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Sending the First Email

hearts_flowers_300X304So, you’re single and you haven’t been able to locate any viable dating prospects in your town. You decide to sign on to a dating web site where you think you’ll have the most luck.  You fill out your profile to the greatest of your abilities (or, if you were smart, you enlisted the help of Profile Wingman – hey, it’s our blog, shameless plugs are allowed!) and now the fun begins.  You peruse the endless pages of potential dating partners; you locate a few profiles which appeal to you, now what?  An email, a first impression, an introduction, one chance to get it right.  No pressure.  Let’s do this.

Start a conversation.   Imagine you are approaching this person in real life, not virtual/electronic life.  You are looking at them face to face – are you going to say, “I like your profile” or “You sure are good looking” and expect conversation to ensue?  Compliments are nice, everyone likes to be told flattering things about themselves, but that does not elicit a response beyond “Thanks!”  Ask a question, start a dialogue, get things rolling.  Chose something out of their profile to inquire about, ask what their screen name means, talk about the weather or something happening locally if you happen to live in the same town.  Better yet, identify what it is they are passionate about and dive into that topic.  They love whales, ask them how they feel about Shamu and other sad mammals kept in captivity.  That’ll get them going!

If possible, be witty.  Everyone likes to laugh, smiling is always good, and when a smile is brought on by another, even better.  One may want to keep that person around so they can keep smiling and laughing.  That’s the ultimate goal here, right, keeping this person around?  Make a joke, poke a little fun (like if they’re a Cubs fan, that’s free reign), use a pun or play on words.  The advantage you have here is time – unlike approaching someone in the grocery store and accidentally saying “Nice melons”, you have hours, days, weeks to compose this message.  You can do this.

On the receiving end, need a response?  The rules are basically the same, engage in a lively repartee.  Play up on the topic which drew them in.  If their message was a Profile Wingman Don’t (this is similar to a Glamour Don’t, work with me here) and they simply said, “Hi”, but their pictures and/or profile still intrigued you, then you need to be the instigator of the amusing anecdotes.  However, if they started off on the right foot by asking a question and making you smile, try to do the same in response.  How you respond to their scintillating query will be a good indicator of conversations to follow.  Answer their question and then elaborate, either on the same issue or something relating to their profile essay which intrigued you.

Imagine you are speaking in person, live, one on one, face to face.  The last thing you want is an awkward silence, right?  Keep things moving, pretend you’re interviewing someone for a really cool job that involves dating you.  People like talking about themselves, play on that.  Conversation – that’s the key here, that’s our goal.  Stay focused.  If you are a good conversationalist via email, you must be even better in person, right? “So let’s meet and find out”, your prospect says.  Success!  Good job.  Go get ‘em tiger!

p.s.  Don’t get caught up in the as of yet undiagnosed addiction to online dating.  It’s just not good for anyone.

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