For many of us, 2016 was a doozy, but we here at Brit + Co are ready to hit refresh in 2017! Follow our Hit Refresh series through January for new ideas, hacks and skills that will help you achieve (and maintain!) those New Year’s resolutions.

So, you’ve decided it’s time to put yourself out there and look online for your next great relationship. You’ve done all the research on the dating sites most likely to lead to something long-term, you’ve figured out the dating apps that are best for you and you’ve crafted a profile that perfectly captures what you’re looking for in a significant other. You’re well on your way!

It never hurts to have some inside scoop, so to give you an extra edge, dating site Zoosk compiled a list of six tips for taking flirting from online to IRL. Based on survey information compiled earlier this year, following these suggestions will likely increase your chances of getting a date. Scroll down and get ready to make your online move with full confidence that it will result in a face-to-face meeting.

Young couple in bar having drink and snack

1. Suggest an activity. If someone’s profile has caught your eye, don’t hesitate to invite them to join you for one of your favorite activities. Making a specific suggestion shows that you’re genuinely interested in the person and not blindly putting out vague feelers for dates (i.e., “We should hang out.”). If you want to keep things simple, there’s nothing wrong with the old school dinner and a movie date — according to a survey of Zoosk members, proposing this classic night out increases your chances of getting a response by 91 percent.

2. Be smart about your timing. Contacting your online crush during your lunch break is not the best way to ensure a reply — in general, your best bet is to say hello earlier in the morning or later at night. When men send a message to a potential love interest between 9am and 10am, they are 10 percent more likely to get a response than if they initiate conversation at any other time. Women tend to experience more success at night — ladies, reach out to your online eye candy between 10pm and 11pm for your best chances at a reply.

3. Respond within one day. All those rumors about playing hard to get aren’t true — it turns out that it doesn’t somehow make you more appealing when you pretend to be unavailable and mysterious. If you are on the receiving end of online dating outreach, don’t let more than 24 hours pass before you write back. Of the respondents in the Zoosk survey, 94 percent said they expect a reply within one day.

4. Show off your personality. The best online profiles are the ones that highlight your unique qualities. Your profile photo doesn’t need to be flawless (you don’t need to look like the Victoria’s Secret Angels) — instead, it should highlight the characteristics that set you apart from the rest. Do you have interesting hobbies? Have you traveled anywhere unusual? Do you proudly rock a tattoo? Play up what makes you special!

What’s one thing you should consider playing down? Overtly sexual messages. According to the survey, Zoosk’s users are not impressed by digital sexy talk.

5. When it comes to word count, know your audience. Male Zoosk users don’t seem to pay much attention to the length of a message, but the women surveyed had higher expectations. If you’re seeking a woman to date, your online outreach should at least exceed the character count of a tweet — and we hope it goes without saying that you should be putting more thought into notes to your next potential S.O. than to the latest entry on your Twitter feed.

6. Don’t expect a date after a single message. Most of the online dating community isn’t in a rush to make a connection IRL, so you don’t need to be either. If you’re hoping to score a date, be prepared to exercise a little patience, and enjoy the process of getting to know your bae-to-be. Roughly half of the singles involved in Zoosk’s survey indicated that they swap about five messages before they actually meet a love interest in-person.

Do you have other tips for getting a date online? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)