Failed Dating campaign

Sometime ago, a STM member showed an example of a successful dating campaign, in which he targeted men who liked "biking", and he used images of female bikers in his ads.

Well, I went ahead and tried something similar by targeting men who liked "fishing". Used images of female anglers in my ads. But it didn’t work out – the CTR was horrible!

Anyone care to chime in?

User Comment:
My two cents:

1) Did you test more images than these? Most guys test 50-100 to find ones with the good CTRs…These images, particularly the 2nd, are pretty boring. As has been suggested in other threads, try weirder images for higher CTRs.
2) – I’d say that you should try another offer. Almost everyone has heard of and knows it has nothing to do with girls who like fishing.
3) Your headlines are boring.
4) Your ad copies are boring. "Fishing hobbyists"?! Who actually talks like that?
5) Since you’re targeting such a specific demo, you may need to use a landing page to better connect the generic dating site to fishing…

I tried running a campaign like this a long time ago and it failed too. When I see what other guys are doing on this forum, now it’s totally obvious why something like this won’t work. It’s pretty much the most obvious and literal way to run a dating campaign, and you’re competing with smart competitors…

Good luck!

User Comment:
I have to agree with Brian, especially about the "fishing hobbyists" thing. That stood out to me.

1) Change the ad text. It’s too formal and definitely not natural english. Something like "Love to fish? Meet hot, single girls who want to go fishing with you!"
2) Don’t use Nobody is going to believe has a hidden "women who are fishing hobbyists" section. Too many tv commercials, no chance to fool anyone.
3) Use a lander. The default pages dating campaigns use have nothing to do with fishing, naturally. So make a quick lander that drives your point home and then link that to the offer. It can even be a large banner on an otherwise empty page. Just something to tie the ad to the offer.
4) Pretty much just reiterating what Brianb said – you went about this from a very generic angle and that never plays well in niche dating. When you write dating ads, try not to sound like the guy the facebook review team wants you to be. For example you wouldn’t use the phrase "Find your true love!" when targeting men who like football and promising them a girl who likes football. Men who like football and want a girl who can stand football want several things – to be able to watch the game without hearing her complain about it, to be able to have a few beers with friends without hearing her complain, to be able to go to the games without hearing her complain – and thats the angle you want to play to. "Love football? Meet hot girls near you who are crazy about football!" is good, but I’d run with "Love football? Meet a hot girl in your area who won’t complain when you watch the game!" That’s something I think every die hard fan could relate to. For your fishing angle try something like "Love to fish? Meet hot girls who know how to tie a proper jig!"

Three things I like to keep in mind when working with tight niches, especially for dating:

Know they’re language/lingo and use it.
Find pictures that aren’t boring, stock images, and relate directly to the core demographic of the niche you’re targeting.
Target tight and local and mention things they know about that relate to the niche.

Targeting Nascar fans? Hit Delaware only and include the phrase "Find a girl who has her own seat at Dover Downs!" and suddenly the person reading it might think its legit.

I’m not going to guarantee any of this will work for you but that’s where I’d start. Dating is a tough nut to crack sometimes, since thats where most affiliates start (aside from games) and there is a lot of competition – terrible competition but it’s competition nonetheless. People see enough horrible ads and they start to ignore all of them unless you get creative.

Also, edit your images. In my current testing I’m finding that a bright colored border (think: neon green, neon pink, etc) really draws the eye and gets an increased CTR.

User Comment:
+1 for know their lingo/language. That plus a lander is going to make or break the campaign

User Comment:
Ya I have to say as an avid fisherman if I was looking for a date the requirement of she needs to fish would be low on the list…..


a woman who likes the outdoors, enjoys camping etc…..that would be a trait that would interest me…..sometimes its not the interest,like itself but more of the larger concept it relates too….

User Comment:
Polarbacon has a great point. Sometimes laterally aligned interests are better than the specific interest. Like he said, you like fishing, she likes the outdoors or camping or hiking. Same basic environment, it all meshes well. Besides it’s probably more likely that a woman you met on a dating site would like hiking or camping than fishing.

User Comment:
To add on the feedback from other members, I think that the angle that you used is not suitable in dating. Who would really want to meet a girl who likes fishing? +1 to "aligned interests". In order to win in dating campaigns, you have to be really, really, creative. Good luck brother.

User Comment:
i was the guy who did the cyclist campaign….you need to pick interests that are "lifestyle" interests. for example…rock climbing…vegetarianism…yoga….tattoos…etc.

User Comment:
How about using a title like: "Take Her Fishing", and then say something like "Browse and meet hot girls who’re fun and like learning new things. Take her fishing and show her a good time."

User Comment:
I would prefer "Fish some really HOT mermaids who are looking for a Fisherman". hint hint*

User Comment:

Originally Posted by jinz

How about using a title like: "Take Her Fishing", and then say something like "Browse and meet hot girls who’re fun and like learning new things. Take her fishing and show her a good time."

You still have the problem of seeming unbelievable. Most guys who fish don’t meet many women who fish and if you show them a picture of a woman that looks like a supermodel and say she wants to go fishing with him, for most it’s going to take a serious suspension of disbelief to buy into that.

You can work that angle and use images of "average" looking girls, but the result will probably be the same, in that it won’t be great.

You’d be better off with something like

"Do you love to go fishing?"
"Meet attractive, single girls that won’t bother you while you go fishing – as long as you take them camping first."

Work in other outdoors-y activities that it’s less of a stretch for the women in the ads to be interested in – camping, hiking, kayaking, etc. Camping is an easy one to work into that since a lot of people go camping, and fish while they’re doing so.

Alternately if you target the right geographic areas or demographics you could probably even work in a "women who hunt" angle, you just need to make sure you target an area of the world where it’s not unbelievable that attractive women would pick up a gun and shoot a bear. That doesn’t happen much in New York City or Los Angeles, I’m sure.

User Comment:
LOL I did the exact same thing awhile back with the mediocre results, even built a FB app lander
I had a MUCH larger target than you, however, it was pretty much scaled out to the max.

I did alot of thinking on it afterwards and what polarbacon said is pretty much the conclusion I came to.

It’s overtargeting, I want a chick who can be outdoorsy and beyond that, UNDERSTAND my desire to do things like fish,
but let’s face it, most of the time men go fishing to get AWAY from their SO. They might not mind having them waiting back at camp,

The Article Published IN 06-27-2011 08:03 AM

Share To More ()