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First Contact: Do's and Don'ts for Replying to Personal Ads
by Tracy Brant

 

You may have a great personal ad... and a wonderful smiling photo to go with your ad... but things can still fall apart if you are sending out an awkward first message in response to other people's ads. What can you do to make that first message work for you?

DO:

Write in advance. This lets you think about what you want to say about yourself and, more importantly, check your spelling and grammar. Have a friend read and react to your draft message.

Spellcheck.

Yes, this counts. It shows that you are serious about finding dates and willing to pay attention to details.

Some people are just natural bad spellers, but it can make you look less smart or less educated than you really are. Most websites do not offer spellchecking of profiles.

Personalize! We recommend writing a general template of a first message, but you have to personalize it for each person you contact.

Mention something from their profile, ask a question that refers to something they wrote, or describe how you would be a good match for them.

Mention what attracted your attention to their ad. No one wants to think they just received a form letter.

Write more than one line. "Liked your online dating profile... want to chat?"

This may be the most commonly-sent message on a dating website... and the most ignored. You need to say something else. Set yourself apart and say something interesting to get a reply.

Use humor. If someone with a great personal ad is receiving lots of replies... what will make yours stand out?

A funny line might help. But if you have noticed that people do not respond well to your brand of humor... save your jokes for later.

About the Author:

Tracy Brant is a freelance writer and an editor at Dateable.com. She can be contacted at tracy@dateable.com.  Dateable.com is an exciting online community for singles, couples and romance lovers. Dateable.com has romantic resources, advice, poetry, greeting cards, and more. Dateable.com also features specialty matchmaking services. Whether you are looking for a soulmate or a playmate, visit http://dateable.com

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