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?