Ok, gentleman, humility and even self-effacement can be nice, but I advise leading with something stronger than this:
“If you’re a single woman who wants to have children and isn’t looking for the perfect guy, I may be exactly what you need!”
And this – an e-mail received by a colleague of mine – is not a good tactic – though it is a good example of a phenomenon in which people feel comfortable writing something in an e-mail that they would not say in person (or so I hope):
“Greetings – So – how goes it? It’s me… the tall, slim gentleman who was blatantly hitting on you yesterday evening as we both exited Cafe Luxembourg. Yes, I thought you looked quite sexy and enticing in your hat and halter top (or was that a kind of semi-halter top?) Anyway, your face, your hat, and your boobs all looked quite appealing (ha ha ha). I hope to God you’ve got a sense of humor.
At any rate, I certainly enjoyed our brief flutter of conversation, and, speaking for myself at least, I’m sure I would enjoy making acquaintance with your face, your hat, and your…um…halter top sometime soon. Coffee at a coffee shop that appeals to you perhaps? Un verre du vin rouge over at Luxembourg perhaps? Whatever suits your fancy – and I look forward to hearing more about [your job]. Please feel free to e-mail me at the above Columbia University address, or, better yet, feel free to ring me…. Many thanks for being relaxed and, perhaps, receptive et cetera…”
*As a minor point, my colleague was wearing a plain old tank top – no halter involved.