I’ve talked before about how online dating response rates have decreased. While I have not radically changed anything I’m doing online (other than running my usual crazy experiments, some of them successful and some of them not), other guys out there are getting pretty damn creative in order to combat this response rate reduction.
Before I get into some of the online dating tips these guys (and myself) have used to increase response, I have to repeat something I’ve said many times but still needs to be repeated. While your average response rate percentage is one of the numbers you should pay attention to, it is not the most important number when it comes to online dating. It’s actually one of the least important numbers of all the numbers you should be tracking. I’ve talked many times before about how I get laid online, regularly and easily, with ridiculously low response rates.
My response rates are often around 5-6%. Sometimes they climb as high as 8% or even 11% and I’m extremely impressed with myself. However as the linked article above shows, sometimes my response rates are as low as 2%, but I still get laid.
On the other side of the coin are these guys all over the internet who brag about “50% response rates” or “80% response rates” or whatever. Every single time I have asked one of these guys how often they’re actually placing their cocks inside new women, the answer I get is deafening silence.
It’s not about response rates…it’s about whether or not you’re getting laid. I can’t stress this enough. It’s way too easy for guys to get hung up on response rates when the numbers you should be paying attention to are the ones that actually have to do with sex. Such as:
- Average number of first dates it takes you to have sex (even if the sex does not occur on the first date).
- Average number of dates it takes you to get to sex.
- Average number of openers you need to send to have sex with a new woman.
- Average level of physical attractiveness of the women you have sex with (rate them from 1 to 10, but remember that the number you give them will be completely subjective based on what you like, which is okay).
Those are the numbers I pay very close attention to. Yes, I do track my response rates, but since all of those above numbers are so strong, I barely care these days what my response rates are. For example, my first-dates-to-lay ratios these days are extremely high, sometimes as high as 100% for a single blitz of new openers. So my response rate is almost irrelevant. Many years ago when I was only having sex with one new woman per ten first dates, my response rate was very important to me, since I needed a hell of a lot of dates in order to get laid.
This all ties back to the great maxim of online dating, which is: You will never get laid with online dating if your real-life game sucks. Its corollary is: The stronger your real-life game is, and the better your target market selection, the less results you need from online in order to have sex with new women.
We’re going to talk about increasing your response rates now, but please keep in mind everything I just explained. Otherwise you’re going to waste a lot of time spinning your wheels on stupid online dating techniques that don’t work very well.
Credit for some of these techniques go to Chukka, Ken, and Ironpen who showed me some of these. (And some are my own.) Here we go!
1. On OKCupid (and sites with a similar rating system), rate every woman you see with 4-stars, then message any woman who quickmatches you. Your response rates will be higher if you message women who already see you on their quickmatch, and the more women you rate favorably, the more quickmatches you’ll receive.
2. An old technique I’ve been using forever is to only message women who are “Online Now”. An improvement to this is to only message women who are “Online Now” and have recently posted an update of some kind. Statistically these women are much more responsive than woman who are online but using the same profile they’ve had forever.
3. Focus on messaging women who have viewed your profile first. I have been surprised how easy and fast women will respond if they’ve already viewed my profile, especially if they’ve just viewed it, even if they did not send me an opener when they did. Often you can’t rely on this technique entirely, but if you combine this with items 2 and 3 above, that will give you a decent pool of higher-responsive women.
4. This is something I did years ago, and have experimented again recently with good results. If your response rates are low and you are a not a good-looking guy, i.e. you’re uglier or fatter or older whatever, take all the photos off your profile and replace them with ONE very good photo. That’s right, just one photo. Make sure it’s the best damn photo of yourself you can take. That means best outfit, best colors, best angles, best lighting, the whole nine yards. Use a professional photographer if you can (but do not get the photo taken in a studio).
There are some downsides with this…if your photo is really great, people will actually assume it’s fake(!). Yes, I actually had this problem when I tried it recently. My photo was so damn perfect some women thought my profile and photo were fake. Pretty funny. But it did more double the response rate from a prior test, (taking a 5% response to 11%). Not bad.
I am tempted to do an entire blog post just on this single-awesome-photo technique. It can make that much of a difference.
5. For older men only: Break one of the Blackdragon rules and blatantly lie about your age, especially on sites like POF that block you from messaging younger women. I’ve talked before about fudging your age downward one or two years, which is fine, but here I’m talking about dropping it by 10 or 15 years, just to get into the searches of younger women.
Be sure to say somewhere in your profile text that you’re “not really 22 years old”, and be prepared to come clean about your real age either on the first date or when/if she asks over the dating site (some will, some won’t). Regardless, this will really boost your response rates with the younger women.
Frankly, if you’re a younger, better-looking guy going after older milfs and cougars, I see no reason this would not work in reverse. If you’re 22, lie and say you’re 42, and then blast out some openers to some older women. I’m quite sure this would work very well (again remember the problems with the over-33 crowd, but if you’re very young, decent looking, and using extreme player-game then you’re an exception to that rule).
Give these a try. You’ll find that you should be able to increase your response rates at least somewhat (but don’t forget it’s about real-life dates and sex, not just response rates!)