When writing headlines, subject lines and opening paragraphs, here’s a tool I find invaluable. I visualize a door-to-door salesman knocking at my prospect’s door. When it opens, what are the first words out of his month? If it elicits a door-slam and an abrupt “not interested,” it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
Common but ineffective opening lines are what I call “producer copy.” It’s all about the producer, devoid of benefit for the reader. Telltale signs of producer copy are phrases like “We’re proud to announce” and “Founded in 1921.”
To get your prospect to keep the door open, you need to appeal to their emotions and self-interest immediately.
The next time you look at a first draft, see how it reads without the first sentence or two. Quite often, they’re completely expendable, and that change alone is enough for your prospect to keep the door open for you.