Your first email, whether it follows some mutual generic communication (winks, kisses etc) or is a direct response to a profile that has gained your interest, is another vehicle where first impressions are key.
The principles applied in writing a great online dating profile are again relevant here
Know what you are looking for. The email is a great place to quickly re-state what kind of person it is that you are looking for. Don’t simply rehash a sentence from your profile, but pick out something from theirs that resonates with you and link it to what you are looking for eg “I am interested in ….and I see that you….”
Decide what you want to convey. This is not about another list of things you want to tell the person about yourself, but let the tone of the email convey your emotions – genuine interest in the person, enthusiasm to hear more about them and positivity in pursuing the next step.
Distinguish yourself. If this is a direct response to a person without any exchange beforehand, it is doubly important that you distinguish yourself from the vast generic population on online dating sites. The person hasn’t found you from your profile, so consider what you can do to attract their interest. The subject line of your email is a perfect place to insert a phrase that indicates you have read their profile and can demonstrate why you would be a great match. If the recipient has received a number of emails by the time they next log in, it’s a way of having yours stand out.
- Check spelling and grammar with care. You should have done this with your profile, don’t let your email let you down.
- Ask a couple of questions about something you read in their profile. This shows you read it and allows them to talk about themselves.
- Include some subtle flattery – about a photo that caught your eye or an achievement you find impressive
- Emphasise what you can bring to a relationship rather than just describing yourself
- Be confident, but not boastful
- Make sure it finishes with a call to action so that they know the ball is in their court
- Specify your preference for what type of communication comes next eg email, a phone call, an online chat..
- Avoid lame one liners – check whether it sounds like something you would really say out loud, face to face.
- Don’t be generic – a recipient can detect a bland, mass-style email a mile away. ‘hi, loved your profile, tell me more’ indicates you haven’t taken the time to actually look at it.
- Don’t use abbreviations or text-speak.
- Avoid informal nicknames like babe, sexy etc. If you don’t know their actual name yet, address them by their screen name
- Avoid blatant, obvious physical references
- Steer clear of requesting personal information too soon
- Don’t discuss exes, the reason for prior relationship breakups
- Hold off responding until they reply to your email so you are not badgering them for a response.
- If you decide at some point during email communication this person is not for you, send a short email to close it out respectfully rather than leaving the person hanging.
Above all, keep it short, positive and authentic so that you give yourself every chance of the communication channel remaining open.