Personal Ads: A few months ago, I put up a profile on a few personal ad sites. Why? Two reasons; one because I am also single (ok, no comments from the peanut gallery on that one) and secondly for a little competitive intelligence.
Disclaimer: Yes, speed dating does work. 40+ happily engaged couples so far :) 30+ marriages
So I am reading these great profiles from women who say they want a genuine guy, down to earth, can be a little crazy, a little sarcastic, tired of the bar scene, likes animals, professional etc. So far so good. Next they say they want someone between 30-40 living within 25 miles from them, wants kids, and is 5 foot 8 or taller. Hmm, I’m batting 1000% so off comes my response. A few days go by, but no reply. Guys, does this sound familiar?
I did eventually get some replies, but it was a small percentage compared to the number of emails I sent. So my mission was to better understand why it was so difficult to get a response. I enlisted the help of my friend Michelle and several other women asking what they look for in a response and what the source of the problem was.
Summary of the problem
If a woman has a nice picture up on a high traffic personal ad website, she can get 20-50 responses a day. If she goes away for the weekend and hasn’t checked her mail in a few days, she may have dozens or more emails/winks/flirts etc in the inbox. So you are one of the guys who sent her a response. You read her profile from top to bottom and really thought you had some things in common and genuinely wanted to get to know her better. Guess what? Your response is buried within the dozens of responses she has to look through. By the time your email is read, whatever you wrote is diluted. Think about it, you are 1 response in 50. She may glance at your response and profile quickly and then move on to the other replies. Now if she only had a few replies a day, your reply may stand out.
The women we spoke with confirmed that one of the problems is the sheer volume of emails they get. Many indicate that it is quite obvious that the man didn’t even read her profile but responded anyway. “I said I wanted a guy who has no children and is between 35-45. Why is a man 58 years old, divorced with two kids wasting my time?” This is a key statement. I am not saying all guys do it, but many men respond to everyone without even reading a woman’s profile. They just go from profile to profile, copy and paste the same message, or send a wink/flirt. This clutters up the woman’s inbox and dilutes the responses she may have received from “genuine guys”.
So what is the answer? Well this may not be the total solution, but it could be a step in the right direction. I asked my friend Michelle to modify her profile slightly and include somewhere in the text that anyone responding should make the subject line read “Ciao Bella.” When she would go to her inbox and find 30 replies, she could go right to the ones with this subject line since these were the guys who really did read her profile. Michelle continued to receive dozens of emails and winks, the majority of which did not have the term “Ciao Bella” in the subject line. When someone did have the correct subject line, they were given top priority. Next week I will share what Michelle and other women look for in the profile and what makes them decide whether to respond or not.