A lot of pressure rides on your opening message to a potential match. You, the sender, have to capture this person’s interest in a single rehearsed sentence knowing full well that this beauty probably receives a couple dozen introductions on any given day, which she’ll either choose to engage with or dismiss — most likely the latter.
To stand out from the masses, AskMen recently teamed up with dating site Zoosk to determine which opening messages prove most effective among women members. The analysis of 38 million profiles will be especially helpful to those using the shotgun approach to online dating; sending lots of low-investment messages in the hopes of gaining more responses.
First, women don’t like standard greetings. Flatly saying “hi” or “hello” proved to be among the worst possible openers, receiving 22 percent and 21 percent fewer responses than average. “Hey” was worse still, getting 35 percent fewer return messages. The cringe-worthy “howdy” approach actually works a little better, getting only 19 percent fewer messages back. Common introductions are often met with silence, Zoosk says, because they’re too recurrent. If you’re going to impress a lady, you’re going to have to be unique in your approach.
Complimenting something very specific works, the study found. The more specific the compliment, the better the reception. Messages that complimented one’s glasses (39 percent above average), tattoos (13 percent above average), eyes (11 percent above average) and hair (six percent above average) were all hits among women. Being a bit of a flirt proved effective as well. Messages that used the word “crush”, “adorable” and “trouble” (teasingly) saw 26 percent, 66 percent and 42 percent more responses from the fairer sex.
Perhaps most shocking of all is the revelation that women don’t mind talking about the weather, a go-to strategy typically employed by men who don’t have much else to say. Pretty much all weather talk is fair game, unless you use the word “sun” for some reason. Gloom and doom forever, for the women of online dating.
Another thing guys should keep in mind is to avoid coming on too strong. According to the results, women like to communicate some before you ask her out. While the word “date” and the phrase “go out” saw fewer responses, messages that used “tomorrow night” saw almost 30 percent more action. This phrase bodes well because you’re giving a prospective partner a predetermined date to meet, opposed to saying you’d like to go out with them and then never following through.
Whatever you do though, don’t open with a pickup line. Though some women prefer douchebags, this approach is flatly indicative of a chauvinist. And nobody digs those.