Despite Valentine’s Day falling smack bang in the middle of the month, February is apparently one of the worst months to acquire new online daters, with spring the best time to attract new singles.
This is according to a new study by Liftoff, who analysed user acquisition and app engagement data from top online dating services from January 2015 to January 2016.
The mobile marketing company examined a large set of app install campaign and engagement data, comprised of over 936m impressions and 129,496 post-install events.
The data included average costs and conversion rates for dating app installs, install-to-registrations, and install-to-subscriptions.
Best time to acquire new online daters
Looking at the whole year by month, Liftoff found that the average cost per install declined throughout most of 2015, although there was a spike in November and December.
And looking at when the most registrations happened, the data showed that install-to-registration rates peaked in the spring, with singles 131.7% more likely to subscribe during that period than any other.
This period also saw the year’s lowest cost per subscription rates, and in April, the rate at which female users install and subscribe to dating apps was 2.3x higher than average.
And although from February 1-14th, men are 1.9x more likely to install a dating app, and 10% more likely to register for one during the same time period, Liftoff found that February ranked as the fourth most expensive month for acquiring new dating app subscribers, with 2015’s install-to-subscription rates marking February as the third worst month for acquiring new subscribers.
Speaking about this insight into the positives of acquiring users in the spring, Liftoff said: “User engagement amongst new installs was much higher in the spring than during the fall. Between March-May, new users were 48.6% more likely to register after installing a dating app than they were during the fall. Users were also 2.6x more likely to upgrade to a premium subscription during the spring.
“Looking a bit deeper, both men and women demonstrated a greater interest in dating apps throughout the spring. Men were 212.7% more likely to install and subscribe compared to the fall, while women were 45.2% more likely to subscribe.
“In April alone, 70% of women who installed a dating app went on to register. Acquisition costs were also at their lowest in the spring, with the average cost per subscription costing 51.8% less than the yearly average.”
Cost of acquiring male & female daters
Regarding gender split across the entire year, Liftoff found that although male and female dating app users have fairly similar post-install conversion rates, the costs associated with acquiring them are very different.
The average cost to acquire a male subscriber was $291.68, 18.2% lower than the cost to acquire a female.
Female registrations were also 59.7% more expensive to acquire than their male counterparts.
iOS v Android
And with regards to operating system, the report round that Android saw better rates than iOS for average cost per install & cost per registration.
Yet iOS users successfully installed and registered for a dating app (63.4%) at a higher rate than Android users (47.9%), suggesting a greater interest in using the app.
For generating subscriptions, however, iOS was more cost-effective.
For average cost per subscription, iOS saw $283.69, compared to $497.54 on Android.
As Liftoff said in summation: “In 2015, gender and operating system both impacted dating app user acquisition costs and conversion rates, with women being more expensive to acquire across all metrics. iOS users were also more expensive to acquire as new registered users, but with a high install to-registration rate, the investment in paid user acquisition on iOS continues to be a good one.
“Most notably, dating apps saw the greatest increase in engagement during the spring, as users installed, registered and subscribed at a higher rate and lower cost than at any other time of the year.”
To check out the excellent full Mobile Dating Apps Report, go here.