As an affiliate marketer, you will be tempted to do dating at some point in your career. We can’t blame you – dating is hot. It’s also ever-green and quite stable in terms of what people want.
Can you earn profit or at least break even without any experience in dating (AM-wise)? You can, if you go smart about it.
We hope to give you a more or less clear idea of what you’re getting yourself into with this blog post.
In no way is this a complete guide on promoting dating websites, apps and cam offers. You’d have to peek into the farthest corners of the Internet to write one – and still there are secrets and tricks that no one is willing to share.
We simply want you to be better equipped for taming this competitive vertical.
In terms of offers, the dating vertical includes all kinds of adult-themed platforms – apps, websites, live cams, etc. – targeted at different audiences. We usually distinguish adult (more explicit) and mainstream (“tame”) offers so that our affiliates could prepare better-targeted creatives.
Adult traffic is users that click through from adult-content websites – major players like xHamster and numerous low-level ones, which enjoy some popularity nonetheless.
Non-adult traffic can technically be used for dating offers but is not likely to convert. Adult traffic, on the other hand, can be used for other verticals – pin submits, app installs, gambling, etc.
Using adult traffic must be allowed by the advertiser that supplied the offer you want to promote. Whatever the real reasons to prohibit adult traffic, advertisers sometimes allow a certain “tamer” sort of it – i. e. traffic that can be referred to as “sexy” (bikini-style banners) or “softcore”, but not “hardcore” or (God forbid) bordering on illegal in some countries.
When trying to further distinguish between the segments of adult traffic, some also break it down into surfers looking for free content (much higher volumes, lower conversions) and those who paid for subscription (smaller volumes, high conversions).
It is important to understand the ways in which you can segment your traffic when working with traffic sources, as it can make or break your campaign.
The competition is fierce in dating – a true sign of a promising niche. You won’t be able to go without a spying tool here, even if you only need it for inspiration. Be prepared to have your banners and prelanders ripped in a matter of hours. It might seem absurd at times, but such is the reality.
To get a competitive edge, invest hard in your creatives. You will have to change them VERY often to be one step ahead of your competition.
In terms of the traffic competition, the breakdown is (from highest to lowest):
3G mobile – desktop – WiFi
Both, mobile and desktop work fine for dating offers. However, if you have a nice volume of mobile carrier traffic, it’s wiser to use it for carrier billing offers, not dating.
Compared to other verticals, dating has VERY high banner burn-out rates. Prelanders, on the other hand, are more stable. In fact, some prelanders from 4 years ago are still being used!
The layouts may have changed, but the angle (the underlying psychology) remain the same. Just think about the “Rules” angle that’s still out there, making money.
Dating is one of the verticals where you should never EVER direct-link an offer. Spend time making, testing and cutting prelanders – it will give you a better idea of what works and what doesn’t.
Testing is key – you’ve heard it many times before and it still holds true, especially if you want to do dating.
As with most other verticals, it is better to steer clear from the US (at least in the beginning). The payouts are higher, yes, but the amounts you’ll have to spend on testing are much higher, too.
To learn the very basics and just get your feet wet, it’s better to start out in LATAM where traffic is cheaper and competition is lower. Then proceed to Tier-2 geos (Nordics, Canada, Netherlands).
In fact, Tier-2 is where you should dwell until you are completely prepared for the bloodbath that is the US. Tier-2 is somewhat of a perfect balance, with medium payouts and competition.
Provided you don’t touch Tier-1, an appropriate budget for testing is $1000 – $3000.
Based on experience, the following traffic works to promote dating offers:
The traffic sources that you can use are numerous. Popular ones are:
We recommend using a few of them at the same time to get decent traffic volumes and compare traffic quality.
And that’s it! The only thing left to do is browse the selection of nicely converting dating CPA offers and choose the ones that you want to promote.
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