We’ve been talking about overall, big-picture strategy lately, so let’s drop back and look at a critical tactic today.
Because whether you’re a high-flying entrepreneur, an agency owner, a professional copywriter, a coach, a mom-and-pop business, or somewhere in between, you HAVE to have a firm grasp of persuasion and copywriting.
There’s no choice in the matter.
You don’t necessarily have to do much writing yourself, but you do have to be able to recognize powerful persuasion.
Because it’s the words you use that determine your bottom line.
So today, because copywriting is such a huge topic, I’m going to take you through just one simple part of copywriting, arguably the most important part.
And no, it’s not the headline but the headline’s best buddy.
What does that mean?
Here’s our first example, taken from the 26-email sequence that pulled in over $400,000 in just 16 days for entrepreneur extraordinaire, Jon Benson.
[NOTE: In a minute, I’ll show you how to get the whole document for your swipe file with all the emails in this fascinating sequence]
Cash Cow for Entrepreneurs Who Hate Marketing
If you don’t hate marketing, you should.
But only if you’re interested in the good life… with easier, faster profits, and not being eaten alive by unnecessary stress.
As you can see, there’s a handoff between the subject line and the first line or two.
Both the subject line and the first line are attention grabbing because they make you stop and scratch your head for a minute and ask, “I should hate marketing?”
This “pattern interrupt” makes the barriers drop momentarily and opens the door for more persuasion.
So it’s critically important that the first line grab attention just as powerfully as the subject line… something that’s neglected by most copywriting trainings that focus exclusively on the headline.
Now let’s check out a few more examples so you really get the importance of that first line.
Lock and Load Their Attention
Another reason the opening line is so important is the visual presentation of an email in your inbox.
Because when you open your inbox, the first line is also often visible along with the subject line.
So it’s another opportunity to “hook” your reader and get them to click and start reading.
Here’s another couple examples from the Jon Benson campaign:
Rabid Profits from Hoaxes, Hate, Scams, and Lies
“Everyone loves a train wreck.”
Both the subject line and the first line tie together and appeal to the looky-loo factor that lies hidden in all of us — which are both big-time curiosity provoking.
Now, here’s the 6th email in the 26-email sequence and the hook of the headline was “Coke,” which attracted attention because we’re all nosy and want to know about cocaine shenanigans.
But in this case it’s done in an amusing, tongue-in-cheek way that’s not offensive or that makes the reader resentful for being deceived.
It’s more like the punchline of a joke that catches you off guard in a good way:
[Starting Soon] Coke Profits
It was 1985.
And since the competition was stealing their sacred market share (after having a virtual strangle hold for decades)…
Explanatory note: a surefire way to grab attention initially, which I learned from Matt Furey, is to use person, place, action, and/or time… right off the bat.
On Tuesday, June 17th, 1999, Michael hung onto a lukewarm cup of coffee, in a rundown diner in Manhattan, with his Glock tucked securely under his arm.
OK, here’s another one:
TRUE STORY: Suicide Pact for Success
Here’s why my suicide pact is the absolute KEY to AUTOMATING your marketing, which of course, means automatic PROFITS!
Jon’s “suicide pact” story is one of my all-time favorites — because it’s so ridiculously outrageous and after checking out the subject line, prospects found it impossible not to read what it was all about.
As a side note… most people have some similarly crazy story that they’re not using, so dig deep to find it, then use this valuable persuasion fodder to attract clients.
Now, one more from the Benson campaign:
[Brief EMail] Register Quick: Maltese Brain Expert’s Headline Breakthrough
There’s a small private island off the coast of northern Italy in the Venetian lagoon.
This one has a triple whammy for a subject line.
First of all, it promises to be short, which lowers the barrier to reading any further.
Then there’s a sense of urgency when it says, “Register Quick.”
The rest of the headline is exotic, with a “Maltese Brain Expert,” plus a “Headline Breakthrough.”
By the way, offering or promising anything that’s rare, exotic, or hard to find, makes it FAR more appealing.
The ideal product would be a miracle healing herb that comes from an unexplored mountain, desert, or jungle, where no human has been before.
Add to that the fact that it can only be harvested once in a blue moon, and you’ve got a winner.
More Gold From Successful Campaigns
OK, now a few more dynamic duos from successful campaigns in other niches, then I’ll let you go for now — except you don’t want to miss getting your hot-little hands on the full download of the ultra-successful Benson campaign (link at bottom).
This one is from an ultra-successful “Quit Smoking” campaign that led to opening 70 clinics in 30 countries. The headline for one of the ads was…
It shouldn’t be this easy to quit smoking.
Then the first line was tied right into the headline and almost forces you to keep reading:
Quitting is supposed to be agony.
Or how about a one-two punch from the nutritional supplement niche, with big pharma as the enemy:
The Drugs No Senior Should EVER Take
Congress confirmed it, a top medical journal published it — and the medical profession almost totally ignores it.
Then there’s the biz-op niche and an ad from marketing legend, Jay Conrad Levinson, with the following headline:
Dozens of marketing tactics to attract new customers and keep them buying — a must own program for marketing and sales professionals.
The first sentence was equally long—but equally powerful:
New information shows you how to dominate your market, snatch business away from your competition and outthink, outmaneuver, outwit, outpace, outsell, and outperform every competitor in your field — large or small!
And finally, an example from the rare coin niche, selling gold:
From Breadlines To BMWs — How The New Russian Economy Has Turned The Market For Vintage Gold Red-Hot!
Dear Oxford Club Communiqué Subscriber:
When I hear the word “Russia,” I must confess the first thought that comes to my mind are images of the old Soviet era: Empty department store shelves and long lines of grim-faced Muscovites waiting to purchase a piece of bread.
OK, that’s it.
As a reward for reading this far, here’s the link to download the entire Benson campaign.
It’s a powerful addition to your swipe file.
And while I’ve got you clicking, you may have heard about our client-getting breakthroughs using Conversational AI, the Anti-Funnel, and Identity-Based Persuasion, check out this short video.
In the meantime, Happy Selling!