Here’s the thing.
You aren’t going to sell much if people don’t read your ad.
And it makes sense.
Have you ever been jumped by a salesman and before he says anything you’re already trying to tune him out and look for an excuse to leave? We’ve all been there. (Tip: never accept free hand lotion at the mall).
So how do you keep a person reading and prevent them from ditching your copy faster than a pushy mall kiosk salesman? Well the first sentence is a great place to start. Getting someone to read an entire ad or blog post is all about momentum. You have to write in such a way that reading the whole ad is not just easy.
How in the world do you accomplish such a task?
I’m going to give you 3 first sentence hacks that will do just that. When you use these correctly your reader will read the first sentence with such ease, that they’ll be well into the second sentence without even realizing it.
That’s the beauty of this technique. The further along you get the reader into your copy, the more likely they are to read all of it. And the more people you get to read your entire ad, the more people you will turn into paying customers.
So let’s get started.
The first hack I wanna show you is…
The Lead In
This is a beautiful technique that’s easy to master. In fact I just used it! Did you notice? The beauty of these techniques is they don’t always need to be in the first sentence.
I wrote “The first hack I wanna show you is”
followed by the most important part “…”
The three dots or the ellipsis build tension for the reader and lets them know the sentence is unfinished. The brain hates unfinished sentences, so it instinctively tries to find the rest- bringing the reader’s eyes further down the page. It’s a great momentum booster.
Take a look at this example and then come back. I’ll wait.
Are you back? Good! Did you see how quickly you progressed to the second sentence. How easy it was for your brain to move you along? I’m not showing you this to brag, just to help you realize the power of this technique I’ve dubbed The Lead In. On to the next hack.
The Short and Incomplete
My personal favorite.
Taught by Joseph Sugarman, this first sentence technique also capitalizes on the brain’s distaste for the incomplete. Without looking, can you recall what the first sentence of this post was?
Go ahead and reread it now.
Two things about this sentence: it’s short and tells you nothing.
On its own it is completely useless! But if your goal is to move the reader along in the copy it’s perfect. And because the brain wants to read a finished thought, this sentence creates a seamless transition into the next sentence. It’s so quick you can hardly hold yourself back from reading the next one.
In fact, I would argue it’s difficult to not read the second sentence.
The hardest of the three.
Starting with a question is a great way to spark curiosity. It’s also a great way to get the sell. Ask a question they’ll say yes to.
Do you want to double your income?
Uh, yeah. who wouldn’t?
Getting a prospect to nod or say/think “Yes” throughout the copy will increase your chances of getting a “Yes” when you ask them to buy or do something. Ease them into it. A basic sales technic outlined in the book Getting To Yes.
Now Go and Do
I’ve given you three techniques to try out. Don’t let these proven methods go to waste. Start writing copy that gets read. Copy that sells.
I also need you to do 2 other things.
If this post was useful, share it.
And if you have some other first sentence techniques let me know in the comments.