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Swiping Right on Meme Culture: Schmooze’s Quest to Conquer Gen Z Dating

Swiping right on meme culture: Schmooze's quest to conquer Gen Z dating

With its meme-inspired approach that pairs Gen Z humour with smart retention tactics powered by WebEngage, Schmooze is changing the modern dating game.

The dating game has levelled up and traditional dating apps just don’t cut it for today’s meme-obsessed Gen Z crowd. Enter Schmooze, the new-age app where singles match based on their shared love of internet humour. Founded by Vidya Madhavan and Abhinav Anurag, the app speaks the language of the digital natives, shaking up the dating scene. And what better market to bring this meme-fuelled revolution than India?

“India as a demography was perfectly poised for a solution like this. People are eager to meet their partners online, but there is no good solution out there. Besides, it’s a huge meme market, so convincing people that memes can be a good thing wasn’t difficult at all,” says Abhinav Anurag, Co-founder and CTO of Schmooze.

Since its launch in India nearly 10 months ago, Schmooze has embarked on a journey to captivate the hearts and screens of the country’s youth. With over 800,000 downloads and a staggering 300,000+ monthly active users, the app seems to have struck a chord with its target audience.

The retention paradox

In the world of dating apps, customer retention is a paradoxical concept. Ideally, the true success of a platform like Schmooze lies in helping users find their “one true love”, rendering the app obsolete for that blissfully matched pair. This fundamentally contradicts the notion of customer retention, which aims to keep users engaged and coming back repeatedly.

Anurag acknowledges this apparent contradiction but argues against viewing customer retention solely through a business lens, as this would lead to monetising every minute spent by users on the app. This will alienate the Gen Z audience and late millennials, who are unwilling to compromise on their expectations.

For Schmooze, customer retention takes on a different meaning, one rooted in fostering genuine connections and creating a vibrant community around shared humour.

“It slowly becomes a habit. Every morning you swipe through 50 or 100 memes, whatever time you have,” he explains. “You get those small dopamine hits from funny, interesting content shared on the app. Since this isn’t a serious, emotionally taxing dating experience, it’s a fun, light-hearted approach that keeps people coming back.”

Customer retention serves a greater purpose than being a purely commercial pursuit for Schmooze. “We know we’re a new app, and we need to become the biggest in the country soon,” Anurag acknowledges. “Retained users ensure an active dating pool and provide invaluable insights to help us build better,” he adds.

Through user interviews and support channels, this loyal customer base continually shapes the app’s evolution. Positive word-of-mouth from satisfied users has also fuelled Schmooze’s organic growth over the past few months.

The WebEngage advantage

In its quest to master the paradoxical art of dating app retention, Schmooze found an invaluable ally in the WebEngage Startup Program.

Anurag says, “The ease with which our marketers can create user journeys on the platform and hit users at the right point for maximum conversion has been very empowering.”

Schmooze has leveraged WebEngage to meticulously craft numerous user journeys, each designed to nudge users at different stages with subtle yet effective prompts. “For example, we have a journey targeting users who drop off during onboarding, with a message saying, ‘You were one step closer to the laughter of your life’,” he explains.

Reachability, a common hurdle for apps, was a problem statement Schmooze actively sought to overcome. “We’ve been able to reach far more people via WebEngage than through our own mechanisms,” he shares. The company could also reengage users who may have stepped away temporarily due to work or other commitments. “We’d send notifications or emails to users who had matches or interesting profiles waiting for them, reminding them of the potential connections they were missing out on,” Anurag says. The results were remarkable, with around 30% of targeted users returning to the app and responding to pending matches or messages.

Anurag credits WebEngage’s seamless platform for eliminating uncertainties around delivery and enabling precise targeting. “There’s so much clarity on when to send these prompts, and that alone has had a huge impact on our retention campaigns.”

Beyond the tangible metrics, WebEngage’s Startup Program has empowered Schmooze to pursue its retention goals confidently. As Anurag affirms, “The platform is doing what it’s supposed to do – enabling us to ensure we hit our targets.”

The path ahead

As Schmooze continues to blaze new trails in the dating app world, leveraging innovative partnerships like the one with WebEngage to fuel its retention engine, the company’s sights are firmly set on an ambitious growth trajectory. “We’re all guns blazing on growth right now,” Anurag says.

With a loyal user base continually shaping the app’s evolution, an ingenious retention strategy solidified by WebEngage’s robust platform, and a tangible growth momentum, Schmooze finds itself at an inflexion point. The meme-fuelled dating revolution it has ignited shows no signs of slowing down, and Gen Z’s uncompromising embrace of authenticity and humour continues to propel the app’s success.

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