As you may know, before I became a dating coach, I was a prolific online dater.

I tried every site around, starting in the late 90’s. Matchmaker.com. Nerve.com. JDate.com. Match.com. eHarmony.com. Chemistry.com. And probably a few others that are escaping my memory right now. These days, PlentyOfFish.com and OkCupid.com are the two free online dating players worthy of your consideration.

But from both my personal experience and my coaching experience, I’ve learned that most people tend to fail in online dating and then blame the website.

This is like blaming the gym because you didn’t lose weight.

Site are just big boxes of single people who are trying to meet each other. Nobody shows them how to come up with clever usernames. Nobody teaches them what photos to post. Nobody illustrates how to create a unique, compelling online dating profile. Nobody teaches effective email techniques based on actual research.

This is the way normal people talk when they go to parties. They don’t tap you on the shoulder and say, “You look cute. I think we have a lot in common. Let’s go out.”

The closest anybody gets is OkCupid – and all they do is give you test results – approximately 27% of people respond to first emails, overall – they don’t show you HOW to write great first emails.

So if you’ve been frustrated with your results in online dating (and one look at the comments below indicates that you ARE), there are a number of things you can do differently to get different results. One of the most powerful ones has to do with writing first emails. Consider what most people say:

Subject: Hi

Text: Hey Pat102. I read your profile and you seem really cool. I liked your photos. You have a great smile and I think we have a lot in common, too. I noticed that you have a dog. I also have a dog. What kind do you have? Where do you like to walk your dog? Maybe we can get together sometime. So, check out my profile and if you like what I have to say, I really hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely, Chris.

If you’ve ever received an email like this, you know it sucks. But then why do you also WRITE emails like this as well? My theory is because it’s easiest – it’s what comes naturally to you. So you don’t put much thought into it, and, not surprisingly, it doesn’t get very good results. Why would it? There’s nothing funny, interesting, compelling, or different about such an email. Plus, it compliments the recipient too much – as if Chris is just praying that he/she is good enough for Pat102. No wonder Pat doesn’t respond to this display of weakness.

First emails are best when you offer your opinion of something specific in the person’s profile – but instead of doing what you normally do: “I agree. I like popcorn, too!”, you actually say something disagreeable, controversial, silly, or playful. Make an observation. Be sarcastic. Come up with a joke. Anything other than, “I like you. I like what you said. Please, please, please consider going out with me.”

For example, if someone says in his profile that he likes Costa Rica, you think about all the things you know about Costa Rica and search your brain for a humorous angle. Something other than, “I’ve heard it’s beautiful there! Tell me more!” Personally, I don’t know ANYTHING about Costa Rica, but I do know that all of my left-wing, liberal, neo-hippie friends go on yoga retreats there. Literally, the only reason I’ve even heard of Costa Rica is because of yoga.

So I use this in my email:

Subject: Yoga-Retreat Island

Hey, Pat. I have to be honest with you. I don’t know anything about Costa Rica; I think it’s in the Caribbean or Central America or something like that. All I know is that all of my left-wing yoga friends go on week-long retreats there every year. Which makes me wonder: what does it look like when you fly in at the airport? As the plane is descending, do you see 25,000 people doing down dog at the same exact time? Are there 25,000 more people who are ziplining from tree to tree? Inquiring minds want to know.

Talk soon, Chris.

You didn’t talk about yourself. You didn’t talk about the person you were writing to. You didn’t compliment the other person. You didn’t brag about yourself or sell yourself or ask anyone on any dates. You just made a silly observation about Costa Rica.

This is the way normal people talk when they go to parties. They don’t tap you on the shoulder and say, “You look cute. I think we have a lot in common. Let’s go out.”

It all starts with a little bit of witty banter.This technique is known as the Opinion Opener technique and it’s worked like a charm for thousands of women and men who’ve bought my Finding the One Online audio series.

If you’re sick of online dating – all the wrong people writing to you and the right people not writing back, here are four simple things I will teach you to do:

* You can come up with a new username/headline.
* You can post different online dating photos
* You can write a better online dating profile.
* You can improve your email technique.

All of this is explained in fascinating detail in Finding the One Online – with 7 hours of audio, a 180 page transcript and a 35 page workbook.

Click here to see for yourself how to make more people respond to your initial emails on Match.com.