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How to Write Tinder Messages That Get Replies

A guy writing Tinder messages while in bed with his dog next to him.

Dating apps have been around long enough that there’s finally some solid research—from the scientific community and through word of mouth—on what works and what doesn’t. Using a dating app is so easy at this point that literally anyone with a smartphone can download and get to swiping. But there’s more to using a dating app than passively signing up.

Once you download the app, create your account, and are presented with hundreds or potentially thousands of people you are interested in, the anxiety sets in… How do you know what to say to get these people to actually want to reply to you? What is an engaging conversation starter? To some people, and in some ways, sending a Tinder message is more nerve-wracking than walking up to someone in a bar to start a conversation.

So to make it just a little bit easier, here are a few suggestions on how to write a Tinder message that you’ll get replies to.

Don’t lead with “hey.”
If you send a message that just says “hey,” or “hi,” or some version of what’s basically a wave, most women (and probably a lot of men) will ignore it. Women on dating apps receive a lot of “hey”s with absolutely no follow-through. “Hey” is not compelling at all, and doesn’t give the person receiving the message anything to go off of. 

Utilize the GIF feature.
Everyone loves a good GIF. Your mom loves them, your boss loves them, and chances are, a prospective date loves them. Send an Adele or Lionel Richie GIF and the recipient may just appreciate your pop culture reference enough to respond. If they don’t, feel free to poke a little fun at your attempt. “Not an Adele fan? I guess “Hello” was a few years ago now…”

Ask a question. 
And we don’t mean “how are you?” Ask an interesting question that actually inspires a response. Are you bored at home and can’t decide what to pull up on Netflix? Reach out with a real life question. “So, I’m browsing Netflix and have absolutely no idea what to watch. What’s the best thing you’ve been binging lately?” Anything along those lines will most likely get someone to respond, and hopefully also introduce a natural conversation about entertainment, which will lead into what you two may or may not have in common.

Use their profile. 
Prove that you’ve read a bit about them and aren’t just responding mindlessly to a hot profile picture. “I really enjoy Harry Potter too! Who doesn’t? What’s your favorite book to movie interpretation?” Or “I’ve never been skiing and I’m so impressed that you go so often. Did you grow up skiing?” “You root for the Green Bay Packers but live in Seattle—how’d that happen? Are you from Wisconsin?” “How did you decide you wanted to teach high school?” Literally any part of their profile can be expanded upon since Tinder’s character limit is so short. Prove that you’re on the app to engage with people. It will invoke a response because people really like talking about themselves, and will most likely take the time to respond if you ask something they care about. (Their own job, their own hobby, their favorite movie/book/TV show/sports team.)

Spell their name correctly
And use their name! Make sure your message doesn’t sound like something you’ve copy and pasted to 100 different people on the app. “Hey Samantha! How’d you get so involved in the knitting community? I can’t believe you handmade all of your Christmas gifts last year. That’s incredible.” Personalization is key when it comes to messaging on Tinder. No one wants to feel like a carbon copy of everyone else you may be talking to on the app.

Using someone’s name is a great touch, but make it even more personalized than that. Above all else, don’t spell their name wrong. No one wants to talk to someone who spells their name “Brittany” while it clearly states that her name is “Brittney.” Double check before sending the message off and it will make a difference.

Send the message at a good time. 
After work is the best time to message people on dating apps. It’s tough to receive a Tinder message at 11:00 a.m. while you’re at work because it’s tough to remember to respond later that night. By the time people are catching up on text messages and Instagram stories, your Tinder message may be lost in the shuffle. If you really have your eye on someone, make sure your timing is spot on.

Utilizing Tinder is a strange kind of science. If you want people to respond to your Tinder message, make sure you’re intentional, kind, and interesting—just as you’d like someone to be when messaging you. You can do it! Look at past messages that haven’t received responses and don’t make the same mistakes with someone new. You’re interesting—prove it.

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