The headline above is what’s called a “fascination” and they are mainly used in bullets. They arouse curiosity; they tease and titillate. That’s why they are so powerful. Lead sentences can do this too as you’ll soon see.
FIRST UP A LESSON: I’m aware for some of my blog visitors they have no desire to write their own copy. This is understandable. Writing good copy takes time, diligence and a keen eye for detail.
Many of my members are busy and their hearts aren’t in the copywriting side of things. That’s okay; I understand. Copywriting isn’t for everyone. However, this doesn’t mean you should not study copywriting. It’s a BIG mistake not to fully understand all the intricacies, a huge loss to your profits if you do not understand, at a deep emotional level, what copywriting is all about.
The best marketers I know are all great copywriters. Many prefer to outsource this task; but they have the skills if needed. They also have the skills to critique the work they get back from freelance copywriters.
It’s no accident, all of my top earning Clients and Members are all obsessive students of copywriting.
It’s no accident; many of this country’s top copywriters study my newsletter.
So, even if you are not interested in writing the copy yourself; you should be VERY interested in what I say in this post. Don’t dismiss the ideas, the in-depth studies we cover on this blog just because you don’t wanna write copy. You’re smarter than this. This isn’t make- believe. This isn’t fool’s gold. This is the real deal; the real GOLD. This is where the money is.
NOTE: GREAT NEWS for small business owners who do want to write their own copy. Look, there are so many benefits to writing your own copy, I could fill this blog. However, to keep it brief, here’s just a few.
One, it gives you freedom to exploit any opportunity by quickly jumping on current events (Collier Principle) and shamelessly exploiting each opportunity.
Two, you save money on copywriting fees.
Three, you’ll make more money.
Four, in many markets, okay to good copy gets remarkable results. This means you do not have to write world-class copy to succeed.
Plus there’s a whole smorgasbord of other reasons as well. But above all, the ability to craft words that sell gives you FREEDOM! In these uncertain times that is a TRUE blessing.
Okay, let’s get down to business.
How to write sizzling leads
I’ve taught the if/then opening for years. I was using it before I even knew what it was or what it was called. I picked it up through observation and careful study of dozens of great sales letters. But I think it was John Carlton who first pointed this out to me many moons ago. The if/then opening is highly effective and fully explained in my Sales Letter Writing Home Study Pack.
Anyway, I’m not going to spend time on it here; but I will give you several ways to start your letters off with a bang.
It’s important to realise that your first sentence or paragraph is critical. You’ve got them in with your headline, but they are looking for any excuse to put your letter down (or click away). This is make or break time and you’ve gotta lead with all guns blazing.
In his book, Advertising Secrets of the Written Word, my friend Jo Sugarman says the point of your first sentence is to get the second sentence read. The point of the second sentence is to get the third sentence read and so on. Jo likes to keep his first sentence short. Good advice. But there are many ways to skin a cat. Here are a few examples of leads I’ve used that demonstrate Jo’s concept.
It’s a fact…
It had to happen…
No one is immune…
Then I simply go into the story. I can see why Jo likes this method so much… but as I said, there are other ways. Let’s look at two of them.
SECRETS LEAD: I’ve got a secret is still one of the most powerful ways to get and keep attention. Curiosity is powerful; NEVER underestimate the power of curiosity; it’s a BIGGIE!
Template #1: What if I gave you the one secret to eliminating (insert problem) forever, without (mention thing they don’t want to do) and without (another thing they don’t want to do) would you be interested?
Template #2: Imagine possessing the secret to (insert benefit) that makes (insert problem) a breeze.
So, if I were selling a diet product, here’s how each example would look.
Example #1: What if gave you the one secret to eliminating excessive weight forever, without counting calories and without starving yourself to death either; would you be interested?
Example #2: Imagine possessing the secret to weight loss that makes shedding weight a breeze.
The SECRETS LEAD is a powerful one to have in your arsenal. And look, you can play around with these templates. Change them, mix them up; add even more to them. The main thing to keep in mind is curiosity. Have you whet their appetite to want to know more? Have you aroused a burning desire to know the secret? That’s where the money is!
SIDE NOTE: For the astute student, yes, Template #1 is the “Without Click” I taught at my Master Class.
BIG PROMISE LEAD: This lead is still effective however, because we are such a sceptical bunch these days, you need to back it up with proof real quick. You don’t want the dreaded “yeah sure” response from the reader.
Template #1: This could be your one chance to (insert benefit)… here’s why…
Template #2: This message contains the one critical thing you need to do right now to (insert benefit). Let me explain…
So once again, if I were selling a diet product, here’s how each example would look.
Example #1: This could be your one chance to lose all the weight you want quickly, easily and without any fuss. Here’s why…
Example #2: This message contains the one critical thing you need to do right now to shed weight and keep it off forever. Let me explain…
I trust these templates will help you write your own mesmerising leads that capture the attention and imagination of your market.
I’ll leave you with a few examples of lead sentences taken from my winning promotions.
This one taken from a winning Business Opportunity letter still going strong after four years…
My name is Tom Smith, and if you’ve got ten minutes, then I’ll show you how to get in on the ground floor of an exciting new business. A business that until recently has been kept secret, while those on the inside kept it to themselves and quietly made a fortune. A business that is wide open and ready for YOU to make good money while working part-time hours from home.
Big call? Maybe…
But please let me explain and I’ll tell you what this is all about…I’ll take you back to where it all began, so you can see for yourself the GOLDEN opportunity that’s right in front of you…the sheer brilliance of this “Secret Business” that I’m willing to EXPOSE…
This one pulled over a 4% response on a cold list ripped from the Yellow Page.
Dear Fellow Air-Conditioning Business Owner,
Running a successful air-conditioning business seems like child’s play. Summer time comes and everyone’s rushing out buying air-conditioners and then madly trying to find someone to install them. To those standing on the outside, it looks like a real good business to be in. Like selling lollies at a kid’s playground. Or selling sun-screen at Surfers on a hot summer’s day.
Unfortunately, you and I know different. You know in winter business slows down to a mere trickle. And you know in summer you can’t keep up with the demand. It’s boom or bust without a steady, continual, and predictable income from one month to the next.
But it doesn’t have to be this way… you’re about to discover an easy way to build the business of your dreams, quickly, easily and without any fuss. Let me explain…
Another one taken from a winning Business Opportunity letter…
If you’ve been looking for an exciting and lucrative way to make money from home … and you’re sick and tired of all the pie-in-the-sky business opportunities that promise you instant riches but leave you in the lurch … and you want something REAL, something that’s do-able, lucrative and emotionally rewarding … then you’ll want to read every word of this letter very carefully. And here’s why…
LESSON: Never underestimate the importance of your lead sentence/s.
Love to hear your comments and I’ll do my best to answer each one personally.
Pete Godfrey, The Wizard of Words, from rebel without a clue to one of the most in demand and highest paid Copywriters and Sales Strategists in Australasia… all with the power of his emotionally charged words that sell… Discover the “Secret Weapon” to increasing your Sales and Profits by downloading the valuable report "The Ultimate Copywriting and Marketing Secret" While you're at it, follow Pete on Facebook