At A Million Matches, we don’t hang around for the ‘great guys’ to find you. We find them, then get in touch.
Since men tend to be highly visual, photos are the number one predictor of response rate. So having the best possible pictures will ensure that men take notice.
Let’s assume your photos are awesome, you’ve posted a perfect profile, and you’re ready to reach out.
Drafting those initial messages can be a challenge. What do I say? How do I say it? Will I sound silly? Will I come across as desperate? While there is no secret formula that will guarantee you a response, how you go about initiating that first contact can make or break your chances of receiving a reply.
Although we handle ‘icebreaker’ emails on behalf of our clients if you are navigating the online dating world on your own, here are some helpful tips from A Million Matches writer, Carl.
Say “Hello”: Without body language and a physical environment to give us social cues, our written words can be taken out of context and misunderstood. Even if you have good intentions, you could come across as lazy or arrogant. A good way to avoid this potential pitfall is to use proper greetings and take the time to say hello.
Compliment a Photo: It doesn’t have to be a comment on their physical appearance, but can be anything from “beautiful photo…where did you take it?” to “I see that you’re wearing an XYZ hat…are you a fan?” Picking out specifics from a photo and asking a question shows that you took the time to actually look at [all] their photos and that your interest is genuine. People like to talk about themselves and are naturally drawn to those who inquire about the things they are passionate about. Remember, there is a reason they posted that photo of themselves on a mountain summit in Nepal!
Mention a Mutual Interest: At the end of the day, people seeking love are looking for someone with common interests. In fact, 64% of those dating online rate mutual interests as the most important factor when seeking a potential partner. Actual similarity and perceived similarity both have a large effect on the overall attraction. You have nothing to lose by bringing up an interest or hobby, and everything to gain.
Ask a Question: Asking a question not only shows that you are genuinely interested, but it also creates a natural segue — a communication bridge, so to speak — for the person to respond. This natural dialogue generates excitement and emotion, which eases the whole process. If you give the person nothing to build on, you risk losing a potentially positive interaction. Or worse, they might not respond at all. Inquire!
Final Thoughts: Don’t get discouraged. The average response rate on dating sites is a paltry 18%. There could be a multitude of reasons why someone doesn’t respond – none of which have anything to do with your value as a potential romantic partner. He could be swamped with work, maybe he ducked out for a holiday, or he’s begun a relationship with someone and has not yet taken his profile down.
Our advice is to cast a wide net, and don’t focus on any particular person until they respond. There is no formula to guarantee that you will receive a response. Say hello, pique their interest by commenting on a photo or mentioning a mutual interest, and ask a question – these simple steps go a long way to maximizing your chances of receiving a response.