Online Dating—How to Boost Your Payment Conversion Rate

Online Dating—How to Boost Your Payment Conversion Rate

Conversion in online dating

As an online dating merchant, you know how much time and money it costs to convert a casual user into a paying customer—as such, it’s crucial to get your payment form user experience just right.

The online dating industry has the most available services and the greatest number of users, and it’s expected to rack up $2.1 million of revenue in 2020.

As of mid-2019, the average cost to acquire a new dating app user amounted to $3.52, with the average revenue per user (APRU) only amounting to $8.92.

Nonetheless, freemium is reported to be the most common business model, with merchants offering additional features that are only made available along with a paid subscription.

With the prevalence of the freemium online dating model, it’s more and more difficult to convert users into paying customers. To be able to gain an advantage over your competition, it’s important to invest in effective conversion optimization features.

No Redirections

One of the most successful conversion-boosting tactics includes equipping your dating app with a payment form that doesn’t redirect users to any other pages.

To do this, you’ll first need to add the credit and debit card payment feature to your in-app checkout, which will enable your customers to make transactions much more quickly and seamlessly.

This will also help to measurably boost your conversion rate, as keeping the user on the same page during the entire checkout process is an effective best practice.

To get started, you’ll need to find a payment processor who will equip you with a modern online dating merchant account and a customizable credit and debit card checkout.

Moreover, working with a trusted payment platform and having payment capabilities within your own app can help save a portion of your budget.

As was the case with Tinder—here’s how they did it.

In short, Tinder opted for no-redirection payments by cutting out the middleman (Google Play). Instead, they enabled their Android users to switch to a premium membership directly in the app, without redirecting them to a single other payment page.

Tinder’s motivation was largely financial as they were looking to avoid paying 30% of their subscription revenue for processing payments with Google.

In fact, many of the world’s most renowned business-to-business SaaS companies, such as Netflix and Spotify, have adopted the same no-redirection approach. Nonetheless, Tinder does differ in that they’re one of the first to offer in-app payment capabilities, (eliminating the need to redirect users to a mobile web page).

With this in mind, it’s likely that the future of payments will involve eliminating as many unnecessary transactional steps as possible in order to improve conversion and save costs.

The dating industry is a competitive playing field, which is why it’s better to be a leader when it comes to adopting market trends. As such, look for a payment processor whose advanced technological capabilities will enable you to shape the path of payment convenience with the future in mind.

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Dating apps may seem like they serve a greater purpose as they help people find love and friendship—but, for online dating businesses, maximizing return on investment is what matters most.

This can prove difficult at times as the industry’s market is incredibly saturated. Additionally, finding the right kind of user profile, one that is guaranteed to present scaling possibilities in the future, is not an easy task. Especially if your dating business is targeted at niches such as religious dating, seniors, etc.

However, even if your target customer base is broad, it’s still difficult to ensure that your user profiles will remain varied enough to make using the application meaningful for its entire community.

This is where retargeting comes in—and, as it turns out, the most effective way to maximize engagement is to retarget your existing audience.

For instance, users who installed your app but never ended up registering, or users who did so but never returned to the app are already more engaged than someone who has never heard of your service before. As such, you can use the data they submitted during their first engagement with your app to help convince them to make their first purchase.

Retargeting your subscribed active audience is also a worthwhile revenue-increasing pursuit.

Once someone is already using your service, it’s much easier to entice them to become even more engaged. Freemium features are usually limited—whereas people’s affinity for discovery as well as a fear of missing out makes it possible to successfully upsell new paid features to them.

Alternatively, you could also focus on paid customers who churned. However, the nature of the online dating industry is such that once someone finds what (or rather who) they’re looking for, they may churn simply because they no longer feel the need to use your service. What then? Well, you could run an incrementality test, which will help ensure that your retargeting efforts don’t negatively impact organic conversions.

Overall, it’s important to test different segmentation strategies and to assign the most suitable KPIs for those segments. For instance, it might be much easier to generate a high return on ad spend from your active subscribed audience, as opposed to trying to entice someone who’s unaware of your service to make their first purchase. This is why it’s important that your KPIs match the nature of your objectives.

Nonetheless, successfully converting users towards their first purchase is important in order to be able to set up a scalable retargeting campaign in the future. Such campaigns often call for much more advanced optimization strategies, making them more time-consuming to perfect—which consequently means that it’ll take a bit longer for you to see return on investment.

It is worth it, though.

Payment Form UX

An attractive and intuitive payment form user interface is key, if you’re looking to improve your conversion rate.

If the checkout experience is counterintuitive and frustrating for customers, you might never get them to convert, which is why it’s important to apply UX and UI best practices.

Read through our list of payment form design guidelines to see how you could optimize your checkout.

Form Columns

It’s better to avoid multi-column layout forms as they’re difficult to interpret, making them frustrating for users. A notable exception to this rule are multi-column forms that ask for users’ credit card details. As such, putting multiple fields in the same row is fine, so long as the layout structure mimics the information layout on a credit card. 

Number of Fields

Short payment forms are better. Refrain from adding too many fields to your forms, as this practice is one of the most prevalent causes of cart abandonment. To give you a specific example, products that will be physically shipped shouldn’t have more than 6-8 fields. 

Studies show that most payment forms out there have half twice as many fields than is recommended, so make sure to double-check what your form looks like. 

Field Arrangement

Form field sequence matters. Arrange the payment form fields in order from the easiest to the hardest. This will ensure your users don’t abandon their purchases at the very start of the transactional process. If they only reach the more time-consuming fields once they’ve already filled out the rest of the form, it’s more likely that they’ll commit to completing their purchase.

Auto-Fill Forms

Speed things up with auto-complete. Equipping your payment form with fields that automatically fill out pieces of information for the customer are convenient and help them get through the checkout quicker.

Optional Fields

Only mark the optional fields. Most payment forms have more required fields than optional ones. As such, it makes the form less cluttered and more legible if you only mark the fields that don’t need to be filled out. This way, users can quickly omit the fields they don’t need to pay attention to, enabling them to check out faster.

Radio Buttons

Opt for radio buttons. A recent CXL study found that people complete forms faster when they’re equipped with radio buttons, (as opposed to multi-select ones). Using radio buttons is a recommended best practice especially in instances where there are less than 5 options to choose from. They’re easy to scan for information, making them practical and convenient. When it comes to the dropdown menu, we would only recommend making use of one if the form needs to have many different options.

Promo Code Fields

Hide your promo code box. When in doubt, hide your discount box until the user clicks in the appropriate place or use a text link in order to draw less attention to that particular space on the page. Doing so eliminates the risk that the customer will see the box and think that they’re missing out on a promotion, causing them to leave the payment page and go looking for a code. This is obviously not an ideal situation, as they may never return to finalize their order.

However, if you frequently offer discounts, don’t listen to us on this one and make your promo code box easy to find instead. 

Clickable Images

Make use of clickable images. People process visual information faster and images are more effective at getting our attention. As such, add clickable images to your payment form to make your customers’ checkout process more convenient and less prone to being filled out incorrectly.

Progress Bar

Add a progress bar. Doing so helps improve your conversion rate because the customer sees exactly how they’re progressing towards the finalization of their purchase. This makes the customer feel like they’re in control of the process and helps put them at ease. It also shows them how much time and effort they’ve already invested in filling out the form, making them less likely to abandon their cart. 

Checkout Performance

Accelerate page load times. One of Dynatrace’s studies on performance and speed found that 50% of users won’t wait longer than 3 seconds for a page to load. Hence, to improve your conversion rate, your pages’ response time shouldn’t amount to more than 1 second. To enable this, streamline your checkout form—remove all of the unnecessary elements, keep your customers on the same page throughout the entire process, and reduce the number of fields.

Unique Design

Make your payment form look good. Aside from speed, make sure to equip your checkout with an esthetic user interface. Additionally, don’t forget to make the checkout visually match the overall design scheme and layout of the page it’s on. A checkout that seems out of place can make users feel uneasy, lowering the chances that they’ll go through with the payment.

Call to Action

Label your buttons explicitly. Your button messaging should be crystal clear. Once you think you’ve made your button copy clear enough, revise it and make it even clearer. Avoid using vague terms such as “Go”, “OK”, etc. Instead, opt for words or phrases like “Pay”, “Pay $100”, “Give me access” and so on. It’s important that your customers know exactly what’s going to happen once they click the button.

Clear Pricing

Display the price, at all times. Customers want to know exactly how much they’re going to pay—and they want to be aware of this throughout the entire checkout process. Hence, make the final price visible during every stage of the payment finalization journey, up until the purchase is completed.

Mobile Payments

Invest in mobile payment capabilities. As mentioned earlier in the article, giving your customers the possibility to make in-app purchases is a great way to boost your conversion rate and to save costs. However, simply having a mobile checkout isn’t going to cut it. Your mobile payment form should be as convenient and intuitive to use as its web counterpart.

1-Click Payments

This innovative payment feature makes the transaction process much quicker and more convenient. Running an online dating site, you surely have many loyal customers who frequently make in-app purchases. If so, there’s no better way to enhance their user experience than by equipping your service with 1-click payments.

This feature allows customers to make transactions without having to fill out their credit card information each time around. This approach is quite common when it comes to filling out shipping information for physical goods, for instance, however, this principle works wonders for the service industry as well.

Once a customer enters their payment details on your site, they’ll be able to make purchases with just the click of a button.

Additionally, if you’d like to go a step further when it comes to ensuring transactional security, look for a payment provider who uses tokenization technology.

In practice, when tokenization is applied, this means that unique identifiers (i.e. tokens) are associated with payment data such as a given customer’s card information. This way, when a payment is being made, a token assigned to a certain payment card is sent to your website and associated with the stored payment details; and, only once this is done, an authorization request is sent to the acquirer. As a result of this, fraudsters can’t effectively use stolen customer data.

Tokenization is great when it comes to security and cost savings.

  • Lower costs

You save money using tokenization because you no longer need to route transactions through your server. This also helps to reduce costs normally associated with PCI compliance. This is possible as tokenization transfers most of the PCI compliance requirements from you to your payment partner.

  • Increased security

Tokenization is an incredibly effective fraud prevention method. If it’s applied, even fraudsters who manage to steal your customers’ personal data won’t be able to use it to make online payments. This is because the transaction-enabling token assigned to your customer’s data is stored by your payment partner.

The Takeaway

Converting users into paying customers takes time and effort—which is why it’s important to ensure the highest quality of user experience across all aspects of your service. Therefore, if you’d like to increase your revenue, this should also apply to payments.

To meet these objectives, you can optimize your payment solution so that it makes use of:

No Redirections

Avoid conversion-killing redirections and look for a payment solution that will keep your customers on the same page throughout the entire payment process.


Employ retargeting campaigns that entice prospects and existing customers to take that crucial step towards finalizing purchases.

Payment Form UX

Look into visually and functionally optimizing your payment forms and checkout in order to help improve your conversion rate.

1-Click Payments

Equip your payment solution with quick and convenient 1-click payments and make use of tokenization technology to keep your customers’ data secure.

With the freemium model saturating the market, it’s challenging to convert casual users into loyal customers. To gain an advantage over your competition, employ the right kind of conversion optimization strategies.


Looking for an Online Dating Merchant Account?

Competitive rates tailored to your business model & processing volume.

Set up your account in less than 48 hours.

Get a FREE quote >>>

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Melania Sulak

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