One of the most common complaints I hear from women about guys they date is that they talk about themselves too much. To see this phenomenon in action, watch any episode of Millionaire Matchmaker. It’s natural to want to talk about yourself. After all, what in this world is more important to you than…you? But, talking about yourself won’t get you too far in the dating world. Continue reading ‘Don’t Talk About Yourself’ »
An interesting e-mail question I got about time of day you send your online dating messages:
Does the time you email someone matter? Currently I make it a
rule not to respond to or send emails over the weekend (Friday night
until Sunday night). Does the time I send the email matter?
So, you’ve mined the conversation nuggets from your target’s profile, you’ve sent short, funny, and brilliant one-line hook, and boom, you’ve gotten a response. Now what? This is a very critical point in the online dating process, but this is the final step before meeting in person. This is “the kill,” if you will: the second message with an online dating prospect.
A high-value woman has an incredible volume of messages to manage. The fact you’ve gotten a response speaks to your online dating acumen. But because this woman has such volume to manage, you can’t waste time. You need to meet her as soon as possible. Additionally, you want to ensure that she is who you think she is without investing more time. So, you should have two goals for this online dating message: maintain interest, and secure a date. Continue reading ‘Follow-up Online Dating Message Advice’ »
OkCupid has conducted an interesting study regarding response rates based upon specific key words used in opening online dating messages.
A female reader forwarded to me this incredible match.com message.
Wow. The most entertaining thing is that this e-mail’s subject is “2nd attempt,” as if such an attack could be considered an “attempt” to win a woman over. Continue reading ‘How NOT to Write an Online Dating Message’ »
getting e-mails from you guys, especially when they’re about your successes. Here’s one I got this morning:
Russ, you are a fucking genius! I was out flailing on Match.com for a week before I read your columns and watched the tutorials Tombstone movie . I’m a guy who normally does pretty good at the bars and meeting girls in general but after I got on Match and was failing miserably I started getting seriously demoralized.
I tweaked my profile last night with the call to action (I work in marketing and have a degree in journalism so I should have known better) and added some more nuggets. I employed your techniques this morning on two girls and got positive emails from both almost immediately. I’ve gone straight for the kill with both instead of dicking around and I have something set up with the one and I’m waiting for the other to respond. This after a week of abject failure. You’re like the Arthur Laffer of dating economics. I only hope I didn’t blow it with too many potentials utilizing my old bush league techniques.
P.S. I think the mining of their profiles for nuggets was clutch, women love talking about themselves.
There’s one very simple piece of advice you can follow to improve your online dating profile, and profile photos, and online dating messages tremendously: inject all of them with as many conversation nuggets as you possibly can.
- What is a conversation nugget? Simply, something specific and potentially interesting that can be the subject of a conversation.
- How can I start using conversation nuggets? For everything you have in your profile, photos, or messages, ask yourself “how could this start a conversation?”
- Instead of the photo of you with a bunch of random friends, share the photo of you drinking a gigantic beer at Oktoberfest.
- Instead of saying in your profile that you like Indian Food, name which restaurant is your favorite. Instead of saying that you’re thinking of getting a dog, say what breed you plan to get and why. Better yet, pose the question right in your profile: “should I get a Beagle or a Boston Terrier?”
- Instead of sending a message to a match asking her about her proclaimed nutrition expertise, tell her you just ate a bunch of broccoli, and you swear you can feel the detoxifying enzymes in your body ask, “is this possible?” in one-line hook form.
So, you’ve made first contact with someone of interest (hopefully you used the who’s viewed me shuffle and/or the one-line hook), and now you want to go on a date with them. Here are a few guidelines on how to do that. First of all, it’s better to meet very early on than to let things drag on by chatting on IM or the phone for a long time. The good girls can go very fast, things can fizzle out fast online, and you never know who will disappoint you when you meet in person, so it’s best to get right to it. Things will vary from social group to social group, but in late 20′s to early 30′s in a major metropolitan area, I have always met within a few e-mails. My typical progression may go like this:
- First contact: who’s viewed me shuffle followed by a view-back, or a wink from her, then a one-line hook
- A response from her, giving me more conversation nuggets to work with
- An e-mail digging deeper on the conversation threads, followed by a request to meet.
Building Interest With First Contact
For reference, imagine there’s a girl who has cleverly put in her profile: “I’m new to town, are there any good Thai restaurants here?” (You should put conversation nuggets like this in your profile). My one-line hook message might look like this:
Are you still looking for great Thai food? I looked for the longest time, but I finally tried a place called Tiparo’s on Clark street, and it was great! They have the best pumpkin curry I’ve had since my days in SF. Have you tried that place yet?
That’s a pretty long first message, probably more appropriate if you’ve elicited a wink using the who’s viewed me shuffle, but here’s a little breakdown:
- I’ve shown that I’m paying attention by referring to something from her profile.
- I’ve spoken of specifics: (or conversation nuggets) a specific restaurant, a specific dish. This makes the conversation richer so there’s more for her to respond to. “Pumpkin Curry” is way more interesting than “good food.” I even threw a city that I have experience with just in case she has interest in talking about that.
- I’ve ended with a question and stayed on one subject. The message is easy to respond to: there’s only two total questions, both about Thai restaurants. Yet, the message is rich with specifics that she can use to open other conversation threads.
- I’ve set up some good fodder for a date idea. You can bet that if we go out to eat, we’ll try a Thai place.
So hypothetically, let’s say she responds like this:
Good to hear from you, Russ! Yes, I have finally gotten settled in, and found a good Thai place, but I haven’t tried Tiparo’s yet. I really like Pot Pan – it’s right down the street from my house, so I go there often. They don’t have Pumpkin Curry, though – that sounds soooo good!
SF is my favorite city. Have you ever tried the Japanese Ramen place there called Katana Ya? I wish I had known in my college days that Ramen could be that good :P Why did you move?
Awesome. Exactly what we want. Not only is she glad to hear from us, we’ve found common ground with her: Thai food, San Francisco (we have tried that restaurant), she wants to try this Pumpkin Curry, and she wants to know more about us.
Making it Easy
At this point, we haven’t built a ton of rapport with her, so we may be more comfortable sending a message without a date request; but if you’ve gotten this much enthusiasm, strike while the iron is hot:
Good to meet you, Rachel. YES, as a matter of fact, I have gone to Katana Ya. I used to eat lunch there at least once a week. Wow, you have me craving Ramen now (unfortunately, not the kind you can get at the corner store).
My move is a long exciting story (and I have to leave some mystery, you know :P) but I just love this city and I wanted to try something new. Do you want to get a drink with me this week? I’m free Tuesday and Wednesday night at 8pm. Have you been to Beachwood Inn before? We could meet there since it’s in your area. Let me know what works for you, or feel free to give me a call at 402-555-1234.
So, in this message, I have dug deeper into the conversation thread by responding to some of the elements she had in her previous message. I’ve told her a little bit about her question, but I’ve been playful and left some conversation for when we meet later. Finally I’ve made a great request for a date. Notice these points:
- I’ve picked a place that’s convenient for her. Wow, I’m listening to her, and making it easy for her to meet me. I extrapolated from the restaurant she said she lived near what neighborhood she lives in. If I don’t know of a place there, I can check Yelp.com to find a place with a good atmosphere for conversation.
- I’ve been specific with times and dates, and I’ve given two options so we have less back-and-forth trying to get our schedules to match up.
We are making it very easy for her to decide on this. A beautiful girl has dozens, if not hundreds, of e-mails from guys. Think of how much easier it is to respond to this than “wanna hang out sometime?” Notice that I have gently offered up my phone number. This is a little gutsy, and it may be wiser to wait to give that until after I’ve gotten a date confirmation (“if you need to get in touch, give me a call at…”). You’re a busy guy with lots of dates, and you don’t want strange girls calling you any more than she wants strange guys doing so. I’ve been bold and offered it up here just to make setting a date easier.
Notice that I used our shared interest in Thai food to build rapport, but I didn’t suggest it for a first date. Your style may turn out differently, but I like to save dinner for the second date. I like to just get a drink to see how we get along and make sure she’s who I thought she was. So, I’m managing this risk by suggesting a date that can be as short, or as long, as we wish. Also note, that I didn’t ask for a Friday, a Saturday, or even a Thursday for a date. That’s valuable social real estate, and if it isn’t taken up on your calendar, it is taken up on a beautiful woman’s.
Also, because our first messages were about Thai food, we have the idea of a Thai dinner floating around in both of our heads to keep us excited for the next date (not to mention another easy decision).
So, meet as soon as possible, and make it as easy as possible for her to accept the date by picking a convenient place, specific times and dates, and at least two options. Following these tips along with a strong profile, and good first contact strategies should make securing dates a breeze.
Able to get a response to your online dating e-mails, but don’t know what to do next? I’ll talk about that in this video:
Note that I talk about the one-line hook for writing a great first online dating message.
Unless you live completely off the grid (though you probably wouldn’t be on this website), you probably buy things at one point or another. Whether you like it or not, your purchases are influenced by marketers. Someone identified you as a potential customer, developed a product that would appeal to your needs, identified the right price to sell it at and place to sell it, then advertised it to you. Some – or all – of the decisions along that chain influenced you to buy said product.
Dating is just like that, and when dating online, it’s more important than ever to be able to portray the interesting you. Online, attention spans are low, and number of options
at your potential mate’s fingertips are high. So, why reinvent the wheel? Marketers have been studying the art of “selling” things for years. Learn from what they know: Continue reading ‘What Online Daters Can Learn from Marketers’ »
If, try as you might, you can’t get a lady interested enough to wink on match.com instead of writing messages, and there’s a special woman you’re set on contacting, I’ve got a tip for you. Nothing I’ve found works better than “the one-line hook.” This is a one-sentence question that is relevant to something in the profile that interests you, that “hooks” your target into responding.
Remember, when you are making first contact, you have one goal, and that is to get a response, which will show that she is, in fact, also interested in you (while also helping build that interest), and ready to get a follow-up message, and eventually go on a date.
Some one-line hooks that have worked for me include: Continue reading ‘Online Dating Messages: The One-Line Hook’ »