Dating app Hinge is creating 3,000 relationships along with 50,000 dates per week. But how do these people get from the app-driven match to the meet-up? After a bantering of requests from users on the best opening lines to strike a successful and healthy conversation, Hinge decided to conduct a study.
Best advice: A simple “hey” is not the best way to start, according to data from the report released Thursday. Instead, the team found that first lines that instantly address making plans or ask personalized questions draw the best response rate.
“I think we all thought the ‘Hey, what’s up?’ would do really badly. It didn’t do quite as badly as we thought. But there were other openers that performed better,” said Karen Fein, vice president of marketing at Hinge. “The trend falls on the type of person they’re talking to. The more targeted to the specific person, the more contextual you can make it, the better it’ll be.”
The top responses also varied along the age spectrum. Hinge users age 18 to 23 were most interested in the opening line: “Pain reliever personality: Advil, Tylenol, or complaining?” The next group, ages 24 to 28, were most drawn to conversation starters about lifestyle. Ages 29 to 34 saw a 34 percent higher response rate with personal questions such as “Two truths and a lie; ready, set, go!” And lastly, the 35-and-older crowd preferred pop culture references.
Hinge’s study also compared responses by men to those by women. Assertive responses, such as “Free this week?” or “Drinks soon?” will draw a 98 percent stronger response rate for men. For women, they’re more likely to respond to messages about food, such as “Chocolate, red velvet or funfetti?”
“Assertive responses pooling well with women — that was pretty empowering to see. Women in the office were saying how there’s this little worry that a guy would be turned off about women messaging first, turns out no, that’s not the case,” Fein said.
Response rate is also important for drawing a conversation, especially with men. If a guy on Hinge does not receive a response within the first six hours of the match, the likelihood of his response falls by 25 percent. Women were found to be more patient, with their response rate only dropping by 5 percent.
Fein assured that Hinge’s monthlong test did not scan the conversations of users beyond being able to see the first message use — driven by prompted responses — and then having a tag that could indicate if and when the match responded.
Launched in 2013, Hinge is funded by $20 million in venture capital money led by Shasta Ventures and FoundersFund. The app differs from popular hookup app Tinder in that users are encouraged to fill out their profile with their college and work industry. Hinge also shows matches where users have mutual friends on Facebook, a feature that Tinder added in April.