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Find Your Valentine: How to Optimize Your Online Prospects (for Business and Dating!)

by Mark Simpson  |  
February 11, 2011
  |  4,501 views

In this article, you'll learn...

  • How online dating is a lot like conducting business online
  • How to effectively market yourself online
  • Five ways to amp up your online profile and attract quality prospects

It's that time of year again. Your local drugstore is filled with heart-shaped boxes, your email inbox is full of special offers for roses and chocolates, and you've found yourself dodging your single friends who have organized a group pity party to embrace and "celebrate" your collective solitude. Yep, Valentine's Day is looming, and you're still alone.

But before you blame your singleness on your preferred dating site's poor inventory of prospects, stop and think about how your profile might be performing. We've collected a lot of data about how people interact with websites, how they shop for products, and what convinces them to buy. I know from first-hand experience that some simple tweaks to a website (mobile ones, too)—including your dating profile—can seriously improve its success.

That in mind, I'd like to offer our from-the-trenches insights to help the lovelorn and unattached everywhere improve their personal conversion rates to turn "single" into "significant other." I can't exactly close the deal for you (you'll need to defer to another kind of expert for that advice), but I can offer a little strategy that might just help you get more (qualified) eyes on your profile and lock down a date for the big night.

Before you start tinkering with your profile, lay out your strategic goals; it's what you'd do in business, and it makes sense for dating, too:

  • Attract as much visibility and traffic as possible.
  • Clearly describe your value proposition.
  • Position yourself as attractive to ideal prospects.
  • Be transparent and authentic—you may as well find someone who likes you for you. (It's so much easier that way, after all.)

Now that you know what you're trying to do, it's time to get some results.


1. Position yourself with strategic headlines and calls to action

A lot of people enter the online dating world thinking that to ensure success they should cast as wide a net as possible. But, assuming you know what you're looking for in a mate, there's no point in attracting anyone who doesn't meet your criteria. And since we've determined that one of your goals is to be transparent and authentic, you've got to start by figuring out which characteristics to lead with.

Take online dating site Loopylove.com (now cupid.com). We tested and tweaked multiple variables throughout the site—the progress indicator, registration-page layout, default form-field entries, the presence of sample profile pictures, etc.—to determine which variants would convert and engage the most visitors. By applying the resulting data to the overall website strategy, we were able to increase the number of sign ups 31%.


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Mark Simpson is founder and president of Maxymiser, a global expert in multivariate testing, personalization, and optimization solutions

Twitter: @MarkJ_Simpson

LinkedIn: Mark J. Simpson

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  • by Sharon Long Fri Feb 11, 2011 via web

    Thank you, Mark! I'm about halfway through writing a book called "Marketing Is Like Dating and I Can Help You Score" so this article made me smile big time! It's a great analogy that really gets people thinking! :-)

  • by Mark Simpson Fri Feb 11, 2011 via web

    Hey Sharon, No problem! And as for your book--great title. Sounds like a fantastic read. It should do especially well in the Manhattan marketplace

  • by Shelley Ryan Fri Feb 11, 2011 via web

    So, Mark... are you single? Want to hook up for coffee sometime? ;)

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