Your First Email

Congratulations! Your online searching has paid off. You’ve discovered a number of people whom you’d like to learn more about. What now? Well, the ball’s in your court. It’s time to establish contact via email.

By Marcy Barack

o help you out, we’ve put together a list of great (and not so great) approaches to composing your first message. Follow these simple guidelines and your batting average should improve dramatically.

In fact, you may find yourself juggling correspondence with more possible
“Let’s get together tomorrow night. How about my place?”
dates than your calendar can accommodate.

First, let’s talk about what NOT to do. Try not to come on:

Too strong
“Wow! You are hot! I’d love to get inside your linen.”

Too blasé
“I’ve been doing this so long that I can tell by just reading your profile that you may be a step above the usual boring people I’ve met online.”

Too pushy
“Let’s get together tomorrow night. How about my place?”

Too depressing
“I’d just about given up hope of meeting someone online, but I figured why not give it one last shot.”

Too euphoric
“Eureka, it’s a match made in heaven. You’re The One for me.”

Too cool
“Could be that you and I might have something to talk about, maybe, sometime.”

Too juvenile
“Hey. Whazzzup? Your profile is like, way too cool, man.”

Too ancient
“Please allow me to express my sincere admiration for yourself and to
“My friends are always surprised to find out that I… ”
express my ardent desire to get to know you better.”

Too poetic
“My love is like a red, red rose, that caused me to smile/When I went online and read your sweet profile.”

Too blunt
“I like you. I think you’ll like me. Wanna hook up?”

Instead, a casual, friendly approach is what’s called for. Use your first email to:

Indicate your interest
“I’m intrigued by your profile. You sound like someone I’d like to get to know.”

Let her know you’ve read her profile
“I see you’ve got 10 cats.”

Point out things you have in common
“I’ve got three cats of my own at home.”

Offer up a dab of humor
“If we put them together we’d have a baker’s dozen, and a huge kitty litter bill.”

Tell her something about yourself that’s not in your profile
“My friends are always surprised to find out that I… ”

Show your thoughtful side
“I just finished this terrific book, it’s called… ”

Ask a question, to give her something to respond to
“What’s the last book you read?”

Keep it brief
“I hope these few paragraphs have piqued your curiosity.”

Be optimistic
“I think we have everything to gain by getting to know each other better.”

Close the deal by suggesting concrete action
“Please let me hear from you soon.”

Marcy Barack is a freelance writer who frequently contributes to Happen magazine.
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