The Secrets of Writing Emails That Get Replies
Does every message you send go unanswered? Here’s how to start getting replies, and dates. By Match.com’s relationship expert, Kate Taylor.
Before you start – ensure your profile is looking its best before you send anything. Everyone you email will read your profile, and if they don’t like what they see, they won’t write back. Tips on how to write your online dating profile can be found on our advice site. If you’re consistently sending out emails that go unanswered, consider rewriting your page completely and having some new photos taken. When your profile is looking great, try these tips.
Write an intriguing subject line
An American study has shown that people are more likely to open an email when they have some curiosity about its contents, or believe they’ll find it useful. Remember you’ll end up in someone’s in-box with only a subject line to sell you, so aim to pique their interest. Reference their profile – “Hello from a fellow Man City fan,” is better than “Hello”, but not as good as, “Why I think we’ll lose on Saturday”.
“It Had To Be You”
Make sure your email spells out why you’re writing to this person in particular, out of all the other thousands of members. When people feel they have a unique contribution to make, they become compelled to respond. Try to make it a combination of their looks and personality.
Find unusual common ground
In his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdrini points out that “similarity literally draws people together”. Mention something you have in common. You get bonus points, and a greater chance of a reply, if it’s something relatively uncommon. Read their profile again, scour the photos. Have you been to the same unusual holiday spot? Work in the same industry? Love the same band? Point it out!
Aim to start a dialogue
Don’t lead with a request to meet up in person. Too soon. Save that for your third or fourth email. Your mission in your first email is to start a conversation. So, don’t include any conversation-stoppers like, “Reply if my profile doesn’t put you off!” that you’d never say in person. Instead, end with a question that’ll be easy but fun for them to answer. “What’s your favourite obscure album track by [band you both like]?” “What did you most love about Rome?” “What do you feel your chances are of beating me at tennis?”
You’re more likely to get a reply if your first message is short – just three or four sentences. Longer emails test the patience of your reader. Plus, they’re boring to answer, as they appear to require a lengthy reply. Be pithy, light, and brief. Don’t take this to extremes, however, and end up sending, “Hi how r u?” unless you want to receive silence or a smiley face. A charming paragraph is perfect. And always remember the golden rule:
NEVER Copy and Paste
You create the perfect opening email, so you simply send it to everyone you find attractive and the replies will start flooding in. Yes? NO. One of the mysteries of human evolution is how we can identify mail-shot emails within seconds of reading them. It’s like we can smell them. And they’re insulting. Why should we bother writing a personal reply to a generic message? Next! Men are often tempted to mail-shot because it seems efficient – you can contact 50 women with a generic email in the same time you’d spend writing personalised messages to just five. But it’s just an efficient way of putting 50 women off.