6 Helpful Tips to Writing the Perfect First Message on Dating Sites


What to send as a first messageBy James Preece

When you first start online you might find yourself staring at their profile for ages, trying to think of something clever to say. I can tell you that it isn’t necessary to think or worry too much at this point. I’ve send thousands and thousands of messages with my dating coaching clients over the years and I know exactly what works and what doesn’t.

You have only one goal when it comes to your first message: to start a conversation and make them intrigued enough to want to know a little more about you. I’m going to include a few tips and tricks that will boost your chances of getting replies.

Remember their name

Wherever possible, try and include their name in the subject line. This little trick makes them more likely to open it before they open any other messages. It’s just where the eye is drawn to and shows you are looking to make a connection.

Not everyone will have their real names as their usernames but some people do write it at the end of their profile text, so look there too.

Keep it Short

The popular profiles will be getting lots of messages each day, so it can be hard for them to keep track of them all. No matter how creative you are, they just won’t have the time or inclination to read long essays. So try and keep what you say to a minimum.

I know it’s tempting to write something longer, but two or three lines is honestly enough. If they are interested they will write back and if they aren’t you haven’t wasted too much time.

Use Humour

If you can make the person you are writing to laugh, then you are off to a great start. It makes you seem like a light hearted person who doesn’t take themselves too seriously and therefore a fun date.

Write a great first message

Cheeky banter is your best way of doing this. Tease them about something they have written in a playful, polite way. You could make a comment like these after finding something in their Zoosk profile:

“Wow, we’d be so good together. Could you imagine our children? They’d be little hyperactive geniuses. Let’s just hope they get your gorgeous blue eyes and not my stubble.”

“So you play ping pong? I bet I can beat you with one hand tied behind my back. If I win you have to buy me drinks, but if you win I’ll buy dinner. Ready for the challenge?”

Read their Profile

This should be pretty obvious but I’ve seen people email everyone right away regardless of whether they are a suitable match.

You don’t need to read absolutely everything they write, just scan the key information quickly. Just check you are compatible and look for some of the things you have in common. It really helps if you can point these out to them and tell them why they should date you.

Ask a Question

People are genetically programmed to try and help others, so if you ask a question they might find it hard to refuse an answer.

Top Tip: If the profile doesn’t say much then have a good look at their photos. There might well be one that you can ask them a question about.

Never Copy and Paste

Writing lots of messages may seem like pretty hard work at times. You put all that effort in but not everyone bothers to reply to you. So it may be tempting to try and speed things up by copying and pasting the same message. This is usually something very dull and boring like this:

“Hi, really like your profile! Get in touch if you like the sound of mine.”

These kind of messages rarely get many responses. They look like you can’t be bothered to make an effort and that you aren’t intelligent enough to care.

In fact, most generic copied and pasted messages will get deleted without them even checking out your profile.

I’d recommend that you spend thirty minutes a night for a week to send your first messages out. After this you’ll learn to have a good idea about what’s working and what isn’t.

So now you know do what to do. Don’t wait any longer, sign up to one of the most popular dating sites that we recommend and see who writes back.


About James Preece

James Preece is the Dating Guru. As the UK's leading Dating Expert and Dating Coach he is a consultant for many dating sites and is involved in a wide variety of different areas, such as personal dating coaching, Online Dating, speed dating and matchmaking. His online dating guide "I Will Make You Click" is an Amazon best seller, reaching number one on the relationships category. He is a regularly featured in top UK and international media: such as the Independent, Cosmopolitan, FHM, and Men’s Health, amongst many more. Learn more here.

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