Can you still run a marketing campaign on Tinder?

The world's most famous hook up app

PC: Tinder The world’s most famous hook up app

Tinder exploded in 2013 and 2014 as the world’s most famous hook up app. Look at a picture, swipe left for no and right for yes. If you both approve of each other, it’s a match and you can chat and get it on. As tinder’s popularity grew, creative people and companies were finding innovative ways to use it for marketing and promotion. However since early 2015, Tinder has moved away from unlimited swipes and into a paid premium model that limits swipes. Being curious to see if it could still be effective as a marketing agent, I decided to test it with let’s chill during a short stint in Vancouver.

How did I fare?

Not too well.

I tested a few picture variations (a little A/B testing never hurt), but didn’t find too much difference between my choices. One of my variations was simply the logo, and shockingly that still did win some swipes. The tagline was a simple 1 liner describing myself along with a link to the site.

The overall results were pretty underwhelming with minimal differences in traffic to the site. If you decide to go the way of chatting up your matches, it also takes significant effort to peak their interest in what you’re advertising. Copying and pasting messages is usually seen as spam so it’s hard to recommended that as a strategy. Your account may also get flagged as spam and subsequently suspended.

Another problem that became obvious was the fact that I was an average Asian in a sea of Caucasians. The average match rate for an Asian guy to a Caucasian female is very low. Combine that with the fact that the new tinder has limited swipes for every 12 hours (the newer algorithm does not change much for how many you can swipe – ~125), you are essentially forced to swipe for people you think may match you. In my case, other Asians. Translation: totally ineffective for marketing.

Let’s not kid ourselves, this is a shallow app. I’m not good looking enough to drive significant traffic and the majority of people won’t read your profile until they match with you.

So that being said, if you plan to invest some time into it, get someone who can be the poster girl (or boy) of it for this specific purpose. However, all of this is fairly useless unless your target audience is actually on an app such as Tinder. Keeping those things in mind, if I were to deploy this strategy again, I would do a few things differently.

  • Get a beautiful girl/guy to help you advertise
  • Make a profile in the age range of 24-25
  • Maintain a “normal” profile but center the profile around what you’re pitching
  • Simple cute one liner with the website

The last point is that a marketing campaign only makes sense if you pay for Tinder Plus for at least a month. For ~$12-20 (in Canada), you get unlimited swipes for a month and you can move around to different cities. Tinder is ageist, so your pricing tier depends on your age. This can be worth it even if your hit rate is low. Some marketing campaigns have shown about a 5-10% click rate for driving traffic. A hot girl can easily get thousands of matches so that’s not entirely bad bang for your buck.

So there you have it. I hope my experiment proved both helpful and slightly entertaining.


Don’t miss a post by following on the right hand side of the blog or via Twitter @chestertus

Share your thoughts