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Affiliate marketer’s guide to Dating

Affiliate marketer’s guide to Dating

As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s worth remembering that dating affiliate offers are one of the best ways to make money, since it’s an industry that has no end in sight. Millions of people are looking for online dating every day, plus the offers are simple to convert, and most of the time you get paid for free sign-ups.

In Pushground we are aware that competition is high, and that’s why we’ve created this guide to help you get the most of it.

About the industry

The dating vertical encompasses all campaigns and offers related to the promotion of dating apps or websites where people can sign up to find and connect with new people looking for love. The dating vertical has been a widely popular vertical because of its simple conversion flows and quick profitability. The dating vertical is considered a newbie-friendly and an evergreen vertical meaning that it’s easy to drive conversions any time of the year.  There are two main sub-niches in dating, adult, and mainstream. Mainstream refers to typical dating sites while adult dating refers more to sites or apps for ‘sex only’ relationships. One of the main differences between the 2 is that adult normally accepts traffic from adult sites with fewer restrictions on creatives.

Key advantages of dating offers:

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Converts year-round
  • Quick conversions

Industry size and growth.

With dating offers representing more than 20% of push traffic, it’s definitely one of the most popular categories.  

As we said, there are two types of dating offers – adult dating and mainstream dating.

In Pushground, volumes for the two types of dating offers are different, with mainstream representing 2-3 times more volumes than adult dating

It’s important to highlight the fact that both types can behave in different ways and perform differently across geos. Let’s take a look at them separately!

Dating Mainstream

As seen in the image below, the most popular geo for this category was the US followed by some other Tier one geos including France, Germany, Great Britain, and Canada.

Dating Adult

As seen here,  the popular countries for dating adult are quite similar to those of the mainstream.

Target audience

A basic and most important decision when creating a dating campaign is where to run it. Results have shown that countries such as the US, some, and some other top tier geos have the best engagement with dating offers, but it’s important to note that campaigns in these geos are not always the most profitable. You can often save a lot by focusing on less competitive countries.

In any case, it’s important to highlight that all countries can be potentially good for dating, and we have seen good outcomes in geos that are not very popular or don’t seem to be dating-friendly.

All you need to do is try different approaches and take time to test!

Another helpful tip is to run dating offers with specific targeting hours. There are some moments when the audience for dating offers is probably going to be more engaged, for example, evenings and weekends.

Seasonality

The dating vertical is considered an evergreen vertical meaning that it is profitable at every time of year. That being said, it does have a few times of the year with increased performance.  The best time to promote is around the winter holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, but it also does exceptionally during summer.

How has it been affected by COVID-19?

When the pandemic first started a lot of people were predicting that online dating would take a big hit because of the new limits on socialization. But to their surprise, the vertical stayed booming throughout the pandemic with the society deprived lovers finding their only way to meet new people was online. All the time inside just made people more eager to find someone to pass the time with.

About the offers

Tips to choosing the offers

As dating is a hot vertical right now, which means that competition is high, it’s important to choose the right offer and go for those which are proven to be working in the specific format that you will be choosing. It’s always recommended getting close with your affiliate manager to get the best offers.  You can check different networks such as TopOffers and talk to your affiliate manager.

Average payouts

The average payouts for dating offers are normally just a couple of dollars for quick signups whereas DOI offers can be up to $20. It’s also possible to gain residual commissions on sales.

Popular affiliate networks

There are many affiliate marketing programs that can provide you with dating offers, some of them might be in-house offers or can be provided through an intermediary. You’ll probably have a contact in there that will help you choose the best offers for you.

You’ll also be able to get insights regarding the creatives, optimizations, budgets, etc.

Here are some of the larger affiliate programs for dating  that might be worth checking:

  • Cougar life: you’ll have access to a broad range of creatives. The platform is not free but in return, you’ll get high commissions
  • Match: it’s one of the most popular dating sites. You’ll also get high commissions and the minimum subscription period is 3 months.
  • CupidMedia: you’ll also be provided both with text and banners for your creatives
  • eHarmony: you will have access to a lot of marketing material that is being updated regularly.
  • Seeking arrangements

Other affiliate networks worth checking:

How to advertise it

Dating creatives

The next step is deciding what will be your visual ad, so the text and the images. A good option before doing that is using a spy tool such as Adplexity to check which ads/texts/landing pages are your competitors using, so you can get an idea.

Remember that in any case, it’s worth texting your account manager in Pushground to get insights and recommendations!

Tips for images

  • Avoid using images of celebrities or known women/man
  • For the small icon try the ones resembling direct messages
  • Rotate your creatives regularly
  • Be consistent with your creatives across banners, pre-landers, and landing pages. The images and looks of the women/men have to be similar and match as far as possible.
  • Using images of real men and women usually convert better than pictures of models.

Tips for the Text

  • Use the language that is most appropriate for your audience. The text should not be the same if targeting a young audience compared to a senior one.
  • Make sure you’re using the language that is most popular in the target audience. For example, in some countries, more than 1 language is widely used, like India, where Hindi and English are both official languages. Even in some western European countries, not everyone speaks English, so it’s important to address the audience with the native language to ensure a higher engagement.
  • Use emojis to engage your audience

Creative restrictions

Something to think about when running dating offers is making sure that they meet all the conditions in order to be displayed.

Let’s make sure that you offer is not a sex product or pornography advertising.

Additionally, make sure that the images don’t include nudity and that the text is meeting all the requirements.

Here you can check the creative restrictions in detail.

Landing pages and pre-landers

Some popular landing pages and pre-landers for dating campaigns involve interactive parts to engage visitors.  Some examples of this are ideal match quizzes and a quick chat with bots before the conversation becomes locked.  There are tons of different angles available for pre-landers and landing pages, but the popular classics are related to older partners, neighbors looking for love, and exotic foreigners. If you still don’t have the landing pages and pre-landers you are going to use, looking in Adplexity can be a good option. If you find some you like, you can make small changes and create your own ones, and then you’re good to go!

Remember to change landing pages across geos, and also to have at least 2 or 3 different versions for each GEO so you can split test them and check which ones get the best results.

Optimization

  • When launching any campaign (in dating or any other vertical) it is important not to miss any important targeting at first. That’s why at the very beginning of it we strongly recommend launching wide-open campaigns to gather as much data as you can, so you can properly optimize them later.
  • As a reminder, remember to launch different campaigns for mobile and desktop
  • Be aware that setting a bid image when targeting desktop is essential for having a good outcome.
  • If needed, divide the campaigns between different OS
  • Prepare different campaigns for each user freshness group, as their performance and CPA can vary from one to another
  • Once you have had some volumes, check on the creatives. You can keep those with better performances and pause the ones that you’re not interested in anymore.

A good practice is making new creatives similar to the successful ones, with slightly small changes!

Bids and budgets

When first launching any campaign, better run it with a wide-open target audience to gather as much data as possible. For this, you’ll need to decide on a testing budget enough to have representative information.

After that, it will be time to optimize! In this article, you’ll find tips to optimize your campaigns and make the most of them.

After that, try launching them again and scaling your volumes with the new settings that you applied.

Try bidding around the average CPC for the target GEO. Constantly check your win rate to see whether you’re bidding enough or not, which will depend on your target audience.

Scaling your campaigns

Once you have found your target audience and your campaign is doing fine, it’s important to act fast and start scaling your campaigns. The best way of doing it is by raising the bid.

Pushground allows you to micro bid on different sites and sources, so one good practice is setting a higher bid for supply IDs and site IDs that are giving you the best performances. → campaign settings → supply ID/site ID

Expert tips from TopOffers

No one knows dating campaigns better than our friends over at TopOffers which is why we reached out to them to ask for their best advice for affiliates running dating offers. Despite the previous predictions about the pandemic, the dating vertical has continued to thrive as TopOffer’s strongest vertical.

Without further ado here are their top 5 pieces of advice on promoting dating offers.

–   Creatives are crucial. The best looking banner doesn’t always mean the highest conversion rate. Test different styles and images to get your perfect CTR. Your banner has to be eye-catching and original, but the moment you create a great banner, be sure – it will be copied within the hour, so a fast turnover of banners is essential.

–  Split test different offers. Choose 2-3 different offers for your traffic source for the same GEO.

–  Take less competitive countries. Such GEOs as the USA, Canada, and the UK are already occupied with lots of affiliates. There are less competitive regions, such as mainland Europe, Latin America, and Asia, with really high EPCs and payouts.

–  Communicate with your manager. You can always get some tips and tricks or just relevant info regarding GEOs and offers from the manager of TopOffers. Plus, always build a trusting relationship with the manager of your traffic source.

–  Test new sources. Affiliate marketing is dynamic. Once you find your perfect high-quality source, it doesn’t guarantee high performance every day, especially when you’re planning to scale. Invest some of your income in exploring new tools/sources etc.


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