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Bonny Albo

Why Your Dating Email Language Matters

By February 28, 2014

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Although the research is a few years old, and the information geared towards first emails, I think this information bears repeating to anyone using online dating sites to meet people: when crafting a dating email, avoid the use of netspeak - unless you're laughing.

Why? OkCupid decided to look into what kinds of emails their members replied to most. They gleaned lots of tangible, relevant information from a sampling of 500,000 first contact dating emails, some of which was surprising, like:

  • A unique salutation (such as 'yo' or 'howdy') fared better than the standard 'hello', or 'hi';
  • Use the word 'pretty' as an adverb (i.e. pretty sure) rather than an adjective (i.e. you're pretty) for a higher number of replies; and
  • Avoid comments that refer to the other person's physical appearance, even if you're complimenting them, for a higher response rate.

see: What To Say In a First Message for the original data.

There were a few tidbits that made me sigh with relief however. Notably, the use of textspeak garnered significantly less email responses (ur instead of your, wat as opposed to what, etc.). Yet 'lol' or 'haha' are acceptable, and might even increase your online dating responses.

So, what do you think? When you receive a dating email riddled with textspeak, do you reply? Do you send emails that compliment the other person? Has it made any difference with regards to the number of replies received?

Comments
February 22, 2011 at 8:28 pm
(1) Sara says:

Thanks for the post. It’s very helpful for me. I just sent hundreds of emails on a dating site, but I received few responses. Now I think I got the reason. Hope you can post more tips. Thanks again.

March 9, 2011 at 3:21 am
(2) mohamed says:

you must give us a free membership to try your website before payment at least 2 weeks if its ok and satisfied to us i think more pepole can upgrade their membership

March 2, 2014 at 10:01 am
(3) ayman shaban says:

Thank you very much for these valuable notes :)

March 6, 2014 at 11:55 am
(4) ROBERT SILKENSEN says:

RE: OK CUPID COMPLAINT !
I SIGNED UP ABOUT 10 DAYS AGO PICS AND ALL. A BEAUTIFUL VERY WELL ORGANIZED SITE, MUCH BETTER THAN POF OR MINGLE 2..
ONE DAY IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO LOG IN FOR DAYS IT WOULD NEVER ACCEPT MY INFO’ SO I FILLED OUT FORM AND ASKED FOR HELP AROUND 50 TIMES AND YES THE ROBOT ACKNOWLEDGED RECEIVING .AND SAID SOME ONE WILL READ IT-SOON AS THEY CAN. NOT ONE SINGLE REPLY -EVER. THE FRUSTRATION ANGERS ME !!!
TO HAVE SUCH A BEAUTIFUL SITE AND TRASH IT BY NO RESPONSE. INSTEAD OF PRAISING SITE TO OTHERS MY ANGER WILL TRASH IT
I TRIED NEXT TO OPEN A NEW ACCOUNT. NO,NO, SITE CAN’T DO THAT CUZ SOME ONE ELSE HAS THAT INFO. STUPID’ IDIOTS THAT IS ME,ME, ME ME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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