Whenever I speak to someone about the potential and how affordable online advertising can be I always use traditional media buys as comparison. Though, the budgets tend to be quite on either side of the spectrum in comparison the potential of what I like to refer to as “Quality Reach over Broad Reach” is great with online advertising. There are tons of platforms (websites) that you can advertise on these days and I expect as I continue writing these articles I will touch base on quite a few of them. But tonight I was working on a campaign for a new website that is selling t-shirts online and when I started building out the advertisements across various platforms such as Facebook and Google I realized how great the potential for this campaign could be on a dating website such as Plenty of Fish, zoosk, match.com or Okcupid. The fundamental principle of advertising on these dating websites is very simple. People are on these websites hoping to find a potential partner and provide a lot of information about themselves when doing so. You can then target your advertisements to only be displayed to people with select criteria. I don’t know the statistics but I would imagine that quite a large percentage of people who use these sites tell the truth about themselves on them.

Let’s take a look at this guys profile quickly (I believe it’s fake, so feel free to laugh a little).



This young man has provided quite a bit of details about himself via his profile. This includes where he lives, his age, that he is actively and most likely single, he has a Bachelors degree, does not have children, doesn’t smoke, is not religious, I’d assume that the fact he is Caucasian is most likely stored in the profile somewhere as well, and that his job has something to do with providing education. All of this information is stored on the dating website’s database and can be targeted by online ads.

I’ll use selling a book as an example. If you were building out a campaign for a new book release titled “A guide to teaching in Hong Kong”. This guy would be a great potential customer. Using a network or sometimes the dating website’s advertising platform itself you can target all of the information that has been provided by it’s users and only serve your advertisements to them.

So the logic comes down to a pretty simple formula.

Serve Less Impressions to more specifically targeted users = better ROI.

100 impressions of a banner advertisement to a group where 10% – 15% of the users are likely to click the advertisement is better than 1,000 impressions to a broader group where maybe .25% click through.