Let’s face it, online dating can be tough. You might be asking yourself things like:
“How do I fill out my profile?”
“What’s the best way to send an initial message?”
“When should I respond to messages?”
And many other nerve-racking important questions. So how can you stand out from the crowd and attract more quality dates? As part of our I Do Podcast, my husband Chase and I interview today’s most successful and inspiring relationship experts, therapists, and couples to answer questions just like these. This week we teamed up with the Editor-in-Chief of The Date Mix, Megan Murray, to create this awesome Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Online Dating.
Zoosk is an online dating site and app that has over 40 million members. So they know a thing or two about our dating tendencies and what works for their successful members. These tips compliment our interview with Megan in episode 112: Don’t Make These Online Dating Mistakes. In the interview we go even more in-depth with online dating tips, so if you haven’t listened and are craving more, listen to episode #112.
1. Fill out your dating profile.
When it comes to setting up your dating profile, most people would say photos are the most important part. In a way, they’d be right—the majority of online daters do pay attention to your photos more than any other part of your profile, but new data shows that your dating profile description may be just as important.
People who fill out their description actually get 28% more messages than those who don’t. But that’s not all, they also get 14% more likes and 8% more profile views.
If you’re using a dating site that requires a display name, make sure to fill that out too. Daters who didn’t have a display name got 20% fewer messages than those who did.
They found that daters who fill out the description of the person they’re looking for can get up to 31% more messages, while those who described their favorite date got 21% more messages.
2. Don’t bother saying hello.
Wait… what? No hello? That’s right. According to Zoosk data, using a greeting like hello or hi actually gets you fewer messages.
Saying hey gets you 35% fewer messages.
Saying howdy gets you 19% fewer messages.
Saying hello gets you 21% fewer messages.
Saying hi gets you 22% fewer messages.
Saying what’s up gets you 10% fewer messages.
So what’s so bad about saying hello? Well, when you’re trying to start a conversation with someone online, just saying hi (or hey, howdy, or hello) isn’t very helpful. Woman (and men!) see a lot of the same “Hi, how are you?” and “What’s up?” types of messages every day and it puts the pressure on them to come up with an entertaining response. Instead of saying hi, try diving right in with something like “You went to Jefferson High? Me too!” or, even better, “What’s up with all this crazy rain we’ve been having?”
3. Talk about the weather.
This one may seem counterintuitive. After all, what could be more mundane than the weather? But according to the data, first messages with the word weather get 39% more replies. And if the weather is bad, it’s even better for you. Messages with the word rain get 20% more messages, while sun actually gets 6% fewer messages than the average. The reason? It’s hard to say. But it could be that talking about something going on locally (like severe weather) is just an easy, universal way to start a conversation. While just bringing up that the sun’s out, is a little boring and makes for a lame start.
4. Don’t wait to respond.
If you’re wondering where to focus your efforts, instead of messaging new people or making new matches, reply to the people you’ve already messaged first. It seems like a normal thing to do but a lot of people overlook it.
According to Zoosk, if you want to get a reply back and keep the conversation going, reply back to messages within the day.
Men who message women back in the same day have a 62% response rate. Men who wait a day to message a woman have a 50% response rate, which is a 24% decrease. Men who wait two days before responding have a 45% response rate.
When it comes to online dating, the two day rule definitely does not apply.
5. Remove your filters.
According to Zoosk data, using filters while online dating may actually make it harder for you to meet someone you’re interested in. People who use filters tend to find a lot of people they’re interested in, so they’re more engaged in reaching out to those people and starting a conversation. However, they’re not leading to a deeper connection.
So what does the data mean for those of us trying to find someone? Well, while we often have a pretty good idea of what we’re looking for in another person, it may pay off to be more open-minded. Maybe we don’t actually know what we’re looking for until we find it.