Dating World: Pushing Traffic Into Hookup Programs

William Soares Pinto

With the dramatic increase in dating brands and hookup sites, I would like to take this opportunity to tell you how I believe you can be more profitable within the dating sphere.

Any online marketer knows that they need to target by geo and split the traffic between different sponsors depending on their attributes. But should this be the only focus?

It comes to no surprise to any of us that we all have our own sexual preferences, and hitting the soft spot, and by that I mean looking deeper into people’s desires and fantasies, will increase the impulsive buy by getting the user more enamored to your product and therefore make them more likely to subscribe to your service.

In the past few years we have seen a huge increase of mobile affiliate programs helping people to get the most out of their 3G mobile traffic, serving the most performing offer taking into consideration the device and connection, mainly through aggressive carrier billing products.

But what if I tell you that you can greatly improve your conversion and earnings by doing approaching targeting in a different way? By taking into consideration sexual interests or “niches” as we call them.

The concept is pretty simple. Just like a user is more likely to convert within a platform that uses their native language, or that has a wider pool of members in their local vicinity, they are also far more likely to convert, enjoy the platform and retain longer if we essentially cater to their kink.

It comes to no surprise to any of us that we all have our own sexual preferences, and hitting the soft spot, and by that I mean looking deeper into people’s desires and fantasies, will increase the impulsive buy by getting the user more enamored to your product and therefore make them more likely to subscribe to your service.

And even if we all know that niche sites such as BDSM encounters, trans dating, swingers communities, interracial hookups and so on exist, most of the traffic for these is going to generic hookup and dating sites.

Let me give you a brief example. We all have seen on big networks a grainy video with teen banners that take you to an Asian landing page. It is even more relevant when you check the search traffic campaigns around and you see that keywords such as “chubby slut” go to a perfectly slim and toned girl. We as a company, like many others, can confirm that serving the right ads will increase conversion.

Not only will you increase your free signup conversion, but with the relevant landing page and with the relevant niche product serving the right members and content within the niche, you will improve significantly the user engagement and henceforth the upgrade conversion and retention.

Acquiring niche traffic tends to be cheaper as it is less relevant for people buying high volume of “famous” spots or keywords to send to their generic landers. So you will pay less and make more money.

Now the problem that many people come across with this type of strategy is how to scale up campaigns as technically there are only a handful of blokes looking for “ugly girls with red stockings from Chicago” living in London, compared to millions of horny guys only looking to “f*ck”.

Just because a user does not tell you what he wants, doesn’t mean that you can’t try to find out. If you promote dating currently you have probably been using pre-landers, or at least heard of them. Once again I am amazed how some of the pre-landers are awesome and engaging, tease the user, and increase the signup conversion, however why not use this pre-lander to pre-qualify the lead?

Let me clarify, when asking this series of questions, why not ask if the guy likes pain, or if he prefers skinny to chubby girls (which some affiliates do) and use this data to niche this particular user. As marketers we should use every single piece of data we are collecting to increase performance.

I would like to mention at this stage, that many big networks do not feel the need to collect and use this niche/interest data, which I feel is crucial.

Having done some research into the adult mobile sphere and giving it much thought, I believe volume is the key. Often the product promoted is more a payment flow then an elaborate user focus product for 3G. I also believe that having banners scripts that will allow partners to process the niche data and then use it to target users with future relevant banners will significantly increase the CTR.

When we talk about desktop or Wi-Fi handset traffic, and particularly within the Tier 1 geos, we have to combat a credit card subscription model, which makes the sales much harder as opposed to one-click mobile purchase, so working on the product to deliver a good user experience and cater to the user’s needs before and after conversion is paramount.

In dating, a member is both a potential client and a product, so what better than to show the unconverted members a host of fellow users near them, with the same sexual interests and willing to meet and fulfill a common fantasy? This is where all the niching starts to make sense.

If, after payment has been made, you can continue to please the user, there will be rebills instead of chargebacks and refund requests. This can only mean greater financial rewards for an affiliate on a revshare model.

One last thing. Another great reason to run a niche site is the opportunities it provides you with to cross-sell different niches to the same user. A previous study about adult dating sites demonstrated that if a user pays for adult dating, he will most likely pay for almost three services at the same time.

Also, someone who is registered to three adult dating sites simultaneously is 66 percent more likely to convert than a user signed up to just the one, we are now using our own AI to display the most relevant ads to the user browsing our site combine with the best performing offer, to provide the highest ROI in terms of cross-sell.

I would like to finish by mentioning that if you have never promoted a white label dating site or niche products before, I would love to guide you through.

William Soares Pinto is Hubpeople Ltd.’s business development manager and marketing guru. Hubpeople operates one the most widely used white label dating and networking platforms, powering thousands of social networking and dating sites on the internet. Pinto can be reached at william@thehubpeople.com


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