Once you read my first sentence, you’re off on a journey to discovering one of the most important things you’ll ever learn about marketing. So important in fact that many an expert has claimed this one secret alone can be responsible for as much as 80% of your marketing success sometimes. Personally, i consider it the second most important thing.
And here it is
“Your first sentence is your only hope”.
The first sentence, also known as a headline is your only hope of actually getting someone to read the rest of what you say. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a newspaper advert, email letter, status up on Facebook or the first few second of your presentation – if you don’t grab me with your headline…pretty much all is lost.
You could have the most amazing offer, a killer story yet to come, an amazing surprise lined up for me – if i ignore your first sentence, you’re done for.
- I wont click the link to your article
- i wont open your email
- i wont read you book
- i wont watch your video
- i wont read the rest of your status update
- i wont pay attention to your presentation
Headlines make or break marketing campaigns the way they make or break book sales. Banish all delusion from your mind, people really do judge a book by its cover. It’s human nature. That’s why sentence number one needs to do its job. So what is it’s job?
The job of your first sentence is to make sure i read the second one. The job of the second one is to make sure i read the third. And so on. All the while, you’re teaching me, arousing my desire, persuading me of a particular perspective – moving me, compellingly all the way done to your last line.
Headlines are often after thoughts for most bloggers, presenters, authors, advertisers and so on – that’s one of the reasons most people don’t care about what they write.
Not you though.
From now onward, you’ll give as much attention to your first sentence as you do to almost rest of the thing. You’ll write, rewrite and rework ideas for headlines before you finally slap one on. You won’t let your logo, or your company name or just the name of your product become your headline – not unless you know for sure, that this is what your market really wants to read more about.
The job of your first sentence is to make sure i keep reading. The rest of it is about making sure i don’t regret having done it.