Last week, I took a peek at the messages my client was getting on Tinder, and they looked something like this: “Hey.” “Hi.” “Hello beautiful.” “Oh hello there.”
 
I’m sure you know what this looks like because they’re probably the same types of messages you’re receiving — and sending. 
 
But here’s the thing: Saying “hey” doesn’t work — at all. The dating app Hinge tested 100 opening lines and found that “hey” increases people’s response rates … exactly zero. 
 
 
People feel indifferent about “hey,” which means it doesn’t inspire a response. And when getting offline for a date is the goal, a response is a must so you can eventually meet. You can swipe right all you want, but if no one is replying to your messages, dating apps won’t change your dating life.
 
So how do you stand out from the other “hellos” and snag more date nights? At eFlirt, we find what works best for our clients on apps, is a simple equation: connect + ask. 
 
Connect over something you have in common. Since many people don’t write bios on dating apps (though you absolutely should so people can more easily connect with you), look for indicators in your matches’ photos. What do you have in common? Start there and pick something conversation-worthy. 
 
Ask a question so it’s easy to respond. Without a question, you’re not really beginning a conversation. A statement doesn’t require an action so it’s much less likely your match will act with a reply.
 
So next time your match posts a pic of herself running try, “Did my first half this year. How many finish lines have you crossed?” 
 
 
Or if he has a photo of himself at a sushi restaurant, go with, “Dynamite roll or spicy tuna?”
 
When you connect and ask, it’s similar to real-life conversation. At a bar, you might ask a cutie, “What are you drinking?” Your point of connection and question may be more casual bar-side, but it’s a similar approach. When you mimic offline life in your digital dating life, you get closer to connecting face-to-face. 
 
Laurie Davis is the founder of eFlirt, an online dating concierge service, and the best-selling author of "​Love @ First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating."