Requirements for Eliciting a Response

Several posts ago, I promised to supply you with some samples of great intro emails. That was delayed for two reasons:
First, due to the hasty deletion and recreation of my profile (for reasons I’ll share later), I lost several of my best samples.

Note to self: ALWAYS copy and paste good material into Word. ALWAYS.

Second, I’ve slowed down quite a bit with my online interaction. This weekend, I had encounters (which weren’t quite dates in the fullest sense of the world bit which weren’t quite not, either) three and four with a swing dancing physicist who sang me a puntastic parody called “Isn’t it Ionic?” while I sipped hot cocoa and he strummed his guitar in front of a cozy fireplace.

(It’s really hard to be invested in continued online interaction when tall, dark, and witty is sharing youtube videos of the VLog brothers, explaining base-5 counting systems, and cooking impromptu versions of pad Thai.

*Sometimes, I feel too smart for the guys I meet. But in this case, I feel like he might be too smart for me! I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone with such an insatiable desire for awesome; and I suspect he might just find himself bored by me before too long. We shall see. In the meantime, I sure have been enjoying getting to know him. ^_^)

That said, I have received a few response-worthy messages this week from POF would-be prospects. While they are not nearly as epic as some from my former profile, they are still good examples of great introductory messages.

Message 1:

Hello 🙂

Your ‘personal development’ sounds intense (or fun, in a humorous way… but either way a really good approach to life!). Your smile is very attractive and your eyes are kind… enough to make me interested in those long friendship conversations.

What conspiracy theories do you find yourself thinking about the most/lately?


[What I appreciate about this message: He came off a bit weird with the “long friendship conversations” remark until I realized he was referring to my interest listed as “long conversations with friends.” He asked an open-ended question about my interests. Also, his compliment about my looks wasn’t about me being gorgeous or sexy. Kind-looking eyes?

Lesson: If you’re going to give a compliment to a stranger, that is a definite win. My response included FEMA camps. If you haven’t heard of them, look up a few youtube videos, and you just might find yourself listing “conspiracy theories” as an interest as well ^_^]

Message 2:

My name is J***. Saw your profile and was intrigued. So what is the best plot of domination you have devised for our planet? Is it dastardly evil?

Hi, J***, 
Of COURSE my plan is dastardly. (I’d tell you what it is, but then I’d have to kill you ^_~) 

Alas, I keep being thwarted by those nafarious do-gooders. 



Well, if no tales can be told, maybe our two evil cabals can be in cohorts. ‘Tis big enough of a world. As towards those do-gooders, evil lurks in the heart of all men (misquote from The Shadow.)

You say you enjoy editing, do you also do writing or does showing the path of textual enlightenment your calling?

[What I appreciate about his message: It was friendly, short, and funny. It demonstrated that he had read my profile and found what he read interesting.

Lesson: You don’t have to be deep or profound to earn a response. Just be personable and prove that you considered more than my pictures before sending me a message. Also, Humor is ALWAYS a plus. Also, notice how in his reply, he asked a question? Yes, our conversation continued because he asked an open ended question at the end of his email. If you end with a statement, you are 50% less likely to receive a response. Because you aren’t giving as much for people to respond to.]


Message 3:

How’s your plot for world domination coming? I must admit, that’s pretty hilarious you listed that in your profile. I’m D***** by the way, and it looks to me like we have a bit in common. Feel free to write back if you’d like to talk.

[What I appreciate about his message: Though not as funny as his predecessor, he also showed that he had read my profile and appreciated my sense of humor. (apparently listing one’s occupation as an aspiring evil overlord is a win—who knew?) This one is a bit more generic. Usually, if a guy just says “It looks like we have some interests in common” without listing those interests, I won’t write back. But his first line showed some individualized attention to detail, so it was all good.

Lesson: write something specific to the person you are contacting.]


Some people think that because I was an English teacher, I expect big, long missives replete with complex sentences and lofty vocabulary.This is not true. All I need in order to be willing to respond is a profile indicating we have similar core values, a half-way decent picture or two, and a message that shows thought and attempts to engage in conversations of more substance than “how are you today?”

Lesson: Focus on content, not length. ^_^


2 thoughts on “Requirements for Eliciting a Response

  1. Sugar Bear

    Sounds like it’s time for physics teacher to get my application on dating my daughter? LOL Love the reply about telling you but then having to KILL you! LOL


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