our partners were sharing information about Dig to their customers and followers, which helped us quickly spread the word about Dig through the dog communities of each city we launched in. For example, we petitioned the National Day Calendar to create “Dog Mom’s Day,” which is officially a national holiday founded by Dig (May 11th this year!). Our partners helped by throwing events and celebrating this new holiday on behalf of Dig nationwide, which got the word out and generated lots of press and many downloads for Dig at no cost to us. This helped us build our brand while we were raising our first investments in order to grow, develop, and advertise.

Refinery29 article: https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/best-dating-apps

More about National Dog Mom’s Day: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-dog-moms-day-second-saturday-in-may/

Importantly, as well, we’re proud to support and work with amazing rescue groups. All dogs featured in Dig marketing and Dig on @DigDates Instagram are available for adoption from Jefferson Parish SPCA and NOLA Bulldog Rescue (New Orleans area shelters), and all Dig events nationwide are also adoption events that feature adoptable dogs from local rescue groups.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The first time someone came up to us at an event and said they met their boyfriend on Dig was one of the most heartwarming and proudest moments of our Dig career. We’ve had many people also say that although the dates may have not worked out, the dates never feel like a waste of time because they loved getting their dogs out and playing. We absolutely cannot wait for the first Dig dog-filled wedding!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
DigDates.com or Dig Dates, Inc.

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