And not just because everyone’s sweetening their online profiles.

OKCupid has posted some helpful tips on getting people to respond to messages in online dating. And their advice could easily translate to marketing a company online.

First off, let’s be honest. Marketers are the men in this situation.

According to the dating site, men are generally the pursuers in online dating interactions (men are twice as likely to respond to a message from a woman as the reverse). Women are often judged on their profile and picture more than the content of their messages, and the same holds true for customers.

Customer demographics and their interest in purchasing products are far more important factors to brands than the specifics about their personality.

Online daters have clearly set themselves up to looking to meet
members of the opposite sex, but they aren’t always eager to hear from
potential suitors. OKCupid says that only 32% of first messages on
their site get a response.

The situation is actually quite pertinent to brands that have a list of consumers who have signed up to receive email newsletters. Just because a person is open to your brand, it doesn’t mean that he or she is going to pay attention to your message — or buy your product.

With that in mind, OKCupid’s advice is rather helpful. Aside from the obvious advice of “make yourself stand out” and “write something interesting,” OKCupid has a simple thought: keep your message short.

Trying to make themselves seem interesting and attentive, online daters often tend toward the verbose. Almost 16% of first messages on OKCupid are over 2000 characters and the average is 743. While trying to win someone over, daters often try to prove themselves through wordy messaging. But that’s not really worth their time.

Similarly, marketers should keep their messages relevant, useful — and concise.

Even if someone cares about your brand and has an interest in hearing about updates and products, that doesn’t mean their patience is unlimited. Marketers should keep it short and sweet — and give consumers any easy way to learn more. If they are so inclined.

OKCupid’s numbers don’t really touch upon marketing’s most important factors — relevance, utility and quality of the message. But I like the idea of this analogy. Just because someone is open to hearing from you, it doesn’t mean they will respond.

This is the first in a series of data points by the dating site and I’ll be curious to see if anything else they found pertains to brands. The rules of online dating — and marketing — can get rather murky, but paying close attention to messaging in both helps weed out the dogs from future relationships you might want to pursue.

Image: LoveToKnow