How to Write Your First Paragraph
Most attention in how to write sales letters info products focuses on writing headlines. But your first paragraph is very important.
Here are a few ways to begin. I’m borrowing liberally from John Caples’ classic Making Ads Pay. A lot of people don’t realize that in addition to Tested Advertising Methods he also wrote two other books: Making Ads Pay and How to Make Your Advertising Make Money. Both are awesome in classic John Caples style.
1. Continue the thought of the headline and expand on it
Whatever your main thought in the headline is, continue this in your opening paragraphs and expand on it. The headline is a promise of a result. So you open by elaborating on that result by painting a picture of it or telling a story that illustrates it. Or simply by explaining more about it.
2. The Gary Halbert If You-> Then Opening
This is one of my favorites. Gary didn’t originate it but he sure made it famous. And he always executed it so well.
Back in the day, the opening to Amazing Formula read If you’d like to sell your products by the hundreds or thousands, listen up. This might be the most important letter you’ve ever read.
That’s vintage Gary Halbert style. For those of you who don’t know who Gary was, he was a legend of copywriting and a hero to many entrepreneurs, in spite of his checkered history.
3. Begin with an authoritative quote
The classic sales letter for Dale Carnegie’s timeless book How to Win Friends and Influence People began with a John D. Rockefeller quote.
John D. Rockefeller, Sr. once said: “The ability to deeal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee. And I will pay more for that ability than any other under the sun.”
That’s beginning with an authoritative quote.
4. Hit ’em With a Challenge
This works well in the Internet age of skepticism. Instead of coming across hard sell, begin with a take away right off the bat questioning whether or not the person qualifies.
Here’s a classic quote by Bruce Barton:
“About one man in ten will be appealed to by this page.. The other nine will be hard workers, ernest, ambitious in their way, but to them a coupon is a coupon; a book is a book’ a Course is a Course. The one man in ten has imagination.
And imagination rules the world.”
Wow! What a great opening.
5. Lead off with a blockbuster testimonial
This is another one that works great in the Internet age. Lead off with your best testimonial.
You just can’t provide too much proof of credibility in the Internet age.
6. Spin a story that illustrates the main benefit
That’s another classic way to begin a letter.
John Carlton does this better than just about anyone. He’s the master of leading with a story that pulls you into the letter.
Now, once you get that killer sales letter written, you need a web page for it.
That’s an article I wrote over on Go Articles.