A Perfect Online Dating First Message Part 2

Online dating message

Image courtesy of Ambrozjo

We get e-mails every day asking us the best way to approach a woman online. In this post I will talk about the main principles for creating a winning first online dating message.

Decision – Template or Personalised

Before you begin to craft your online dating first message, you need to decide just how personalised you’re going to make it. Online dating messages fall on a continuum: at one end of the extreme are totally personalised messages that you write from scratch for each girl; at the other end are templates that you can send out in bulk to as many girls as you like.

Highly personalised online dating messages WILL get a better response rate. But they are very time-consuming and can lead to over-investment.

I make no secret on this blog for my preference for largely non-personalised online dating first messages. With online dating the end game is to get on a date with a girl you find attractive. The key to making this happen is efficiency – how you can get as many of these dates with the minimum effort.

5 Principles for Great Online Dating First Messages

Given that you want to make the process efficient, while ensuring a decent response rate, here are five key principles you need to bear in mind when creating your online dating first message:

1. Qualification. Create a message which asks the girl to prove herself to you; don’t try to persuade the girl that you would be a good date. She’ll have loads of messages in her inbox from guys all telling her what a great time she’d have with him.

Make her sit up and take notice by flipping this dynamic. Instead of saying, “if we go out we’ll have a great time because I’m really funny” say, “I wonder if you’d be funny enough for me to take you out”.

2. Keep it short. Sending a girl a massive essay tells her that you place a very high importance on her reply. It also conveys that you have nothing better to do than sit at home constructing long e-mails to girls you’ve never met.

A better approach is to keep the message very short. As a rule of thumb, think how a really busy and cool guy would approach online dating. He’d probably throw out a couple of messages to see if it was any good – he wouldn’t sit poring over the profiles of girl’s he’d never met.

3. Engage her. Ask the girl questions which she needs to answer correctly to get a date with you. This works because it gives her something to do, something to think about and allows for a creative reply.

If you’re uncomfortable making her justify herself, you can still engage her by asking her opinion on something: “I have a sponsored an elephant in India for my niece and I need to give it a name – what do you think?”

4. Compliment her. Ideally you would compliment every girl about something specific on her profile. As I discussed before, though, it’s very difficult to personalise a high volume of messages. From my experience the extra effort required to include a personalised compliment is not worth the time – a generic “cute picture” gets very similar results.

5. Tell her what is happening. However you decide to structure your message, make sure she knows what is happening. A message with no obvious goal can seem annoying and pointless for a girl when she is online dating.

For example, if you want to take her out once you’ve asked a few questions then tell her. If you are giving her a little test to see whether she can “earn” a date, tell her this. Don’t just send a get-to-know-you message.

Articulate an end game and a purpose to the message, even if it’s just that you liked her profile and wanted to get to know her better.


If you want to see a few online dating message examples that put these ideas into practice, check out next week’s post: A Perfect Online Dating First Message Part 3.

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