First, a great photo from a professional photographer is the number one criteria. After that, giving a great deal of thought, even meditating on what a person is truly looking for and hoping to attract and get from this site. I was very clear that I wanted a man of "intelligence and a wicked sense of humor" and that I would prefer a doctor or man of science with an advanced degree.
After that, I did not respond to winks, I only responded to emails that had content. They had to mention my profile and what in particular made them want to write. Then I read their profile and IF I was interested, I replied. Then, you must talk on the phone and arrange to meet to determine if you can go further. Sometimes the tone of voice is a huge indication that you won't be compatible. After these items; photo, clarity of intent, email, phone and meeting in person, there is a lot of communication. In our first meeting I followed Alison Armstrong's advice and just stated that I was looking for a long term relationship that lead to marriage and if he wasn't interested in this, then we could just cut everything short. I did get 'lucky', I communicated what I wanted.
Thanks again for hosting me on your site