The shortest messages get the best response rate; the reply rate goes down as messages get longer.
This is likely because an initial message serves mostly to make your profile available to the other person.
Make a Move In your initial e-mail to a potential partner, it's crucial to indicate that you've read his profile and took an interest in it.
If someone is new to a site, his or her profile is often featured in the community and the person becomes inundated with e-mails.
So, assume that your interest hasn't had time to open your message.
"I equate online dating to looking for a job," says Julie Spira, cyber-dating expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating.
"You'd want a rock star résumé for your perfect dream job, and you should feel the same way about your online dating profile." And the profile is just where it starts—we have plenty of expert tips, from sending the perfect first e-mail to picking your first date location.
"The amount of times that people are approached when they have photos is multitudes more than when they don't," says Gian Gonzaga, Ph D, e Harmony's senior director of research and development and head of e Harmony Labs. Leave behind group shots, which can make it confusing for other people to identify you, advises Spira, and choose a headshot in which you are smiling.
"Your primary photo should be all about you." She recommends posting between three to five photos only—any more and "it's as if you're already smothering your future partner." Also, be sure to include a shot where you can see your body.
After that, have a phone conversation—trade cell phone numbers, never home numbers.
Or better yet, call him so that you won't have to give out your number at all.
If you show up and your date looks nothing like his photo––and this does happen––don't run screaming for the exit.