Asking For Her Number In Your Opening Message On OkCupid

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About a year ago, when I started testing many of my own online dating hypotheses, I wanted to gauge the efficiency of asking girls for their numbers in my opening messages. I didn’t expect that strategy to be particularly successful, but thought it would be an interesting experiment nonetheless.

I crafted the message below—figuring it would need to generate copious amounts of buying temperature to stand a chance—and sent it to 500 girls on OkCupid, 100 in five different cities (Las Vegas, Boston, Dallas, Chicago and New York):

My name is Luke
I’m from New Jersey
I’m not a psycho
I like writing
I go to the beach a lot
I don’t watch a lot of tv
Although I do watch
documentaries about orcas
I majored in communication
So I don’t like messaging
back and forth on these types of sites
Send me your number if you want to talk
And possibly meet in person, in a crowded, well- lit area during the day
If you like cuddling and watching Hey Arnold on YouTube after sex
That’s a plus

Note: Besides going for the number, I’m also using this message to qualify for girls who want to go on a date (since many girls in the online dating world are content to message back and forth forever). I designed the bottom third of this message to preclude girls from responding if they’re too hesitant about going on a date with someone they met online.

Here are a few of the responses I received:

IMG_0541

Your response to a test, such as the one above, will make or break her perception of you. Avoid using logic to explain why she should comply and hand over her number; there’s a good chance you’ll lose her interest. Use a little more buying temperature, as I did, while being careful not to convey any neediness.

IMG_0542

Many girls say they don’t like receiving copied and pasted messages, but I don’t think they understand the extent to which online dating is a numbers game for guys. Even the best opening messages will rarely crack the 40 percent response mark, so why should guys put the time and energy into developing thoughtful opening messages for every single girl when they will be ignored about 60 to 70 percent of the time?

I always write messages that can be copied and pasted, and the screenshot above shows one of the rare times I’ve been called out on it. But the situation resolved itself 19 minutes later.

It’s better, if you’re a guy, to avoid spending too much time writing openers. Invest your best effort only in the girls who respond.

IMG_0543

I debated whether the “Hey Arnold … after sex” part was too brazen, but I left it in there and ended up getting positive feedback on that line from several girls, including the one above.

Overall, only 51 out of 500 girls responded to this message (10.2 percent) and 19 of those 51 responded with their phone numbers. An effective online dating opener usually generates about a 30-percent response rate, so my experiment validated my initial belief that this type of message would under-perform.

Although, the fact that this message qualifies for girls who want to “meet in person” means that I usually have an easier time converting responses into dates with the few that do message back. So this opening message might be ideal to use during a short visit someplace when you’re looking to get a quick date or two. Just make sure you send it to at least 50 girls to ensure you’ll have a handful of responses.

About Luke Harold

Luke Harold is a journalist who has written for publications including the Philadelphia Inquirer and Orange County Register.

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