Swipe right: 4 copywriting lessons we can learn from Tinder

James Cullen

Tinder may be the maker of relationships, the bane of single people, and the intrigue of their happily married friends but it is also a useful tool in teaching us about copywriting.

If we look at Tinder as a marketplace and each potential match as a product, how the micro-copy works can actually give us an insight into improving our copy game. Here’s how.

Write with clarity

The most important rule in copywriting is to be clear. Be clear on the product, the brand, any offers or events, so that customers know exactly what the company/brand/product/service is.

On Tinder, many people choose to use the space on their bio to state what they are looking for – or what they’re not looking for. Eliminating potential matches who don’t achieve this goal helps acquire the kind of match that people want – e.g. if someone is looking for something serious and states it, anyone who just wants something casual will know not to swipe.

Taking this into copywriting, by being clear about how a product or service will solve a specific problem, those who have the problem are more likely to follow the sales funnel through to being happy customers.

Get to the point

Tinder users have such a short space of time to reach their potential ‘customers’ i.e. their hopeful match, that it provides a good lesson in copywriting.

Some people choose to lead with a quote or pop culture reference, immediately telling their potential suitors what kind of person they are. Some choose to list their employment or where they’ve studied as a shorthand for how they spend their time and what might be compatible relationship-wise.

In copywriting, being succinct is crucial. On Tinder, people are swiping because they want to meet someone. So, we don’t need to sell them on why they should be looking for romance, just on why they should pick a specific suitor.

In copywriting, a lot of time is wasted convincing customers they need a product or service rather than on why they need this specific product or service and how a brand’s specific product will improve their lives.

Be useful

Usefulness in copywriting is also important. Content strategy is based around providing a use for customers, which translates to a prime placement on SERPs. The more useful the site, the more clicks, the higher the ranking, and the better position the site is in to attract customers.

This is the same on Tinder. User bios that list hobbies, likes, dislikes, and the circumstances a potential match is willing to meet in, help provide a use for those scrolling through Tinder. The listing of likes and hobbies also helps provide conversation starters, much like a chatbot might if a customer spends time on a site, to help give them a nudge in the right direction.

Imagery is just as important

As copywriters, we are often kept out of the loop of other decisions – such as the imagery or video content that will work alongside our words. This visual content is equally as important. If it doesn’t attract attention, potential customers with shorter attention spans may not even bother reading what we’ve written.

The images people choose to use of themselves on Tinder are as important – if not more so – than the small bio they write for themselves. Copywriting should never be seen as a silo by itself but as an approach that works in tandem with the imagery or video content to provide a broader picture of what we are trying to say to customers.

Tinder users will attest that certain images pique their attention and compel them to read the bio without swiping left immediately.

Tinder might not be the most obvious place to gain inspiration for copywriting, but profiles on the dating site do provide a glimpse into how we can improve our copy. They teach us to get to the point, to be clear, to be useful to the reader, and to consider the imagery that goes alongside the copy. All of these are critical when it comes to writing copy.

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