Girls: Exactly What To Say In Your First Message

Stand out. Take a chance. If you don’t, you risk sounding like everybody else. And in a fast and busy medium like internet dating, sounding like everybody else is about the worst thing you can possibly do.

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Girls First Email Messaging Strategies Online Dating

Keep it short and sweet

Keep it to 5 – 7 sentences at the most. Going too short in a first contact email will make her think you’re sending off dozens of these (and she’s not that special for receiving one!). Go too long and you risk losing her interest.

Start with an eye-catching unique subject line

Just think about what a typical woman’s inbox looks like:

Subject:  (No subject)
Subject:  Hey
Subject:  What’s up
Subject:  (No Subject)
Subject:  (No Subject)
Subject:  Alright, I have a confession to make…
Subject:  Hey
Subject:  Hi
Subject:  You are beautiful…

Which one of the above examples stands out from the crowd and makes you want to open it?  And if you think the last example (you are beautiful) will work, please learn the fundamentals of attraction immediately because you are killing yourself! "Alight, I have a confession to make” stands out from the competition because it generates interest and creates curiosity.  A great email subject line will not only increase your odds of women opening the email, but will make everything that follows stronger.

Starting with hey, hi, hi there, or how are you? are all perfectly fine and polite, however think about starting with something unique that stands out to hook your matches interest. In fact, an OKCupid survey found it’s smarter to use no traditional salutation at all and just dive into whatever you have to say. For example, starting with a bang such as “Wow! I never thought I’d find someone who loves archery as much as I do!“ Underestimating the importance of a great email subject line is a big mistake. 

Be personal and positive

Ask one question about her (based on what you’ve read in her profile) and a question where her response can’t just be Yes or No.  If you can find a similarity between you - call it out and then weave it into your question to her. For example “You’ve said you want to travel to Rome. That’s one place I’ve never been – what places are on your hit list?”

The goal here is try and stand out from everyone else in the building. For example, if you were trying to respond to a woman’s generic profile, find a joke, some angle to set you apart. If she says she’s looking for someone kind and smart, say something like “I’m kind of smart. Is that close enough?”  The joke obviously doesn’t have to be laugh-out-loud funny (nor is it) as much as it has to be an original take on the material you’re given to work with. If you’re good at it, a well-placed witty line can definitely make the difference between a girl replying or not. HOWEVER, humor is very subjective – what’s funny to you may be incomprehensible to your potential date. There’s nothing wrong with conversational style and including a line or two, but know that you are in essence writing to a stranger who may not yet appreciate your rapier wit.

Talk about one of her hobbies, the book she just read, how cute her dog is… anything that shows you read her profile.  Use phrases such as curious what... noticed that...you mention.... Also don’t rehash your profile; she can already see that you’re a 32-year-old man from Caulfield who enjoys fishing on the weekend. Focus on the person and why they should write to you. Learn the art of mixing new information about yourself with casual conversation. Relate well to her and show interest by asking questions, but also add enough detail about your own life to keep the momentum moving. Remember: relate, then add.

Be literate and use emoticons sparingly

no netspeak online dating email messaging
  • Bad grammar and bad spelling are distracting and are huge turn-offs so make sure you spellcheck your emails.
  • Netspeak such as ur, u, wat, wont, r, u, ya, cant, hit, realy, luv, wat etc also make a terrible first impression. The only exception are expressions of amusement such as haha and lol, however hehe not so much because it’s a little evil sounding. People like a sense of humour, and you need to be casual to convey genuine laughter. 
  • In a male-female situation (and particularly from the guys perspective) use emoticons sparingly as they can give off energy that isn’t confident. Use once in an email and not in every email as any more is distracting.  For example, save your smiley face to the email when you ask her out. This is when you want to convey more genuine emotion and excitement.  And stick with the plain smiley faces … even just the symbol :) …rather than the different wink emoticons.

Write with confidence

People like confidence, far more than wishy-washy. What kind of person would you rather hang out with: a person who comes off as independent and strong or someone who is so insecure that they would give their right arm to be with you before you’ve even met?

  • Saying things like, “you probably won’t answer this but ..” or “I can’t believe I’m doing this but .. ” or simply sending the same impersonal message to everyone makes you look desperate and it’s not going to get the women flocking to your profile. 
  • If you are outside her criteria, call it out (which shows you have read her profile) but then put a positive spin on why you think you’d be a good match. For example, if her maximum age range is 42yrs and you’re 45yrs you could write  “I realise I’m just outside of your ideal age range, but I feel we have a lot of in common and…" OR put a funny spin on it such as “I thought of being 5’11” just for you...but I figured that if honesty got me this far, why blow it now? I’m 6’1” in 3” heels so does that cut it?”
  • Leaving your number in your first email message is the equivalent of saying I don’t want to put much effort into this, but I figure if I write to enough people, maybe someone will respond. “Why don’t you give me a call when you get a chance” is not an open-ended question because the answer is already No.  It's impersonal and shows that you are more of a ‘player’ than the real deal.
Girls desperate is not attractive

Avoid sexual content and physical compliments

Guys who put up a front, who are cocky, who try too hard, or who push the envelope with sex talk don’t impress at all because their act is transparent. He may think that words like gorgeous, beautiful, hot and sexy are nice ways to complement a girl, but when they’re used as pick-up lines, before you’ve even met in person, she will inevitably feel…ew.

Other topics to avoid

Religion, politics, past relationships, marriage and personal topics such as health issues should be avoided. Also, keep topics of work and your children (if you have any) to a minimum. The focus of your email string should be the two of you, so you can get to know each other better and develop a rapport.

Final Thoughts...

Honesty, depth and creativity are the keys to the initial email exchange. So guys aim high. Choose wisely. And take the time to make each person feel special in your first email message. You’ll definitely get a higher response rate on your initial contact than if you cut and paste an email to as many people as possible. Watch, you’ll see.