Facebook advertising for the single-and-looking

Facebook interest-based PPC advertising campaign for a bachelor with flair.

This ad image is performing best, perhaps because my face is partially-hidden.

I’m a single guy with specific taste. I’m only interested in women with the potential to become my intellectual and spiritual partner over the long term.

On any given night, these women may be in bars. Or coffee shops. Or yoga classes. Or laundromats. In the unlikely case that I’m in the same place at the same time, the only filter I’d manage to apply is physical. At first meeting, a woman is like a Facebook profile with her privacy settings too high.

But, interest-based pay-per-click ads remove the privacy shroud and deliver insight into her intellectual and spiritual nature at 75 cents per click. That’s about 10 clicks for the price of a cocktail that may or may not end up splashed in my face!

Facebook marketing for the eligible single

On April 2, I launched a Facebook ad campaign designed to find me a date. As a true marketing dork, I built 9 distinct ad versions for testing purposes – 3 creative variants and 3 interest-based targeting variants.

Demographically, ads targeted single women ages 28 to 34 within 25 miles of Tempe. Interest groupings were:

  • Yoga, Bikram Yoga, etc. (max reach: 940 users)
  • Buddhism, meditation, metaphysic, etc. (max reach: 580)
  • Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, etc. (max reach: 420)

For a landing experience, I created a Facebook fan page with free contact form and welcome tab apps. (Thanks to Mari Smith’s Big List of Apps!) Yes, it’s ghetto. My html skills are weak and Facebook’s iFrame bug is weaker.

Why not drive to a WordPress page or dating site profile? Well, Facebook grants a lower cost-per-click to advertisers keeping traffic on site.

Plus, users maintain grip on their Facebook security blanket when: A) an ad doesn’t include a fishy third-party URL, and B) the landing page keeps the Facebook URL and header.

Why Facebook instead of Match?

I know what you’re thinking. Why not just use Match, eHarmony, or some other dating site? Three reasons:

    • Match is too competitive. The economy of Match favors women. As a man on Match, I’m a buyer in a seller’s market. One female friend received 86 messages in 3 weeks on the site! Personally, I’d rather attract a woman before she hits Match’s meet market.


    • Match’s interest-based targeting sucks. On Match, I can filter by any number of physical fetishes from hair color to ethnicity. But filtering by spirituality or intellectualism is relegated to clunky keyword searches. (Sorry, but spiritual not religious is too vague to be meaningful.)


  • Match is too labor-intensive. To be effective, Match simply requires too much active attention. Facebook ads are set-and-forget. At this point, I have more money than time … especially at 75 cents per click.

OK, let’s see some ad data

Facebook interest-based PPC advertising campaign for a bachelor in a hat.

My Twitter avatar is performing worst of the bunch. Time for a change?

Let’s cut to the chase. In five days, my campaign drove 30 clicks and 5 leads via contact form for $19.39. By comparison, a Match membership costs $34.99 per month (with no guarantee of traffic or leads). The upfront labor costs are roughly the same.

Here’s a breakdown of my Facebook ads by interest:


Interest Imps Clicks Leads Spent
Yoga 8,592 5 ? $3.75
Buddhism 10,630 15 ? $9.43
New Age 8,523 10 ? $6.21
TOTAL 27,745 30 5 $19.39
Yoga 0.06% $0.44 $0.75 ?
Buddhism 0.14% $0.89 $0.63 ?
New Age 0.12% $0.73 $0.62 ?
TOTAL 0.11% $0.70 $0.65 $3.88

Yes, I’m a tad disappointed that I cannot track leads by interest group. If only Salesforce had a free contact form plug-in …

But Facebook ads are just creepy …

What are the ethical ramifications of the campaign? Is it creepy to target women with PPC ads? Are there privacy implications of interest-based targeting? What about eyes romantically locking from across a crowded room?

I don’t know. Thanks to Match, eHarmony, and others, America has come to accept attraction-based singles marketing. It’s modern day serendipity when your match stumbles across your dating profile.

Facebook interest-based PPC advertising campaign for a bachelor on a hike.

Women who dig yoga also seem to dig this picture of my on a hike.

Promotion-based singles marketing is a whole new ballgame. On Match, there’s no amount of money one can invest in order to boost profile traffic.

(For about $10, you can add a “guarantee” to a six-month commitment that adds a green highlight to your profile in search results.)

The times may be a-changing. Chas McFeely is offering a $10,000 bounty to whoever introduces him to his future wife. My cost structure is more modest, but I’m essentially paying Facebook to set me up.

So, is this campaign weird? Maybe. As one respondent to my ad said, “My opinion: creepy, invasive AND cool!”

What do you think? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Lisa Dilg says:

    As someone who uses match.com, I totally agree with your comments. I try to explain to people how labor intensive it is but people do not understand. I think the ad is brilliant and not at all creepy. Its just like taking out a personal ad and its way more measurable. So – have you had any dates from this yet. I am intrigued.

  2. Ha ha! No dates yet. The most promising lead was actually my ex! Fortunately, I’m only a week into the campaign. Hopefully it’ll work out. 🙂

  3. This is so cool! I completely agree with Lisa that it is basically like taking out a personal ad in the paper. I also think it makes a lot of sense, considering that Facebook is huge and everyone’s on it, but you randomly friending people generally leads to rejection. This is actually not that invasive since the woman is in the driver’s seat the entire time.

  4. I think that it is kind of cool…. this is the new age sort of thing. I believe that your plan may be able to help you find the right one. I mean look at the response you have gotten. I have a friend, 30-something and he has had a terrible time finding a match. Maybe your idea will bring someone closer to you…. let me know…. now if only I could set up my real estate marketing the same way… sorry bud, I’m not the one for you…

  5. Just saw this on Mashable. I’m actually very, very impressed with how clever you are! You could signup for Match.com or spend nearly the same money targeting people via facebook and hit a more laser focused demographic. Good stuff, man.

  6. Mashable tweeted me about you. Forget the naysayers. I wish you much success. Anyone who thinks you are creepy is just upset that they didn’t think of Facebooking For Love Ads. Oneday soon, they will be sending you and your fiancée congratulations. Until then, …

    Stay tuned into The Light.

    Voncelle Volté

  7. You’re awesome. I’m actually going to be talking about you in the morning on the radio. If anyone seems interested and on your level I’ll send them through!

  8. Hey, Matt.

    I learnt about your ad from the blog post on Mashable (bonus marketing :)).
    Just dropped in to say that I like the idea. And interesting content on the ad too.

    Sudeep (sometimes known as Su-geek)

  9. Good Luck Matt ☺

  10. Having problems in finding our soulmate in real life is a big problem actually. I tried for the last 10 years to find him in internet, but the results are the same. So …. I only can wish you good luck!

  11. hi there.
    your idea is really interesting but, wouldn’t be better to approach it in a different way?

    how about creating a singles group in your area targeted to single or divorced people?

    that’s one thing i would try to do.
    Church would Love to grant you the space to gather people, or perhaps some kind of other place?

    it would start like a New Single Friends Group…
    Everybody is looking to a fresh start, and sometimes are eager to know new people and make new friends.

    Night outs, movie nights, gatherings, camp fires… hiking… everything is up.

    and there, in the middle of nowhere, you just might find your “perfect” partner…

    If you “market” yourself, you would be considered as a forced product, and people does not buy forced products…

    Nevertheless… you can not go after love, its love that comes after you.

    we do expect to fall in love but… we always fall in love when we least expect, so… focus on happiness and happiness will focus on you 🙂

    best regards


  12. Corey Kossack says:

    I’d try eHarmony instead… 2 years and counting with my girlfriend…

  13. Two months after I became single I met my fiance at a volunteer event. Our first few meetings were business related. At the time, I was scared to death of being back on the dating scene. Had I not met such a wonderful person (while NOT looking) I am certain I would have used your method. Although I am quite an extrovert, I don’t know if I would have had the courage to ask anyone out. Thanks for sharing Matt.

  14. Hi Matt! Didn’t know you were single again until reading this (Adam never tells me anything) but as a fellow marketer I find this more cool than creepy, and actually not creepy at all. Smart is more like it, since yes, just about everyone is on Facebook so your “target audience” must be there too.

    I had no idea you were so interested in yoga and spirituality, me too! In fact, I just started teaching yoga, and I think you’ll really like my blog Accidental Seeker (soon to become a business). If I wasn’t happily married, I’d date you! (Yeah, just say cougar now). But seriously, I know only from single friends what a nightmare the dating sites are and from what I’ve heard about Match and others, I think Facebook offers a level of trust, authenticity and transparency they don’t, so good for you and good luck.

  15. An amazing comment, Karen! I’ll definitely check out your blog. I try to be a seeker … not so much of married women or cougars, but I appreciate the sentiment nonetheless!!! 😉

  16. This is rediculous. No need to pay to advertise yourself when there are free dating sites like POF.com and okcupid.com. I will agree online dating can be labor intensive at times… But dating in general is more laborous for the guy anyway. We HAVE to make the first move. So go out there and actually MEET women. You will go much further and cost less out in the real world and using a FREE dating site. If you present yourself well you can find a date, in a weeks’ time 🙂

  17. Sounded like a great idea to me. I was hoping to see an update that it worked. 🙂

  18. Jason Cyrus says:

    Hey Matt, good luck with it, and all it takes is one right gal to see it. Let me know how it works as maybe I will have to try it as well.

  19. Hi, this weekend is good in favor of me, as this moment i am
    reading this great informative paragraph here at my residence.


  1. […] himself via social media. The thirty-something marketing communications pro from Tempe created a pay-per-click ad campaign on Facebook in an attempt to target a woman to date. I gotta tell you, the results were impressive. In five days, my campaign drove 30 clicks and 5 […]

  2. […] include women with an expressed interest in yoga, meditation and books by spiritual authors.On his blog, Simpson notes that on most dating sites, women are bombarded with requests and messages. Too […]

  3. […] an interesting approach to dating (and one I’m surprised Single Steve hasn’t tried) and I’m mildly amused by how […]

  4. […] women. First off, how eff­ing sim­ple and bril­liant is this? Um, pretty eff­ing bril­liant. Matt Simp­son used Face­book to cre­ate an ad for him­self, which he then used to fil­ter out the “white […]

  5. […] to see that some are taking a more creative approach to finding The One. Web-savvy 30-something Matt Simpson from Tempe, Arizona, is now using Facebook’s self-service ad platform to find a long-term […]

  6. […] singles ad? Matt Simpson is “an educated, thoughtful, and active 30-something” who is running a Facebook Advertising campaign to find his match. Matt Simpson's Facebook […]

  7. […] didn’t come up with his brilliant idea out of nowhere! As he explains on his ScribeDevil.com blog, he’s been active on online dating sites and noticed that women were bombarded with shallow […]

  8. […] ads to narrow their campaigns to reach only the people they want to target. Matt decided to go for single women ages 28 to 34 within 25 miles of his city, who were interested in yoga, buddhism, or New Age book […]

  9. […] Read more about this story on Mashable or check out Matt’s progress via his blog. […]

  10. […] It’s been a hectic few weeks since I first revealed that I was using Facebook ads to find a date. […]

  11. […] the precise demographic targeting capabilities of Facebook ads. At 75 cents per click 30 year-old Matt Simpson took out ads searching for a date with local women. So far he has generated thousands of […]

  12. […] une nouvelle façon de faire des rencontres amoureuses ? Qu’en pensez-vous ? Source : Le blog de Matt Simpson Publié par Angie · Categorie : Ad 0 commentaire […]

  13. […] Kişisel blogunda bir kıyaslama yapan Simpson, Match.com’un aylık üyelik paketinin 34.99 dolar olduğunu ve herhangi bir geri dönüş garantisi içermediğini yazıyor. […]

  14. […] Kişisel blogunda bir kıyaslama yapan Simpson, Match.com’un aylık üyelik paketinin 34.99 dolar olduğunu ve herhangi bir geri dönüş garantisi içermediğini yazıyor. […]

  15. […] I know, I know. You’re skeptical. Can I really convert a social media crush into an IRL relationship? Of course! Just don’t get stuck in the Facebook poking rut, follow the five tips above, and don’t waste money looking for Ms. Right with Facebook ads. […]

  16. […] his blog, Simpson notes that on most dating sites, women are bombarded with requests and messages. Too […]

  17. […] Matt Simpson took online dating to the next level by displaying targeted ads on Google to users that he thought he was compatible with. Demographically,  the ads targeted single women ages 28 to 34 within 25 miles of Tempe, Arizona. Interest groupings were: […]

  18. […] March 18, 2012 By ScribeDevil Leave a Comment TweetIt’s been almost a year since I used Facebook pay-per-click ads to meet women … and received some fun media attention in the […]

  19. […] ScribeDevil Leave a Comment TweetIt’s no secret that I love Facebook advertising. Last spring, I entrusted my dating life to Facebook ads. And, this summer, I used a basic Facebook ad campaign to rent out my […]

  20. […] single women. First off, how effing simple and brilliant is this? Um, pretty effing brilliant. Matt Simpson used Facebook to create an ad for himself, which he then used to filter out the “white noise” […]

  21. […] “Je pense que ce qui pose problème, c’est que je fais la promotion de moi-même, en opposition au concept d’attraction. La prolifération des sites de rencontres a aidé l’Amérique à accepter la drague en ligne, mais sur un modèle d’attraction. L’autopromotion de soi-même sur Internet est un fait nouveau. La preuve en est l’absence de produit permettant le push de son profil sur les grands sites de rencontres” nous livre Matt sur son blog. […]

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