I cover my approach writing first emails with online dating in my post First Contact Email Examples. In that article I also give some examples of how I would write some first emails based on several random dating profiles.
In this article, I will review some more first dating emails based on advice I gave to a reader. He provided me with three emails he wrote and I reworked them to be closer to what I would have written. He was disappointed with the number of responses he was receiving (although I think it’s important to keep in mind there are many reasons you may not get responses, not just how you write your email)
As I talk about in my guide, I don’t believe anyone has the dating/realtionships thing fully figured out. Some of us have more experience or better insight than others but at the end of the day we’re all just making our best guesses. With that in mind, I’m not saying his emails are bad. I just believe based on my own experience they can be improved upon because sometimes we make our first emails out to be more than they should be.
Also, I’ll be showing examples similar to the emails he sent. Because I want to avoid revealing any reader’s identity, I’m changing the specifics of his emails. I’m not going to change the general tone or point of the emails but I am trying to ensure he remains anonymous by changing some of the specifics.
Online Dating Email Example 1
Here is my reader’s first email to a girl who was originally from the same area as him
What’s up? The first thing that grabbed my attention about your profile was your username…I moved to Seattle from Texas a few months ago…I love it out here but I do miss home a lot. Where are you originally from?
I really liked what I read about you and your interests. While I do live in the ‘burbs, I am absolutely in love with Seattle. I try and go to the city whenever I can…it just has a great atmosphere to be in. I love exploring and getting lost and it seems like you are pretty similar in that regard. I love going to the Space Needle, the museums, and Pike Market just to name a few activities. I’m a pretty laid back guy … down to earth, genuine, and fun are what I look for in other people.
I’d love to chat and hear more about you. What’s your favorite part(s) about living in the city?
And here’s how I would have written this first email:
I really liked your profile! I am absolutely in love with Seattle although I’m new here from Houston a few months ago…what’s the best place for someone new to the city to go? I’d love to chat and hear more about you.
I realize this might look like not enough but for me keeping it short like this worked well in first emails.
There wasn’t anything “wrong” in his email but if she replied to my first email that’s when I’d start asking some of those questions. I would also hesitate asking a woman where she’s originally from in a first email. I get why he asks but some people are more sensitive about risks with online dating than others so I’d save it for a later email.
Online Dating Email Example 2
Hi there, how are you? How do you enjoy teaching in the city? I recently moved to Seattle for work from Texas and I really love it here so far. You seem like the kind of energetic, open person I might get along with. I love staying busy, and I can usually have fun doing just about anything. I’m very much looking forward to the summer and nice weather. I really want to go to the city as much as I can. I’d love to hear more about you. Would you like to chat sometime…or since you like brunch so much, maybe meet in the city at somepoint?
Enjoy your weekend
And here’s how I would have written this second email:
A teacher in the city? You’re a braver soul than I am! I liked your profile and I’d love to hear more about you. Would you want to grab a coffee together sometime?
Again, I just shorten things a lot here. I assume she’ll appreciate the teacher comment based on friends I have who are teachers. I change it from brunch to coffee because coffee is easier to do than brunch for most people (and I can’t help but wonder if every guy would ask her out to brunch because it’s in her profile).
I’ve added what could be considered a weird email title because I’ve found odd email titles encourage opening the email. If you see an 10 emails in your inbox with the title “Hi” and one with the title “Courage!” which one do you open first? Maybe it’s just me but I pick the weird one.
Online Dating Email Example 3
Here’s his final email example:
Hi, how do you do? You have a great outlook on life, and it seems like a good head on your shoulders. I think it’s really important to make everyday fun. That doesn’t mean always planning out involved activities, but like you said, making anything fun. I’m down to earth, a bit nerdy, and really random. I like to mix up my going out and relaxing nights at home, and always wanted to go sky diving or hang gliding or something along those lines. I’d love to learn more about you.
And here’s my re-working of it:
Starbucks and the Temple of Doom
I think it’s really important to make everyday fun. That doesn’t mean always planning out involved activities, but like you said, making anything fun. I believe I’m great at making almost anything fun…even a boring cup of coffee. I’d love to have the opportunity to prove that to you.
As with the earlier emails, I felt this email had too much of him describing himself and describing what he saw in her. Not bad conversations, just happening too early and maybe better to be had in person (depends on who you’re talking to I guess).
Here I started with his basic premise but also ended with that. I actually loved his title for this email even though it has nothing to do with what is talked about now that I’ve changed it…again because I like odd email titles. Still, as I was writing this I came up with my title and liked it a bit better…but either would work well in my opinion.
General Thoughts on These Emails
Overall I thought the emails were fine but saw these as the biggest changes:
- I would shorten the emails. These first emails look like my second emails. I see the first email as something short and simple to get her to look at my profile. Once she responds, I then move into specifics like favorite this or that.
- I wouldn’t describe myself in first emails to the women. I might include some of it in a later email but if it’s really important I would just add it to my profile. Likewise, I wouldn’t use the first email to describe your impression of whomever you’re contacting. I understand the idea of paying compliments but again I think that comes later or if you are going to compliment her keep it very simple.
Based on these thoughts, here’s what I recommend to him: write your first emails just like you always do and save them. Then trim down what you wrote like I did. If you get a response, go back to the first email you wrote and send the rest of it to her. I suggest this because I would hate to see my advice to shorten an email somehow stifle what makes someone unique.
The Chance to Prove Me Wrong
One trick I shared with my reader was this: if you change your profile photo and your profile heading, you can contact these same people again in a month or so. Changing these two things about your profile is basically like entering the witness protection program because most of us can’t remember anything beyond these two areas (barring the weird profiles). I would use an very different photo, though. Some women will pick up on the fact that you tried to “fool” them but I don’t think any will be offended. As men we’re expected to not know when to quit!
Obviously this works better with some services than others (eHarmony for example wouldn’t support this idea very well since they’re giving you matches that you move through communication with one time only).
At any rate, I felt this would give him a good opportunity to see if my advice actually worked and I suspect doing the same could also work for many of my other readers.