I cover my approach writing first emails with online dating in my post First Contact Email Examples. In that article I also give some examples of how I would write some first emails based on several random dating profiles. In this article, I will review some more first dating emails based on advice I gave to a reader. He provided me with three emails he wrote and I reworked them to be closer to what I would have written.
He was disappointed with the number of responses he was receiving (although I think it’s important to keep in mind there are many reasons you may not get responses, not just how you write your email) As I talk about in my guide, I don’t believe anyone has the dating/realtionships thing fully figured out. Some of us have more experience or better insight than others but at the end of the day we’re all just making our best guesses.
With that in mind, I’m not saying his emails are bad. I just believe based on my own experience they can be improved upon because sometimes we make our first emails out to be more than they should be. Also, I’ll be showing examples similar to the emails he sent. Because I want to avoid revealing any reader’s identity, I’m changing the specifics of his emails. I’m not going to change the general tone or point of the emails but I am trying to ensure he remains anonymous by changing some of the specifics.
Online Dating Email Example 1 Here is my reader’s first email to a girl who was originally from the same area as him Lonestar State What’s up? The first thing that grabbed my attention about your profile was your username…I moved to Seattle from Texas a few months ago…I love it out here but I do miss home a lot. Where are you originally from? I really liked what I read about you and your interests.
While I do live in the ‘burbs, I am absolutely in love with Seattle. I try and go to the city whenever I can…it just has a great atmosphere to be in. I love exploring and getting lost and it seems like you are pretty similar in that regard. I love going to the Space Needle, the museums, and Pike Market just to name a few activities. I’m a pretty laid back guy … down to earth, genuine, and fun are what I look for in other people.
I’d love to chat and hear more about you. What’s your favorite part(s) about living in the city? And here’s how I would have written this first email: Lonestar State I really liked your profile! I am absolutely in love with Seattle although I’m new here from Houston a few months ago…what’s the best place for someone new to the city to go? I’d love to chat and hear more about you. I realize this might look like not enough but for me keeping it short like this worked well in first emails.
There wasn’t anything “wrong” in his email but if she replied to my first email that’s when I’d start asking some of those questions. I would also hesitate asking a woman where she’s originally from in a first email. I get why he asks but some people are more sensitive about risks with online dating than others so I’d save it for a later email. Online Dating Email Example 2 Brunch?? Hi there, how are you? How do you enjoy teaching in the city? I recently moved to Seattle for work from Texas and I really love it here so far.
You seem like the kind of energetic, open person I might get along with. I love staying busy, and I can usually have fun doing just about anything. I’m very much looking forward to the summer and nice weather. I really want to go to the city as much as I can. I’d love to hear more about you. Would you like to chat sometime…or since you like brunch so much, maybe meet in the city at somepoint? Enjoy your weekend And here’s how I would have written this second email: Courage! A teacher in the city? You’re a braver soul than I am! I liked your profile and I’d love to hear more about you.
Would you want to grab a coffee together sometime? Again, I just shorten things a lot here. I assume she’ll appreciate the teacher comment based on friends I have who are teachers. I change it from brunch to coffee because coffee is easier to do than brunch for most people (and I can’t help but wonder if every guy would ask her out to brunch because it’s in her profile). I’ve added what could be considered a weird email title because I’ve found odd email titles encourage opening the email.
If you see an 10 emails in your inbox with the title “Hi” and one with the title “Courage!” which one do you open first? Maybe it’s just me but I pick the weird one. Online Dating Email Example 3 Here’s his final email example: Hang Gliding Hi, how do you do? You have a great outlook on life, and it seems like a good head on your shoulders. I think it’s really important to make everyday fun.
That doesn’t mean always planning out involved activities, but like you said, making anything fun. I’m down to earth, a bit nerdy, and really random. I like to mix up my going out and relaxing nights at home, and always wanted to go sky diving or hang gliding or something along those lines. I’d love to learn more about you. And here’s my re-working of it: Starbucks and the Temple of Doom I think it’s really important to make everyday fun.
That doesn’t mean always planning out involved activities, but like you said, making anything fun. I believe I’m great at making almost anything fun…even a boring cup of coffee. I’d love to have the opportunity to prove that to you. As with the earlier emails, I felt this email had too much of him describing himself and describing what he saw in her. Not bad conversations, just happening too early and maybe better to be had in person (depends on who you’re talking to I guess).
Here I started with his basic premise but also ended with that. I actually loved his title for this email even though it has nothing to do with what is talked about now that I’ve changed it…again because I like odd email titles. Still, as I was writing this I came up with my title and liked it a bit better…but either would work well in my opinion. General Thoughts on These Emails Overall I thought the emails were fine but saw these as the biggest changes: I would shorten the emails.
These first emails look like my second emails. I see the first email as something short and simple to get her to look at my profile. Once she responds, I then move into specifics like favorite this or that. I wouldn’t describe myself in first emails to the women. I might include some of it in a later email but if it’s really important I would just add it to my profile. Likewise, I wouldn’t use the first email to describe your impression of whomever you’re contacting.
I understand the idea of paying compliments but again I think that comes later or if you are going to compliment her keep it very simple. Based on these thoughts, here’s what I recommend to him: write your first emails just like you always do and save them. Then trim down what you wrote like I did. If you get a response, go back to the first email you wrote and send the rest of it to her. I suggest this because I would hate to see my advice to shorten an email somehow stifle what makes someone unique.
The Chance to Prove Me Wrong One trick I shared with my reader was this: if you change your profile photo and your profile heading, you can contact these same people again in a month or so. Changing these two things about your profile is basically like entering the witness protection program because most of us can’t remember anything beyond these two areas (barring the weird profiles). I would use an very different photo, though.
Some women will pick up on the fact that you tried to “fool” them but I don’t think any will be offended. As men we’re expected to not know when to quit! Obviously this works better with some services than others (eHarmony for example wouldn’t support this idea very well since they’re giving you matches that you move through communication with one time only). At any rate, I felt this would give him a good opportunity to see if my advice actually worked and I suspect doing the same could also work for many of my other readers.
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How important is it to write a good online dating first email? The answer to that may seem obvious, but just in case it isn’t let me say: writing a great first message in online dating is critical to success or failure in your dating life. As I discuss in my free online dating guide, successful online dating relies in part on making great first impressions. Whether the first impression is in the photos you select for your profile, how you describe yourself, or the first email you write, taking time to make the best first impression is important.
For this discussion email refers to your first message in online dating. This will include whatever method the service you are using allows you to write a message to another member. It is also worth noting that most often discuss this from the point of view of a man contacting a woman, since that was my experience, but my hope is that the thoughts here are helpful to anyone. This discussion is primarily for sites such as Match.
com where you write the online dating first message yourself (see more on how match.com works if you’re not familiar with what I’m referring to). This advice may still be helpful for sites such as eHarmony or Chemistry.com, however these services guide the communication and there is less “emailing” early on. Writing the online dating first email is the area where I made the biggest mistakes for the longest period of time when I was dating online.
I would write overly long and, in my head, witty emails that very rarely received responses. Once, I wrote no less than two pages based on a girl’s heading to her profile. The HEADING! I thought I was making conversation but all I was making was a girl scared. I really did mean well. I just didn’t know what I was doing. Writing a Better First Email My rule here is very simple: keep your first email very short.
Give anything longer than three sentences a good, hard look before sending. There are several reasons I’m for short first emails. Your profile is what you use to sell yourself, not your first email. While I feel that your profile should be a constant battle between brevity and substance, it should definitely hold enough for someone to make a decision about communicating with you. If it doesn’t, don’t try and fix it in your emails: go back to your profile and improve that first.
The email should be the bait to get someone to view your profile. If they don’t like your profile, long-winded emails are wasting your time. You have to keep your weird factor low. Never forget that you are working against the bad impressions created by every weird person who has come before you (or even the good intentioned people who just come off odd like I used to!). Short emails can come off as confident.
Worded wrongly they can come off as cocky but even that is more acceptable than crazy/weird. With online dating, the first message can make or break your chances of a successful first date. Based on my experience, I think the above are good guidelines to improve your odds of getting the conversation going. Okay…So What Should I Include? So what do you include in this short, introductory email? As I’ve said, in online dating a first message can have a huge affect, but what helps the most? Here’s my short 4-point list of easy to follow ideas: First, try to include something in your first email to prove you read their profile.
Many guys out there spam the same email to every girl they find attractive; most girls catch on to this and then look for it in other emails. Obviously, women can be initiating emails too, so this rule applies to them as well…but I’ve never heard of women who spam like this. Second, if you find something in a profile that you have in common or there is something you like about the profile, mention that area in your email (if there are multiple things you really like, just mention one).
Finally, I’d recommend that you ask a question in your first email. That might seem obvious but I’ve been surprised at how many people don’t do this. Often this question can be about a common interest you mention but any question is better than none. If you can’t think of any questions, why not ask them out on a date? As I’ve discussed in my thoughts on the first date, better to ask too soon than waiting too long.
Never, ever, ever title the subject of your email as “Hi” or “Hello” or whatever. A large majority of emails sent are titled this way and if you contact a woman who received 15 email contacts since the last time she logged on, your email is going to get lost in the mix. Sure, she might review it and respond but why not try to stand out even before she opens your email? Exaggerating Your Thoughts on Shared Interests One optional approach to emailing that I recommend is something I learned worked well: if I had something in common with the profile I was reading, I would sometimes express more excitement about the similarity than truly existed.
I wouldn’t flat-out lie but I would go out of my way to emphasize the shared interest. For example, I enjoy an occasional day walking around a big city. If a woman mentioned this interest in her profile I wouldn’t say “I like going to big cities, too.” I would say “I love walking through the city too…although some days I think I must be the only one!”. Saying that I love walking through the city is a stretch but I would want to add some strength to my statement.
Why? Most emotion is lost in online communication (and anyone who has used a :) in emails agrees with me). To avoid this, I would try to show my true level of interest by exaggerating it. Also, I felt that making someone feel “liked” early on would help them feel more comfortable and more likely to respond. Even though sometimes I felt like I was going over the top, I still saw a lot of success going with this type of emphasis.
Example Online Dating First Emails Giving advice on writing a better first message in online dating is good, but I think examples make it better. Let’s look at a few real profiles, although I am shortening them, that I’m pulling from a popular dating site. I’ll write a first email that I would send if I were interested in meeting the woman. The first profile is what I would consider a “normal” email where contact is made but not much else.
The next two are special cases where asking the girl out occurs in the first email. In my experience with online dating, first messages where I asked the girl out were uncommon for me but I felt that in both the second and third first email example, it was the best option based off of the profile. So don’t see this as a suggestion that you should be asking women out more often than not in a first email; that’s not my point.
These are just examples and ideas on writing a first email and you should go with what your comfortable with. I’ll be changing some profile details to avoid intruding on someone’s life, but I will keep the general ideas expressed in these profiles the same. Profile 1: I am a XX year old looking for a nice guy to get to know and have a wonderful time together. I am a very outgoing person and enjoy all types of activities.
My friends say I’m very outgoing but I think I’m shy when first meeting people. I work full-time as a real estate agent. I am very sociable and enjoy being around people. If you would like to get to know me, just send me a message. This young lady devoted half of her profile to talking, in some fashion, about being social. This seems like one of the better points of focus when writing the email: Response 1: Subject: Just sending that message! Hi – I’d like to get to know you so here’s your message! I love being sociable too and liked what I was seeing in your profile.
Have you ever gone swing dancing? My approach here is to be positive but brief. I make it clear I read her profile (even in my subject) and let her know that I’m interested in who she is. I don’t ask her out but the swing dancing reference is there to say “If you write back, I just might”. I chose swing dancing because I’ve done it a few times and by mentioning it I’m backing up the statement that I enjoy social activity.
The goal here is to get her interest, have her look at my profile and if she likes what she sees, move forward. Profile 2: I am crazy, unique and creative. Everyday boring life turns into an adventure along with me! Born and raised in the [a city] looking for someone to curl up watch a movie with or football or just hang out. A little facial hair is a plus and someone with an awesome personality is key! I’m cute but of course not looking for a stalker so I choose to remain a mystery until you contact me! Hope to hear from you soon.
Now this is someone I would not likely contact but I’m trying to be fair by grabbing profiles at random, not just those I can write an email to easiest. She openly admits concern over stalkers (enough concern that she’s included no photo of herself) so not coming off as weird is very important. However, something about her profile makes me feel like she may not respond to many emails, perhaps due to her confidence in what she wants, so I’m more willing to take a risk.
The important parts again are: don’t appear like a stalker and to be brief. In this case I’m going to play off her professed “likes” by attempting to be unique and creative when I write my email: Reponse 2: Subject: Mirror, Mirror dna evitaerc…gab dnuop evif a ni nuf fo sdnuop net ekil dnuos uoY. ereht yeHeeffoc fo puc a gninrut tuoba leef uoy dluow woH !ecap fo egnahc taerg a si euqinu?keew siht retal erutnevda na otni Hopefully right now you’re saying, “Ah, I see what you did there”.
Would this work? Maybe yes, maybe no. Chances are it would be the most unique email she’ll get that day and I bet she’d really enjoy it. Even in the case where she decides it is horribly corny, she might appreciate the unique quality it had. I still keep the email short and include information that proves I’ve actually read her profile. I also ask her out in the first email because: someone adventurous doesn’t want to email for long, they want to meet people I’m asking before I’ve seen a picture which may improve my odds of not being stalker material.
Profile 3: Hi! I am XX years old I love living life to its fullest. I travel every chance I can and love being around those I share things in common with. This is an example of how sometimes profiles are too short and give you no clues to who the person is. With this type of profile, I always felt like simply asking them out on safe date in the first email is fine. There’s not too much to work with here aside from asking travel questions which, by looking at her profile, probably already happens in every email she receives.
In this case, I’d just flat out ask her out. I know this looks like nothing but I’ve had success with these types of emails (my wife being the best example…although her profile was actually good!): Response 3: Hello! I liked your profile – would you be interested in having lunch at [someplace safe like a local diner/bookstore/coffee shop]? For all these examples, I’ve intentionally chosen profiles that were very short to keep the examples to a reasonable size.
Most profiles should have much more information for you to work with but you can apply the exact same ideas: Keep your emails short and positive Also, regardless what any book or person tells you (including this guy), you need to be making decisions for yourself. I spent too much time blindly follow good-intentioned advice and not thinking for myself early on when dating online. So better to listen to your gut and break any “rules” (such as keeping the email short) when you think it would work to your favor.
For example, in the Profile 3, creating an invitation to have a drink that looked like a travel itinerary might work well if she had mentioned enjoying creativity or if her profile was very creative. Sometimes we can get so caught up in following “rules” that our online dating first messages don’t end up reflecting us very well and… Everything else aside, just coming off normal and interested goes a long way.
[Read more: Read more first email examples from my working with a reader of this site] What If I’m Still Struggling with My Online Dating First Emails? I hope my advice here is helpful for you however I also realize success is also often easier said than done. My advice in this article is based mostly on sites like Match.com where we find ourselves having to initiate contact all on our own. If you continue to struggle writing your first emails or struggle with getting responses with a service like this, trying a service like eHarmony might be helpful.
Why This Service?eHarmony operates in a different way where they control much of the early communication for you. I have discussed the features of this service a lot on my site so I don’t want to cover all of that again here but I will point out that: eHarmony is very friendly to those new to online dating as it helps guide you through the process. The service makes the first contact easy for both men and women since it’s more of a process than a traditional first contact.
Because communication is controlled, making mistakes (like writing a 5 page first email!) are much harder or impossible. Now it’s not all rainbows and butterflies: eHarmony does tend to aim for what they measure as quality over quantity, which at times can limit the opportunities you have on occasion. However, while I met my wife using Match.com I felt that it was eHarmony that really helped me become more comfortable with online dating.
If you read my online dating guide you’ll know that my first 6 months or so I had very little success. However, during this “bad” phase of my dating life eHarmony was the service where I was having some success (even if limited). You can learn more details on my thoughts on this service in my article on How eHarmony Works. No matter what service you choose, I hope my advice here will help you with your first messages.
Online dating can be unforgiving and for many of us it is easy to make mistakes without even realizing it. I hope the steps included here are helpful for you in avoiding problems in this area! Learn more in my free online dating ebook…