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Your First Message

Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
711
Location
Highlands
#1
So, I've noticed there are some people here who consistently seem to have trouble getting replies from others when they send messages requesting role-plays. Granted, this happens and is pretty common, to the point where it is a generally accepted part of the role-play search process. Some people just don't answer back.

But it did make me wonder if there was something specific people are doing/saying in their first approach that is possibly affecting their chances of getting a reply back.

So, here is a thread to help those who can't seem to get a reply back to their first message sent. If you keep having trouble and think it might be that something in that first message is just not "clicking" right, then post a message you've sent or are thinking of sending and see if you can maybe get some helpful feedback on it. The person you sent it to might not have the respect/courage to tell you "why" you've been rejected but maybe your fellow rpers here can offer a bit of insight.

It's not just help from me but anyone can answer and offer their feedback.
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
711
Location
Highlands
#2
I've been doing this for about 11 years on half a dozen different sites and rarely do I ever not get a reply from someone(I have been turned down though, heh). Rarely am I ever ghosted. I haven't needed to make a request thread in 2 years on the different sites I've been on and 90% of the time, it's me making the first move to send a message. My active rp search takes an average of 2-5 days before I find a long-term partner that I connect with.

Just as an example of something typical from me, with a break down for why I've chosen to do things this way. A message I sent to my current long-term partner back in June 2018. We've been writing nearly every day nonstop since then.

Hello there,

So, I really liked the down-to-earth tone of your request thread and we have a lot of the same priorities when it comes to what we want from an rp. To introduce myself a little bit, my name is Saul(not really but I've been told it's easier than The Goodman) and I love storytelling. Sex is great but I much prefer sexual tension. It'll happen but lets make everybody squirm beforehand, you know? My greatest passion though is epic journeys and drama-filled relationships. Fluff is great but an element of conflict is so much more entertaining. I'm currently in college but my workload is light this semester and it's just about over. By the end of August, I'll just be working until January when the next semester starts. So, a lot more free time. Still, I attempt to post at least once a day but I'll always keep you informed about what's going on.

That being said, here is an idea I've been craving to play but haven't found anybody to mesh with yet; let me know if you're interested!
And then a chunky paragraph where I summarized and pitched my story idea to her.

So, I really liked the down-to-earth tone of your request thread and we have a lot of the same priorities when it comes to what we want from an rp.
I reference right away why I'm contacting her, letting her know I saw her RT and what I liked about it, and why I think we'd make good partners. If the person doesn't have an RT, then I suppose you could look into their other posts. But generally, if they don't have an RT or haven't bumped it in the last month, I simply assume 1. They aren't currently looking for rps or 2. They're not on the site that often and I don't bother sending a message.

To introduce myself a little bit, my name is Saul(not really but I've been told it's easier than The Goodman) and I love storytelling.
A brief introduction, very casual, a little humorous, if need be. She now has a name she can comfortably use to refer to me by and she knows a quick bit of info about what motivates me to rp. I want to tell a story. Boom. Done. She doesn't need to be bogged down with my insecurities or my issues, and she doesn't need to know about my favorite colors or my collection of hair.

Sex is great but I much prefer sexual tension. It'll happen but lets make everybody squirm beforehand, you know? My greatest passion though is epic journeys and drama-filled relationships. Fluff is great but an element of conflict is so much more entertaining.
Then I let her know what kind of rp I like, what my smut to story ratio is and getting more specific about what I want from role-playing with her. I'd also include any limits I have, if I had any. But generally, since my kinks are negotiable and flexible(leave it in, leave it out, doesn't matter) I don't talk about it unless they ask. If you have hard "No's" or things you absolutely need to include in the rp, then I'd include that right up front. If including your kinks right away seems to get you no replies back, I'd consider trying to be more flexible and not include them in a first message. Or just accept that your inflexibility will likely result in sparse replies?

I'm currently in college but my workload is light this semester and it's just about over. By the end of August, I'll just be working until January when the next semester starts. So, a lot more free time. Still, I attempt to post at least once a day but I'll always keep you informed about what's going on.
Then I let her know my schedule and any conflicts that might come up, things I might be juggling that will fight for my attention as we begin this partnership. And I am open and honest with my partners and friends about unplanned for situations, but still, even if that is a given, it's nice to get that sort of consideration right off the bat.

That being said, here is an idea I've been craving to play but haven't found anybody to mesh with yet; let me know if you're interested!
Then I include a plot for her to look at. Something that I'm excited about and something that I've checked her RT to make sure lines up with her limits and interests. If need be, I tailor the idea, tweak it for them even in this opening message so it'll be more likely to appeal to them. Usually, depending on what I'm currently craving, I'll send 1 or 2 plots. No more than that. I have a mountain of ideas, but I usually wait until I am told "I don't like either of those" before offering others.

Everyone is different, everyone has different strengths and kinks and priorities. So, this formula might not work for everyone, unless you, like me, are very kink-flexible and prioritize story over smut.

If anyone else has examples of first approach messages that have worked for them, please share!
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2016
Messages
561
Location
Canada
#5
Just what you said, be nice, say what you like about the thread, and of course, have input into the roleplay so people can tell you thought about it and have interest.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2019
Messages
31
Location
Amsterdam
#6
Not entirely related to what you are talking about @The Goodman, but I worked for a company that created and sold a lot of dating sites, back in 200x, and I had an access to the live (production) data, and anonymised messages that some customers (that opted for unencrypted messages in exchange for discounts or perks) sent each other. Unfortunately, the most successful tactic was not to be empathetic and thoughtful, but to create a short (AFAIR a paragraph or so) long message, and just spam everyone with it.

I actually wish that more sites had a limit to how many new conversations a person (user) can open every day, this way it would incentivise people to be more thoughtful and economical with their messages.

Also if you'll allow me to be a cheeky devils advocate - your success is determined by the fact that most people don't engage fully with writers, they just spam, if everyone started being thoughtful, empathic, and engaged from the first message - you'd success rate would drop :p Which is still better for society!
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2014
Messages
1,863
Location
US
#8
I like everything that has been written, but have to add what to me is an important additional aspect. I try to make the responder work a little before replying to me. I do this because I want a co-writer and not "lets get into smut." This can either involve having them look at my request thread or responding to their request with a slight deviation.

This can be off-putting and I have had some negative replies (more than once). But you know what? It would not have worked out between us anyway. Unless I get someone interested in the 'craft' of ERP'ing, I am not really that interested.

My success rate?

Probably a little bit worse than average, but judging from what I have read, my retention rate is far higher than most people.
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
711
Location
Highlands
#10
@Victorian_Virtue what do you mean? You send a message to someone for an rp and you include a link to your request thread inviting them to look? Do you do that in addition to sharing ideas in propositioning them, or do you just say "hey saw your thread; here's mine, let me know if you wanna rp"?

Generally, from what I've heard, that is considered lazy and frowned upon. That's not considered "challenging", like, how you think you're making them work for getting to rp with you. You're sending the first contact message. It's on you to sell yourself to them as you've already taken the initiative to contact them first. You're wasting their time to satisfy some standard that isn't actually served by the bar you've set. I do not doubt people have been annoyed with you getting that in their inbox.

I don't agree with people putting hoops or challenges for rp partners in the way. Like, as if otherwise, you're just swamped with interest and get exhausted sifting through all the messages and telling people "no".
 
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