December 26, 2021 504

How to Make Money on Dating Affiliate Programs with or without Website: $3 849 in 45 Days

The online dating industry is booming. It’s a huge market with unlimited potential. The online dating industry is estimated at around $2.5 billion in the US only.  As for affiliate marketing, the dating vertical is considered one of three leading niches in money-making: health, wealth, and love. Why? The answer is simple. Love is one of human necessities, so people are ready to pay for a chance to find a partner.

If you trust statistics more than words, let the numbers speak for themselves:

  • 124 million single people in the US; around 50 million Tinder users;
  • a customer of a dating website spends an average of $245 per year;
  • as of now, around 20% of relationship began via dating platforms;
  • 196 million people all over the world use online dating platforms in 2020 (according to Statista).

Dating Affiliate Programs

Needless to say, the vertical is lucrative but very competitive too. High competition in the dating industry means high payouts for affiliates.  Dating affiliate programs sometimes are much more profitable than other verticals that require selling products and services.

Though, not only dating websites are looking for more clients, the same applies to dating coaching platforms. This vertical never ceases to get attention and is unlikely to die down someday. Affiliates can look for segments within the vertical, such as gender-oriented, age-oriented, religion- or job oriented dating, etc.

Meticulously targeted campaigns coupled with well-thought-out landing pages allow affiliates not only to generate revenue for companies but also to earn high income.

Despite specifics of ad campaigns within the dating vertical, the key principles of affiliate programs and networks are still the same. You are paid for generating traffic (that is to say "attracting new clients") to dating platforms. Like with any other affiliate programs, you’re provided with links, promotional materials, analytical instruments, and tools to make your campaign successful.

What aspects to consider:

  • What GEOs to target (or target audience in general).
  • Commission rates and payout models.
  • Ad types and traffic sources.
  • Cookie length.

How to Choose an Affiliate Program

On the surface, it seems that choosing an affiliate program is a piece of cake as almost all multi-vertical affiliate networks provide a variety of dating offers. However, you have to pay attention to the following features:

  • Give preference to affiliate programs specialized in dating because the dating vertical is a huge, complex, and very specific niche. This way you’ll save loads of effort, time, and money.
  • Qualified support is of high priority. The support team knows well what offer, with what GEO and on what platform converts the best.
  • Payouts. Study thoroughly the payout schedule and models, check the holding period.
  • Smartlink. It’s an evident bonus. Quite often the traffic to the affiliate offer comes from non-targeted GEOs; it’s very tiresome to follow it and redirect via tracker. Smartlink solves this problem.
  • If you found the same offer on several platforms with different rates, we recommend testing all programs and selecting the one with the best ROI. Some platforms allure marketers with high rates while in fact, the conversion for such offers can be upsetting.

How to Choose a Dating Offer

  • Dating offers can be divided following the commission type: PPL (CPL), PPS, and revenue share. Below we will discuss payout models in more detail.
  • Prelanders. This is the key factor that determines the conversion. First of all, prelanders should be designed in languages for GEOs specified in offer details. Lack of prelanders is one of the common lapses typical for dating affiliate programs.
  • Landing pages. They are also important. Some landing pages due to poorly thought-out design may lead to low conversion rates, for example, pages with specified registration fees (people typically don’t like to pay for the service before trying it) or pages with an old-fashioned design.
  • Narrow choice of landing pages negatively influences conversion rates too. The more options of landing pages are provided by the platform, the more things in common with a targeted audience you can find, and the higher conversion rates you can achieve.
  • Sometimes affiliate programs provide additional hiccups for marketers dividing a single offer into several GEOs and platforms (see below). So a tracker would present several offers, and campaigns would be overloaded with numerous redirects and conditions.

Different affiliate dating programs use different commission models for their affiliates, from pay-per-click to pay-per-sale.


Payout Models

When it comes to payouts the dating vertical has its own specifics. Affiliates are paid for clicks, free registration/sign up, and paid subscription. So, you are to choose from the following:

  • CPL (Cost per Lead) or PPL (Pay per Lead): you’re paid for lead generation (in other words, you receive money when a client registers or submit his/her data). Here you have two options: SOI (Single Opt-In) and DOI (Double-Opt-In). SOI is the easier variant of conversion because it requires only entering e-mail. DOI requires e-mail verification. DOI is more complex, thus affiliates receive higher commission. The typical commission rate varies between $2 and $10 per lead.
  • PPS (Pay per Sale). This model implies a flat rate for every client who purchased the membership. Typically, the commission rate is from $20 up to $100. Some dating platforms offer even higher payouts, up to $150-180 for specific GEOs.
  • Revenue share. An affiliate receives a percentage from the sale. In the dating vertical a sale usually means paid membership. The number of leads doesn’t matter with this model; you are paid only when clients pay monthly/yearly membership fees. The commission rate varies from 30% up to 60% and depends on the offer details provided by the advertiser or a network.  

Traffic Sources or How to Promote Dating Affiliate Programs

Traffic means everything in affiliate marketing. But the traffic can be very different. As an affiliate, you need high-quality, targeted, and convertible traffic.

As you should know, gambling, adult and dating ads are restricted or even banned across many traffic sources. Additionally, you should always carefully select the targeted audience as some ad campaigns might get banned due to improper choice of the audience.

  • Content and SEO marketing. Yes, this traffic source is low-cost and efficient. Low competition keywords (for example, you have more chances with “best dating site” than “dating site”) should hit the target. Add here high-quality and SEO-optimized content and you’re almost there. Banners will also do well. You can use an existing relevant website/blog or create a new one, specifically designed for the dating program. Another option is to buy advertising on a website with good traffic (guest posts and/or banners).
  • Push notifications. Mobile traffic reigns in the dating industry. Pushes are inexpensive but very efficient.
  • Pop-up and pop-under ads. Here you’ll get a lot of junk, but traffic is cheap. Surprisingly, this traffic source sometimes shows great results.
  • E-mail marketing paid ads. You may be a lucky owner of a huge and relevant e-mail database, so you won’t have to invest in an e-mail campaign. Another option is paid e-mail marketing.
  • Social media. As of now, most social media platforms aren’t ‘dating-friendly’. Although, there are solutions to work-around and bypass the existing bans and restrictions. Seasoned marketers still succeed to generate traffic despite existing bans and restrictions using cloaking. Let’s say, social media traffic is challenging but targeted and convertible.
  • Applications. This method involves both app installation and social media promotion. The idea is in promoting a dating app via social media.

Case Study 1. Dating Offer with ROI 255%

Traffic: Push notifications from EvaDav

Affiliate program: ProfitSocial

Offer: UkranianShow 18+ CPL (WEB/TAB/WAP)

Period: March 15, 2019 – April 28, 2019

GEO: France

Expenses: $1 506

Income: $5 355

Profit: $3 849

ROI: 255%

The marketer had previous successful experience of working with push notifications from EvaDav, so he decided to continue with pushes in a combo with Adsbridge tracker. He set black and white lists. According to the marketer, the set of landing pages has helped to get a rather high conversion rate. Every series included 3 ad sets with 2 creatives for every set.

The landing page was provided by the affiliate program; minimalistic, with photos and GIFs of girls. Note, GIFs usually work better than static pictures.

The results exceeded expectations. Below you see a screenshot that demonstrates the results on the later stage of the campaign:

The first weeks were not as profitable, the ROI was around 90-95%. After the addition of the black and white lists, ROI got significantly higher.

Final results:

  • Clicks: 351 273
  • Leads: 1 392

Dating Affiliate Networks

It’s a good idea for entry-level marketers and webmasters to consider joining a dating affiliate network. Naturally, affiliate networks are easier to join and more supportive in terms of guiding marketers on the way to success. Why? Networks are mediators between marketers and advertisers; hence, they are equally interested in your success because they get their own commissions.

The majority of well-known multi-vertical affiliate networks, such as CJ Affiliate and Flex Offers, have numerous dating offers. So, if you are already a member of one of the networks, you may pick one of the dating offers via the same network. As we’ve mentioned above, there are specialized dating affiliate networks too, such as Insparx Affiliates, The Dating Network, etc. You may join one of them. In both cases, you get the advantages that networks provide, for example, a personal manager who guides you through offers.  However, the commission rate might be lower than in the event of working with an advertiser directly.

Would you prefer working through a dating affiliate network or directly with the advertiser?
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Case study 2. Working with a Dating Offer via BAS

The marketer decided to try some free traffic sources for the dating affiliate program. As a ground platform, he was looking for websites with the prevailing male audience. Finally, he opted for Mobilde, a large German auto platform. In short, random inbox spamming led to pretty good results: 50-100 messages resulted in 40 hits, 15 clicks, and 3 conversions. Later, the pattern was automated via BAS (expenses: $100 paid to a qualified specialist).

Some stats:

The final results:

  • Expenses: $100
  • Income: $942
  • Profit: $842

However, in the long run, the websites add bans and restrictions, so this type of campaign requires tuning and adjustments every now and then.


Conclusion

The potential of the online dating industry is enormous; it is always a money-maker. It’s in human nature to have a partner and/or a relationship. Dating traditions have significantly changed over the years. Digital technologies played no small part too. Currently, numerous platforms are struggling to attract new customers and partner with marketers, who provide them with traffic.

Not all marketers feel comfortable working with dating offers. Sometimes it’s due to some ethical issues and religious morals, some marketers just avoid vertical-specific challenges (restrictions and bans). Hence, there is always a space for newbies to utilize the earning opportunities and conduct very profitable campaigns.  

Just think out-of-the-box, study the targeted audience and ensure split testing for creatives, landing pages, and traffic sources. Online dating is a very powerful vertical that never goes out of trend.

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