This is a guest post by Danielle Forget, Marketing Coordinator at WhatRunsWhere.

Online dating has come a very long way over the past two decade. It has gone from being looked at as ‘desperate’ and ‘totally unsafe’, to one of the most common and successful ways to start a romantic relationship.

Now that most people simply don’t have the time (or patience) to go find a date, they have become quite comfortable with the idea of meeting someone online. In fact, 11% of the American adult population has given online dating a go.

Not surprisingly, the industry has ballooned with exception growth, bringing in over a billion dollars in revenue.

As we can see online dating is a popular product, however the industry has become stiff with competition. With over 2500 online dating sites, there is no shortage of sites offering to help find ‘the one’. That means that for affiliate marketers, online dating has become one of the most competitive and difficult niches.

Here are 5 rules to follow that will be sure to make your display and mobile ads stand out from the crowd…

1. Be Specific

Be sure to hint at narrowing search results in your ads, such as how these ads did with age and location. This is one of the best ways to make your ads more attractive to clickers and tappers.

Online daters are looking for quality over quantity, so make sure your ad screams that you have exactly who they are looking for.

2. Say ‘No’ to Stock Photos

Bad Examples:

Stock photos are a big no-no with online dating ads. The women in these ads are professionally photographed and Photoshopped to look flawless. However, online daters are looking for someone who they can actually see themselves with… And not just in their dreams.

Good Examples:

Using amateur photos of regular people is the way to go. This makes your ad look authentic and far more relatable.

3. Play on the Familiar

What do you recognize about these ads? They look pretty familiar to Facebook’s interface, don’t they?

Facebook is a place where most people already feel quite comfortable living out part of their social life. By making your ads resemble a platform that people are already comfortable with, you will make your ads far more eye catching.

4. Give them What they Want

There is a significant chance that the people viewing your ad already have an online dating profile. With this in mind, you need to successfully pitch what is different about this site, and why this one is worth their time.

Focus on appealing to the common issues most online daters face.

The ad about ‘James’ addresses the issue that most women are sick of getting mountains of messages from guys who simply want to hook up. On the other hand, most men seem to have the opposite problem, which is what the second ad looks to tackle.

5. Make Clicking Too Tempting

Warning: be careful with this tip. As we know, clickers and tappers aren’t always buyers, and to keep a healthy conversion always set it as your goal to attract only the most serious clickers.

With that in mind, check out how these ads use a strong call to action to grab your attention!

By making your plain-Jane image ad appear as though they are about to play a movie or even choose their date it make your ad all to tempting to click.

Check out more top display and mobile ads for any niche with WhatRunsWhere display and mobile tools. Be sure to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing with their mobile and display ads to boost your own marketing strategy.