THE BLOG

The Insanely Simple Tinder Hack That Got Me 20X More Matches

A surprise lesson in marketing your product in a crowded market!

04/01/2017 3:52 PM IST | Updated 07/01/2017 4:58 PM IST
Getty Images

"Ladki patayi hai?"

(Ever wooed a girl?)

"Nai, sir."

(No, sir.)

"Phir ghanta sales hoga tujhse."

(Then there is no way in hell that you can do sales!)

This was how a friend's interview process at a Fortune 500 company went.

True story!

It is weird how as you go through life, everything seems interrelated and connected to each other. Be it sales, getting the girl or even clearing an interview.

Being deeply interested in human psychology and a hustler by nature and after hearing numerous complaints by my guy friends about not getting enough matches on online dating app Tinder, I wondered if I could "hack" Tinder to try and get more matches, both in quality and quantity.

I could not help but wonder at the analogy between hundreds of companies hounding consumers online and guys desperate to catch a girl's attention virtually!

Believe it or not, online dating today is a $2 billion industry (in the US alone), and according to Match.com one in five relationships these days began online. It has come a long way from being a "weird" way of meeting people.

I defined my first win as getting the girl to spend at least 3–4 seconds more on my pic than she would otherwise.

This hack got me 100 plus matches in less than nine days, more Tinder dates than most people will ever go on, where I met up and befriended a model, an entrepreneur, a fashion designer, a psychiatrist, a doctor, an Australian dancer, a lawyer among others.

As those familiar with it know, Tinder makes it extremely easy for girls to reject you before you can say "Tinder" unless you are Ranbir Kapoor himself which I'm pretty sure you're not. And if you are, in which case "Hey Ranbir! Big fan."

It's scary how much choice today's internet consumer has. He/she can reject you in the blink of an eye before you even have a chance to explain your many merits.

You might be the smartest, sweetest guy around but if the girl has swiped left on you in under half a second, then your love story has ended before it's even begun.

This is exactly the problem with internet companies today who have a killer product but can't even convince a customer to try them out.


THE HACK

"Know thyself" said the great Socrates many hundreds of years ago and it rings true to this day.

A picture of me upfront on my Tinder profile would mathematically give me a 50:50 chance that a girl would either swipe left or right. But realistically speaking, an average male hardly generates 1–2 matches a day. Data suggests that right swipes are even rarer at <2% for the average Indian male.

Tinder is, at its most basic level, a game where the cards are stacked in favour of spectacularly good-looking, photogenic men.

Since I was odds-on to lose in this particular game, I knew I had to manipulate this game to bring the odds in my favour.

Step 1

In an app where the girl can swipe your face to obscurity in nano-seconds, I defined my first win as getting the girl to spend at least 3–4 seconds more on my pic than she would otherwise.

This mimics one of the central concepts of marketing and sales: The funnel— through which companies are supposed to systematically move prospects from awareness through consideration to purchase.

So how did I do that?

Seth Godin puts it succinctly when he says:

"Figure what the always is. Then do something else."

I could have done what this guy did (picture below) but then I'm no good at Photoshop. What I'm good with is words and deep thinking. And Boyzone let us all know way back, how words were all you ever needed, to take someone's heart away.


Damn, Daniel!

And so, I did this.

Picture 1

Instead of a picture upfront, I posted a quirky note and tried to keep it conversational and genuine.

A note in between all those photos instantly gathers attention and piques curiosity! I knew that anyone who stopped to read this would swipe to the next picture for sure!

Aren't all dating websites just that at the end of the day: texting based on our judgment of other people's pics? Therein comes the a-ha moment for the prospect.

Then I tell you that I have a slightly different idea on how to go about things.

Curious? Then I hit you with a call to action which leaves the prospect in no doubt whatsoever what she is expected to do next.

Step 2


Picture 2

This was my second pic.

I searched online for what women generally look for and sought to reassure them beforehand that I was all that they were looking for and more. Smart, intelligent and sweet are supposedly the characteristics women most look for in men. Well-educated (MBA) and well-settled (equals well-paying job) are signs of success. And behind every successful man, there are hundreds of women. Chasing him!

I ended the second picture with another call to action as the prospect, at each stage, must know what is expected of him/her. I asked the girl to swipe right and to agree to a coffee if I looked anything like a nice person!

Tinder is a game where the cards are stacked in favour of spectacularly good-looking men. Since I was odds-on to lose... I knew I had to manipulate this game...

And unless you have a face like Osama Bin Laden's, I'm pretty sure each and every one of you looks like a nice person when you're flashing that beautiful smile of yours.

Also, prospects need to be kept informed at all times regarding the "why" of what they are doing, and by telling them that I was relatively new in the city and presumably without friends, I gave them another reason to say yes.

I was open enough to admit what I was actually looking for (which was meeting someone rather than incessant back-and-forth texting) and I was sure that anyone viewing my profile would have, at the very least, smiled at my ingenuity and that was more than enough leverage for me to ask her out for a coffee.

Visual attraction is still the catalyst that drives most dates online, like in real life, and so I knew I had to end it with a picture of mine.

And so we come to the final step.

Step 3

Picture 3

BOOM. Now that expectations of physical beauty have been significantly lowered, any average looking Joe should realistically hit the bull's eye.

The quantity of my matches went up like crazy and much more importantly, so did the quality. I was extremely fortunate to meet with a lot of genuinely interesting people with whom I could never have ever got in touch with otherwise. Plus, a vast majority of these women initiated the conversations themselves which, as we men all know, NEVER happens. Some even said that this was the first time that they felt they couldn't actually resist texting a guy!

TIPS

Photo

I would suggest not uploading group pics on Tinder because nobody enjoys a good mystery guessing which person you are! Brightly lit pics with you smiling genuinely into the camera should do very well indeed.

Bio

This is extremely important as your bio is the only way to know a little bit about the person you really are. Since I'm a very casual and fun-loving guy, I tried being funny in my bio as well, as a reflection of my personality.

Evidently, it worked well. Girls texted saying they couldn't stop laughing after reading my bio and seeing my pics. This gives you the upper hand pretty early, and you don't have to jump through hoops to impress the girl later, which is what usually happens.

Remember, if you're not funny or don't keep her engaged, the next guy is only a few seconds away.

The girl is on Tinder to meet new guys, she's swiped right on you and has initiated a conversation. From there on, unless you completely mess it up, you're winning!


Bio alternative 1

Bio alternative 2

I usually open with something funny like:

— You don't know how many times I've had to swipe left to find you.

Remember, if you're not funny or don't keep her engaged, the next guy is only a few seconds away.

The trick with Tinder is to move the conversation out of Tinder as soon as possible. Once again, I tried to be funny while asking for her number:

— On a scale of 0 to 9999999999, what's your number?

From there on, I guess it's pretty straightforward to fix up a date and go meet the girl. Best of luck!

Warning: The best Tinder hack still remains spectacularly good looks!

***

So this was basically how I changed the game in my favour by turning around the conversation in the prospect's head from:

"An above-average-looking, normal guy," (*swipes left in a flash*)

to

"Ooh, here's something different. A smart, successful guy with a cute face. And funny. Yes, definitely funny. Coffee? Hell, I'd marry him!"

What I learned can be a valuable lesson for marketers looking to attract and acquire new customers , on new platforms. Sometimes, it's all about getting into the head of your prospect and turning that mental conversation around.

In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.

Going ahead, as average companies making average products for average people start to proliferate, those which will stand out, be bold and dare to be different, will be the ones who'll get matched most often to their customers and derive the most success.

There's too much of average out there. Beremarkable, which in essence means: something people can pass a remark on!

Remarkable as in generous, daring, creative, silly and vulnerable.

In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.

If you loved this article and want to go for a coffee with me, or want to discuss anything ranging from product, tech, marketing, startups or Manchester United, you can tweet to me@AbhishekMadhavn

Bollywood's Selfie Generation

More On This Topic