The first paragraph of your letter, email, Facebook, website, brochure or other DR piece is one of the most critical elements of your success or failure.
Grab your reader’s attention immediately
In one or two lines, you must create suspense or drama, or introduce something unexpected. More important, it must persuade your reader that it is in his or her best interest to keep reading or listening.
Remember your objective is to demand and attract the interest of the reader. It is not to set the groundwork for understanding the sales proposition.
Here in a nutshell are a few of the rules to follow in creating your first paragraph:
- Make it dramatic, interesting, and directed to the right target audience. The focus is on the reader’s self-interest.
- Keep the paragraph short.
- Keep the sentences short.
- Keep your words short.
- Use “you” to involve the reader
- Make your message come from one person, on a very personal basis, with the intent of building a one-on-one readership throughout the presentation.
- In evaluating any effort, one of the first things you should do is look at the lead paragraph. Does it match the style and flavor of the six points listed above?
Below are a few first paragraphs I have used for my clients:
Take a look at them to see how we have applied the rules:
- Imagine ranking in 58.84% average returns over 3 years when the S&P 500 is pulling 18.01%
Subscribers to Motley Fool Stock Advisor have done exactly that.
- Malpractice premiums are outrageous! But at least they protect you from today’s out-of-control lawsuits, right?
- The fact is, your cost of living in California is a staggering 30% higher than other states, due to some of the heaviest taxation and regulation in the country.
- Twenty-three years ago, I took a trip that I have regretted my entire life.
And so on.
To have powerful copy, your first paragraphs need powerful intros, like the ones above.
Let me critique your copy for free. Call me at (310) 212-5727 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org