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How to Know if You’ve Been Sent a “Form Email”

How can you tell if the email you just received was sprayed from a hose or expresses real interest?

How can you tell if the email you just received was sprayed from a hose or expresses real interest?

On a dating site, any reasonably attractive woman with a decent picture and a half  decent profile will get emails. Guys? Not so much.

The same dynamic that makes women wait for men to hit on them in the real world works on the Web as well. If men want some attention they need to step up their game.

They need great photos and a compelling and unique profile.

The men who figure out this formula do extremely well online. They end up with a host of beautiful women to choose from.

But they’re rare. Most men on dating sites still haven’t figured out how to market themselves. They still use crappy photos and dull profiles. They get hardly any responses, and when they get ignored, some get desperate.

Instead of improving the way they look, they play the numbers. If only one woman in ten writes back to them and only one in ten of those produces a date, they assume they just need to write to more women.

So these guys send emails to EVERYBODY! They forget about being selective, write one email and spray it at everyone on the dating site.

They’re a kind of human “email hose.” And they’re the kind of guys you really want to avoid.

So how can you tell if the email you just received was sprayed from a hose or expresses real interest? There are few tell-tale signs:

They’re the first in line.

The first emails you receive on a dating site are likely to be hosed. Sprayers believe that new users are clueless and will be so happy to get an email that they’ll reply right away. They’ve also hit on everyone else already. So they monitor lists of “new members” and check “who’s online” carefully looking for new faces.

The email is impersonal.

“Form emails” are cut and pasted. They make no reference to anything in your profile.

Here’s a real example:

“You seem like you might be a lotta fun. We should grab a drink sometime.”

There’s no chance that this guy read the profile. He just pasted his message into the box and hit Send. If he didn’t give you the time of day, why should you give him any of your time?

The message contains a profile.

If the email repeats information from the profile, like his age, where he lives or the color of his eyes, there’s a good chance it’s a “form email.” It’s all about the sender (who doesn’t change) and nothing about the recipient (who does). Here’s another real example:

“My name is Michael. I am a 48 year old man near Del Mar. I am originally from England and came to San Diego 18 years ago for my work . I would love to chat with you Looking forward to hearing back from you”

It’s not hard to spot a “form email” — and it’s just as easy to delete them. Reply only to the personal emails that clearly indicate that the person has read your profile. You want someone who really wants to know you, not the kind of guy who approaches every woman at a bar.

Did you ever reply to a form email? Care to share?

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…

Having a great photo is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!


Your online profile ad – Write for success

Where are all the good men/women? You go to parties, sign up for various activities and ask friends and family if they know anyone they can introduce you to. Yet, your dating life has been more than a little disappointing. What is a guy/girl supposed to do to find quality people?

Begin by continuing to do what you have been doing. These are all good ways to meet people. However, you may need to expand your search to the world of online dating. This would allow you to expand your search and come into contact with interested and available singles you would never meet in the existing circles in which you now move.

Perhaps you are thinking, “I have already tried this with little or mixed success.” Maybe this too has become a source of disappointment and frustration and even despair. If so, you could be going about it the wrong way, or be in need of some information to put you on a track to better success. The first important step is writing your online profile “ad” and choosing a good site to place it on.

The following are tips to help you write a great online profile.

Be Yourself

The goal of your ad is to attract the kind of person who would be compatible with you. You are looking for someone who shares your goals, values, sense of humor, lifestyle and perhaps religion or other specific criteria. If you put in information that is not true to who you are, you could send potentially good dates on to the next ad. You may also attract the kind of person you are not interested in.

Be Sincere

Nothing is more attractive than sincerity. Think about it. Isn’t this a turn-on for you? If you are funny, be funny. If you are serious, be that. Use honesty in describing your traits and desires in a potential mate. If there is something that is a must-have for you in any future relationship, highlight it. Remember that when and if you move to the next step, the other person will experience you as you really are, regardless of what the picture you drew for them in your ad looked like.

Write Like You Talk

This goes right along with being you. Don’t make your ad seem too contrived or rehearsed. You will loose that feeling of sincerity. Write a few drafts and just let the thoughts flow. Then go back and edit it. Make sure you spell check and check again. There is no bigger turn-off than someone who appears to have poor grammar or spelling.

Be Specific, But Leave Out Hang-Ups and Other Negatives

This is a first step. You want to put your true best forward. The picture you paint should be upbeat and positive. Everyone has a past. It’s not wise too tell too much too soon. If you feel something is important, than put it in. A good example is “single mom”, “divorced father of two”, etc. Leave out the part about looking for someone to help me heal from a painful divorce.

Do not mention past relationships except to inform that you had one.

Highlight Your Uniqueness

There are things about us all that make us uniquely who we are. Let your ad portray this. If you have a special talent, interesting career or pastime, let people know about it. If it’s important to you, it tells others much. If someone out there shares it, they will be drawn to what you have written.

Find a unique way to highlight yourself. If you look like someone well known, put that in. Just remember, if you look like Woody Allen, don’t portray yourself as a Robert Redford type.

Avoid classic turn-offs

If you place a heavy emphasis on finding someone who is “beautiful” or “wealthy”, you will turn off many people- often the very people who hope to attract. No one wants to be wanted for his or her looks or bank account. It also says something about you. How about superficial?

Use a Picture

This is very important. Ads that don’t have one get far fewer responses. Many singles are having a professional picture made of them. You want to look like your BEST self. A professional can usually do a much better job at a very reasonable cost if you shop around a bit.

Post Your Ad On The Right Site

There are so many choices out there. Look for one that has a large membership of people who appear to be compatible with you. Make sure they have an enforced safety and privacy policy. There are specialty sites for people who seek a partner with a very particular passion or lifestyle. These include but are not limited to: animal lovers, vegetarians, advanced degreed professionals, and sites for people seeking those of the same faith.

If your requirements include someone within a close geographical distance, look for the sites that offer you a good selection.

Once you have given it careful thought and a little research and energy, write and post your ad for success.

Remember, we attract what we are, not what we want.

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…

Having a great photo is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

Online dating Advice: Is Match Losing to PlentyofFish?

match vs plentyoffish
Match.com is now a household name. The site’s huge marketing budgets and strong history have made it synonymous with online dating. PlentyOfFish, by contrast, is a minnow. But at the moment, the small fry is winning and if Match doesn’t do something fast, it could well find that it’s no longer the biggest fish in the pond.

There are a number of reasons I think Match is losing out to PlentyOfFish:

Easy Profile Creation

While the first registration step to Match is short and consists only of one form asking for username, email and password, the complete profile is spread over no less than eight different pages.

After the initial basic information screen, PlentyOfFish offers just one more page (followed by an optional quiz) to enter all the information you need.

I am sure that Match thinks its process is more organized — and it looks organized on the page — but for the member, it’s so much easier to be able to complete everything on one page without having to click to the next page, and the next page after that.

This problem continues with profile updates. Every time you want to update a piece of information, you have to figure out which screen you need to reach in order to edit it. It’s a very tedious process.

Match.com Registration

Match’s complete profile is spread over no less than eight different pages

PlentyOfFish Registration

After the initial basic information screen, PlentyOfFish offers just one more page (followed by an optional quiz) to enter all the information you need.

Instant Approval

Match has to approve every word you submit before you can publish it. The same is true of photos. You can upload any image you want, but you won’t be able to see it online until Match gives it a thumbs-up.

Why is this bad? Because when people sign up to a dating site they are excited and optimistic. They want to start playing right away!

Start sending emails before your submissions have been approved though, and the people you write to will only see half a profile. They’ll ignore you.

Sure, you can wait 24 hours but when you’ve just seen someone you’d really like to meet, you don’t want to wait a day before you can contact them. The same happens when you update a profile. You can’t be spontaneous! You have to wait and wait and wait.

Match Pending Photo

You can upload any image you want, but you won’t be able to see it online until Match gives it a thumbs-up.

I can understand Match’s thinking: they don’t want anyone to post a photo of themselves naked or — God forbid — upload porn. It’s a valid concern that PlentyOfFish doesn’t worry about for two reasons:

  1. It’s free. When people get something for nothing, they’re less likely to complain.
  2. It’s a lively community. When someone abuses the system, others are quick to report it and the profile is taken down fast.

PlentyOfFish wins here because its active community means that even the worst case scenarios (porn, advertisements, spam, etc.), are corrected quickly, allowing users to start messaging immediately.

Atmosphere

Logging into Match can be like walking into a library. It’s quiet, it’s boring, and if there are people there, you don’t really know it. Sure, there are some interesting items to pull down and look at, but it’s not the kind of place that leads you start a conversation.

library

Logging into Match can be like walking into a library. It’s quiet, it’s boring, and if there are people there, you don’t really know it.

Logging into PlentyOfFish though is like walking into a hot bar full of people. The site is alive, active and dynamic. It has energy. It’s all down to the following features:

  • Who’s Online? – PlentyOfFish shows you who is currently online. If you’re interested, you can drop them a quick email and get a reply immediately. That’s instant gratification at its best!And because other people can see that you’re online, you get a lot more messages, giving you more reasons to come back.Match doesn’t have an “Who’s online?” page. You have to search, then tick a box. It’s too many steps for something so basic, and doesn’t incentivize returning to the site and staying on it.
  • Changing thumbnails – Each page on PlentyOfFish shows members’ thumbnails, often with the word “chat” below, inviting you to say hello. The pictures change constantly so that you feel there’s always a lot of people flowing through.On Match, I have to search before I can see anyone. PlentyOfFish introduces potential dates to me.

    PlentyOfFish thumbnails

    The pictures change constantly so that you feel there’s always a lot of people flowing through

  • Forums – A forum is a basic feature for any online community. It suggests activity and shows real people online, posting, talking and interacting with each another. You can read or participate and even contact those who you think are cool based on what they write. Why doesn’t Match do this?

At PlentyOfFish, you really feel you’re joining a party.

party

Logging into PlentyOfFish though is like walking into a hot bar full of people. The site is alive, active and dynamic.

Easy Profiles

While the PlentyOfFish profile is straightforward and completed in a single page, the Match profile is complex and hard to use. You see only three photos initially. (It took me a while to realize I can click “See more” to see the rest of the photos, but when I do, I have to wait for a new page to load… and wait again when I want to see each picture. And I still can’t see the picture and the profile at the same time.)

match profile

On Match, I can’t see the picture and the profile at the same time

PlentyOfFish puts all the photo thumbnails at the top of the page and enlarges them with a cursor hover. There’s no need to go to a new page, no need to wait for pages to load and I can see all the information I need right away.

Sophisticated design doesn’t always mean good design. Sometimes, simplicity is exactly what the user needs.

No Horny Teens or Dirty Old Men

One of the biggest problems with online dating is that every schmo can contact you. Both Match and PlentyOfFish — and every other dating site — have this problem, and there really isn’t a full solution. However, PlentyOfFish does have a brilliant feature that cuts out many of the undesired emails before they even reach you: the site lets you control who can write to you! You can filter your emails by:

  • Age. So no more emails from horny 19-year olds or creepy 75-year olds!
  • Gender. No emails from females if that’s not your thing.
  • Country. Nigerians who want to send me money will just have to find my email address.
  • Radius. If you’re not into long distance relationships, you can restrict contact to just those within a 75-mile radius.
  • Email size. You can even specify how long the email must be for a first contact — so no “hi” emails.

All these restrictions work in just one direction. You can still contact whoever you want, unless they’ve filtered you out, of course. For me and for most women, it’s not about the quantity of emails, it’s about the quality.

Now if I could only control a few more options like height, children, etc, that would make it even more powerful!

It’s pretty simple, and I really don’t know why Match hasn’t copied it.

PlentyOfFish lets you control who can write to you!

PlentyOfFish lets you control who can write to you!

More Emails

Even after restricting for age, country and radius I still receive about ten times more emails on PlentyOfFish than I do on Match. I opened both profiles on the same day with the same photos.

You might think that the quality of people on Match would be higher than the quality on a free site, but it really isn’t. Many people, like myself, use both sites and the quality varies on both.

I want options, which means more emails from quality members.

Better Email Notifications

When someone sends you a message on a dating site, you receive an email notification. When someone sends you a message from Match, that notification contains a whole bunch of functionality errors.

  1. The “from” email address changes with the user. The email always comes from [username]@talkMatch. Even if I add that address to my approved list, the next email — with a different username — will end up in my junk folder. It’s hugely frustrating.PlentyOfFish sends an email from the same address. You can add that address to your contacts, and messages will always go directly to your inbox.It’s a huge oversight on Match’s part and a very easy fix.
  2. The email contains too much information. Match’s emails don’t just contain the message. They also include the photo and some of the sender’s profile. But since most people don’t make a good first impression, I can ignore most of the messages I receive and never bother log in into Match. PlentyOfFish tells me that someone has been in touch but doesn’t tell me who they are or what they look like. It’s enough to make me curious, and that means I log in to the site. Once I’m there, even that person isn’t right for me, I’ll soon be browsing the thumbnails, chatting online and meeting new people. I’m an active user again.
  3. Wrong links. The link to the username on Match leads to a reply box, not the profile. It’s an odd thing and very annoying.

What Both Sites Are Missing

Where both Match and PlentyOfFish come up short is in the quality of the photos. On dating sites, the best dates go to the people with the best dating profile photos, leaving everyone else to settle for less than they could have won.

People do tend to look much better than the images they put on their profiles so posting bad dating profile photos reduce their opportunities every day. All a member needs is at least one good, professionally-taken photo of themselves, in a natural light at a flattering angle and with good composition.

Most people don’t expect to find a supermodel on a dating site, but they do want to know how you look like before they meet you, without having to guess and without taking a huge risk.

Both Match and PlentyOfFish do very little to educate their members about the importance of good photos, or offer easy solutions like LookBetterOnline.com which would allow them to take their online dating experience to the next level. On Match, for example, I can see ads for toothpaste and hotels but not for what members really need: good photos. PlentyOfFish advertises yet another dating site on which you can place a bad photo, but this time receive a bunch of fake emails and pay for rejection.

Online dating photos before and after

On dating sites, the best dates go to the people with the best pictures, leaving everyone else to settle for less than they could have won.

Conclusion:

Match can keep acquiring free sites like OKCupid and still claim they are number one, but until they implement the appeal these free sites have — the simplicity, the ease of use, the instant gratification and a lively community — they will lose in the long run.

Do you think Match is losing this race?