ZorbasMagazine: Dating Vertical

13 November 2019
Reading: 6 min

ZorbasMagazine: Dating Vertical

Dating is one of the evergreen verticals gaining popularity among affiliates. Today, TopOffers – Direct CPA network and ProfitSocial – a SmartLink platform from the direct advertiser, shared some important information with us. Let’s take a look at a dating vertical from these award-winning industry leaders.

Introduction to the dating vertical

The dating vertical keeps on converting year after year. There are about 8,000 online dating services in the world today, and this number increases significantly every year. There is always a demand for dating sites. Almost half of Internet users are single now and, according to forecasts, 20% of them will be using online dating services by 2020, growing the market to approximately to $12 billion.

The chart below shows why people choose dating online.

ZorbasMagazine: Dating Vertical

The number of couples meeting online has more than doubled in the last decade. Nowadays, you’re much more likely to meet your next partner online than through your family or coworkers.

The pic below (source: survey conducted by Stanford University) demonstrates a significant shift in the way couples meet each other.

ZorbasMagazine: Dating Vertical

The Online Dating Industry Business Model

There are various approaches to monetizing users in dating industry. Two of the most popular are described in brief below.

  1. Membership subscriptions. The subscription model requires users to pay a fee to use a dating website or app for a set period. Payments are typically recurring.
  2. Freemium. The freemium model allows users to sign up and use the basic functionalities of the website or app for free, while your app generates shared revenue. This can be done via:
    • Advertising: views, clicks, transactions etc.
    • Upgrade Features: while basic membership is free, users can unlock paid extra features.

Geography & Segmentation. Most profitable geos

Marketers separate the dating regions into 3 tiers:

Tier 1 contains the most popular countries, such as Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Tier 2 is Albania, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, China, Cyprus, Greece, Japan, Mexico, Romania, and Russia.

Tier 3 is Cuba, Korea, Kuwait, Libya, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

Tier 1 GEOs are the most profitable as well as the most regulated. The best opportunities for beginners are with less competitive countries from the Tier 2 – Tier 3 lists.

Types of Offers

There are three major types of dating offers: ADULT, CASUAL and MAINSTREAM. Let’s take a look at each of them and go over the differences.

  1. Mainstream Dating is for people who are looking for a real life, long-term partner. These dating sites are also often based around certain interests, life views, religious beliefs etc.
  2. Casual Dating. These sites or apps are usually about one thing only: casual sex.
  3. Adult Dating. This is still one of the most popular verticals to promote adult traffic. Niche dating offers are one of the most popular for adult dating traffic.

Some of the niches are:

  • Ebony niche
  • BBW niche
  • Mature niche
  • Milf niche
  • Gay niche
  • Lesbian niche
  • Granny niche

There are various payment models to work with when dealing with dating offers: RevShare, PPS, PPL etc.

  1. RevShare (Revenue Share). This is a payout model where the basic principle is very simple: you get paid a certain % rate from every membership your users purchase.
  2. PPS or Pay per Sale is a commonly used affiliate marketing model where you as a web publisher are paid a commission for each sale generated by your websites.
  3. The PPL (Pay per Lead) model includes the following types:
    • a) SOI Leads (Single Opt In): users enter their email and you get a conversion. SOI leads are easier to work with, and I would suggest starting with them.
    • b) DOI Leads (Double Opt In): the standard flow is still simple: the user enters their email address, waits for a confirmation email with a verification link, then follows it, and that’s it, conversion completed.

Average PPL rate

It’s hard to tell the average PPL rate. Payouts depend on geolocation, platform, offer, and traffic type. Affiliates earn from rates at particular CPA Network.

Our rates for adult traffic offers are the following:

ZorbasMagazine: Dating Vertical

As you can see, payouts vary depending not only on geo, but also on the size of the country, traffic availability and opportunities for promotion.

User Targeting

Correct targeting is crucial when it comes to conversion rates on Dating Offers. You should know what traffic is accepted, and understand the offer itself so that you can appropriately tune your targeting.

Finding your target audience and narrowing down their shared traits is just the start; you need to undertake a thorough target market analysis before you start spending time and money marketing to your target audience.

In addition, you can target your traffic depending on:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Region
  • Type of Device
  • Browsing and search patterns etc.

Is your target audience interested in what you offer, or can you make them interested? From our experience – male 25+ users provide the best traffic for high conversions and payouts.

Traffic Sources

Mainstream and adult dating offers are highly competitive and show stable growth. But profit results absolutely depend on traffic sources and GEO.

Adult is profitable and high converting. It’s not so easy due to high competition, but there’s still much money to be made.

The best traffic sources for adult offers are social media, targeted email lists, media buying from well-known ad networks and push traffic.

Mainstream dating can be more challenging to work with, but it’s paid for. You can’t run adult traffic to mainstream offers due to the risk of a ban. So, if you find permitted, high quality, clean traffic sources, be ready to get at least twice as much profit than you do from adult offers.

The best traffic sources for mainstream dating offers are: social media, native ads and reviews.


So, you’ve read the overview of the dating vertical, which may seem pretty challenging and complicated, but a good affiliate is an affiliate willing to take the challenge and make profit on it.

Choose your offer wisely, be precise about targeting and eventually you will help someone find their love (and  get paid!).

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