10/12/2012 10:46 AM
What makes a winning first message? An online dating site analyzed what factors can affect whether a message gets an answer on online dating sites. The results may surprise you:
Use an Offbeat Greeting
“Hello,” “hi,” and “hey” all had lower answer rates than messages that started with something like “what’s up?” or even “yo.” Consider starting with a salutation that’s a bit different from the norm to increase the chances that your message gets read.
Men, Dial It Back a Notch
While the usual advice for men in the dating world is to be super confident, guys who used more tentative language were more likely to get a reply. Adding modifiers like “somewhat” or “pretty” had a good effect. Being somewhat apologetic and using phrases such as “sorry to bug you” helps, too. It seems that, the less aggressive the approach, the more likely women are to respond online.
Skip the Physical Compliments
If you start off by telling someone how hot they are, your chances of getting a reply sink like a stone. Instead, ask about the things that they say on their profile to make it easier to start a conversation.
Talk About Your Favorite Band
Or your favorite movie, or a hobby you enjoy. Messages that contain information about your interests are more likely to be answered. Better yet, talk about interests that the two of you share.
Use Real Words and Good Grammar
Netspeak abbreviations, bad spelling and poor grammar and punctuation dramatically reduced the odds of getting a reply. Those who used non-words like “ur” and “u” had less than a 10% response rate. If spelling and grammar aren’t your strong point, consider picking up a copy of The Elements of Style to polish your skills.