Read the other person’s profile. Think about the key things that stand out and use those as the base of your message. If you note you share the same favourite book or movie, mention it, but don’t feel the need to comment on every single thing they’ve listed on their profile.
Ask questions. There’s no need to give them the third degree but it’s important to ask questions so they feel like they have something to respond to.
Don’t copy and paste. You might think your scattergun, timesaving gesture is clever and the other person will never know, but it is pretty simple for people to pick up on. Just think, would you like someone copy/pasting a message to you that was also sent to others?
Stay classy. Don’t mention sex. Just don’t.
And while we’re at it, don’t feel the need to comment on what the person you’re messaging looks like. That can come up at a later stage, but as a first message, stick to what the person has written about.
Flex your wit. Be careful not to be too jokey, but definitely inject your personality into the message. It will make you stand out and almost everyone loves a good sense of humour!
Read it back through before you send it and for goodness sake, give it a proofread. While not everyone rates his or her spelling and grammar abilities, you need to make sure the message is legible so the recipient can understand.