The Secrets to Writing Online Dating Emails that Work!

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online dating emails

Do you struggle with writing online dating emails that get opened and answered? My radio guest, Martin Dumbleton, is here to help!


writing online dating emails

My radio guest, Martin Dumbleton, began online dating after his divorce. Sometimes he would find a girlfriend and suspend the quest, but he’d start again once he had been dumped. So many of the women told him he was good at writing online dating emails that were funny, he began to collect the 

dialogues. After five years of on and off dating, he looked at the material and realized there was enough to write a book. All the dialogues in his book, I’m willing to lie about how we met: Dating Dialogues with Martin Dumbleton, are based on exchanges with real women. Their words have been changed in order to protect their identities.

You can read highlights of our conversation Last First Date Radio about how to write online dating emails that work below!

Martin shared his secrets to writing emails that work!


Here are a few of his tips…


1. Read his/her profile and respond to it.

HER: I have two children. One is an excellent swimmer and diver, and can make splash-less entries into the pool which I admire.

MARTIN: I swim but I am avoiding the advice of a friend to hold my breath during butterfly. If I start off from the shallow end on the hour, I’m usually out of my depth by quarter past – and that’s a long time to be without oxygen.

Splash-less entries…. I can’t even do one of those in my diary, there’s usually a coffee or wine stain somewhere to betray what I do whilst writing.

2. Ask an open-ended question.

HER: I have just come back to the UK after living in Thailand, which was a country full of wonders.

MARTIN: The Far East fascinates me, and I hope you can tell me a little about your stay in Thailand, because I am thinking of going there next year. (Note: This was a lie, but a great conversation starter!)


3. Demonstrate vulnerability.

HER: I am a loyal, full of beans active person. I love films, music, my children, cooking, eating out and paddling in a canoe.

MARTIN: I need to start with an apology. I am rather poor in a canoe. Whether this is because one arm is stronger than the other I am not sure, but I go around in circles a lot. People watching think I have a fascination with a particular fish lurking beneath the surface, but it’s my unequal arms to blame.


Martin also spoke about how to write a more compelling profile…


1. Demonstrate a good sense of humor (self-deprecation is endearing).

My run chum is very sweet, but every now and then he blasts off, as if he is just being kind, and he could probably win it. He’s taller than the Kenyans and judging from where the height of his head is breathing in the air….I suspect you can call it altitude training. But he can see over the trees and warn of approaching cars, so I am sticking with him. And he has a stopwatch. That’s really cool. I have a stopped watch, but that’s not quite the same.

2. Have an opinion.

Martin checked the Washington Post, and found an article about black bears in Colorado to include in his profile:

Black bears in Colorado seem to be getting bolder, trying to drag campers out of their tents to eat them. It’s a delicate balance. Who matters more? The campers or the bears? Can we blame the bears if they are hungry?

If I swim in the sea and get eaten by a shark, it’s my bad luck. I enter the sea at my own risk. Perhaps the campers have to have a que sera, sera attitude, when sleeping under the stars in the bear’s kingdom.


I asked Martin, what lessons have you learned along the way? 

a. Remember that you’re not the only one who’s uncomfortable on a date. Both of you probably are.

b. Emailing is not enough. I once fell for a woman through many emails, and when we finally met, there was mutual repulsion! 

c. Meet as soon as possible. Email on the dating site, email off the site, speak on the phone, maybe even Skype, but meet as soon as you can. There’s nothing like being face-to-face in person. 

d. Stop second guessing what’s going on in the other person’s mind when they don’t write back. Step back, and say , “I have no idea why.” Be less concerned and don’t take it personally.

c. It’s a massive sea. An ideal fellow fish could live across the Atlantic for all we know. Keep jumping into the sea!


Martin Dumbleton has invited my listeners to email with the word “Sandy” in the subject line, and five listeners will be selected to receive a FREE signed copy of his book! Closing date is 16th July at 11.59 p.m. E.S.T.


Listen to the entire episode here.

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