You might think the two of these have nothing in common, but I find it surprising how these two share similar tactics. In fact, taking a similar approach to writing information in each place might improve your odds of getting that message across clearly and concisely. You may be the type of person that writes one-word messages in email and Tinder profiles, and this wouldn’t be an article for you. For everyone else, however, read on to see these two in action.
To start off, let me say I don’t expect you to write a Tinder profile like you would an email. I know that’s absurd. This is more of a thought experiment in tactics for getting people to successfully read your message or ideas. In highly competitive environments – as email and Tinder tend to be – success is when your message has been successfully delivered to your target’s mind.
And, almost every email today requires brevity. You have to be short, sweet, and to the point. But, often when emailing someone with more than one sentence or paragraph, you’ll see that they’ve not read all of it (when they respond). The challenge here is to sometimes relay dense information, yet illicit a productive response. I generally use these tactics (among others):
- Know the audience. If they’re known to you for not reading or retaining, write only one point and expect a response before moving on to the next point.
- – Deliver all the information in the first paragraph. Expand on that later in the message. Write an email like a newspaper.
- – Offer no sarcasm or snarkiness (this a hard one). To that end, inject as little extreme emotion into the message. I little goes a long way.
- – Make use of checklists to support your point. Use bold to highlight words the reader should focus on.
- – Create and reinforce context. Information without context is useless.
- – Create a flow of information top to bottom so the information provided makes sense in the provided context.
Tinder profiles need to be very brief too (and not only because there are text limits). In this environment, you’re images and text need to impress and persuade in a matter of seconds (if not milliseconds). Sometimes that is best done by letting the images speak for themselves and leaving the profile text empty. But you can do better, right? Keep it light, positive, clear and try to express character in your words over the urge to create a checklist of your attributes.
But, what about those high-impact words that might be controversial or placed in a very competitive landscape? How do you ensure it’s read and retained?
One great approach you see in both cases is adding unique information near the bottom of your text that helps signal retention later. In the case of a dating profile, this might be including details your suitor would mention later in conversation like “I’m a Simpsons Fan”, or “I went to the University of Central Florida”. If you connect with that person and they don’t mention it, they weren’t paying attention. You might think that’s harsh, but consider that one of the most sought-after qualities in a spouse is “treating them with respect”.
I do this in email too. Especially the more difficult or controversial topics. When I’m relaying difficult news, for example, I might make something clear at the end that is mundane, but if the reader takes action after half of my email, I know he hasn’t read it all and thus hasn’t taken the time to process the information.
What to do then? In the case of Tinder, un-match. In the case of email, repeat your mundane message if necessary, and return to the original, break that down into smaller parts, and begin reinforcing that message. On further correspondence, remember your audience and write simpler with more replies required.