Start Sending Winning Online Dating Messages
Getting a date from online can seem like an impossibility sometimes, especially if you’re an introverted guy.
In fact, dating online as an introvert is so challenging that it’s easy to wonder, “Does online dating work at all?”
When all you’re doing is sending message after message into some sort of great abyss… the Great Cyberspace Abyss of Lost Messages!… you wonder if you can get dates from online at all and therefore if messaging a woman online is even worth it.
I get it!
While getting dates from online is a multifaceted project, improving your online messages is certainly a big part of it.
Learning how to strategically uplevel your online dating response rate turns your, “Do dating apps work at all?” to, “Yay, I have a date on Friday night!”
In this post, you will find out critical ways to get some actual results from your efforts.
She matched with you. So why isn’t she responding to your message?
Imagine you’ve come across a woman who seems attractive, smart, and interesting. Yay! You send her a message and wait to see if she responds.
There are two main times where she can not respond or stop responding:
- She doesn’t respond to your initial message at all, even if she’s “liked” you back or matched with you.
- She responds but then drops off after a single message, or more than one message…
Sometimes you’ll even have a whole conversation with her back and forth before she “ghosts”, which leaves you wondering where you dropped the ball or if it was out of your control altogether.
All this shows is that at different points, your online dating response rate can improve or decline, because you have the opportunity to either pique a woman’s interest online or not.
You can either inspire her to respond to you, or be one more guy who unfortunately misses the boat on that one.
We don’t want you to be that guy! We want you to win, to improve the quality of your messages and therefore your online dating response rate.
To do that today, I’ll be showing you some online message examples and the online messaging mistakes they demonstrate, followed by specific remedies to help your online messaging in those cases and overall.
Okay, let’s get into it!
Here’s a conversation that one IA reader had on Bumble:
She said, “Happy Friday, any fun plans for the weekend?”
And then he said, “Hi, ha, nothing too special. I have judo today and a conference call tomorrow. I might see if a friend wants to go for a hike. How about you? What did you think of France. I’m going there in July.”
So there’s a lot of good things going on in his message to her:
Judo, that’s interesting. Going on a hike, that’s interesting. France, talking about something specific about her, that he’s going in July. There are some good things going on in that message. He’s paying attention to her. He has some interesting things going on in his life.
But there’s also some things in this message that could have led to not hearing back from her, things that have been declining his online dating response rate.
Here’s the takeaway:
Anytime you don’t hear from somebody again, remember there are different possible reasons for her not to respond.
Perhaps she got busy or simply flakes per usual in her life, sure… but more than likely, it was something about your message, something you can tweak in your approach.
This kind of attitude helps you be curious about how to improve your online dating response rate, which is the first step to change.
Once a woman has actually messaged you, then she’s probably taking another look at your profile, and she probably is pretty interested, so it’s not like she accidentally clicked yes and then just forgot about you, or that she went back and looked at it and she wasn’t as interested.
She actually messaged you first.
So usually, if she just drops off, it’s because she wasn’t as interested in the way that you were messaging, or sometimes it can just be that something came up.
She has a lot of messages, and it wasn’t compelling enough to respond to you for a variety of possible reasons. But a lot of it usually has to do with how are you messaging her.
Reason being, at that point, that’s really the main thing going on. She messages you. You message her. And then if she doesn’t respond, a lot times it’s something either in that message or in a previous message you sent her.
So much is in your power to improve.
In this case, this is the only message that he’s sent, so let’s look at what’s not working for him in this message.
First, saying, “nothing too special.”
That’s kind of making himself sound like he’s not that special or that he’s not that great, which we never want to do because he is special and great. There’s no reason to assert a lack of specialness as the first thing you say to somebody.
Then he said, “conference call,” which is putting the subject of work in there, which isn’t great to do in a first message.
Even if you do some work on Saturday, that’s not what you should lead with when you talk with a new woman because it’s heading into the weekend, and we don’t want to be thinking about work with someone that we don’t know yet. This is literally our first message to them.
So not mentioning work early could improve your online dating response rate if you’ve been doing that up to this point.
Then he said, “I might want to see if a friend wants to go on a hike,” which makes it feel like going on a hike is contingent on if a friend wants to go.
It’s good that he’s social to have friends to ask on a hike, but the fact that he might ask a friend to maybe go on a hike, there’s like a lot of maybes in there rather than that directional leading.
That leadership is so attractive.
As women, we want to see that. It’s in each and every one of you that you feel better when you lead directionally, when you’re decisive, when you know what you’re doing.
Keep in mind here that I’m just pointing out tiny things. It’s not like, “Oh, no, all these things are going to ruin the message forever!”
I’m just pointing out what I see, but “imperfect” messages get responses all the time, so you don’t have to be perfect. I’m just showing you different things I’ve noticed here that factor into anyone’s online dating response rate.
Then, the biggest thing he does here is asking two questions on two different topic areas.
That’s a really good way to not get a response in general: asking too many questions.
Too many questions is more than one, generally speaking, certainly in a short message. He’s asking two. So we’re going along in the messaging like, “Oh, the weekend, great and how about you?”
Then all of a sudden, sharp left turn into France. It’s disorienting.
He can save that for another message, or he can skip the weekend and go straight into France, like this:
She says, “Happy Friday. Any fun plans for the weekend?”
He can say, “Hi, happy Friday to you too. Yeah, I’m planning on enjoying nature this weekend. Also, I noticed that you went to France. That’s awesome. I’m going in July.”
Notice, you don’t even have to ask a question.
Did you notice how I did that? I didn’t even ask a question.
Why is that? Because if you offer something that’s interesting, you’re connecting with her, and you’re being positive, upbeat, decisive.
That is a conversation starter because you’re talking about her having gone to France. Because that’s a conversation starter, you don’t have to ask her, “What did you think of France?”
Reason being, first of all, I’ve talked about this in a recent article I wrote on standards: thinking, feeling, and then also feeling in your body. There are three things: your mind, heart, and body.
We women often connect more over feelings and less over thinking. We think, and you guys feel, but generally, if you want to enter into our world, a better question could be directed towards feeling.
You wouldn’t say directly, “How did you feel in France?”
That would be odd as a first message. But you would ask a question that has maybe more sensual details, leading in more of a sensual direction about how it was being in France.
You could ask, “What was the most wonderful part?” or something like that.
But I would prefer that you don’t ask a question, especially not a question about thinking because she’s not going to France to mentally assess France.
She’s going to France to have a great time there. But I wouldn’t even ask the question because now she has to do work in order to answer. She has to think, so you’re asking her to do that, which is unnecessary.
Recall “offering versus taking” in conversation.
So you’re offering by saying something like what I just said: “Oh, I see you went to France. I’m planning on going there in July.”
That’s offering because you’re starting another wave of conversation by mentioning something and leading in a direction.
Compare this to taking, which is asking for her to think about what she thought about France, as that takes effort on her part.
But if you just lead things in a direction where it’s fun and interesting, then you just take her on a ride, and that’s very generous compared to asking her.
I’m not saying that asking a question is always taking or is always selfish. It’s totally not selfish; you’re actually trying to be generous yourself.
That’s why you’re asking question: you’re working to be engaging and generous and thoughtful. I’m just saying the way it comes across as easier and more fun, compelling, and intriguing to just say something.
When you say, “Oh, I noticed you went to France. I’m planning on going in July,” and your tone is fun and friendly and upbeat, it’s engaging without you even having to ask a question.
This kind of engagement definitely helps with online dating response rates!
Here’s a dating app conversation from another IA reader:
Now, I really want you guys to see this example, because they were having a good conversation here and then it stopped, and I’m going to tell you exactly why it stopped, which will be wonderful to learn for all your online dating response rate efforts.
So this guy just started off without an intro of, “Hi.” He just started, which can come across as kind of cold and doesn’t set the best tone for how things unfold later on.
Even if a woman does respond to you, if you set the tone early in ways that are not awesome, it is going to flavor the conversation. It could have a negative effect later on.
So if you say something and she responds, great. Then if she stops responding, don’t just think, “Well what’s the last message that I said where she didn’t respond…”
Sometimes it’s the last message, sometimes it’s a theme throughout, and sometimes it was an earlier message. So you’ve got to keep that tone consistently positive, warm, and engaging the whole time.
That’s one thing that could have been improved upon, simply to say a greeting like, “Hello.”
So take that to heart to improve your own online dating response rate.
Always lead with a greeting.
In his first message, he says, “What kinds of companies did you start? I’m a bit of wantrepreneur at the moment. Also, do you miss the friendly Midwest?”
What I like about this message is that he’s talking about something that is an interest of hers, a shared interest of theirs, and also about the Midwest. He paid attention to her profile, clearly.
The trouble is that being a wantrepreneur is not sexy. We don’t want to be a wantrepreneur; we want to either be doing something, building something, or not.
Remember when I mentioned being decisive in the earlier example? It’s really important.
Leading decisively is absolutely something that will not only improve your online dating response rate, but your response rate from women in general, in all parts of your dating life.
Then when he says, “Do you miss the friendly Midwest?” that’s two questions. Even though I recommend sticking to one question per message, in this case it’s okay because his second one is a yes-or-no question: “Do you miss the friendly Midwest?”
Then he says, “What kind of companies did you start?” Usually it’s best to keep it to only one question per message, but this guy’s pretty chill with his whole vibe.
He didn’t even put a question mark at the end of that question. He’s really chill and has a laid-back tone.
I just wish that he would’ve had a greeting at the beginning and then not said wantrepreneur, and instead have said, “I’ve been learning about business myself,” or, “I’m about to start a business,” or, “I’ve started a business,” or whatever it is.
That’s all good, as long as it’s not being a wantrepreneur, because that implies that he doesn’t have what it takes to be an entrepreneur which is not true, and you should never think that or say that about yourself.
We can do so much more than we think we can if we just apply ourselves.
In this message, he did pay attention as we can see, so here she answers, “You know, my first company was a fitness startup and became a franchise. My second was in real estate. I love the Midwest but actually I enjoy Boston much more. People are refreshingly honest and nice.”
Killer response by her; I’m a fan. Awesome job doing all these things and just a great, positive answer by her. I like her, actually.
So then he says, “Cool. Yeah, it’s always interesting to me how entrepreneurs identify opportunities. Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised by Boston as well, given its reputation. Have you discovered the jazz bars yet? My favorite are Wally’s and Darryl’s.”
That’s a cool response. He’s laid back. I like his tone. There is a little negativity with like “pleasantly surprised given its reputation.” That’s not really necessary, to go negative.
Bringing in negativity in an online message definitely hurts your online dating response rate with quality, positive women.
There’s never a reason to go negative in your first, second or third message with somebody, or almost ever, until you’re much closer to that person and you’ve earned that right to bring something besides positive into their space, like when you’re being vulnerable or you’re assessing something together.
Okay, those are examples where some negativity is totally fine because it makes sense in the context. But in a beginning message, you really don’t want to be like, “Oh, the world sucks.” You know what I mean? That’s not sexy at all. Sexy is creating opportunities yourself.
So he talks about creating opportunities. But the thing that about that sentence that we could change is that he ignored what she shared about herself specifically.
Always pay attention when a woman shares with you.
Ignoring what a woman shares with you is not a way to enhance your online dating response rate! Instead, pay attention and respond.
What he does here is he zooms it out to all entrepreneurs. Whoa, we’re not talking about all entrepreneurs; we’re talking about her.
Say something about her. It’s a fitness startup and became a franchise. The second one was a real estate. There are so many interesting things in there. The fact she made a franchise is so badass; he could say that.
She’s also in real estate; that’s interesting too. If he has a genuine question, he can ask. That’s fine.
Or if he has something to offer about that detail she shared about herself, great. Or if there’s something that he likes about that or is curious about, he can say that, rather than talking about all entrepreneurs.
Because in a 1:1 conversation, like all online dating messages are, it’s just you and her right now.
You don’t need to zoom out and make it less intimate. There’s no reason for that. She’s an awesome, smart woman. She just responded to you.
Keep it about her.
Then he says, “Have you discovered the jazz bars yet? My favorites are these.”
That’s cool because he’s offering a couple of things that he likes, and it’s upbeat. He wants to know if she’s visited; that’s totally fine. And again, it’s a simple question to answer. It’s not, “What are your three deepest fears and three deepest desires?,” which is really hard to answer.
Instead, it’s, “Have you discovered these bars yet, yes or no?”
Then she says, “No, I haven’t been to one since moving. I used to be a jazz singer.” This is where he drops the ball so hard, and I wish he could go back and redo this message.
What did he do here?
He did not acknowledge the fact that she used to be a jazz singer; look at that. He simply says, “No, I haven’t been to one since moving.”
At this point, she is not likely to feel good about the fact that he just talked about all these entrepreneurs and didn’t make any comment on what she generously shared about herself: her fitness startup, franchise, real estate, all these positive things.
Remember to acknowledge what a woman shares.
Instead, he says “all entrepreneurs” and then something negative about Boston, an underhanded compliment about Boston, and then he says something cool about jazz.
But when she then says, “I used to be a jazz singer,” which is so cool she used to be a jazz singer, guess what he says about it?
When I saw that, my stomach sank because he’s not listening to her. He’s not listening at this point. He listened to her profile in the beginning.
That first message was great. Companies, Midwest, all that. He listens. Then he listens again, but he made it too general about other entrepreneurs.
And then he didn’t listen at all. He really didn’t. All he heard was her saying, “No, I haven’t been there.”
That’s all he heard. He did not see that she used to be a jazz singer, which is such an important part of her life, the fact that she used to be a jazz singer.
Instead, all he said was, “Add them to your Boston bucket list then, especially Darryl’s. I didn’t grow up with music but I enjoy it. Although I struggle with hearing the beat while dancing.”
No! We don’t need to know about you struggling with the beat while dancing.
Number one, that’s negative.
And it’s important to be positive and uplifting in your messages.
Number two, it says nothing about her being a jazz singer. She just gave you this beautiful jewel about herself, and you do not even acknowledge it, but instead you just talk about yourself in a negative way? No, no, no.
Now, this is okay! It really is. And the reason this is okay is that he can change it and thereby greatly improve his online dating response rate.
He has a really cool, laid back vibe about him. I can feel his vibe through what he’s said.
His approach can simply use some big improvements, the ones that I’ve just gone over. But they are easy improvements to make, once you know what they are, which is why you are reading this: to improve your messaging approach!
So the next time you’re like, “Hey, what didn’t somebody respond?” well now you know reasons why they don’t respond. It’s not because there’s anything wrong with her in any way; it’s just that she was turned off, for good reason.
As you remedy those reasons, your online dating response rate improves naturally.
Then you can finally enjoy fruits from all the effort you’ve put in, and the effort becomes much less effortful and much more fun along the way, as you continue to learn and grow.
Online Dating Response Rate Takeaways for Improvement:
Dating online can feel daunting because it’s learning how to communicate in that whole new medium. That said, improving your messages helps to improve your online dating response rate overall!
Whether you’re messaging on Bumble, OkCupid, Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB), Match, Zeus, eHarmony, Tinder, or others… you can apply the online messaging tips you learned above.
This will improve your online dating response rate from this point forward.
Here are your online dating response rate takeaways:
- Not too many questions per message.
- Listen well, and respond positively.
- Pace it well, not too fast or too slow.
With the detailed and descriptive online message analysis you just got, you now have some strong pointers on how to actually get dates from online as an introverted guy.
“But, Sarah, what about all the other parts of dating? What about my own vibe in person, escalating and building chemistry overall, and the fact that I can get stuck in conversation, running out of things to say? These are even bigger deals than my online dating response rate!”
To that, I say, check out Launch Your Dating Life, our flagship solution to getting awesome dates with great women for you. On that page, there’s a place to enter your email so you can be notified of when it opens next, if it’s not open right now. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire.