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!

Sarah Gooding

Posted by Sarah Gooding

By day, Sarah runs the Public Relations team at PlentyOfFish and serves as the company's resident Dating Coach, helping singles maneuver the muddy waters of online dating.
Upon earning a Masters in Business, Sarah joined the team in early 2011 and has been raising the profile of the company and brand ever since. When she’s not playing matchmaker and inspiring singles to pursue love, she can be found skiing the Coastal Mountains, tasting a new red wine, or soaking up exotic new cultures around the world!

97 thoughts on “5 Tips to Sending Messages that Get Replies

  1. No reason out of 20 who might view you, one might actually day hi, whats the purpose of the meet me page?

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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!

      1. Can I send you my profile Sarah? I’m having the same experiences as Jeff and I’ve reworded/reworked my profile a few times. I could use some pointers. Thank you.

      2. Can I send you my profile Sarah? I’m having the same experiences as Jeff. I’ve reworded my profile a couple of times and I’m still not having much luck. I could use a few pointers. Thank you.

      3. Hi Sarah would it be possible for you to profile review for me please as i feel as though i am wasting my time and a little help would be greatley appreciated thanks

      4. Nighthawk1119 this is my profile name on pof…. Could you review it for me I would like more attention and some replies

    3. Hardly ever get a response from the ladies on this site. I take my time, read their profiles, mention something in their profile, give the old witty banter, throw in a few jokes all of that, and one in thirty might actually bother replying. Out of them only one in ten will actually bother having a conversation with you, the rest just give one word or one sentence replies, regardless of what you ask or how many jokes you make. My theory, too much competition, the ladies are getting chatted up by so many different blokes at once, let’s face it, there’s always going to be someone better looking then you, funnier or more successful. There’s always a bigger fish! Like the majority of men are saying here, all the ladies say how they’re not shallow, looks aren’t important, they just want a guy whom makes them laugh, but that’s all just words! Personally as a man on this site I find it really knocks your confidence!

      1. I certainly agree, I get a response about 1 in 20, yet always answer anyone who contacts me first, though that’s a rarity

  3. 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?

    1. 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?

      1. Can I send you my profile Sarah? I’m having the same experiences as Jeff. I’ve reworded my profile a couple of times and I’m still not having much luck. I could use a few pointers. Thank you.

          1. Hi Sarah, I was wondering if you might look over my profile as well cheers:)

  4. 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???

  5. 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?

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

    1. 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.

  10. 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 🙂



    1. 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?

      1. hi,
        i quit writing long interesting, cute emails to these women because THEY do not respond. so tried ” hi there ‘ and moved on to my next favorite word. NEXT!!! lots of replies and several dates. dated 1 women for 6 months.
        this site is a little BS but so are most.
        example: hopeless romantic women is actively seeking a relationship. flipped about 15 messages back and forth and she was “ready” to meet at the public beach for coffee. THEN nothing: rude and a waste of my time sending stupid messages back and forth. she was right however as in hopeless!

  11. 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,

  12. 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,

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

    1. HAHAHAHAHAH. I am starting to feel the same way now. geezzzz. might as well go to a bar and hit on women there at least the rolling of their eyes, or faking interest and then saying they have to go the restroom and disappearing is well showing some what of ending but still have never had this low of a success rate. What frustrates me is when they select the “yes” on match me. I then look at their profile respond with some wit and compliments…. nothing. it is just really deflating.

  16. 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.

  17. I have been on hear a while almost a year, I have sent countless messages and not got many replys, I ask simple questions and they go all cold, I.e how’s your week going or oh your into iron maiden to that cool what’s your favorite song simple things . this is a joke , plenty of fish more like plenty of cold hearted people.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.


  20. 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.

  21. to: CEREAL

    No, no, no, someone who stops answering and don’t say bye is a universal sign of emotional instability. . .

  22. Hey all
    In the same boat as everyone else on here… I know I’m not unattractive (not that that should have anything to do with it) and I really spent some time on my profile and 30+ personal messages ending in questions to girls within 2 or so years of my age (I’m 20, I know, sad right?) Nothing back at all!!! I’ve spent probably 15+ hours sending messages and reading profiles and it hurts to get 0 minutes of response. That type of inconsiderate mentality is why I tried internet dating in the first place but I fear that people are just the same everywhere… Also, I’ve gotten no messages myself and I’ve only sent them out (be thankful for getting anything freinds). I can’t tell if it is some site based ploy to get you pay for the member’s fee or if its really just the state of human indecency that the modern age has brought us. I was pretty down about dating before I joined but this has really made me feel worse if anything even though I know full well I shouldn’t care what some internet girls do or don’t do… Honestly I think the site/people are flawed and if you don’t want to waste time and get your feelings hurt in a shallow cyber roulette, don’t even try it. Anyone wanting to help or weigh in is very welcome but I believe that my time with the site is over cause in a short time it has cause me far too much emotional stress 🙁

  23. While I do not argue with the premise of this article I will say that it misses one major point. The aloof nature of women on POF. I am also on Match with the same profile and the same types of contacts and I get 5x the replies and all my dated off Match. Why? Because it costs money! Only serious people pay for a service. And once they pay they make use of it. Free means not of real value and therefore no rush at all. I can wait indefinitely for the phantom “Mr. Right” whome we know does not exist. I get 1 reply for every 10 emails on POF and 1 of 30 is a conversation. I have a list of people I have talked to and only one has amounte to a date. Same thing on Match and I have had 5 relationships now longest was 2 1/2 years. So all the tips in the world will not fix a culture of wait and see women and crude, rude, crass and disrespectful men. Charging them a fee will!

  24. I just don’t get replies to my messages. Im not sure if its my message content or if theres something putting people off from my profile or even that i don’t look how the media dictates i should. Heres an example of a message i sent recently:

    Hi Ellie,

    I’ve just read your profile and you seem lovely :).

    It’s cool that you caught the travel bug when you travelled around Thailand, I have the travel bug myself! I went to Mexico on holiday this year which was amazing. Do you have any good trips planned for the future?




    Im not sure what I’m doing wrong! Some help would be nice please 🙂

    1. Hi Rob, that sounds like a great message to me. Can you send me your username as well? I might be able to give you some pointers. Hang in there!

  25. I have to agree with what I’ve seen a lot of people say here. I’ve sent what has to be 100+ messages and I do everything you said. I read the profiles, I make sure I’m not being forward, I ask a question at the end, I’m not using lame pick up lines.

    Can’t say I’m surprised, it’s about the same luck I have in real life with girls and I could tell you what that entails but honestly its quite embarrassing.

    It really leaves me to think: Is it my personality? My looks? Both?

    Anytime I do get an answer from a girl on what the problem may be they all say the same: “You’re an amazing guy, any girl would be lucky to be with you, but I’m not the girl for you.” That’s without even a date and they feel as though they know that.

  26. Hi Sarah, is it possible for someone to take a look at my profile and give me a few tips on how I could improve it. I follow all the tips on here with my messages and very rarely get a reply even when asking a question. I also find that when I do get a reply it almost never develops into a conversation so I was thinking maybe there’s something on my profile that puts them off? Thanks

  27. The only reason you never get a reply is because you need to work on this points, the rest is just women’s bs..

    * Get a great job
    * Buy a very nice and expensive car
    * Be very handsome
    * Show all this on your profile

  28. Sarah I am having the same problems as the rest. I send out well crafted messages but don’t get responses. My username is MPGolfer11.

  29. Hi, Sarah

    I am having trouble getting responses. Would you be able to give me some pointers so I can have some luck with this website.

    Username: MPGolfer11

    1. My suggestion is to do what i did an that is spend a good week on producing attractive photos of yourself that makes a women say hes cute. I can tell you the women your attracted to dont like your photos and your profile conveys neediness like im a good guy an i would take care of you when in reality a women doesnt need that she wants an equal partner that makes her smile an feel tingly inside from her attraction for you. Your about me can be basic but written in a way that creates an image in a girls mind of what you may be like so she will want to take it to the next level the phone followed by a date.

  30. you’re right the girls on this site can be a bit contradicting; they say they want a funny guy, who can make them laugh, looks aren’t everything, and why can’t I find a nice guy, and yet they go for the good looking guys that are jerks and a week later they’re crying on their bed. Idk I send so many messages and when a girl finally responds and I say something back she that’s it I don’t hear from her anymore.

  31. Hello people,

    So after following some of your techniques it seems like I am in the same boat as those guys who seem to put in the work by reading over a profile, taking an interest in the persons interests, and then watching them look over your profile and not receiving anything in return.

    Where are we all going wrong?

    Yes maybe it is our profiles (hint @Sarah to possibly look over mine) but also what do these woman want exactly?

    I mean are we not on the site for many reasons leading to dating etc? Are we all not after that one true romance? Are we there because we fail at the IRL experiences? or are we simply there because we are bored?

    Either way I think it is common courtesy for people to reply to messages even if your not interested, I know yes the guy/girl would then ask why and probably be on the end of a block or a report but it is good to know why maybe he/she is not interested rather than us pondering why they looked and didn’t bother replying

    I will not give up, I have had a few replies of ‘not interested’ or ‘not my type’ and I will confess I have spoken to people on the site but not gone any further just through losing communication or finding out that maybe we weren’t as interested in each other as we first thought.

    So happy fishing for those who are having problems, like myself as well, but hopefully who knows what is round the corner………………..in my case a kebab shop haha

  32. Just like real life the one that catches your eye the most wouldn’t look at you and the ones you wouldn’t look at msg’s you way too much

  33. I’ve tried all these strategies none of them work. They may get you a one message reply, but they all fizzle out.

    1. Are you emailing women equally attractive as you or less attractive or are you messaging women above your league? If a women considers you not in her league shes more than likely not going to reply.

  34. Im reading many of the comments and agree with most, that the women are picking the best of the litter or something. Im a little older at 55 but look good and keep healthy. Ive talked to a few girls on here near my age group, but then nothing. On Match I have only had one response from about 10 emails, so that is actually right on with some of the comments .
    I do find one bizarre similarity between Match and POF, when you get matched to a bunch of women, the majority of high percentage (close to what you are looking for) have “No preference” ticked off in the majority of the boxes OR have everything checked off. Ive even seen some crazies put 3″ to 8″! Come on, I consider these similarities or dissimilarities to be either bogus profiles or cons. I searched a phone number from an email that one woman from Brooklyn, NY sent me first, and it went to a cell number in Arizona that had 1000’s of scam alerts and harassment charges brought against it. I really think/im sure it was a “Bot” because she hoped that I had a Great Weekend (past tense) as the email arrived last Thursday.
    I still fish and chat, but dont expect much.

  35. Anything beyond Hi, I’m x. I’d be interested in talking to you is a complete waste of time.

    It’s got nothing to do with the message. I’ve sent 500+ messages following these guidelines and received no more replies than what I posted.

  36. We live in a shallow monetary system and online dating markets are just another form of derivative to exploit human nature’s most basic urges of sex and courtship etc. no matter how these companies attempt to dress it up!

    It’s become a day of window shopping for most women, tipsy off cocktails and laughing with the girls etc. Wake up guys!!! Sex only sells women historically and that’s all these sites are. Unfortunately, there are those of us who are trying to use online dating for honest and moral purposes… but that’s the problem… it was never invented for those reasons… sorry to give it to you all straight.

    I definitely don’t have all the answers as to how to meet someone but most common sense advice I can offer is … Go live life by getting out there in a fun and creative approach – You will meet someone in person… what a crazy idea !!!

  37. Just like the rest of the guys most women that are actively looking for a relationship had viewed my profile don’t really respond to messages & can you view my profile to give me some pointers to get women to reply? Thanks .my user name jh0007

  38. I ve tried so many times to engage in a conversation but 99% of the women view your profile then ignore you..

  39. Hi all, i see most comments are from men here ……. let me assure you us women are having the same problems. Ive sent messages out, Im attractive, smart and funny with a good job. Ive sent messages to guys who are interested in me on the Meet Me feature, then they don’t respond! Been chatting with a guy for over a month (of which he initiated), and now the communication suddenly stopped. In the communication we both reciprocated we’d like to go for a drink soon, but he never followed through with asking me ……. what gives???? Its a joke, so frustrating ……. 🙁

  40. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles
    or weblog posts in this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo
    I finally stumbled upon this website. Studying this information So i
    am satisfied to show that I’ve a very good uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I
    needed. I so much certainly will make certain to don?t forget this web site and give it a
    look regularly.

  41. Just desire to say your article is as amazing. The clearness in your post
    is just cool and i can suppose you’re knowledgeable on this subject.
    Fine along with your permission let me to
    grab your RSS feed to stay up to date with imminent post.

    Thanks one million and please continue the enjoyable work.

  42. May I just say what a comfort to discover somebody who genuinely understands what they are talking about on the web.
    You certainly realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    More people need to look at this and understand this side of the
    story. I can’t believe you aren’t more popular given that you surely
    have the gift.

  43. I blog quite often and I genuinely appreciate your information. This great
    article has really peaked my interest. I’m going to take a note of your website and keep checking for new
    details about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed as well.

  44. I do not even know how I stopped up right here, however I thought this put
    up was great. I do not recognise who you might be but
    certainly you are going to a well-known blogger if you aren’t already.


  45. I got this web site from my pal who shared
    with me concerning this web site and now this time I am browsing this website
    and reading very informative articles at this time.

  46. That is very fascinating, You are a very professional blogger.
    I have joined your feed and look ahead to searching for extra of your excellent
    post. Additionally, I’ve shared your website in my social networks

  47. Everything is very open with a clear explanation of the issues.
    It was truly informative. Your website is useful. Thank you for sharing!

  48. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.I will
    be sure to bookmark your blog and will come back very soon.
    I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your
    great writing, have a nice afternoon!

  49. Hi there! I could havve sworn I’ve been to your blog before
    but after browsing through a few of the posts I realized it’s new to me.
    Regardless, I’m definitely delighted I discovered it and I’ll be book-marking iit and checking back regularly!

  50. Good web site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find high-quality writing like yours nowadays.
    I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!

  51. It’s in reality a great and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you shared this helpful information with us.
    Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  52. Hi there to every body, it’s my first visit of this web site;
    this website includes amazing and in fact good stuff in favor of readers.

  53. Wow, superb weblog layout! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog for?
    you make running a blog look easy. The overall look of your site is great, as neatly as the content!

  54. That is a great tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very accurate information… Thank you for sharing this one.

    A must read post!

  55. This is a great tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
    Short but very accurate information… Thank you for sharing this one.
    A must read article!

  56. There are a lot of ways to get to know someone. It’s amazing how dating through mobile apps are trending nowadays. My sister told me last night that she wants to try mobile dating for a change, but she is a little nervous about talking to other people for the first time. I think this article would help her especially when you mentioned that avoiding the use of slang or being too formal would get positive replies. Thanks for the tips!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.