The first message sent to someone who catches your eye on an online dating site is by far the most important. A well-crafted first message will both increase your reply rate, and sets the tone for the remainder of the conversation.
In almost all cases the best option for a first message is an observational comment framed as a question about another members photo, or something interesting in their written dating profile.
Observational comments set you apart from other members as they show you’ve put thought into your message and individualised it, as opposed to sending the same generic message to multiple other people.
Sample observations include:
A question regarding the location of a photo e.g. Was your profile photo taken at that the Australian Open in Melbourne?
If a member mentions in their profile that they love movies: I love movies too, what was the last movie you went to?
If a profile mentions that they recently moved from one location to another e.g. Sydney to Melbourne: How are you enjoying Melbourne so far? What made you decide to move from Sydney to Melbourne?
Observations should never relate to appearance. An observation regarding appearance will almost always comes across as creepy, and is unlikely to receive a response.
Sending an observational first message will set you apart from other online daters sending generic messages such as: Hi, how are you? Or You look hot? Observations will maximise your response rate, help you set up more first dates, and increase your chances of meeting your perfect match.