Tips on How to Respond to a Personal Ad

You have seen a personal ad that you like and now you want to respond. Most people do it wrong and then wonder why they never get a reply. While there are "secrets" or guarantees, here are 10 tips on how to respond to a personal ad to help you stand out from the crowd. 1. Write in advance.

Draft your response. Use a word processor (Word, WordPad etc.) to check spelling and grammar.

Just remember that a word processor cannot tell the difference between "live" and "leave". 2. Personalize it.

Never use a generic response. Nobody likes a "canned" response. Each email should be written to that particular person. Visualizing a real person and writing him/her helps. Want to contact many people as quickly as possible? Create a template and save it in your computer (or on paper).

Then personalize it for each contact. 3. Study the person's ad and look for clues on how to reply.

In your response, tell how or why you may fit with their hopes, desires and personality. 4. Avoid overused, generic terms like "Hi_, can we chat?" or "Response to your ad".

Use the subject of the email to catch attention: most people look at the subject to decide whether to open the email. If you have received responses for your personal ads, study the ones that attract your attention and model yours from them. 5. Write more than one line.

Tell something about yourself. Give a compliment but avoid commenting on the person's looks, especially when writing to a pretty woman (how many others have done that?). You could mention what attracted you to their ad.

Ask questions about something they wrote. Show keen, genuine interest. 6. Don't write a novel. Long messages can be intimidating, especially if the person has received lots of responses.

They simply get deleted. Keep it short and sweet. 7. Don't ask for personal information at this point. And never reveal personal information on first contact. 8.

Unless the person has said he/she is looking for a casual relationship, don't mention anything suggestive of sex. A "friends first" approach works best. 9. Avoid negativity. Don't mention past failed relationships.

And don't brag. If you like something about yourself or have a special talent, sneak it in without touting your horn. Example, "My friends say I play the piano really well." 10. Be pleasant, courteous and positive.

And above all, be honest. Don't say you work out regularly at the gym, as impressive as it may seem, when you know you're couch potatoes. There you have 10 tips on how to respond to a personal ad.

Take your time and write a winner. It could mean the difference between success and failure in getting you the person you seek.

David Kamau is webmaster of If you're looking for more dating information, then check out Online Dating Articles Updated regularly with the latest advice.

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