Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dating Site Recommends Different Strategies for Men and Women

OkTrends, the official blog for online dating site OkCupid, recently posted some interesting data about response rates. Their post "How To Get People To Reply To Your Messages In Online Dating, Part I" suggests that techniques should vary for men and women.

They posted a graph comparing the percentage of replies and conversations men received when contacting women, based on message length. On the graph, red is the ratio of messages that get any reply, while green is the ratio of messages that get a reply that in turn gets replied to by the original sender.
According to the graph, it appears that longer messages would help men. However, when OkTrends factored in the amount of time it takes to type a message, they suggested that, in terms of time put in vs. conversations generated, shorter is actually better and recommended an ideal message length of 200 words, about one minute worth of typing.

For women, however, they recommended an even more concise approach to messaging. The blog recommended that the optimal first outreach be approximately 50 words long.

Of course, the data only corresponds to one dating site, and does not include men reaching out to men, or women reaching out to women. It does, however, highlight the varying communication styles that men and women seem to prefer, albeit subconsciously.

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