5 simple ways to get a reply to your first message

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Once you've got your dating profile online and honed to absolute perfection, it's time to start sending messages. This is the tricky bit and it's easy to feel disheartened if you're sending out messages but not getting many replies. However, there are a few simple tricks that you can employ to hook the interest of potential dates and make sure they reply, without coming on too strong or resorting to silly pick up lines. Here's how...

1. Make your subject line more interesting than "Hi"

If the person you've messaged has got an inbox stuffed with messages that start 'Hi', 'Hello' or 'Hey', you won't stand out from the crowd if you do exactly the same. Spend a little time thinking up a witty one-liner or something else that will catch their eye. Another great tip is to refer it back to something in their profile, which leads us neatly on to...

2. Make it clear that you've read their profile

Mentioning something you've read in their profile shows that a) you're showing a genuine interest in them and b) you aren't just copying and pasting the same message to everyone. Copying and pasting a message to loads of people is the dating equivalent of throwing mud at a wall and seeing what sticks, which isn't a position your potential date will want to be in. Make your message personal and people will be much more likely to reply.

3. Tell them about yourself

Yes, they can find out about you from your profile, but telling them a bit about yourself will grab their interest and make them more likely to visit your profile than one of those hideously banal messages that goes something like 'Hey, how are you?' Whilst you might be the most fascinating creature to ever walk the earth, they'll only know if you tell them, so get some details in there before they click away to a more interesting message.

4. Ask a question

Asking a question in a message is like offering them a hook to hang their answer on. It opens up the conversation immediately and makes it easy for them to reply. Bonus points if the question refers back to their profile, because you're killing two birds with one stone. If they say they like cooking, ask them what their favourite meal is. If they like the cinema, ask what's the best movie they've seen lately. It's a simple strategy, but super effective.

5. Ask them out on a date

We make this suggestion with the caveat of '...if you feel comfortable with that'. If you like to spend a little time getting to know someone through messaging, then stick to that, but if you're happy to meet up with people straight away (keeping our safety tips in mind, obvs), go for it! It shows a level of commitment to your online dating adventure and is certain to grab their attention in amongst all the 'Hey, how you doing?' messages. Be brave, be bold and get dates.

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