5 Tips to Sending Messages that Get Replies


1. Mention Something From Her Profile

There’s nothing worse than finding a generic copy-and-paste message in your inbox. The only thing worse than this is receiving the same copy-and-paste message twice from the same person.

In order to get a reply from a first message, it needs to be unique. Pull something from her profile that indicates you’ve taken the time to get to know her. Did she mention a favorite a TV show in her description, does it look like she travelled somewhere cool in her photos, does she list beach volleyball as one of her interests? Photos, profile description and interests will give you lots of content to work with when you’re crafting that first message.

2. Be Respectful but Casual

Write a message similar to how you would speak, while leaving out empty greetings or the use of slang. You don’t want to come across as being too formal or rigid in the first message. Be respectful, but don’t forget to show off your sense of humour.

Before: “Hello. I am Jason. I really like your profile. You seem nice. I would like to chat with you.”

  • Jason needs to get to know the user by asking her more questions before requesting to chat with her.
  • Nice is a very generic word. Compliment something specific about her from her description, interest or photos.
  • Jason is much too formal and rigid in this message. Instead of “I would like to chat with you”, say “Would love to chat with you sometime”. This sounds much more casual and lighthearted.

After: Hey Tallblondecanuck, I really enjoyed reading your profile. You sound like someone I’d really get along with. I noticed you spent a summer in Europe. I was in Italy this past summer myself – loved the food and history. Which countries did you visit? Which was your favorite? Jason

  • Jason sounds casual and fun in this message. He speaks specifically about something from the the user’s profile and ends with a question which is much more likely to get a response.

3. End with a Question

If you want to improve your chances of getting a reply, you need to end with a call to action. A call to action prompts the user to respond and much sooner than they otherwise would. Although your instincts are to end with something like “Hope to hear from you soon” or “Chat later”, try your best to ignore these instincts and ask a question that relates to their description, interests or photos.

4. Don’t Compliment Her Body Parts

If you compliment a woman on her looks in a first message, you’re coming on too strong. Women will assume you’re only interested in one thing. If you want to get a reply, compliment her personality, her interests, her photos, or the fact that you have a lot in common. Use your imagination, but remember to be on your best behaviour in a first message. If things take off, there will be plenty of opportunities to tell her how hot she is.

5. Don’t Include Contact Information

Another way of coming on too strong is by giving out or requesting contact information in a first message. Part of wooing a woman is making her feel comfortable and allowing her to trust you. This is especially important when you’re online dating because you are a stranger to her and have no friends or family members vouching for you. Requesting contact information before knowing anything about her, will make her think you have ulterior motives and will likely make her feel uncomfortable. Before contact information is sent or requested, make sure a few messages have gone back and forth, you have asked her questions, and attempted to get to know a little bit about her.

Want us to review a recent message you sent? Or do you have your own advice for sending successful messages? Tweet us @PlentyOfFish or leave a comment below!

There are 32 comments

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  1. Jeff

    Sure this advice is helpful, but people are so darn picky, shallow and rude. In over two months worth of time, I have emailed over a hundred women, and only six emailed me back. Most looked at my profile and I never heard from them. These types of women (or men even) are the same type of people who is real life would probably be rude if you tried to approach them. Even if someone who is very unattractive sends me a message, I always write them back and politely say thank you but I am not interested. It may be the quality of women, or it may be that they have overly high expectations.

    • newbie

      No its the quality of people. I feel the same way it’s just rude to not reply. But I guess everyone don’t have proper manners.

    • Sarah Gooding

      Hi Jeff, Would you be interested in me doing a profile review for you? Maybe there are some little things you can update on your profile that will make a big difference. Send your username to pr@pof.com with subject line: Profile Review Request. Hope to hear from you!

  2. Lori

    Yes! I really don’t understand what I am doing wrong! I have emailed at leasr 20 men in my age range, geographic area and with similar interests. Every e-mail has been individual, clever and specific to something on his profile. I am told in the real world that I am reasonably attractive so I’m super confused when I see some have viewed my profile- some have not and not a one responds!!!!!! I am so tired of giving it the ‘old college try’ again only for more doses of rejection! Its really not great on the self esteem that everyone keeps valuing. I won’t have any left if I continue to pursue a match on this site. Anyone know what I’m doing wrong?

    • Sarah Gooding

      Hi Lori, I’m sorry to hear this! It’s great that you’re being proactive though. Women don’t do this enough which leads them to miss out on some great catches. Would you like me to take a look at your profile and I can recommend a few things that might increase the # of replies you’re getting?

  3. paul

    just do not get a reply at all…..I think nice photo and profile…..but nothing…..I take the time
    to write a nice email and mention something of what they wrote…..nothing in reply …..why???

  4. Henry

    been off an off this site of a while still getting no replies i never just write hi and alway try and keep it interesting still unsure where i am going wrong?

  5. jamie

    I have been single over 14 years due to illness i don’t know what to do when comes to finding a date i have joined a few dating sites but i never know how to or what to do next

  6. Demetrielmega

    This site is a bunch of bull I can get no response from these females on this site. I sent messages out to many of them an only a very few replied, I don’t know what it is.

  7. Rob

    Wow! I feel that my one picture is horrible and my profile is garbage yet I have 3-4 women a week initiate contact. I also have about 70-80 percent response to my lame first messages. Maybe the women in my area are more eager to reply? My problem is that I am not able to get to the next level. Could you check out my profile and maybe give me some advice for keeping the conversation going after the first few messages, I could even show you an exchange of messages sent and recieved if you have the time. Thanx in advance.

  8. Roko

    This site is kinda BS. The last 36 girls I have sent a message to have not responded but 31 of those girls have looked at my profile. I have looked at other profiles and I know for sure mine is more informative and concise than most I’ve seen. This site actually shows how shallow and dishonest girls are. lol. Most girls say they are looking for “good guys”, “looks don’t matter”, “just want honesty”, “just want friends”, or whatever else to make them seem a unshallow as possible. But then they don’t respond. I have a lot better luck at the bar but this is sworn to be better than a bar. All I know is I’m done with the site. I just wasted a lot of valuable time with it.

    • A.E.

      I totally agree! I haven’t received a singly reply to the tons of messages I’ve sent… not one!! I’m not coming on strong, I try to be a little funny… I try, I try, I try… nothing works! I’m not the best looking dude, but I am confident that I’m no ugly duckling either. It seems like POF isn’t allowing these women to reply unless they upgrade and pay for the service (I know other dating sites that do that). If so, than this is a total waste of my time.

  9. Michael Jagdeo

    Hi there,

    I’ve found that using the principles from Purple Cow by Seth Godin really helped me increase my message to response ratio.

    Long story short, everyone says the same thing. “Hey how are you I also like football. Who’s your favourite team? Blah Blah Blah.”

    Nobody pays attention to a brown cow when they’re driving, but if they came across a purple cow, they’d point and wake up the passenger in the backseat. Similarly, I say something completely off the wall that’s so unique that they almost have to respond.

    For example, one girl mentioned that she was an Engineer.

    My response:

    “Hi there,

    My name’s Mike. That’s cool that you’re an engineer!

    Sometimes I’m amazed at bridges…I mean, they are supporting multiple vehicles all day long…we should really have a National Bridge Day, or maybe National Engineer day would be better. National Bridge Day would mean Starbucks would be full of 65-year old women wearing white, thin, doily blouses, eating coffee crisp, swapping the daily gossip.

    Talk soon :)



    • Sarah Gooding

      Great message Michael! It demonstrates that you definitely took the time to read her profile and are playing to her interests. The one thing I would recommend is to end your message with a question. This puts the ball in her court and alerts her to respond right away rather than waiting several days. So the big question…was there a reply?

  10. Zander

    Hey Sarah,

    I’m like a lot of other people here who don’t seem to get anything back. Maybe It’s what I send? Or my profile? Would it be alright for you to take a look at my profile and see if there is anything that could be changed?

    Thank you,

  11. Cereal

    Hi Sarah,

    As many people on the website, I have trouble getting answers from most of my messages.
    However what could be more disturbing is that I have some conversations with women and all of a sudden it stops, for no reason really.
    It happened to me recently where I chatted with her back and forth and it seemed that we both enjoyed it. However after a “good night” exchanged, nothing the following day.
    Then I don’t want to be overwhelming so I waited before getting back at her, to ask her how she was, but nothing anymore.
    It’s not the first time it happened.

    Do you think it is a sudden loss of interest ? Should I be more forward ?

    Thank you,

  12. Omari

    Me like most of the guys who are good looking, hard working good men, is having the same problem it seems like the site is made just for woman they can pick and choose while us men are competing against thousands of other guys just to grab that one woman’s interest. I tell you men like me are hard to find, but that’s on them passing up a great guy like me, my username is: CaTheGreat, check me out Sarah I would love an honest woman’s opinion.

  13. brian

    Hi sarah i have sent an email for a profile review as i am being proactive and i think i take time with my messages i just dont know what i am doing wrong

  14. poop

    The one, and only reply I’ve ever gotten was a simple, “no”
    I’ve made each message (>30 now) individualized to each person..

    Long live internet porn.

  15. MNMichGold

    I have the same problems… It’s hard enough for me to work up the gumption to even send a message, and when I do they either just say “I’m not interested” or they view me and never respond. The only reason I even tried POF is cause I have the same problem at the bar.

  16. Cole

    Followed all of these rules. Not working in the slightest. Got one reply of someone n they never messaged to my next reply. I just think it’s a bitbignorant. Id never ignore a message that came my way, regardless who it is or if I don’t find them attractive. Might stop using it, real confidence killer.

  17. smf

    Hi Sarah,

    I too would appreciate your views on my userprofile. Most of the women I message have looked at my profile but don’t come back? I’ve also tried a variety of messages too.


  18. MLewis

    Hi Sarah.

    I’ve messaged a number of girls on POF, although as of yet have not received a reply. Not really sure what I’m doing wrong, would you mind viewing my profile to see if it’s up to standard or whether there’s something that needs changing? My user name is Meagle 23.

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