An Underrated, Overlooked Piece Of Copywriting In Landing Pages, Email Marketing And Sales Letters

What is said after Love at first sight? You are standing across the room. You lock eyes and connect.

How do you go from the first glance… to a conversation… to a first kiss?

Perhaps no different than you would with a prospect for your business.

You get your prospects attention… but now you have to keep it.

You can’t let them ignore you or worse… be bored by you.

This simple, underrated, overlooked piece of copywriting advice gets your landing pages to convert… prospects to respond and react to your emails… and your sales letters to bring you boat loads of  appointments.

Maybe you’ve heard how important your “Headline” or “Subject Line” is?

There is no lie in that, but don’t over look this key element.

Are you wondering what it is?

I’ll give you a hint. Can you guess what these all have in common?

“Call me Ishmael.” —Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

“I am an invisible man.” —Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

“All this happened, more or less.” —Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. —F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

“Tyler gets me a job as a waiter, after that Tyler’s pushing a gun in my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die.” - Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” - Charles Dickens, A Tale Of Two Cities

Did you figure it out?

Don’t Underestimate Your First Sentence...

Of course the headline is important. We’ve established that.

But the job of the headline is to get people to read the first sentence… and the job of first sentence is to get the prospect to continue reading.

You are fighting for your prospects attention… the few spare moments of precious time they have… AND… you have to keep it.

Don’t get lazy after coming up with kick-gutt headline.

Just like the opening lines above… it’s not the first thing people see. A reader saw the cover, read the title. But now the author needed to grab your throat, draw you in to their world and make you care.

Let’s look at these opening lines and investigate why they are so compelling…

“Call me Ishmael.”

Who is Ishmael? Why does he need to call? Who is asking Ishmael to call?

“I am an invisible man.”

Huh? Who is this invisible man? Are they really invisible or do they just feel that way?

“All this happened, more or less.”

What happened? What does that mean, more or less? Is this true or made up?

“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.”

What advice is that?

“Tyler gets me a job as a waiter, after that Tyler’s pushing a gun in my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die.”

Who is Tyler? Who is telling this story? Why is there a gun in his mouth? Is he going to be killed? Is he going to survive?

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

A run on sentence, if I ever read one. But damn, what a good line. Paints me a picture of where I’m about to go.

These lines are compelling. They make you want more. They suck you in. They grab you by the throat.

You’re in love and now you want to know more.

That’s why the first sentence on your landing page, or in your email, or in your recruiting letter can not be overlooked.

Great copywriting is like great storytelling.

The first sentence matters.

Don’t overlook it. Don’t underestimate it.

- Darin