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Dating App Subscriptions Spike 50% in September as Singles Look to Love to Keep Them Warm

Globally, Liftoff’s annual dating apps report also finds that APAC and EMEA are signing up for dating apps at higher rates than Americans and for less marketing spend, signaling now is the time to create brand loyalty in the regions


Liftoff, the leader in mobile app marketing and retargeting, today released its annual Dating Apps Report illuminating trends in mobile dating behavior -- just in time for Valentine’s Day. The data shows that mobile daters are most “swipe happy” during the cold-weather-phenomenon of ‘Cuffing Season’ that runs from late-August to February. The report also showcases behavioral differences between men and women, and examines geographical differences between North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific (APAC).
Liftoff’s data comes from more than two dozen of the top dating apps. Drawing from an analysis of nearly 12 billion ad impressions across 4.4 million app installs spanning from December 1, 2016 to December 1, 2017, Liftoff’s Dating Report revealed the following:
I’ve got my love to keep me warm: Cuffing Season drives people to dating apps
Dating apps have reshaped the way people look for dates, mates, and friends, and redefined the timetable people follow in their search for hookups and relationships. Liftoff’s findings reveal that now, more than ever, people are eschewing the ‘traditional’ method of dating and instead swiping-right when it comes to dating on mobile, with lower acquisition costs and higher registration rates year-over-year.
And ‘Cuffing Season’ is prime time for dating apps, Liftoff’s data shows. As the weather begins to cool down, the days shorten, and single people everywhere begin longing for a significant other to “cuff” themselves to and spend the holidays with, mobile users are turning to their devices to find a sweetheart -- presenting an all-new calendar of opportunity for marketers.
In August, the cost to acquire a dating app registration drops to its lowest of the year ($4.07), while install-to-registration conversion rates reached 66.6 percent. Marketers should pounce on this opportunity to get in with mobile daters before the thick of Cuffing Season, as the value doesn’t last long: the following month, as autumn begins to creep in, the cost to acquire a registering user shoots up a whopping 33 percent to hit $5.43, while registration rates drop to 63.7 percent.
By and large, marketers face far more difficulty convincing mobile daters to subscribe, but September presents a window of opportunity when users, aware​ ​that the holidays are on the way in,​ ​become​ ​more​ ​serious​ ​about​ ​making​ ​life-changing​ ​decisions. Significantly,​ ​subscription​ ​rates shoot up 50 percent to reach ​the​ ​high​ ​end​ ​of​ ​the​ ​scale​ ​(2.4 percent)​, ​while acquisition​ ​costs​ drop ​to​ ​$141.60​ ​(down from​ ​the year’s all-time​ ​high ​of​ ​$219.08​ ​in​ ​June).
Ultimately, the ever-increasing social acceptability of dating apps begets new, valuable touchpoints for marketers. Dating app marketers should be vigilant and take advantage of instances when low acquisition costs coincide with seasons that beckon a date.
Dating Apps are Going Global
Dating apps are available in 52 countries and counting, and if you haven’t already, 2018 is looking to be the year to take your app global.
In APAC, China’s Singles Day stands as one of the countries biggest shopping holidays, but the wealth of singles also represents an incredibly attractive market for dating apps. Install-to-registration rates in APAC are a whopping 93.79 percent, for a modest cost of $2.54 (compared to 60 percent at $7+ in NorthAm). Marketers should take advantage of the developing mobile dating culture in the region, but will need to focus their efforts deeper in the funnel, as the impressive install-to-register rates aren’t matched by the subscription rate.
When it comes to EMEA, the good news is that mobile users are primed and ready to use dating apps. The even-better-news? They are cheap to acquire. Indeed, at $1.99 EMEA has the second-lowest cost-per-install of all regions, and an install-to-registration rate of 53 percent shows promise. The very low install-to-subscribe rate of less than 1 percent (at a cost of $244.54) is not as attractive, indicating that while the region is ready to flirt with increased dating app use, they’re going to need an extra push to go any further.
As dating apps are gaining popularity within the U.S., more of these apps are entering into and saturating the marketplace, driving up the cost to acquire new users. Marketers can tap into the growing global market for dating on mobile by casting a wider net, especially since APAC and EMEA regions offer low-cost conversions for high potential.
Overall, dating app marketers are crushing installs, but need to double-down on engagement
At $2.75, the average cost to acquire a new user in 2017 is 18 percent lower than the year before ($3.36), and the cost to convert that user to complete a registration ($5.12) is also lower 23 percent less than the year prior. However, the install-to-subscription rate (1.5 percent) has remained roughly the same compared to the previous year (1.4 percent), indicating that while mobile users are open to dating on mobile, they’re less interested in committing to a relationship with one dating app.
While capitalizing on the positive trend toward installs, don’t neglect deeper-funnel events; instead, double-down to ensure that those installs convert to subscriptions.
To learn more about Liftoff and view the complete findings, download the full report here:
The 2018​ ​Liftoff​ ​Dating​ ​Apps​ ​Report​ is based on an analysis of internal data from December 1, 2016 through Dec 1, 2017, which spans nearly 12 billion ad impressions (11,920,203,389 to be exact) across 4.4 million (4,421,101) app installs. Specifically, the report tracks the cost and conversion rates of three key events in the funnel that define the user journey and an exceptionally engaged app user: install, registration and subscription. The report additionally breaks down data by platform (iOS and Android), user demographics (gender), and region (North America, LATAM, EMEA and APAC).
About Liftoff
Liftoff is a performance-based mobile app marketing and retargeting platform which uses post-install user data to run true cost-per-action user acquisition and re-engagement campaigns. Powered by advanced machine learning and lookalike targeting, Liftoff campaigns are optimized to drive actions beyond the install, like booking a hotel, making a reservation, or renewing a subscription. Liftoff’s cost-per-action model helps customers scale and grow by acquiring users that actively spend in revenue-producing events… Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA with offices in New York, London, Singapore, Tokyo and Paris, Liftoff works with the leading app publishers and brands around the globe. 


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