The opening salvo on a dating app is something many singles struggle with – trying to strike a balance between being too generic, appearing too zany or recycling an old chat-up line.
To see which first lines work best for today’s singles, New York-based dating app Hinge recently created a study with a little help from its users.
Speaking about the study, Karen Fein, Hinge’s VP of Marketing said: “Everyday, the Hinge team is asked if we know the secret to starting a great conversation that will actually lead somewhere.
“Frankly, we didn’t! Since it’s our mission to help users move beyond the swipe, to connect over something interesting and to ultimately meet up – we decided to find out.”
To do this, the team added a feature to the app that let 22% of Hinge users pick from a list of 100 opening lines, which were pre-written by Hinge.
Hinge then analysed how well received these intros were, and which were most likely to get a reply.
Speaking about their findings, Fein said: “I think we all thought the ‘Hey, what’s up?’ would do really badly. It didn’t do quite as badly as we thought. But there were other openers that performed better.
“The trend falls on the type of person they’re talking to. The more targeted to the specific person, the more contextual you can make it, the better it’ll be.”
The research showed that opening lines that posed a question tended to be well-received, such as “two truths and a lie; ready, set, go!” or “Best discovery: Netflix or Avocados?”.
And the popularity of these pre-written lines also depended on the age of respondents – with the 18 to 23 age group responding most positively to: “Pain reliever personality: Advil, Tylenol, or complaining?” and “You’re having your portrait painted – what’s your backdrop?”.
On the other hand, those between 29 and 34 preferred lines like: “Could you date someone who orders plain bagels with plain cream cheese when they have other options?”.
The Hinge team also found there was a noticeable difference between what men and women would respond to.
Fein said: “Assertive responses pooling well with women – that was pretty empowering to see. Women in the office were saying how there’s this little worry that a guy would be turned off about women messaging first, turns out no, that’s not the case.”
Hinge found that men were 98% more likely to respond to an assertive message, whereas women were 40% more likely to respond to messages about food.
And in terms of how the opening line related to reply time, interestingly Hinge found that if men on Hinge didn’t get a reply six hours after matching with someone, they were 25% less likely to respond.
Women however were more patient – in the same six hour period, the likelihood of replying only dropped by 5%.
You can check out the full list of results on the Hinge blog here.
Recently, Hinge introduced a new marketing feature called HingePerks, which gives the app’s dedicated users the chance to win a variety of “social specials”, that they can then share with dates or friends.
The New York-based app also revealed its list of the most eligible professionals on the dating app, a regular feature for the company that is generating good press coverage for the company.
Visit the app’s site here.