Emailing Women On Dating Sites: Can You Send a Second Email?

The Anon-O-Box has gotten no fewer than 10 emails asking variations on the same question:

If you email a girl and she doesn’t reply, is it cool to email again? And if so, when and how?

I’d been planning to write a post about it, and then the lovely Jess Hartley wrote it for me in her One Geek to Another column.  Jess’ column deals mostly with the professional side of this question, but her advice rings just as true for online dating.

Go read that post and then read this one.  Or the other way around.  Either way.

When Your Email Gets No Reply

There are many reasons why your email could be getting no reply.   Since I’ve written about this before, I won’t bore you with a repeat.

Past posts on this topic:

So… you have sent out an email to a girl that you think is PERFECT for you.  I mean, so perfect that you just can’t let her go.  You can’t drop the idea of getting to know this girl.  She’s perfect!  Perfect!

But you’ve gotten no reply.  Since you’re 95% sure she’s a paying member and has read your initial email, you’re in the weird position of wondering WHY she never replied.

Is it okay to write her a second time?  What about a third?

When You Should Email Again

If you can answer the following questions with YES, then you can email the girl a second time:

  • Was your first email sent at least two weeks ago?
  • Was your first email short, sweet, and personalized to her profile?
  • Did your first email avoid the following:
    • …references to her physical appearance?
    • …declarations of your undying love?
    • …creepy statements like “we’d be perfect together”?
    • …giving her your email, IM handle, or cell number?
  • Has her account been active since you sent the email?
  • If you have the ability, did you verify she opened the email?

What To Do BEFORE Writing a Follow-Up Email

Put your profile through the ringer! While there is a chance that she didn’t reply because she was currently semi-seriously seeing someone else, it’s more likely that there was something about your profile that turned her off.  Don’t water it down, but really check it over to make sure you’re saying what you want to say.

Freshen up your profile! Add some sort of reference to the current season, a great movie or show you just saw, anything to show that you’re keeping your profile current.

Take new pictures. You don’t have to replace all of your photos, but a few new snapshots might go a long way.  (If you’ve ever flipped through someone’s profile pictures and thought, “Wow, it’s like two different people in here!” then you can see why having updated pictures is important.)

(Shameless Plug:  The Plastic d20 Package is the cheapest way to be sure your profile and photos are sending out exactly the vibes you mean to be sending.  Let us help you get the girl!)

What To Write in a Follow-Up Email

A follow-up email should follow the same rules as a first contact email:

  • Keep it short.
  • Personalize it based on her profile information.
  • Do not reference her physical appearance, make lewd comments, innuendos, etc.
  • End it with a question that invites her to reply.
  • Do not use language that implies that you aren’t worth writing back.

Here’s an example of a follow-up email you might write:


I wrote you a couple weeks ago and wanted to drop you a line again to say that I’m still curious about hearing more about your trip to Brazil.  Your photos look amazing!

I’m assuming that since you like sci-fi, that you’ve seen District 9.   I loved it, though I think some of the scenes were a bit too graphic and violent. What did you think about it?

- John

Notice what this email DOESN’T do:

  • Put an excuse in her mouth.
    • “I’ll bet you’re busy… or you already have a boyfriend…”
  • Reference the fact she didn’t reply.
    • “You never wrote me back last time, so I’m writing again…”
  • Complain that you were ignored.
    • “I wrote you a thoughtful email last time, and…”
  • Make crazy wishes about the future.
    • “I’m hoping you write back this time…”

Once It’s Sent

Your email could go one of three ways:

  1. She reads it and replies.
  2. She reads it and doesn’t reply.
  3. She can’t read it because she doesn’t have a paying subscription or has abandoned the profile.

If you get a reply, great!!  Take things from there.

If you don’t get a reply – it’s time to let her go.  It’s not meant to be.

Happy dating, geek friends.

About e

Since 2008, E. Foley of Geek’s Dream Girl has been helping geeks from around the world find love. She writes amazing online dating profiles for her fellow geeks and guides them through the perilous waters of the dating scene and out the other side. She's totally proud to report that she's even caused a couple geek weddings! She lives in Maryland with DaveTheGame, her adorable cats, Mr. Peanut & Don Juan, and Titania, Queen of the Cocker Spaniels. (Email e, or follow @geeksdreamgirl on Twitter.)

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