9/11/2012 3:25 PM
Sending a message to a complete stranger on a dating site can be intimidating. What do you say? What if you don’t have a way with words? To help you along, I’ve jotted down a few notes for a perfect, brief introductory message that will be customized to the person you are sending it to, will provide enough information about you to make yourself interesting and will separate you from the cut and paste brigade. Open up your composer in another tab, and follow these instructions:
ONE: Construct the Greeting
Start with a greeting and his or her screen name (or even real name, if it is provided), like this:
- Dear Jane425,
- Hi Pete!
- Hello GamerGirl,
It’s best to avoid endearments like honey or babe until you know someone. For a first message, addressing them directly is best.
TWO: Write something about their profile.
What makes you feel that this person could be a good match for you? Does he love the same sports team you do? Are you both horror fans? Start by mentioning one thing that caught your eye. It’s a great way to make it known that you are actually reading profiles, and not just firing off emails at random. Something like this:
- Wow, I thought I was the only Redskins fan in this city!
- I noticed that you are into rock climbing. That’s so cool!
- Neat, I’ve never met anyone who restored a 1910 Model T before.
But what if you just like their pictures? Even then, do NOT send a message without reading. Go check out the profile to find out if you are actually compatible. I'll wait.
THREE: Volunteer something about yourself that they might find interesting.
It’s best to continue to use their profile as a guide, like this:
- I read that you like readers; I make it a point to read no fewer than 25 books every year.
- I’m a world-traveler, too! So far, I’ve visited five out of seven continents.
- I also love jazz. My favorite is early Miles Davis.
FOUR: Ask a question.
We gain people’s interest by being interested in them. Ask something so that you can learn more about this person. It can be based on something they mentioned on their profile, or, it can be about one of your interests. Like this:
- What kinds of music do you listen to?
- I saw you’re a comic book fan. What are your favorites?
- What’s the next place you plan to travel?
FIVE: Sign off.
Again, keep this part simple. “Hope to hear from you” or “Hope you are having a great day” then, your name. Stick with a first name or user name. Full names, at this point, can be a bit too much information.
This simple, five-step message is short, personal and friendly. It doesn’t require a huge investment of your time to write it, or theirs to read. By keeping it geared to the profile and to the point, you can pique their interest and hopefully, hear back.