You don't need to be embarrassed about visiting dating sites unless you're into literature instead of video games, insist on using netspeak and cannot spell the word defenestration.
Okay, I made that last part up. But this survey conducted by dating site OKCupid — which analysed over 500,000 first messages exchanged between users—shows some interesting trends about getting your nerd on as a first impression.
For starters, the survey says ditch the netspeak. That means no l337, no "ur" and you probably don't want to drop phrases like "massive fail", either.
However, the survey does show positive results for people who mention specific interests. For example, you're more than 40% likely to get a reply if you use the word "zombie" in your first message to a potential date. It drops to 35% if you use "video games", but that's still about three percent better than "literature". Also, says the site, if you're a guy, you should be self-effacing. And everybody would be better off atheist.
Based on these findings and with the assumption that you're a guy, I've drafted a model first message for you:
"How's it going? I find your profile pretty much fascinating. You mention zombies. I play video games with vegetarian zombies in them. I am an atheist and I apologise."
Online Dating Advice: Exactly What To Say In A First Message [OKCupid Blog]