Eloise Shuttleworth
Eloise Shuttleworth 18 August 2022

Finding Your Match: The Secrets to Brand Success for Dating Apps

To avoid getting cast adrift in a sea filled with similar offerings, brands must learn to transform the dating experience and woo their prospects with personalised and memorable experiences.

Romance in the digital age presents unique challenges and opportunities for brands. Research from App Annie found consumers spent over $3 billion on dating apps in 2020 - up 15% YoY. It is clear that consumers are seeking to invest more in romance.

Be Mobile-First

One clear result of the Covid-19 pandemic is an accelerated shift of consumer behaviour towards mobile-first experiences.

These days, almost everyone has a phone in their pocket, so, as a brand, being able to be there with your customers, wherever they go, goes a long way for marketers. Mobile is a medium for engagement that you can’t afford to ignore. But the power of mobile can only be harnessed when you have a mobile app strategy that appeals to new prospects and solidifies your relationship with long-standing customers. 

For marketers to ensure they are getting the most value out of mobile, it’s important to focus on meeting (and exceeding) customer expectations by building trust, delivering value, and constantly connecting experiences. Recent research from Iterable found that although 33% of UK consumers download a new app weekly, 48% use only 4-6 apps on a daily basis, leaving brands in a battle for users' attention. 

With app downloads hitting 230 billion in 2021, its vital that brands understand ways to improve app engagement and stickiness to avoid getting lost amongst the competition. Dating apps, by definition, have considerable influence when it comes to impacting customer joy and connection.

To deliver memorable moments, brands need to invest in creating a seamless experience across channels. From personalised emails reminding users to not leave a match waiting, to sharing examples on social media of users who found love like the ‘Bumble success story’ series, the possibilities for omnichannel optimised business is endless.

Standing Out in a Crowded Online Market 

Dating apps were created to help people connect online and then meet in person. With customers working from home and socially isolated, brands had to explore innovative ways to ensure consumer engagement. During the pandemic, online dating reached new heights, with Bumble reporting a 70%  increase in video calls and Tinder exceeding 3 billion swipes in one day in March 2020. 

If people are picky when it comes to choosing their dates, they are more so when it comes to their preferred dating app, and how they engage with that app. According to Iterable’s research, UK consumers differ on their preferred method of brand engagement, with 38% choosing push notifications, 31% preferring SMS alerts, and 26% preferring in-app chat.

To make the most out of the varied preferences, an omnichannel strategy that is optimised for each individual is vital for brands looking to engage with their customers in a manner that suits them best. 

Achieving this goal can be incredibly difficult in the sea of sameness of the internet-based world. With customer experience across dating apps becoming almost uniform, brands face an uphill battle to stand out.

A Forrester survey found that 68% of customers claimed their customer experiences were “OK”. But great marketing strategies don’t exist on the same plane as the rest. Living in this safe, comfortable area is problematic for brands looking to win customers’ hearts and minds. All it takes is one brand to go above and beyond to shift the expectations and turn satisfactory experiences into not-so-satisfactory.

Take Hinge.

Its ‘Designed to be deleted’ tagline has won it legions of loyal users. According to Hinge CMO Jackie Jantos, its ongoing mission is to “focus on getting people off of a digital app [and] into more real-world relationships”.

Hinge puts this vision into practice with tangible user features like We Met, its in-app survey about real-world dates, and gathering insights on what users want from dates – all data which is then used to directly personalise the experience to the end user.

Keeping Security and Privacy at the Core

As brands use creative and innovative ways to improve customer experiences for their users, they should seal the deal of long term loyalty by investing in another priority: privacy. When it comes to consumers using dating apps, the privacy of their data is crucial.

Although UK consumers are generally willing to share data, with 54% happy to do so at least some of the time, privacy concerns are still at the front of consumers’ minds. Iterable’s research showed that 87% of UK consumers are concerned about personal privacy when interacting with apps.

Brands cannot neglect transparency when nurturing customer experiences.

Dating apps in particular rely on users being willing to entrust sensitive, personal conversations to the brand’s care. Customers that interact with brands need to have an up-front idea of how their data will be used.

Winning this trust early on is crucial for keeping users on board for the long haul. By utilising all methods of engagement and appreciating the preferences of their users, brands can give their apps the best chance of standing out from the pack and becoming mainstays in the user mobile experience.

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