What is the ultimate purpose of the very first sentence of your blog or email?
Is it to say hello?
Is it to inform your customers about your products or services?
Is it to tell them all about you?
The answer to all of the above is no, no, no ultimately you will get there but first you need to hook your readers in with a juicy first sentence that will get them to read the next and the next.
As a small business owner I bet you pour your heart into writing a blog post or an email to keep your customers informed and educated about your business. Most of all - you work hard to provide them with valuable information.
So how do you get your readers to read everything from start to end?
The best and only strategy is by creating an enticing hook-worthy first sentence. This will propel them to read the second sentence and so on. You get the picture.
Before you know it they have read your entire message, this is not complicated to do. Here are 4 simple ways I use.
1. Make that very important first sentence short and gripping.
Here are few examples from classic Literature and Novels.
"Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can't be sure."
--The Stranger by Albert Camus
“Jacob Fielding stood in a small room and stared at a body.”
Thirteen Days to Midnight by Patrick Carman
The man sitting across from me at the café was thinking about murdering his wife.”
The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton
As you can see these sentences have a strong and powerful start that makes you want to find out what happens next. Of course, in business writing, you are not talking about murdering wives, or staring at bodies, but you can see how these words can lure you in.
2. Use transformative words:
Using words that take people from their current state to an improved one is a sure way to get their attention. This method sparks interest and a promise of being transformed into a different improved state, so why wouldn’t anyone want to read more.
Here are few simple examples:
3. Start with a short question.
Ask your reader short thought provoking questions to make them think about a pain point they may have. For example:
4. Talk to one person.
When writing imagine you are talking to one customer not a group of people to avoid sounding like a lecturer. Think about your customer’s traits, what they like to do, what characteristics can be used to describe them.
This is where developing a buyer persona comes in handy. Learn more about buyer personas here.
Having a picture in your head or literally on the wall that depicts who your customer is can really help you nail down how you talk and write to them.
For example, in this very cute gify, it’s clear this mom can't sleep in peace and needs a break!
Maybe a massage or a quiet getaway with lots of R & R would appeal to her so you would tailor your message to meet her needs providing she is your ideal customer.
Once your reader gets past your first sentence and are pulled into your story, you can go on to use longer sentences to further explain your thoughts.
I bet they will make it to the end of your blog post or email as I hope you have done with this post.
Please let me know if you have any questions - feel free to email anytime. Thanks for reading.
Hi my name is Farzanah. I am a marketing pro with 10 + years of experience in marketing management and a busy mom dedicated to helping small business owners improve their marketing with copy writing that transforms their online visitors into taking action.