We’ve all been there: trying to think of something witty to say in your opening email to someone. So you sit, fingers poised for what seems like hours, waiting for inspiration to strike. Instead, the page remains annoyingly blank.
Let’s face it, writing a good first message when online dating is critical to success. There’s no denying that something that sparks that person’s interest could definitely lead to more conversation, a date and a relationship – and maybe even, your happily ever after.
Here at Lovestruck.com, we’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts to nail that opening message:
Do: Create an interesting subject
Don’t panic, this doesn’t need to be so witty that they fall off their chair laughing, or so literary they wonder whether you might be the next Shakespeare. Go for something fun and light hearted and keep it personal to them. If the guy or girl says they love a certain film and book, for example, use a quote from it because it shows you have read about them carefully and not just flicked through their pictures to see how hot they look.
Do: Use their name
Research has shown that when you use someone’s name in a conversation they will like you more. So instead of opening a conversation with “Hi,” say “Hi XXX.” (Make sure you spell their name right too.)
Do: Be interested
This may sound obvious, but make sure you ask them questions about themselves from something you have seen in their profile or pictures. Remember to keep your questions open, so they give you fuller answers and chat about general stuff, which you know will interest them.
Do: Make sure your profile is complete and up to date
It’s unlikely that someone will reply if your profile is brief or you haven’t uploaded pictures. And remember to keep everything up to date. Yes, we know you think you looked better in that holiday pic circa 2003…but that’s not the person your match will be meeting IRL.
Do: Read it before you send
We are sticklers for grammar and spelling, so make sure you give your email the once over before clicking send. And emails in the style of a text-mad teen are never good, so if you write “u r qt. R U up 4 a d8?” you’re unlikely to ever hear from anybody. Ever.
Don’t: Talk TOO much
As the saying goes, keep it short and sweet. No one wants to wade through paragraphs of stuff about someone they have never met. Say hi, talk about something you’ve seen in their profile and what you might have in common and ask a question. Voila! They will check out your profile, so don’t worry about selling yourself.
Don’t: Send it on a Saturday night
Even if you are watching re-runs of Breaking Bad in a tracksuit and are downing Chinese take-out, any prime times like Friday or Saturday nights are not the right time to send someone an email. You need to make yourself look social, in-demand and busy. Stick to sending messages during your lunch-hour or early evenings.
Don’t: Go Over the Top
Maybe you think they look like the lovechild of Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lawrence, or Ryan Gosling and Ryan Reynolds. Whatever you do, don’t flood them with comments like “you look so good,” or “are you a model?” It will send them running for the hills (and deleting your message, pronto).
Don’t: Use generic terminology
Saying things like “we’ve got so much in common,” or “I’d like to know more about you,” look like you’ve just cut, pasted and sent to 50 people. If you’ve read the person’s profile, you’ll know quite a lot about them, and if you really do have that much in common, say what those things are.
See? That wasn’t so hard. Do you have other first email tips? Tell us @lovestruck!