Your online dating first message is a one-hit weapon.
You only get one chance to provoke somebody into making a positive response. If your message does not engage with the person you have contacted then you will simply be ignored.
If the person who reads your first online dating message thinks even slightly that you don’t look and sound for them, then fair enough. But if they do like what they read and see of you, but don’t reply because they are not quite inspired enough to, or can’t find anything positively and easily reply to, then that is a potential love tragedy!
So let’s discuss making sure you deliver good opening messages for online dating, so that you can structure your words to generate more positive responses.
A Good Opening Message Requires Preparation
As you will only get one chance to impress, you need to make sure deliver a great first message in online dating, one that is absolutely spot on.
This means reading their profile closely and noting down points of interest you think you should comment on. If you share a common interest then definitely mention it in a positive and enquiring way.
Also look at their photos closely. Do the photos give a clue as to the lifestyle they have. Are you the type of person they will be interested in?
If you are someone whose idea of fun is to spend 23 hours a day on Xbox, will somebody whose photos show them abseiling, rock climbing, finishing a marathon and showing off their perfect body going to be right for you?
So the first tip to maximising your online dating message responses is simply to target people who may actually be interested in you.
What Salutation Is Best For An Online Dating Opening Message?
Especially when it comes to men contacting women on a dating site, women are actually turned off by generic openings.
When you are receiving 50 messages a day, you start to react negatively to standard openings such as “Hi how are you?”.
The advice here is to think of something different, or not use salutation at all. There is actually no reason why you have to open your message with a salutation. If you have a great opening paragraph, then it may be a better strategy to simply let their eyes go straight into your message structure.
How To Structure A Good Opening Message
My advice is to limit your message to 4 paragraphs, each of no more than two or three sentences.
Keep it short and punchy, and cover things in the following order:
1. An opening paragraph where you hook their interest by making a statement about how you liked part of their profile because of XYZ.
2. The second paragraph where you introduce yourself, making sure you mention an interesting fact, or highlighting that you have the same interest as you have seen on their profile or photos.
3. Express an interest in dialogue with them and ask a question that will hopefully provoke response.
4. If appropriate, use a fourth paragraph to say how you understand they will get a lot of responses, but should love to hear back from them.
In stark contrast to the world offline, women seem attracted to men who are humble and uncertain in their language online. Using uncertainties shows sensitivity, which you cannot convey through body language or vocal tone at this point. So consider using something in your message that conveys that sense of vulnerability.
In the case of women contacting men, men prefer a more robust approach. They like to know where they stand, so be direct and confident with them. Coy and elusive simply makes them think you’re playing around.
Be Normal But Not Too Normal!
Most people on dating sites are not interested in 99% of the messages they receive. They are either turned off by the tone of the message, or by what is written on the profile, or simply by the photos on the profile.
So maximise your chances of getting responses by working hard on your profile text, making sure your images show you at your very best, and just being normal but interesting in your opening dating message.
Ladies receive dozens of messages a day from idiots. In my experience, they breathe a sigh of relief simply at reading a well written email. If you are genuine, humble, interesting and spell words correctly, then you are already halfway to that response.
For ladies contacting men, give them something to respond to. Men will only reply if they are interested in your photos and will virtually ignore the text of your profile. But they need something to respond to. It seems most ladies send one liner messages, rather than expanding on anything. This makes it tough for the guy to write an interesting response. So ladies, just say something!
Finally, be positive. You may have written similar messages 100 times without response, but believe me, a negative tone will come across to the person you have contacted this time. If you are jaded walk away for a little while.
You wouldn’t think you will impress someone face-to-face if you come across as tired and generic, so why would you presume to interest someone through an opening message in online dating?