After all, the way you choose to start your initial message to someone is the “first impression of your first impression.” The results surprised us: The top three most popular ways to say “hello” were all actually bad beginnings.

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Talking about specific things that interest you or that you might have in common with someone is a time-honored way to make a connection, and we have proof here that it works.

We’re presenting just a smattering: in fact every “niche” word that we have significant data on has a positive effect on messaging.

Even more effective are phrases that engage the reader’s own interests, or show you’ve read their profile: , no doubt because of its adverbial meaning of “to a fair degree; moderately” also helps male messages.

A lot of real-world dating advice tells men to be more confident, but apparently hemming and hawing a little works well online.

We analyzed over 500,000 first contacts on our dating site, Ok Cupid.

Our program looked at keywords and phrases, how they affected reply rates, and what trends were statistically significant.The result: a set of rules for what you should and shouldn’t say when introducing yourself. Let’s go: are nice things to say to someone, but no one wants to hear them.As we all know, people normally like compliments, but when they’re used as pick-up lines, before you’ve even met in person, they inevitably feel…ew.Besides, when you tell a woman she’s beautiful, chances are you’re not.On the other hand, more general compliments seem to work well: The word is a perfect case study for our point.As an adjective, it’s a physical compliment, but as an adverb (as in, “I’m pretty good at sports.”) it’s is just another word.