What Marketing Can Teach You About Online Dating

online dating adviceOnline dating is just marketing.

Of course, I’m talking about the very first stage of interaction.  The stage where you grab a man’s attention.

The better you are at marketing a product, the better you do. And in this case, the “product” is the opportunity to meet you or get to know you.

Just remember, your online profile is not you.  It’s just an advertisement designed to spark interest in getting to know you.

Taking a marketing approach to online dating can pay off hugely. It takes the stress off. You get more hits. You waste less time on guys who aren’t going to “make the sale,” e.g. meet you in person.

So how does it work?

  1. Treat your profile as an ad.

Think about the ads that catch your attention. Good ads can be funny, inspirational, or beautiful. They stand out. They stick in your head. That’s your goal with your profile.

Every ad has three main components: images, headlines, and the body of the ad.

It’s the same in online dating. You have the photograph that illustrates the product (you), a headline designed to catch attention, and space to describe who you are and what you’re looking for.

Images are the most important component of your profile. If your time is limited, spend 90% of your time on the pictures and the other 10% filling out the text.

The best photographs give an insight into your personality and make the viewer curious about you. Always edit your images before uploading. A good photo editing program can make almost any image look intriguing through the use of cropping or filters.

The headline, which in most cases is your “handle” or nickname, should also create curiosity. Don’t go for the straight undiluted truth. Choose a catchy nickname that compels the viewer to find out more about you.

Lastly, the body of the ad—your personal description—should be short, sweet, and intriguing. Don’t just list personality traits. Take the opportunity to show the viewer what he could expect if he went on a date with you. What would he like best about being with you? What makes you fun? How would you be different from the other women he’s met?

The first sentence of your description is the most important, so spend most of your time crafting the ideal intro. Don’t feel concerned about explaining who you are in such a short space. He’ll learn who you are when he meets you. The goal of the profile is to get him interested enough in you to make contact.

  1. Regularly evaluate your ad’s performance.

If you’re not getting the hits you want, then don’t jump to conclusions. This isn’t about you. Men aren’t rejecting you as a person. They can’t, because they don’t even know you! They’re simply not interested in your ad.

It’s the profile that’s under performing, not you. So fix it.

How?  Test specific changes.

Good marketers test everything. They test images and headlines ruthlessly. Even a one-word change can make a huge difference in the performance of an ad.

So test your profile. Change your profile picture regularly and see if it makes any difference. Vary the length of your personal description. Test the first sentence.

Another advantage of changing around your profile is that men who didn’t notice your profile the first time around may notice it once it’s different.

  1. Get the sale.

Online dating can waste a lot of time. You can spend weeks chatting to someone you really like, only for him to disappear without a word. So keep your eye on the goal: to meet a man in person.

One third of online daters have never met anyone off-line. A lot of men are online simply to test the waters and flirt. They’re never going to arrange a meeting in person.

Good marketers know that some prospects are never going to commit to putting their hard-earned money where their mouth is. So don’t get too excited about men who seem interested but never get around to asking you to meet up. You haven’t made the sale until you’ve committed to seeing one another face-to-face.

online dating adviceAfter a week of communicating with someone, you should know whether or not you’re interested in getting to know him better. Let him know you’d like to take this off-line.

If he avoids committing, even to something as simple as a quick coffee date, then you know that he’s not available for the kind of relationship you want.

Treating an online profile like an ad can take a lot of the heartache out of online dating. It’s not so important that you get the profile right the first time. What’s important is that you keep testing it until it works the way you want.

Remember: your online dating profile isn’t you. It’s just an ad. Some ads are better than others. The only thing standing between you and an avalanche of responses could be a little tweaking.

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7 thoughts on “What Marketing Can Teach You About Online Dating

  1. Diana said:

    Very good advice! I also agree with your comment to be genuine! And it’s important to know what you want. I have read James’s books and insights about dating and changed my profile, and pictures. The effect was very quick, many guys responded and mostly with respect and admiration. They commented about pictures- especially the one at the beach with long dress waving and me smiling and showing joy. But mostly what made them to message me – is text. Before I had hardly anything written, now I have a lot writing – and interesting to read. I used James’s advice about writing small story, so I wrote about my spontaneous trip to New Zealand with 4 other girls and the first time hiring a camper van! Most guys commented on that. It resonated with them.
    Last night I tried something new, I changed one part in my profile, and I had 5 guys messaged me last night straight away, giving me their perspectives and also how important it is for a man to protect, inspire, love and care for his woman as well.
    I wrote: “I need your help. I was listening on YouTube (not a book:) to a Pastor talking about how a woman helps her man to be the man. And I found that very insightful. Here it goes:
    1. She helps him to think on a higher level (she challenges him intellectually).
    2. She builds his confidence.
    3. She is not blaming and criticizing, but believing in him – inspiring him to do greater things for God.
    4. She is keeping the home environment pleasant and warm.
    5. She teaches her children to understand his value and respect their father.
    So, Message me, I would love to know if it’s true or not from a man’s perspective 🙂 and I will reply to you. “

    • James Bauer said:

      Wow, those are some powerful examples of the respect principle in action. Thanks for sharing that, Diana.

  2. Lynn said:

    I’m on a dating site not having any luck. I’m not good at writing so my profile is not good. I’m 66yrs old and pretty look and act younger than my age. My boyfriend of 17yrs died of cancer he was 54yrs old 11yrs younger than me so when i went online i was looking for somone younger than me. I was called a cougar so i changed the age range. I get messages from guys all ages saying you are beautiful and a red flag would go up with sex written on it. Am i wrong? Don’t know what to do desperate online dating. I have had 10 scammer they are drawed to me like a magnet.

    • James Bauer said:

      Sometimes social networking sites like Facebook serve you better because you can see how a person interacts with others in their community. Give your friends permission to connect you with others in their Facebook network if they think you might have a mutual interest with their friend (to get to know each other).


  3. Joan said:

    I have a happy story to tell all the ladies and gentlemen (of all ages) reading James’ posts. This has to do with online dating. A friend of mine who is quite a few years older than me but young at heart, smart and fun…… is having the time of her life. She has been divorced for many years. My friend wasn’t into dating lots of guys and was picky about who she would actually meet and spend time with. She didn’t focus on these online sites, but would dabble from time to time. She had ONE picture posted (unfiltered and genuine) and passed on many men interested in her and didn’t always get a response from those she expressed interest in.
    Her profile was short and to the point. She had religious preferences and described herself in a genuine and friendly way and had a good idea what she DID want in a relationship. She didn’t post sexy pictures or a barrage of MUST HAVES.

    One day she mentioned she was going to meet a man who seemed to be really great….she had been corresponding with him on some obscure dating site for just a little while. He was a widower, 7 years younger than she, educated, sober, fiscally responsible and dabbling, too. They met and had a BLAST!! Neither were anxious or worried on how they came across to each other…..they were just GENUINE about who they were and what makes them happy or what makes them sad. He said to her after the date was over……will you be my girlfriend?…..and she said….yes I will…..and they went out again and again.

    Turns out they were both into finding a companion to have each other’s backs and enjoy life with……and with no kids around now (she is 70 and he is 63)…are acting like teenagers and have decided to marry!! MARRY? I said aghast…but you’ve only known each other a little while! YEP! She said….and there is no time time either of us wants to waste. All their kids (his and hers) are stunned….but are getting used to the idea of this romance.

    Anyway….the moral of the story is.instead of making ourselves CRAZY about marketing ourselves in this way or that on dating sites…..sometimes it is the simplest and most unexpected way….after.weeding out the losers…that love comes knocking at the door! Friendships, companionship, marriage,..whatever you might be looking for….it IS out there should you want it. Relax and enjoy!..

    • James Bauer said:

      Thanks for sharing the uplifting story, Joan.

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