Well, I tend to use the non-sequitur approach. Actively try to start up a conversation that both of you can contribute to somehow; find something low-pressure that you would both enjoy, without playing e-mail ping-pong or pushing it in the opening volley "Hey, since you're into THING, there's a THING exhibit at the MoMa next week that looked great. Don't talk about attraction. You include a question as a p. Your goal is to get her to your profile and writing back to you, so make sure each of those pieces is good enough to keep her going forward with you. One more on the photo:
The best way to open an email to a stranger is a compliment in the subject line so she will definitely open it and a question about one of her interests, hobbies, or photos inside the body of the email.
Online dating: how to send the perfect opening email
Relationships happen or they don't. Regardless of how you feel you look, include a picture on your profile. I'm a paying match. What was key to establishing a rapport with someone was that they wrote to me and indicated that they actually read my ad AND has some affinity for it. Mentioning something yummy-sounding works just as well on dating apps. It's never serious, just a jump start for a conversation.