Writing a great first message is critical to your online dating success. Because you cannot rely on an organic, in person first encounter, it’s important to get that first message just right to ensure a response.

Here are some first message tips to get you started:

  1. Keep the title short and not overly personal. You should not be titling an online dating message, “Hi Babe.” This person is not your babe. A simple, “Hi There,” “You caught my eye,” or I’d love to chat,” will suffice. If you want to take your message to another level, try incorporating a fun headline that shows your personality or interest. For example, try a message title such as, “Potential running partner?” It’s fun, humorous and shows interest in something they’re interested in.
  2. Introduce yourself and a piece of information that shows you actually read their profile. Try, “Hi There, my name is Matt. I noticed that you’re a runner! I’m actually training for my first marathon later this year. Have you ever ran a marathon before?” Notice how we tie in information to show you have read their profile but also a conversation starter that expresses your compatibility to them and interest? Always ask a question in the first message.
  3. The way you end a message is important. Don’t just send the message off with a “Bye.” End the message on a polite note with an indication that you would love to hear from them. Try, “I hope you’re having a great day and would love to hear from you soon! Take care.”

More tips:

  1. Keep looks out of it at first. It can come off as creepy to overly comment on someone’s looks and your attraction to them in a first message. Because you’re messaging them, that is already showing initial interest.   Writing something like, “You look great in your pictures!” is OK, but nothing further from that for the first message. Stay away from, “You have a hot bod, I would love to take you out sometime!” or “I can’t believe how gorgeous you are, how can you possibly be still single!” The last message is over the top. Also you should not be commenting or asking about why someone is single. There are a ton of reasons why people stay single and some of those reasons are by choice or simply because they have not met the right person.
  2. Keep your messages short but not too short. Never send a message that is overly short and open ended, such as “Hey, what’s up?” You likely won’t get a response.
  3. Do not write a chapter book. Most will not read through a long-winded first message. Using the tips above, short messages that show interest have a much higher likelihood of being responded to.
  4. Only send one message. Do not send more than one message, if they don’t respond, accept that this is not a match and move on.
  5. Google is your friend. If you’re a better talker than a writer, do a search on sample messages for online dating. Use your own words of course, but a search could help get your creative juices flowing.
  6. No emojis! This should go without saying, emojis are fine once two-way communication has been established, but never for first contact.

We all have limited attention spans these days, most of us do more scanning than actual reading unless something grabs our attention. Your message is your introduction, your first impression, and you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, so make it count!