Purchasely guest blog: Festive season monetization strategies for dating apps: conversion and retention

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In this guest blog by app monetisation and paywall specialists Purchasely, they explore why the winter holiday season offers a golden opportunity for dating apps to draw in new users and enhance user loyalty. Here you'll find some straightforward strategies to help your dating app improve its conversion and retention rates during this bustling time.

More people seek romantic relationships in winter than in other seasons. The mix of darker days, colder nights, the holiday season, and societal pressure creates a potent mix for romance. This same formula also leads to a noticeable increase in dating app activity, particularly between December and January. For example, apps like Coffee Meets Bagel, Plenty of Fish, Grindr, Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge, see their peak usage around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the first Sunday in January.

Daters' holiday struggles and app retention strategies

The winter holiday season brings a mixed bag of emotional experiences for singles, ranging from a heightened sense of loneliness to a rush for romantic connections as the New Year approaches. For dating apps, this period offers a prime opportunity to enhance user engagement and implement effective monetization strategies. Let’s explore how to navigate these holiday struggles and pair them with smart monetization tactics.

Solitude vs. festive cheer

While everyone's busy sharing their picture-perfect holiday moments, it can really highlight the solo status for singles. This is a prime opportunity for dating apps to step in and make a real impact. More than just matchmaking, they can draw users into the heart of the holiday excitement, making them feel like they're part of the season's romantic buzz. It's about creating a sense of collective anticipation, where everyone's eagerly in pursuit of connection. The key? Bring the holiday spirit right into your app with themed paywalls!

Monetization strategy: Holiday-themed paywall design

Dating apps can use holiday-themed messaging and design to resonate with this mood. This approach can make curious users feel more connected than like strangers, inclined to explore premium features and check out the vibe.

Examples of festive paywall screen images

There are numerous creative ways to incorporate festive themes into your monetization strategies, and sometimes it can be as straightforward as refreshing your app's graphics and messages. These alone can have a strong appeal, potentially turning curious visitors into subscribers without the need for specific discount deals. One effective approach is to customize your onboarding screens with a holiday twist. Use this additional space to add something special that might encourage users to subscribe.

For example, let users know that during this season, the app typically sees an increase in romance seekers, suggesting a higher likelihood of finding a successful match.

You could also engage users by asking about their holiday dating goals or plans as part of the onboarding process. Then, towards the end, present them with the most suitable subscription plans or add-ons that align with their aspirations. This personalized touch can make the decision to subscribe feel more relevant and timely for them.

Year-end relationship reflections

Screenshot of paywall that communicates an offer deadline

Year-end is not just about resolutions or signing up for gym memberships. It's a period where many take a closer look at their personal relationships, searching for what truly feels "right." For dating app users, this is a crucial time for reassessment, whether they're considering new romantic possibilities or thinking about moving on from current relationships.

This makes it the perfect opportunity for your app to demonstrate the power of social proof. By highlighting real success stories from within the app, you can inspire your users, encouraging them to embark on their own romantic adventures as the year shifts into a new phase

Monetization strategy: Social proof

Leverage the spirit of "New year, new me" along with compelling evidence to foster active engagement. Sharing user generated content such as testimonials are proven to work wonders. You can also illuminate how other users are starting fresh romantic journeys during this unique season, boosting users' motivation to give a shot at premium features and experiences.

Paint a vivid picture of real-life success stories by revealing the convincing stats of others finding meaningful connections just in time for the holiday season. This is a great way to demonstrate the effectiveness of your platform to instill confidence in users. You can combine this social element with an exclusive offer for add-on features such as “profile boost”, to entice upsell opportunities beyond initial conversion.

Making the most of holiday downtime

The holidays are prime time for travel, whether it's heading back home or jet-setting to new destinations. By tapping into where users are spending their holidays, dating apps can offer them chances to forge real connections right where they are. Think of it as a holiday fling or maybe the start of something more – after all, who knows where a little holiday magic might lead? Let's help them make the most of the festive spirit, and who knows, it might just spark a long-term romance.

Monetization strategy: Paywall personalization through geo-targeting

Italian localised paywall strategy example

Amidst the holiday travel season, there's a clever way to personalize your paywall messages and offerings: geo-targeting. By utilizing attributes like "IP Country is (country code)," dating apps can roll out messages that resonate with the user's current location. Imagine letting your users know how many potential matches are nearby, actively looking for a special connection in their city. This approach not only offers personalized attention but also capitalizes on the heightened intent of users in a specific locale, making it the perfect time to introduce exclusive access to premium features.

Example paywall campaign:

  • Location-specific offers: Offer discounts or special promotions tailored to the user's geographical area.
  • Localized content: Adapt your paywall content to fit the local context. This could mean translating your app's language, adjusting currency, or even suggesting date ideas that are popular in that particular region.

Countdown to New Year’s Eve

Countdown paywall offer

As the festive season whirls by and the countdown to the New Year ticks on, there's a noticeable surge in the dating scene. Everyone is on the lookout for that someone special to share a New Year's kiss with, creating a real sense of urgency. This is an ideal moment for dating apps to shine, presenting enticing offers that go beyond mere discounts and really speak to the desire for meaningful connections.

Monetization Strategy: Time-limited offers and countdown timers

Utilizing time-limited offers and countdown timers during the holiday season can significantly boost engagement in your dating app. These strategies play on the festive urgency and the fear of missing out, which is heightened during this time of year.

Example paywall campaign: It can work as an effective tool to entice users at any stage. For example, For new users, a holiday-themed limited offer can be an inviting start to their dating journey. Current users may find renewed interest with a special seasonal deal, keeping their engagement high. Loyal users can be tempted to try new add-ons/consumable purchases behind the countdown.

For those who've left, a captivating holiday offer could be just the thing to bring them back into the dating game. A countdown timer for a New Year's Eve special offer, promoting premium features like unlimited swipes or boosted profiles to increase chances of finding a New Year’s date.


From themed paywalls that resonate with the holiday spirit to leveraging social proof and geo-targeting, the strategies outlined in this article are hand-picked to help you turn your app into the heartbeat of festive connections.

Want to learn about some effective holiday season acquisition strategies for dating apps? Head over to the article Acquisition best-practice for dating apps as we head into the holiday season and new year by Redbox Mobile to explore the comprehensive insights and actionable steps.

Happy connecting!

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