Messages are private emails exchanged between members so that they can get to know more about each other. It is essential to personalize messages for each person so that they feel special. This may sound like some work, but it’s key to receiving a reply. Think of messages as a bait to get someone to view your profile. Sending out dozens of generic messages to see who will take the bait is not effective at all, but many members still choose to use this lazy method and claim that members are inactive.
Women, in particular, can smell a generic message from far away. You see, some women on OrientFriendFinder receive 30+ messages every day, so why would she respond to someone who made such little effort by writing “Hey, you seem nice and I like your profile”? Here are other examples of generic messages commonly received by women:
- “Hello, my name is Tom, I’m French and you?”
- “Hi. Nice to meet you. I would like to know you more. Thanks.”
- “Hi. I would like to be your friend.”
- “Hey you’ve got a beautiful smile…”
- “Hey there. We have so much in common. We should go out sometime…”
- “Hi, I like your pictures and figured I should write you a message and say hi…”
And don’t just change the name of the member you’re addressing the message to! Members will appreciate that you’ve spent at least 2 minutes reading their profile and that you’re not just a robot sending out 50+ messages an evening with the same message.
Sending that First Message
So you’ve found a really interesting profile and want to contact them by writing that first message. Many members falter here, but you can raise your chances of getting a response by firstly steering away from generic messages at all cost, as well as by applying the following suggestions.
- Use An Interesting Message Subject
The importance of the message subject line cannot be stressed enough. It must be able to get your recipient’s attention in some way if you want them to open it. This is especially true since attractive women receive so many messages from guys every day. They’re definitely not going to open every single message. An unattractive message subject usually entails an uninteresting message content.
So what have you been using for message subjects? “Hey”, “Hey there”, “Hello”, “Hi, my name is John”? That’s exactly the same as around 65% of what appears on everyone’s inboxes. Including your recipient’s username with those variations of “hi” doesn’t help either.
It’s pretty simple to stand out from the crowd – avoid any variation of a standard greeting! Instead, use a question in the message subject, or pick a specific interest that you also discuss in the message. Better still if you can show wit and humor in your message subject. So what are some good examples of great message subjects?
“Congrats on your graduation!”
If you know that the member you’re contacting has just received a degree or diploma, congratulating them is a good way to start a conversation. Most members would also at least reply with thanks, so there’s plenty of potential to get a conversation going there.
“Wii should talk”
If you know that the member you’re contacting is a big fan of playing Wii, using “Wii” as a pun in your message subject is going to be a sure winner! It demonstrates your wit, and it proves that you’ve read the member’s profile and taken note of his/her interests.
Of course, message subjects should be different for everyone and also depend on the actual content of your message. The above are just examples of how you can make use of what you’ve read on a member’s profile to grab their attention.
Keep the Message Short and Sweet
Messages that receive the most replies are usually those that contain less than 100 words. The first message’s goal is to make a great first impression in a few carefully phrased sentences that will get the member to check out your profile and then write back. Your first message is an introduction, so hold your horses before blabbing your life story and turning the member off right away.
Bring Up Specific Interests and Ask Questions
What makes a message personalized? It is the proof that you’ve read the member’s profile by talking about his/her specific interest in the message. This could be something you have in common, or it can also be something you saw in their profile that intrigued you.
Many members simply skim over other members’ profiles and send a very common message like “Hi, I’d like to know you.” which rarely works. Your message will more likely receive a reply when you sincerely show an interest in what the person likes.
You can start off with what caught your attention the most when you read the member’s profile. Was it their great sense of humor? Their commitment to helping out in community service? Or that both of you like the same music? Make sure you bring this up around the start of the message, like “I notice that you’re also a fan of the The Beatles. My favorite song of theirs is ‘Here Comes The Sun’, and it never fails to make me feel great! What’s your feel good song?”. A discussion on music might be a great way to start for two music lovers.
Asking questions related to the specific interest generates more enthusiastic responses. For instance, if the member’s profile says that they like to play the guitar, ask them what their favorite piece of music is, or even state your favorite guitar piece after asking the question. They are bound to want to share more details about your common interest.
Avoid Physical Compliments
Many guys in particular have the misconception that ladies love to hear how good they look. Of course, people normally like compliments, but when they’re used as pick-up lines especially before you’ve even met in person, it’s a major turn off. So focus on the member’s interests and don’t mention looks at all. Women receive plenty of messages that tell them how “gorgeous”, “beautiful” and “sexy” they are, but rarely reply to such messages.
Examples of Bad First Messages
Here are some real messages received by women that turned them off right away. Don’t make the same mistakes!
“If you don’t see anything you like, that’s fine too. Good luck with your search!”
“I know I have no chance but wanted to say hi”
Both messages above are clearly from people with low self-esteem and that doesn’t appeal to anyone at all. It’s like the sender is buffering himself for rejection even before putting himself out there.
“I like your photo and what you wrote on your profile, can we start as friends and see what the future holds for us? I am ready to love and get more knowledge about your culture/tradition”
The sender of this message is clearly looking for a relationship and love right away, without really caring about the recipient’s interests. At least that’s the impression the recipient gets.
I found your profile very nice, and here I am, writing to u !! If u like mine, it will be great hearing back from u !
While my details are on my profile, let me reproduce them for your ease , and tell u a bit more abt me...I am a Chartered Accountant, working as a financial planning manager with a MNC , and doing nicely in my career. People often often tell me that I am charming, soft-spoken, with boyish good looks, and have a nice sense of humour and a very good personality. ( I hope I am not sounding immodest, but I need to state the facts, isnt it !).
I love sports...both watching as well as playing. Besides that, I like reading (almost anything that I can lay my hands on ), soft music , movies (particularly light comedy ones and murder mysteries), & travelling (hills fascinate me !) .
In case you like my profile, it will be nice hearing from you..look forward to that :)
Take care, and have a nice day,
This message is a good example of how many members tend to just tell, instead of show. This concept is covered in our section on “Your Profile”, but they certainly apply to messages as well. The sender of this message has most certainly not taken any of the recipient’s interests into account, and simply rattles off about how successful he is in his career, and what a great personality he has. This is immediately undermined, however, when he says he hopes he isn’t “sounding immodest, but [he] need[s] to state the facts”. This gives an impression of a bad personality and a big ego. He should have demonstrated his humor rather than just stating it. With no humor in his entire message, he doesn’t come across as a funny guy.
All the messages above are obviously generic and sent to many girls in hope of a reply. The sad truth is, none of the above messages actually invite responses.
5-Step First Message Guide
Writing that first message doesn’t have to be difficult. Try this 5-Step First Message Guide to help you get started. Of course, you should inject your own personality into the message.
- Start with a greeting and the member’s username
- Dear ________,
- Hi ________,
- Hello ________,
- How’s it going, ______?
- Comment on what caught your attention on their profile. Try to include a compliment here.
- I read your profile and you sound like you’ve a very active lifestyle. You dive AND wakeboard? I think those are awesome weekend activities.
- So you can speak five languages? Wow, I’m only just learning Spanish and can barely cope. You must be quite the linguist.
- Hey. You sound like quite the jetsetter, having travelled to so many different places.
- Write one or two sentences talking about something in common.
- My life is pretty filled with outdoor activities too. I usually go kayaking every Saturday.
- I saw from your pictures that you have a lovely Schnauzer. What’s his/her name? My dog’s name is Pepper but he should really be called Terror from all the damage he does while I’m out.
- I like U2 too, but I haven’t had the chance to watch them live. I sure wish I could though!
- Ask an open-ended question related to something in the person’s profile.
- I read that you like indie music? I’m helping my friend choose music for her wedding slideshow. Is there any indie music you’d recommend for it?
- What are your favorite spots to dive?
- It sure sounds like you can play many musical instruments. I’m thinking of picking one up. What would you suggest for a music instrument newbie like me? How should I get started?
- Sign off with a friendly closing and your name/username below it.
- Take care,
- Have a great day,
- Looking forward to hearing more about you,
Replying to a Message
When you receive a message from an interested member, how do you respond? It is, after all, going to be the first time you are corresponding with the sender. Whether the interest is mutual or not, it would be nice to send a reply all the same. Below are some pointers and examples as to how to reply to a member’s message if you’re interested, and how to decline politely if you’re not.
- You’re Interested
Replying to a member when the interest is mutual should be relatively easy, as it should feel a bit like replying to a friend. The same methods that you use in writing your initial message of bringing up specific interests and asking questions also apply when responding to messages. Read the sender’s profile and come up with questions of your own after answering their questions. Questions help to keep the conversation going, and also shows that you are genuinely interested in what they’re up to and their interests. Read the member’s profile and use language like “I am curious to know…”, “I read that you…”, “I wish that you can tell me more about…” to encourage them to let you in on their lives, so you can know more about them.
You’re Not Interested
There will be instances where you may find the sender not to be your type at all, but it would still be nice to write back. A polite reply can go something like this: “Thank you very much. I’m thrilled that you found my profile and I appreciate you writing to me. I’m looking for a very serious relationship. I don’t think you’re a match but thank you again and good luck in your search.”