Copy-Paste Messages

 

 

No, of course I don’t fancy a ****ing date.

Copy-paste messages are the bane of OkCupid. They’re like a rash. A chafing, pustulent rash, making every girl’s inbox itch. I assure you, it isn’t pretty.

An analogy: last year, at a music festival, I went to see a fortune teller. She wasn’t a particularly good fortune teller. Her primary skill was her ability to sound like Mystic Meg after one too many magic mushrooms. “You’ll fall in love,” she divined, “with… mmmm… something about the nose. Do you like anyone with a big nose?”

“Not that I can think of,” I said.

“What about a small nose, then?” she pressed.

“Ummmm, not really sure,” I said.

“What about a pierced nose, then?” she insisted, gazing intently at my nose stud. “It’s related to the nose, in any case. Or… or is it eyes? Does he have striking eyes?”

I agreed that he might, since eyes are intrinsically striking.

Copy-paste messages seem to work a little bit like that. All you really need, when sending one, is the ability to make confident-sounding declarations that could apply to anyone at all.

Now, I’m not talking about spam messages per se. Those are easy to identify. They generally make a) no reference to the recipient b) were written by someone with txt spk in their user name c) sound a bit like this:

can i get to know you?

If like me you enjoy being treated well, respected and ambitious then just try me. I am not like every one else who want to fool you you with just words, i am down to earth and straight forward. I have no time for silly games, try me before you say no, you can email me at : xxxxxxxxxx@aol.com

(23% match, 45% friend, 50% enemy)

No, I’m referring to a higher calibre of spam. If we’re comparing messages to tinned foodstuffs, let’s go for something a little more appetising – the verbal equivalent of instant custard. I’m talking about the guys who have at least attempted to cover their tracks.

  • Hello, you sound very interesting and the picture is very nice.
  • You seem to be a nice person. Do you want to go out sometime? 😉
  • hi! You sound pretty cool.  Stunning too! Im in South West London, Kingston Upon Thames. Buy you a drink someday?

This sort of thing could be sent to any girl whatsoever on the site. Sometimes the game is up for the guy when he copy-pastes you the same message twice.

I do understand why a bloke might resort to such tactics. The hit ratio for men – nearly all men – is decidedly poor. And it may seem too much of an investment to individually craft each message, given that it’s like preparing a fine delicacy for a spoiled queen with a history of pooh-poohing Beluga caviar. Still, your odds will go from slim to none if you just chuck instant custard in her lap.

Or will it? I’m curious. Have any of you ever composed a copy-paste message which actually worked? And if so, what did it say? Anyone with the ingenuity to write one seems to me well-worth dating…

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About Abi Millar

Freelance writer and expat
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52 Responses to Copy-Paste Messages

  1. Mark says:

    I know exactly why men write copy and paste messages, you find a girl on there who seems perfect for you, so you sit down to write a carefully worded email just to her, telling her a little story about your self which relates to an interest she has, trying to make yourself seem like an interesting person and not someone just trying to get in there pants, you spend over an hour getting it just right, you send it, and never get a reply.

    Once you have done that 4 or 5 times, it gets quite temping to just fire off a few copy any paste messages just in the hope you get some kind of response. Having said that I have never done copy and paste messages on cupid, though I am guilty of doing it on other sites in the past.

  2. Abi Millar says:

    Yeah. I actually don’t blame guys for doing it at all. But I wonder if there’s any way of doing it without giving the game away? Is there some kind of formula for the perfect foolproof message they could use?

    • Mark says:

      Im not proud of this, but I saw a post on reddit called “Duke Nukem Will Get You Laid” and it said about sending Dukes lines to girls, I thought what the hell and decided to give it a go..

      So I sent the message “Hey there beautiful” to a few girls, and I actually got more and better responses to that, than I have from any other message I had ever sent to someone.

      As for the formula for messaging girls, Duke Nukem is your friend!!

      • Abi Millar says:

        That actually works? Bloody hell…

        • Mark says:

          Tell me about it… I spend hours thinking up a great message which gets ignored, I copy and paste 3 words, and get quite a few replies.

          I still don’t think it would go down too well on OKC though, as your response proved!

      • I used to send reasonably long messages on a couple of points from their profile. By long, I mean a couple of paragraphs. Someone said that this was too long, so I changed to saying “Hey, how is/was your week/weekend?” followed by a question about their profile. This ended up getting more responses than before.

    • I’ve occasionally contemplated (but yet to use) a message that’s unashamedly copy and pasted: Rather than not giving the game away, instead just break the rules and admit that you’re playing the game.

      Something along the lines of the following (‘though more carefully edited and thought out. This is a spur-of-the-moment rough draft):

      Hi there,

      This message isn’t even slightly personalised. Sorry.

      Why am I sending it then? Well, I happened upon your profile and found you fascinating and was compelled to message you. Really I did. But the reply rate is so low for guys on here that it just doesn’t make sense to spend time agonising over what to write, and winks are obnoxious.

      If this offends you, sorry again. Feel free to ignore me. But if you’re willing to look past my blatant laziness and message me back, I promise I will delight you with a lovingly hand-crafted response that will go down in the ages.

      Regards,
      David

      It’s unlikely to work, but then again my response rate went significantly up when I added dinosaurs in space to my profile, so who knows?

      • Mark says:

        That is a pretty good idea… I may copy and paste that and send it off to a few people right now!

        • Good luck, and please report back if it works!

          • Abi Millar says:

            I reckon most women will go for that. It’s not so much about the content of the message, as what it conveys about the guy who’s sending it.
            That one successfully conveys intelligence, humour, a nice touch of self-deprecation and an admirable lack of desperation – plus it’ll be very different to everything else she’s received. Assuming she isn’t bombarded by people copying and pasting it from this thread 🙂

          • Mark says:

            One message back so far… and it wasn’t positive!! I think they may have known I had stolen the message though!

          • Mark says:

            It has been about 7 hours and the initial results are in!!

            15 Messages sent out all using the generic message above. Out of those 15 people messaged, 4 people looked at my profile, and 1 person replied.

            I have excluded the other person who looked at my profile and replied as they knew what was going down!!

            • Abi Millar says:

              7 hours isn’t long enough! Wait till they all get home from work.

              Incidentally, I’m conducting an experiment of my own. Trying to set up a date with my worst enemy in London. It’s a big ask. Responses so far: “Sorry but I don’t want to be a guinea pig.” :-/

            • Mark says:

              I will update as and when more information becomes available, though at the moment, im thinking that may be all im gonna get from it!

              Good luck with your experiment, I too tried a similar thing, they were not too keen on meeting up though for some reason!!

            • Mark says:

              Last night, I got 2 more views but that was it…

              Test ends…

  3. Mark says:

    I sent it to my 3 quiver matches, and one other lucky lady I saw on there… So I haven’t flooded the site with it just yet… give me a couple of hours though!

    I hope non of them realise it was copied and pasted from here 😉

  4. James says:

    Realistically, in order that my (always) hand-crafted messages do better, I’m going to now bombard everyone I see on the site with that message from a second account to ensure I eliminate any competition that thinks the pseudo-intelligent carpet bombing approach is worthwhile.

    In addition, I will then craft a meta-copy-paste message referring to the phenomenon of that above message being sent out around the site and why I’m so different to those scrubs.

    Man, I love game theory.
    In fact, maybe an intelligent reference to game theory in my meta-message would help it too…

  5. The worst example I know of is the guy who managed to send the same long message to both my ex-girlfriend and my now-current girlfriend about how he had a theory about how attractive girls like them get less messages than less attractive women because men are intimidated by them or something like that. They were word for word identical.

    (As an aside, I’m pretty sure OKTrends did an article on message rates and hotness)

  6. Nick says:

    Sorry to be boring, and not play the game, but I shall continue to send personalised messages, as most of them do elicit some kind of response and usually at least lead to an interesting conversation – that doesn’t mean something lovingly hand crafted, it can just be something spontaneous and silly and quite short. And also I probably wouldn’t be interested in anyone who responds to the truly generic, I know I don’t myself.

    It’s just like you wouldn’t walk into a bar with the 100 greatest chat-up lines bulging out of your back pocket.

  7. Nick says:

    On the worst enemy thing; just tell them that they could be a star of the blogosphere – yeah, that ought to do the trick….

  8. Ilya says:

    From what I’ve figured out, it goes somewhat like this:

    The man’s job is to initiate contact, since a girl is either 1) too bashful and fears rejection to initiate herself, 2) considers it the mans’ job, 3) unaware of his existence. Initiating a contact is just starting a thread of conversation, that’s it. It’s an excuse to talk, nothing else. Send a “Hi”, send a Duke Nukem line, shut up.

    (Think gender stereotypes: a lady messaging a gentleman out of the blue is labeled desperate, but a lady answering a message is just being polite…)

    If you look good enough (that is, you have good genes and/or look LIKE A BOSS) and have an intriguing profile, she’ll go “this one’s cute” and take upon the invitation. I can’t think of a girl who’d pass on a cute guy because he hasn’t handcrafted her an initial message.

    Speaking of looking LIKE A BOSS, a message into which obviously a lot of time was put will reflect badly on you. If you’re a BOSS, you’re supposed to have better things to do with your time than handcraft messages. If you put a lot of time in her before she put any in you, she’s probably the boss.

    Now, when a girl is bombarded with mindless “Hi”s, I guess you wanna stand out of the crowd, and a Duke Nukem line will do, but half of times, it’ll be your tiny picture by the side of your message that’ll make her think “Hm, that one’s cute.”.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well, every message I send is personalized.
    Still haven’t got a response 😦
    It could be worse though, I could be in a loveless lifeless relationship ( out of fear of dying a lone) and for the blessed release of death.

  10. Natalie says:

    The one that I’ve had a grand total of three times from three different men (one of them fucked up and sent it to me twice) follows:

    “You obviously passed the aesthetics test. But a mate of mine was looking over my shoulder and claimed that your profile sounded to have been written by a guy. It’s just too perfect. So you can either be an awesome woman with style, or you can be an old creep trying to lure in sweet lads.

    I came to your defence, but now we’ve got a £10 bet going as to whether or not you’re real. So I’m wondering, just between us, am I about to lose £10?”

    I’m sure that works, some of the time.

  11. Natalie says:

    How terrifying!

  12. Pingback: An OkCupid Mea Culpa | It's Not OK, Cupid

  13. Muttley says:

    Although I don’t get many messages in OKC, I sometimes get outright spam.

    Identifiable by:

    1) Copy and paste, generic messages, terrible spelling and grammar mistakes
    2a) Too good to be true profiles (clearly fake pictures)
    or
    2b) Empty profiles, no questions answered
    3) A feeling of “Mail brides from Russia”-type scam

    Do only men get this type of spam, or do women get it too?

  14. This site fits here quite nicely says:

    Tagline:
    “how to fail miserably at online dating. we couldn’t make these up if we tried.”

    Someone has gotten to the trouble of gathering contact messages from Match.com (or just made them up) and put them in a website. I think it fits in this blog entry nicely:
    http://messagesfrommatch.tumblr.com/

    • Ilya says:

      “Just heard that Shakira’s in town. If I were you, I’d snatch me up before she does!”

      I’m definitely taking some lines out of here.

  15. Rich says:

    Am I the only one who finds all these slightly jaded comments a little depressing? I hope that doesn’t sound rude, I don’t mean it to, it’s just that I don’t think you can approach internet dating with quite the same world weary cynicism that stops you from bursting into tears on the way to work.
    People ARE fairly similar and most of that similarity is not going to translate into such a one-sided medium. That leaves cliched messages, repeated statements, nervous and awful attempts at jokes or an obvious re-statement of your profile in some attempt to convey solidarity. It’s not that I enjoy the ‘get me while I’m hot’ msgs, but when I’m introduced to people I don’t give them a one sentence deadline either!

  16. Ted says:

    Hi,

    It’s understandable for your perspective when you’d enjoy a finely tuned message. However, unless you’re particularly interested in dating men who are literary geniuses, you shouldn’t expect men to create well-written and unique messages. The hit rate is very low (probably 1 in 20). If it takes a modest 10 minutes to craft a unique message to someone on OKC then you’re talking about spending more than 3 hours to just get a meaningful reply. That’s unberable for most men.

    The 1-in-20 hit rate isn’t cynicism. It’s real world statistics (at least for me). If I were to spend 3 hours writing messages just to get a reply (which by no means guarantee a relationship) then I’d rather just go to a club or bar.

  17. I find that the best first message (about 40-50 percent response rate) is often the simplest and most approximate to real life introductions:

    Hi. How’s it going?

    And you know what? When meeting people offline the old-fashioned hand-shaky way, we are using copy-paste introductions 🙂

  18. Anonymous says:

    IMO if you’re sending well crafted personalised messages, that portrays a lot about you, the time you have on your hands, and the eagerness to please should really be off putting for women.

    I will only ever send a couple of lines nowadays, generally along the lines of, Hey insert name, fancy meeting up for a quick drink sometime?

    If that doesn’t work then meh, no harm no foul, most importantly no invested time or hope. And it works enough to illicit a response about 25% of the time.

    I guess the key here is, a message is generally just a way if getting someone to check out your profile, from there it comes down to their preferences. Getting them to look is all you need to do.

    I used to try and get creative with copy and pasted messages, stuff like;

    Hi, how are you doing? [Insert humour based line related around profile here]. Wondering if you want to get a drink sometime? [insert clever bs here based around shared interests here]

    etc etc, just a paragraph or so littered with insert here’s, but it wasn’t a successful strategy, either they didn’t get it, thought I’d literally forgotten to insert the info, or just thought I was an arsehole.

    One old copy and paste that did work better revolved around, getting a quick drink, believing profiles were mostly bs, being anti web coversations, and meeting face to face for 30 mins should suffice to let us know if we want to spend more time together.

    I believe the last one to be mostly true. And it has been the most successful c&p of all I have used.

    When you only ever send messages drunk though, even copy and pasting becomes hard work (have to find the bloody things to copy then). So I gave up and reverted to the ‘hi, drink’ thing.

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