Are You Making These First-eMail Mistakes?

Are You Making These First eMail Mistakes

First impressions get no do-overs. Writing a first email to someone on an online dating site is something you want to get just right if you hope to get their attention in return. For the best response, there are some email types you might want to avoid.

When you find a profile on an online dating site that catches your eye, your first instinct may be to reach out and immediately make contact. However, rushing forward with a badly thought-out email can almost guarantee that your new online crush never responds - or crushes your potential romance with a swift click of the 'Not Interested' button. Below are six introductory emails that may leave you without a date on Friday night.

1. The "Biography" Email

There's a cable network whose signature show specializes in hour-long documentaries about the lives of the rich and famous. Your first message to someone on an online dating website shouldn't resemble an episode of it though. An email like this comes off as self-centered and awkward - worse, it's impossible to respond to. (And that's what a first email should welcome above anything else.. a response.) How does one respond to a wall of text, after all? Worse, since you've revealed so much of yourself in one go, you've de-intrigued yourself. The mystery that plays a part in any initial attraction is no longer a factor. You've vanquished it in a torrent of personal trivia.

Include some information about yourself in your initial email, but save something memorable about yourself to reveal on future messages or your first date. It will make a much longer lasting impression.

2. The "One-Sentence" Email

However, writing an email that's way too short to make an impression won't do you any favors either. "You're cute." "What's up?" "I'm a fan of [insert sports team/musician/TV show] too!" These are just random sentences, not a distinguished introduction. They're uncreative (anyone with a reasonably attractive photo has gotten the "You're cute." email dozens of times), but the real mistake is making it totally obvious that you're putting very little thought and effort into reaching out to someone you'd presumably like to get to know. Emails like this are incredibly easy to ignore.
A first email should at least be a paragraph long, preferably two.

3. The "Rated R" Email

Emails that contain anything remotely crude or overly suggestive are what the 'Block User' feature is for. This may seem obvious, but most dating site users have gotten an email that made them uncomfortable. Similarly, profanity can also potentially lead to a negative reaction. Sure, there's a chance that this person is open minded and has an appreciation for language not normally heard on primetime television, but why take the risk without knowing for sure?
Don't give online dating a bad name. Keep it PG.

4. The "What's Your Number?" Email

Although it may seem like common sense to most, don't ask for your online crush's phone number - or offer your own - before you even learn their name.
Give it a few emails before asking. But not longer - it's a site for singles, not pen pals.

5. The "Me, Me, Me" Email

Writing an email that's entirely about how interesting and well-traveled/read you are is always a mistake. Are you interested in this person or yourself? Everyone has gone on a date with someone who could not stop talking about themselves, and they're not likely eager to do it again. Luckily (for them), they can avoid this possibility by not responding to your email.
Modestly introduce yourself, yes, but segue into what it was about this person that moved you to respond. That will show sincere interest, and that you actually read their full profile.

6. The "Mass" Email

One of the most annoying things about any online dating site are the people who write one insincere, generic, one-size-fits-all email and send it to everyone in their area. They think they're being efficient, but they're really only communicating that they don't care who they meet... like a spammer or a scammer. This dating site junk mail wastes everyone's time and doesn't fool anyone.

Writing a thoughtful and wholly unique email is the best way to get someone's attention on a dating site. Remember... you're not the only person in their inbox.

Comments (2)

Fine advice to follow and I shall keep it in mind and apply it.
Very good advice, one to six. I keep reading this, and I wonder how come people are writing things like that?

I do admit I have written initial emails to women only to tell them that I admired their looks. But it wasn't a three-word sentence; I would make it into a ten-paragraphy mini-essay, extolling sheerly their wonderful appearance. In these texts, I would digress to their aesthetically lesser features, and explain why those were not distracting, but adding to the general effect of their effervescent beauty.

I get all kinds of spam email on this site, nothing else, nothing more. It's getting tiresome. One email a day, from a beauty in the far east, in places like "Oslo, Dung-Dung province, Myanmar", or "Kansas City, Chai-woo province, Peoples' Republic of China". The girls are nice, no doubt, friendly and full of valour. But they are there, and I am here. I say on my profile I am dirt poor. What do they want from me? They say they read my profile, and they liked it, but mention nothing recognizable that refers to the same profile. A bit of a pesky, nasty, gnatty habit.

You know what I noticed? That what gets a reply, for sure, is picking a tiny bit of something (concept, fact, attitude, etc.) out of a correspondent's profile, and saying something that is not long, very to the point, and challenging the status they present in that something. Nothing ever develops from this, of course; I am a short, fat man, have never met anyone on a date off the sites that would lead to a second date, and in twelve years I had fewer first dates than I can count. Or even fewer than I can count on one hand.

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