- It’s awesome just like you thought it would be. Everyone loves it, says they would use it and tells you that it’s exactly what they were looking for. You’re ready to move to development.
- It’s sort’ve cool – most people like it, but many people also had suggestions about what could make it better. With a few tweaks and a slight pivot, the app concept can be strengthened and made more effective.
- Everyone hates it. The majority of people remark that it wouldn’t really help them, or that it wouldn’t help them better than other solutions. Either way, the cost of making a dating app is extremely high – and you just saved tens of thousands on wasted development. Back to the dating app drawing board you go!
If you want to know how to create a dating app that doesn’t suck, the first tip is – make sure it doesn’t suck before you develop it. Focus groups give you the opportunity to test the awesomeness or suckiness of your concept before undertaking the expense and effort of developing it into a functional application.
Creating A Buzz
- You are a startup in Chicago and you just launched your dating app. A single man in Detroit downloads the application and finds that there are no matches in his area – and actually, only a few total users in his area. He deletes the app.
- You are a startup in Miami. A single woman in Miami downloads the application and views the limited pool of potential daters. She logs out. She signs in two weeks later and the pool still only includes the same people that were there weeks before. She deletes the app.
Downloads mean very little if there is no retention; and if there is no momentumous traction to your dating app, users likely won’t stick around for long. The success of your dating app will lean heavily on how you launch it and how you market it.
There’s really no point in immediately launching your dating app to a huge market. Consider the first scenario – if there are very few users in a region, there is very little value for a consumer within that region. For dating apps to work, there must be a dense pool of daters within the region that a consumer will want to date.
Start by launching in one city. Penetrate that city as deeply as possible so that daters in that city can access a large pool of potential matches. Once successful, scale into another city (or several cities), and then throughout a whole region. As you create more buzz, the user adoption process will become much easier each time you scale.
Develop A Strong Marketing Strategy
Knowing how to make a dating app means very little if you aren’t able to get it in front of your audience. Dating app startups have less options when it comes to marketing online. Some platforms, like Facebook, don’t allow dating apps to purchase ads, which limits the opportunity for these apps to reach social media audiences. Marketing is critical to building traction for your dating app. Consider scenario 2 – if new daters aren’t constantly being added to the network, users find no reason to revisit the application.
Be creative in your strategy. Some dating apps start at universities, advertising their apps on site (Tinder partnered with sororities). By launching regionally, you can even take advantage of traditional regional marketing channels such as radio and television. For more ideas, check out our article on how to make an app go viral.
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