There’s a specific reason why women actively ignore your messages, and there’s a specific way to guarantee that they write you back immediately…
No matter which platform, every woman has received, at least once, a random message from a guy she doesn’t know and isn’t sure she necessarily wants to know.
100% of these messages start with a two-letter greeting: “Hi”.
95% of these messages end there, with a few including “How are you”.
Usually, these guys are genuinely kind and often sensitive souls. Maybe they are curious, maybe they want to make a friend, maybe they’re looking for Ms. Right.
Some women take umbrage to these messages, likening it to violence. While it’s obviously not extreme behaviour, it can feel unwelcome and intrusive, simply because it lacks clarity of purpose and doesn’t tell the receiver what the sender wants or why he’s writing.
At the same time, I’ve gotten loads (LOADS) of messages from many of you, complaining about how hard it is to engage in female contact – whether as friends or something more – in this country.
“I don’t know what I’m doing wrong,” you universally tell me. “Maybe I’m not good at making conversation, I always say “Hi how are you” and then they don’t respond.”
This can be very frustrating, and with every consecutive lack of any response whatsoever, you almost feel like giving up entirely.
Funnily enough, I’ve found many, many clients, friends, and employers through “cold” messages on social media, including dating apps. It can (and does) work when done right. Here are a few tips to get you started…
1. Always introduce yourself.
Living and working in a big city means you could meet someone new every single day, and many women often do. It’s easy to forget exactly who you met and when and in which neighbourhood. The first line of your message should indicate how you found her profile:
“Hi, my name is Jay, I found your profile in the “Expats in Paris” Facebook group when you commented on the post about X topic.”
The same goes for Instagram:
“My name is X, and I see you also follow this musician, so I wanted to reach out and maybe connect with someone who’s also a huge fan.”
On LinkedIn, always begin with: “We are connected via…[insert school, job, company, individual].”
If you’re using a dating app, you can indicate what about her profile made you want to message her:
“I really liked that you mentioned X and X in your profile.”
“Awesome photo at the Great Wall of China, when did you go there?”
“That’s so cool you’re into photography, I took a class last year in Photoshop but still learning my way with different exposures.”
2. Write for the busy.
Customise the type and timing of your message to the life of the person you want to contact. Your message needs to be written so that they can easily respond with “Yes sure” or “No thank you”.
Take for example the mass-market brand Zara. Their women’s clothes target trend-conscious young women in their 20’s, with have middle-to-high incomes, living in cities. These people have limited time, limited budgets, and lots of other things vying for their attention. Therefore, Zara puts their stores in the city centre, keeps its prices often under 30 euro, and makes its clothes machine-washable at 30C. These qualities make the end-product perfect for busy young professionals who are not interested nor want to spend on drycleaning.
You, too, want to make your message easy to find, easy to consume, and easy to answer. Remember, it only takes 2 second to pay with a contactless credit card. The average woman is going to spend only 2 seconds reading your message.
You want to be extremely clear about why you’re contacting her:
“I loved what you wrote in your comment on this post.”
“I’m urgently looking for information on X and it seems like you have experience with this.”
You also need to indicate what you want in a reply:
“If you’re willing to walk me through how to do this.”
“Would love to chat for 20 min, via Zoom or at a coffeeshop, about this topic.”
3. Personalise your message.
Before jumping into writing a message, scroll through the person’s profile. What kinds of photos do they have? Where did they take their photos? Have they written something in their bio? Do you have mutual friends or lived or studied in the same place? Take note of all of these facts and mention them in your first message. Mentioning your mutual interests or experiences increases your chances of getting a response.
From First Message to First Date:
Is there someone you have your eye on? Use this detailed guide to get her to say yes to a date with you.
4. Target the 20%.
Consumer-focused brands like Zara know that over 80% of purchases come from the “loyalists” – the 20% of customers who are ready to buy nearly everything the brand produces, and are less price sensitive than the other 80% of sometimes-buyers.
Whether you focus on meeting women online or offline, you’ll want to implement this concept immediately. Target the 20% of women who correspond to exactly what you’re looking for. And for most of us, that’s someone with a similar profile, background, and lifestyle.
If you moved abroad for a Master’s in Business Management, look for women who have clearly invested in higher education. If you work at a startup, look for people with a demonstrated interest in entrepreneurship – maybe they like Facebook pages related to starting a company, or dream of becoming digital nomads. And if you, like me, have a passion for the outdoors, look for people who are outside in at least one of their profile photos.
5. Respond when you see the message.
When you DO get a response, make sure you reply to her within 24 hours (and better yet, within 2 hours). The easiest (and best) time to respond is when you see the message. When you respond immediately, you show her that you’re truly interested. You’re also less likely to forget to reply. It doesn’t have to be a complicated response: address what she’s written in her message (“Thanks for your quick reply!” and send a follow-up question related to your original purpose to meeting her: (“What does your schedule look like over the next 2 weeks ?”)
6. Be consistent.
Contacting strangers on the internet is a time-intensive but low-energy and inexpensive approach to meeting new people. On average, you will have a 30% success rate: for every 100 people contacted, you’ll get 30 responses, of which 10 will follow up with you, and 3 will potentially meet you for a coffee. Your net conversion rate should be between 2-3%. Treat this as a numbers game with measurable results and focus on your conversion rate. If you are not converting (from “cold contact” to in-person meeting) at 2-3%, you need to tweak your approach. You can adapt your initial message, make it more personalised, or simply target a different “customer avatar” or type of individual.
Please comment below and tell us:
Are you currently getting responses when you contact people “cold” ?
How would you like ladies to respond when you send these messages?
Photo by Chirag Saini.